Monday Jul 02, 2012

AWS EC2 Overview book

A very good introduction book to AWS can be found here:
AWS Book

I would say the title is misleading as this book is more an introduction and overview book then a programming book. However, very good for those IT people new to AWS.

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

Friday Jun 29, 2012

Amazon CloudFormations and Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder

Yesterday I blogged about AWS AMIs and Oracle VM templates. These are great mechanisms to stand up an initial cloud environment. However, they don't provide the capability to manage, provision and update an environment once it is up and running. This is where AWS Cloud Formations and Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder comes into play. In a way, these tools/frameworks pick up where AMIs and VM templates leave off.
Once again, there a similar offers from AWS and Oracle that compliant and also overlap with each other. Let's start by looking at the definitions:
AWS CloudFormation gives developers and systems administrators an easy way to create and manage a collection of related AWS resources, provisioning and updating them in an orderly and predictable fashion.
AWS CloudFormations

Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder - Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder makes it possible for administrators to quickly configure and provision entire multi-tier enterprise applications onto virtualized and cloud environments.
Oracle VM Builder

As with the discussion around should you use AMI or VM Templates, there are pros and cons to each:
1. CloudFormation is JSON, Assembly Builder is GUI and CLI
2. VM Templates can be used in any private or public cloud environment. Of course, CloudFormations is tied to AWS public cloud
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Migrating legacy client/server and mainframe technologies to the Oracle cloud.

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