Friday Jul 06, 2012

Middleware and Cloud Computing Book

One of only a couple books that really discusses AWS and Oracle in depth. This books is focused on AWS and Oracle middleware/fusion/weblogic:
AWS Middleware cloud computing book
It also covers Rackspace but in not near as much depth.

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

Thursday Jun 28, 2012

Amazon AMIs and Oracle VM templates

I have worked with Oracle VM templates and most recently with Amazon Machine Images (AMI). The similarities in the functionality and capabilities they provide are striking. Just take a look a the definitions:

An Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is a special type of pre-configured operating system and virtual application software which is used to create a virtual machine within the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). It serves as the basic unit of deployment for services delivered using EC2. AWS AMIs

Oracle VM Templates provide an innovative approach to deploying a fully configured software stack by offering pre-installed and pre-configured software images. Use of Oracle VM Templates eliminates the installation and configuration costs, and reduces the ongoing maintenance costs helping organizations achieve faster time to market and lower cost of operations. Oracle VM Templates

Other things they have in common:
1. Both have 35 Oracle images or templates:
AWS AMI pre-built images Oracle pre-built VM Templates
2. Both allow to build your own images or templates: A. OVM template builder - OVM Template Builder - Oracle VM Template Builder, an open source, graphical utility that makes it easy to use Oracle Enterprise Linux “Just enough OS” (JeOS)–based scripts for developing pre-packaged virtual machines for Oracle VM.
B. AMI 'builder' - AMI builder
However, AWS has the added feature/benefit of adding your own AMI to the AWS AMI catalog: AMI - Adding to the AWS AMI catalog

Another plus with AWS and AMI is there are hundreds of MySQL AMIs (AWS MySQL AMIs ). A benefit of Oracle VM templates is they can run on any public or private cloud environment, not just AWS EC2.
However, with Oracle VM templates they first need to be images as AMIs before they can run in the AWS cloud.

Thursday Jun 07, 2012

Oracle Cloud offering - What makes it unique ?

Three things that make Oracle cloud offering unique:
1. SaaS, PaaS and IaaS offerings
2. Private and Public cloud offerings
3. Ability to seamlessly move between private and public cloud

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.

Thursday Mar 15, 2012

Running applications in the cloud not designed for the cloud

The question of what to do with applications that were written for the mainframe or client/server based applications that do not fit into a shared service model of the cloud has come up a lot in the last few weeks. This is something that is addressed in chapter 8 of the Migrating to the Cloud book. The bottom line is: The issue you face with moving client/server applications to the cloud via rehosting is “where will the applications run?” Currently, your applications are installed on client PC machines or other thick client devices; the Apple iPhone is in the thick client category as you actually download an application that runs on your iPhone; the application now needs to be hosted on a central server accessible through the Web. A handful of products from Oracle and third parties are available for hosting client/server applications in the cloud. Third-party solutions include Citrix XenApp (formerly Citrix WinFrame Server, Citrix MetaFrame Server, and Citrix Presentation Server) and VMware Server. Oracle solutions include Oracle Virtual Server, Oracle Tuxedo, and Oracle Exalogic. Oracle Tuxedo is the leading open systems transaction processor (TP). It supports both COBOL and C/C++ applications, as well as Ruby and Python. Oracle Tuxedo can run on Oracle Exalogic to provide you both the application runtime environment (Tuxedo) and the cloud hardware infrastructure (Exalogic). Oracle Tuxedo can also be deployed on Oracle Virtual Server for a virtualized cloud environment. We will discuss Oracle Virtual Server and Oracle Exalogic in detail in the “Target Hardware and Software Stack Options” section later in this chapter. [Begin WARNING] A client/server application cannot just be moved to a virtual server and be considered cloud-ready. The application is now accessible by many users, so it must be multiuser and multithreaded. Oracle Tuxedo and Oracle WebLogic Server are both multiuser and multithreaded. A single-user C, C++, or Java application can be made multiuser by running this application in Oracle Tuxedo or Oracle WebLogic Server as these application server containers are multiuser and multithreaded. When using Oracle Virtual Server, it needs to be placed into a grid middle tier environment. This environment could consistent of a cluster of commodity hardware components with a load balancer in front of the configuration for managing load balancing (multithreading) and multiuser connections. This virtual server grid can then run hundreds of images of the same application so that the application can service hundreds or thousands of users. [End WARNING]

Tuesday Nov 29, 2011

Application Virtualization has challenges

information Week article discusses the challenges associated virtualizing applications in the cloud:
Application Virtualization Challenges
'Golden images' quickly diverge from their pristine initial condition because of:
1. OS patches
2. Application updates
3. Configuration changes
"Applications, once released into the wild, tend to quickly diverge from the golden image"
"The difficulties face by developers and systems admins in deploying apps to the cloud are reminiscent of those encountered transitioning from mainframe to the client/server era"

Sunday Nov 13, 2011

Mainframe as the cloud ?

Everyone seems to jumping on the 'new' (not new at all) idea that a mainframe can be used in the cloud. SD Times article in October 2011 states: "While datacenter utilization can be tricky to optimize above 30% even with virtualization and workload tools, mainframes tend to run at over 80% of capacity."

Wednesday Nov 09, 2011

Forth Key attribute of Cloud Computing - Provisioning

Provisioning the system from end to end - OS, hardware, storage, application, network and datavase need to be self service provisioned. Provisioning is dynamic and self-service provisioning of applications involves deploying applications to your cloud infrastructure with a few mouse clicks. So, when moving to the cloud, application provisioning will be made easier since there are not hundreds or thousands of client machines to deploy too. Self-service provisioning of computing infrastructure in a cloud infrastructure is also very desirable as it can cut down the time it takes to deploy new infrastructure for a new application or scale up/down infrastructure for an existing application. Public cloud service providers like Savvis, Terremark, and AT&T all have self-service portals where users can sign up for cloud services and their compute infrastructure is ready within hours for usage. Oracle Enterprise Manager provides many Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) that can be incorporated into the self-service portals of cloud providers to automate the provisioning of compute infrastructure for Oracle products such as Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle database.

Monday Nov 07, 2011

Physical Vs Virtual in enterprise data centers / private cloud

Interesting article that discusses physical Vs. virtual enterprise data centers. The article discusses physical (Oracle Exadata) data centers. May companies deciding dedicated physical appliances are the best choice for big data applications.

Monday Oct 31, 2011

Win a copy of Migrating to the Cloud - follow me on twitter

Win a copy of this book. All you need to do is starting following me on Twitter Tom Laszewski
After two weeks, I will pick two twitter follows. These two follows will receive a free copy of this book:
Migrating to the Cloud

Tuesday Oct 18, 2011

Multi-tenancy - Second key attribute of cloud computing

Multitenancy, or running multiple customers or departments on the same central hardware and software infrastructure, is not an issue for client/server applications since each user has her own instance of the application, and most likely each department or customer has its own dedicated database server. In cloud environments, the application, database, and hardware infrastructure are shared among departments or even companies.
Multi-tenancy for most companies and cloud hosting providers is achieved by using Server Based Computing or Virtual Desktop Infrastructure. Server Based Computing is most commonly associated with VMWare vSphere. Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) has become the latest buzzword in the cloud computing arena. VDI is very similar to Virtual Server (referred to as SBC - Server Based Computing). Both offer virtualization and both holding the virtual environment on a centralized server. This is where the similarities end. VDI provides a full desktop experience while SBC offers terminal service based access to a centralized/shared operating environment. However, virtualization can also be done with Oracle at the database, application, and operating system layers without using SBC or VDI products. Oracle does offer both VDI (Oracle Virtual Desktop) and SBC (Oracle Virtual Server) if you do chose this option.
Database multi-tenancy can be achieved in a number of ways without using hardware or OS based virtualization using these database features and options:
1. Instance Caging - Using the DB Resource Manager to limit the amount of CPU a DB consumes. Therefore, you can place more then one database on the same machine, or run multiple databases in one RAC instance, and assign specific CPU resources to each customer's database.
2. DB Resource Manager and IO Resource Management - Enables coordination and prioritization of I/O bandwidth consumed between DB's and between different users and classes of work, and distributes available processing resources by allocating percentages of CPU time to different users and applications. Therefore, you could create a consumer group for one customer and assign DB and IO resources to the different customers/consumer groups. You could also place DB Quality of Service (QoS) Management policy-based resource management of resources for customer application SLA's 'on top of this'. 3. VPD (Virtual Private Database) - In this case, all customers would share the same database put would only see the rows in the database tables that are associated to them.
4. One schema per customer - Each customer can have its own schema within the same database. This offers more isolation, easier management, migration from Oracle instance in one location to another then VPD.
A. E. One database per customer - Of course, you could always go to having a separate databases for each customer. This is provides even more isolation then one schema per customer.
Multi-tenancy can be achieved at the application tier without VDI or SBC products using feature of two Oracle technologies:
1. Oracle Solaris Zones Oracle Solaris Zones are a form of operating-system-level virtualization. Different Oracle WebLogic Server instances and other Oracle Fusion Middleware components can be run on different OS virtual environments for optimal hardware utilization and to provide security so that one department or customer is protected from executing another department’s or customer’s applications.
2. WebLogic domains A WebLogic domain is an interrelated set of units to be managed as a WebLogic Server resource. For example, one customer or department can have its own domain consisting of all its applications.

Tuesday Oct 11, 2011

Oracle new public cloud offering

Big announcements at Oracle OpenWorld around the Oracle public cloud offering: Oracle Database Service: 1. Secure Separare database - no multi-tenancy 2. Multi-tenancy of database was a great idea 15 years ago! Application, Database and OS: 1. Virtualization to run your OS, database and application 2. All clouds today are virtualized! 3. Virtualization Vs. Multi-tenancy ... virtualization is the way to go
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Migrating legacy client/server and mainframe technologies to the Oracle cloud.

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