Wednesday Apr 09, 2014

Updates to Service Catalog paper, and a new paper from MAA

First published in fall 2013, the paper Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services has been updated with several new elements:

  • definitions of four standardized Oracle DBaaS service offerings
  • updates to the standard availability levels, to match the recommendations published in this new paper from the Maximum Availability Architecture team
  • differentiated levels for security, agility, and performance
  • sample service sizings

The service levels set forth can be adopted or adapted by providers who wish to offer Oracle DBaaS with the service catalog model.


Thursday Mar 27, 2014

New IOUG IT survey highlights the importance of data center standardization

A new IOUG research report "Efficiency Isn't Enough: Data Centers Lead the Drive to Innovation" presents the results of a survey of 285 data managers and professionals. The survey aimed to learn where IT is spending its data center resources, and identify key strategies for improvement.

High on the list of current activities: maintenance, such as patching; maintaining availability; creating and managing copies of data; performance tuning ... routine chores to keep the lights on.  And due to rising complexities, the costs are growing.  If these efforts could be reduced, IT would have more time for innovative initiatives.  So how can that be achieved?

Not surprisingly, survey respondents cited standardization as the top strategy to reduce efforts devoted to routine administration.  Standardizing reduces complexity - fewer elements to learn and understand, fewer permutations to orchestrate, fewer vendors to work with.  And higher standardization enables better automation - which happens to be the second-most important strategy.

One point the survey does not address is how to approach standardization.  One of the keys is to develop a service catalog which describes the services offered, and how they are delivered.  See this recent blog entry for more on service catalogs - and watch for more to come soon.

You can find a summary of the survey on the IOUG website.  Become an IOUG member and read the full report.

Tuesday Jan 21, 2014

The University of Minnesota Delivers Database as a Service

It seems we usually read about large enterprises and governments leading the way in delivering database as service, but it should be no surprise that top educational institutions have a few things to teach us.  In a recent OracleVoice post on forbes.com,  Database as a Service: A Pioneer Explains How It's Done, the University of Minnesota discusses how they are providing database as a service to consumers across the university, and the benefits that both IT and consumers are seeing.

One interesting aspect of educational institutions versus enterprises is that the former often provide troves of useful information on their public websites.  A visit to http://www1.umn.edu/twincities/index.html will enable some fruitful searches for more details.


Thursday Jan 02, 2014

Some light reading while the clouds lift

In case you took a break over New Year's and aren't quite ready for "real" work, but still feel obligated to visit sites such as this one, here's a reward for your efforts.  (If you're ready for serious work, the following may disappoint you.)

I've been working in this database cloud / DBaaS area for a few years now.  One of the perks is the term itself:  adding cloud images to presentations is pleasing, exchanging meteorological puns and banter is entertaining,  etc. etc.  I do have one issue with the term though - it's too close to my last name.  And thanks to my poor typing skills, plus autocorrect, plus inopportune inattention, it's not unusual for me to swap "clouse" for "cloud" - such as when registering for an event last year.  When I approached the check-in table to get my expo badge, it took three registration workers to eventually figure out that I had registered as "Burt Cloud".  It was nice to see the harried staff have a good laugh, but when they insisted I present an ad lib keynote I had to flee to the booth.

But back to the positives.  Being associated with 'cloud' encourages friends and colleagues to share anything about moisture in the air, such as this amazing video.  Enjoy and Happy New Year!


Monday Dec 30, 2013

New Year's Resolution: learn more about Oracle Database 12c

 Interested in learning more about Oracle Database 12c's Multitenant option?  Here's a great opportunity to help kick off the new year:

Independent Oracle Users Group (IOUG) Oracle EM Techcast: DBA Best Practices for Performance Tuning in a Pluggable World

Thursday, 9 January 2014, 10 am PT

In Oracle Database 12c, a container database (CDB) can host up to 252 pluggable databases (PDBs).  This presentation look at the performance aspects of this deployment option:

• Best practices for DBAs
• Tuning and configuration tips
• New features

Featured Speaker: Julian Dontcheff(*), Head of Database Management & Exadata Lead for EALA (Europe, Middle East, Africa and Latin America), Accenture
*Oracle Certified Master and an Oracle ACE Director

Sunday Dec 08, 2013

Why DBaaS will be one of 2014's technology headliners

As you settle in to some holiday reading and prepare for 2014, a recent blog and several blogs it connects to will be of interest.  Check out this OracleVoice blog on Forbes.com:  "Why Database As A Service (DBaaS) Will Be The Breakaway Technology of 2014".

From the entry's introduction:

"Database as a Service (DBaaS) is arguably the next big thing in IT. Indeed, the market analysis firm 451 Research projects an astounding 86% cumulative annual growth rate, with annual revenues from DBaaS providers rising from $150 million in 2012 to $1.8 billion by 2016."

 The  article explores the benefits of DBaaS and some of the key enabling technologies, such as Oracle Multitenant, which promises to be a game-changer as Oracle Database 12c adoption rises.


Thursday Oct 31, 2013

Online DBaaS Forum available on-demand

Problem: you missed the October 21 on-line forum on how to design, deploy and deliver Oracle Database in a private cloud.

Solution: watch any of the segments on-demand simply by clicking here.

If only all of life's difficulties could be handled so easily ...


Friday Oct 18, 2013

Service Catalogs for Database as a Service

At the end of last month, I had the opportunity to present a speaking session at Oracle OpenWorld: Database as a Service: Creating a Database Cloud Service Catalog.  The session was well-attended which would have surprised me several months ago when I started researching this topic.  At that time, I thought of service catalogs as something trivial which could be explained in a few simple slides.  But while looking at all the different options and approaches available, I came to learn that designing a succinct and effective catalog is not a trivial task, and mistakes can lead to confusion and unintended side effects.  And when the room filled up, my new point of view was confirmed.

In case you missed the session, or were able to attend but would like more details, I've posted a white paper that covers the topics from the session, and more.  We start with an overview of the components of a service catalog:

service catalog overview


And then look at several customer case studies of service catalogs for DBaaS.  Synthesizing those examples, we summarize the main options for defining the service categories and their levels.  We end with a template for defining Bronze | Silver | Gold service tiers for Oracle Database Services.

The paper is now available here - watch for updates as we work to expand some sections and incorporate readers' feedback (hint - that includes your feedback).

Visit our OTN page for additional Database Cloud collateral.

Online DBaaS Forum, October 21

An Oracle online forum you won't want to miss: Your Blueprint to DBaaS:  Design, Deploy and Deliver Oracle Database in the Cloud.

Join online with Oracle and industry experts to explore best practices and lessons learned.


Monday, October 21, 2013
9 a.m.–12 p.m PT /
12 p.m.–3 p.m. ET  

More information, and registration here.

Sunday Sep 08, 2013

Database Cloud topics at Oracle OpenWorld 2013

It's that time of year again for Oracle OpenWorld, and our team is again involved in several venues where you can learn anything you need to know about private database clouds for delivering Oracle Database as a Service. These include demo booths, hands-on-labs, and speaking sessions.

These events cover a range of topics but the common theme is delivering DBaaS, so you can find all of them listed in this Focus On Document.  We hope to see you there to answer your questions and hear about your experiences.


Tuesday Aug 27, 2013

The High Price of Over-Virtualizing

It seems that most of the collateral we read about cloud will blithely assert that the first step in creating a cloud environment is to virtualize.  Often we're not told specifics until we read the details, when we discover that the advice is to shovel everything in to virtual machines. Other times, the author will simply lead with virtual machines as the entry point to cloud.  In both cases, the proposition that a cloud must be based on virtual machines is simply taken for granted.  And many people seem to have no qualms about this, and they start their evolution to the cloud by shuffling their physical server silos into VM silos.    Is that always the right thing to do?

Let's consider the idea that "more is better."  A friend of mine is looking for a home to buy and debating different down payment vs. loan options.  I'm reminded of when I was on the market and someone gave me this advice: since you can deduct home mortgage interest from your federal taxes, you should make the smallest possible down payment.  This will maximize your interest payment, and therefore your tax deduction. 

So my question was - if a bigger deduction is better, why not look for a loan with a high interest rate?  Then I can pay more interest and get a bigger deduction!

The same fallacy is plaguing many discussions about virtualization in the move to cloud.  Virtualization has many benefits, and comes in many forms.  Assuming that virtualizing as much as possible - i.e., deploying in VMs - leads you down a path that will simply replace your physical silos with virtual silos.  If you want to simplify your environment and make better use of pooled resources, consider the virtualization available in the applications you are deploying.  With a product such as the Oracle Database, you'll discover that features and options such as Database Resource Manager, Instance Caging, and Oracle Multitenant will handle the vast majority of use cases you thought you needed VMs for - without the added elements to deploy and manage.


Friday Aug 02, 2013

New on-demand DBaaS webcast, and complimentary e-book

Earlier this week I participated in a live webcast in which Tim Mooney from Oracle and Carl Olofson from IDC discussed customer experiences with building public and private database clouds.  The webcast is now available for on-demand viewing:  Delivering Cloud through Database as a Service

The webcast focuses on how Database as a Service delivers these key cloud benefits:

  • Greater IT efficiency
  • Higher capital utilization
  • Faster time to market

 You may also be interested in the free e-book, Building a Database Cloud for Dummies.

And at this point I'll digress for a moment, as the title of the e-book reminds me of a question that arose during the webcast, and continues to cloud many of our discussions about Database as a Service: are you a consumer, or a provider? 

To see the importance of understanding the consumer/provider point of view, consider the possible answers to this question:  "How much will a typical DBaaS cost?"

If a consumer is asking the question, the answer will be "whatever the provider you use charges" -- and from there we can look at examples of what public cloud providers charge for DBaaS.

If a provider is asking the question, we have a much more detailed discussion which must cover the entire solution that will host the DBaaS environment, including software, hardware, people and processes.

So when asking questions about DBaaS, make sure to identify your role up front -- this helps discussions get to the point more quickly.

You might wonder, how did the e-book title lead to this digression?  It's simple: the title does not indicate whether the dummies in question are those building the cloud, or are the future consumers of the cloud ... in any case, it's a nicely written book despite the ambiguous title.  Enjoy !


Tuesday Jul 02, 2013

Database Consolidation onto Private Clouds - updated for Oracle Database 12c

One of our team's most popular white papers has been expanded and updated to discuss Oracle Database 12c.  Now available on our OTN page, the new version of Database Consolidation onto Private Clouds covers best practices for consolidation with pluggable databases that the new mulitenant architecture provides, and expanded information on the database and schema consolidation options.  These are the consolidation models the paper evaluates:  

server  database  schema
pluggable databases 


Key considerations for consolidating workloads which the paper explores:

  • Choosing a consolidation model
  • How PDBs solve the IT complexity problem
  • Isolation in consolidated environments
  • Cloud pool design
  • Complementary workloads
  • Enterprise Manager 12c for consolidation planning and operations

Many more white papers have been updated or are new for Oracle Database 12c. We'll continue to highlight those which tie directory to your journey to enterprise cloud.

Tuesday Jun 25, 2013

Delivering Oracle DBaaS: Journey to Enterprise Cloud with Oracle Database 12c

The release of Oracle Database 12 is accompanied by extensive supporting collateral that details the new features and options of this major release.  But with so much to read and investigate, where to start?  If you don't have the time to pore through everything, then you may wish organize your reading in terms of the use case you're most interested in.  If your interest is Database as a Service in private database clouds then may I suggest that you start here:

Accelerate the Journey to Enterprise Cloud with Oracle Database 12c

This paper describes the phases of the journey to enterprise cloud, and enumerates the new features and options in Oracle Database 12c that support each phase.  Oracle Multitenant figures prominently, but it's not the only cloud-enabling topic: Oracle Database Quality of Service Management, Application Continuity, Automatic Data Optimization, Global Data Services and Active Data Guard Far Sync all deliver key benefits for delivering database as a service. 

Further reading and research is suggested by the references included in the paper.

Happy clouding!

Tuesday May 28, 2013

Oracle Private Database Cloud at Cloud Expo

Cloud Expo will meet June 10-13 in New York City, and Oracle experts will be hosting several demos in the exhibition hall and also offering several speaker sessions, including these sessions with an emphasis on private cloud:

Fast-track Your Transformation to Enterprise Private Cloud with my esteemed colleague Anand Akela

and

Best Practices for Providing Oracle DBaaS with a Private Cloud with my esteemed teammate Raj Kammend

It's a great chance to learn more about Oracle's offerings from the true experts.  If you miss out, make sure you catch us at Oracle OpenWorld in September...



About

The Database Cloud Architecture Team at Oracle develops and documents best practices for designing and delivering database consolidation and database-as-a-service projects.

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