Tuesday Jul 03, 2012

Oracle Enterprise Manager with AWS Database Instance

Oracle Enterprise Manager 11g Database Control support was just announced this May. It seems like it may be a long time in coming but Oracle Database support on the AWS cloud was first released just a few years ago in September 2008. Here is a great blog entry on using OEM with Oracle on AWS:

AWS OEM for Oracle DB

Monday Jul 02, 2012

AWS EC2 Oracle RDB - Storing and managing my data

When create an Oracle Database on the Amazon cloud you will need to store you database files somewhere on the EC2 cloud. There are basically three places where database files can be stored:
1. Local drive - This is the local drive that is part of the virtual server EC2 instance.
2. Elastic Block Storage (EBS) - Network attached storage that appears as a local drive.
3. Simple Storage Server (S3) - 'Storage for the Internet'.

S3 is not high speed and intended for store static document type files. S3 can also be used for storing static web page files. Local drives are ephemeral so not appropriate to be used as a database storage device. The leaves EBS which is the best place to store database files. EBS volumes appear as local disk drives. They are actually network-attached to an Amazon EC2 instance. In addition, EBS persists independently from the running life of a single Amazon EC2 instance. If you use an EBS backed instance for your database data, it will remain available after reboot but not after terminate. In many cases you would not need to terminate your instance but only stop it, which is equivalent of shutdown. In order to save your database data before you terminate an instance, you can snapshot the EBS to S3.

Using EBS as a data store you can move your Oracle data files from one instance to another. This allows you to move your database from one region or or zone to another. Unfortunately, to scale out your Oracle RDS on AWS you can not have read only replicas. This is only possible with the other Oracle relational database - MySQL. The free micro instances use EBS as its storage.

This is a very good white paper that has more details:
AWS Storage Options
This white paper also discusses: SQS, SimpleDB, and Amazon RDS in the context of storage devices. However, these are not storage devices you would use to store an Oracle database. This slide deck discusses a lot of information that is in the white paper:
AWS Storage Options slideshow

Tuesday Jun 26, 2012

Migrating RISC to x86 - endianess 'issue'

Endianess always comes up when migrating applications and databases from RISC to x86. The issue is often time overblown as if you are running on a relational database the database vendor will provide tools or automated methods to convert the data properly. Oracle RMAN is often the first choice. Oracle imp/exp, data pump, and GoldenGate can also be used.

A bigger issue would be applications that access OS files. These OS files will need to be converted from big endian (RISC) to little endian (CISC) and then the application may be impacted because of the endianess differences.

Monday Jun 25, 2012

Oracle Database on EC2 Cloud white paper link

Some very good information on running Oracle on AWS EC2:
AWS web site regarding Oracle

However, this link is broken: Getting started with Oracle on AWS link broken
Very good FAQ on OTN:
Oracle on AWS FAQ

Friday Jun 22, 2012

Progress 4GL and DB to Oracle and cloud

Getting from client/server based 4GLs and databases where the 4GL is tightly linked to the database to Oracle and the cloud is not easy. The least risky and expensive option (in the short term) is to use the Progress OpenEdge DataServer for Oracle:
Progress OpenEdge DataServer
This eliminates the need to have to migrate the Progress 4GL to Java/J2EE.
The database can be migrated using SQLWays Ispirer:
Ispirer SQLWays ProgressDB migrations tool

The Progress 4GL can remain as is. In order to get the application on the cloud there are a few approaches:
1. VDI - Virtual Desktop is a way to put all of the users desktop in a centralized environment off the desktop. This is great in cases where it is just not one client/server application that the user needs access too. In many cases, users will utilize MS Access, MS Excel, Crystal Reports and other tools to get at the Progress DB and other centralized databases. Vmware's acquistion of Wanova shows how VDI is growing in usage. Citrix is the 800 pound gorilla in the VDI space with Citrix WinFrame (now called XenDesktop). Oracle offers a VDI solution that Oracle picked up when it acquired Sun.
2. Hypervisor Server Virtualization - Of course you can place applications written in client/server languages like Progress 4GL buy using server virtualization from Oracle, VMWare, Microsoft, Citrix and others.
3. Microsoft Remote Desktop Services (aka: Terminal Services Client)
The entire idea is to eliminate all the client/server desktop devices and connections which require desktop software and database drivers. A solution to removing database drivers from the desktop is to use DataDirect SQLLink

Monday Jun 11, 2012

Unidata and RDB migrations to Oracle

Have a couple of unique migrations that don't come along to often. They are Unidata and RDB migrations. The top three things that make these migration more challenging are:
1. No automated data migration tools - Because these migration don't happen that often, there are no tools in the market place to automated the data migration.
2. Application is tied to database - The application needs to be re-architected/re-engineered. Unidata Basic and COBOL for RDB. TSRI can migrate Basic to Java and PL/SQL. Transoft can migrate DEC COBOL to Java.
3. New client hardware potentially involved - Many Unidata and RDB based systems use 'green screens' as the front end. These are character based screens that will run on very old dumb terminals such as: Wyse and DEC 5250 terminals. The user interface can be replicated in a web browser but many times these old terminals do not support web browsers.

Friday May 04, 2012

Migrating DB2 z/OS to Oracle Database

I have been receiving many requests for information on migrating IBM z/OS DB2 databases to Oracle so I thought this would be a great topic.
Third Party Tool Solutions
1.Ispirer- Ispirer - I have worked with there tool before and it is solid. They offer services as well.

Third Party SI Providers (with their own tools)
1.Prac Trans - Prac Trans - I have worked a lot with this company. They have both internal tools to migrate db2 z/OS and very skilled mainframe DB2 resources.

Oracle Solutions
A. Oracle ART Tuxedo Workbench - Oracle ART Workbench
Note: This costs minimum of $80K for two developer licenses.
Solution is disk to disk based.
B. Oracle Warehouse Builder - Free Oracle database ETL tool. You would use JDBC as listed here:
OWB supports importing of COBOL copybooks where DB2 tables are often defined. NOTE: JDBC connection to mainframe DB2 can be slow.
Solution can be disk to Oracle DB or DB2 to Oracle (stream based).
C. Oracle DRDA Gateway - Connect to DB2 on mainframe from Oracle and use Select statements to migrate (nothing to install on mainframe) Oracle DRDA Gateway
Solutions is stream based/disk less.
D. Oracle Data Integrator - No DB2 Knowledge built for DB2 mainframe but one could be developed.

Tuesday May 01, 2012

What makes a DB2 migration easy ?

The four key elements are:
1. COTS application - This means no application database access or database schema to migrate (assuming no database customizations)
2. No integration interfaces - There are no web service, FTP/file, COTS API or other input, output or input/output interfaces.
3. No ETL / batch processing - The is no batch processing or ETL jobs (Oracle Data Integrator, Informatica, IBM DataStage etc.) that are outside the COTS application.
4. No data to migrate - Really ? Yes, all the data is transient. It is part of a print server, real time data capture or caching system.
This may seem like it does not happen. However, I just encountered a set of applications run by a major corporation that has all four elements!

Friday Apr 27, 2012

SAP database HANA sales disappoint

Not sure why the analyst thought HANA was going to 'blow it out of the water'. Oracle has had TimesTen for years and their are other in memory database that have been around for ten years or more.

Saturday Apr 21, 2012

Data migration testing - Oracle Flashback Database makes life easier

Whether it is unit, QA, system or development testing using Oracle Flashback database can reduce time and make the process easier
Oracle Flashback for testing on OTN

Wednesday Apr 18, 2012

Do More with SOA Integration

Packt has come out with a new SOA 'greatest hits' (SOA content from a number of Packt books) book:

Do More with SOA Integration on Amazon
Book contains content from a couple Packt books I have co-authored.

Monday Apr 02, 2012

Cloud consolidation handling multi databases

I have spoken about virtualization and the different types of virtualization. Which includes OS zones, application server domains, database schemas, VLANS and other approaches. Another approach is to create a virtually federated database in the cloud. DBSpaces is a company that has a technology to created a virtually federated database in the cloud. DBSpaces is a Virtual Database technology that allows an organisation thru a single Virtual Database access multiple data sources (or database spaces) in real-time. Additionally dbSpaces can be configured to access an organisations data internally using a remote gateway so that their dbSpace is seamless across the Public and Private cloud.

Friday Mar 30, 2012

What does private cloud Daas or DBaaS really mean ?

Just had meeting with Fortune 1000 company regarding their private DBaaS or DaaS offering. Interesting to see what DBaaS really means to them:
1. Automated Database provisioning - Being able to 'one button' provision databases and database objects. This
includings creating the database instance, creating database objects, network configuration and security
provisioning. It is estimated that just being able to provision a new DB table in automated fashion will reduce time
required to create a new DB table from 60 hours down to 8 hours.
2. Virtualization and blades - DBaaS infrastructure is all based upon VMs and blades.
3. Consolidation of database vendors - Moving from over ten database vendors down to three.

Migrating legacy client/server and mainframe technologies to the Oracle cloud.


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