Wednesday Nov 12, 2014

Compare and Contrast (and mix-n-match) Oracle's SPARC V12N choices

new white paper from Oracle's Elite Engineering Exchange team provides an excellent guide to the different virtualization technologies available on SPARC platforms, including guidance on when to employ each - either alone, or in combination with another technology.  PDoms, LDoms, and different flavors of Solaris Zones are evaluated in terms of

  • Security Isolation
  • Resource Isolation
  • Efficiency
  • Availability
  • Serviceability
  • Flexibility
  • Agility

Although the paper is not specific to database deployments, the key points apply to all workload tiers.  And while the discussion is on SPARC technologies, many points apply to all virtualization technologies.  For example, from our DBaaS perspective, the following quote from the paper couldn't say it better:

"When a traditional  monolithic virtualization approach is taken where machines are mapped one-to-one to virtual machines, there is no overall reduction in the operational complexity of the system, because there are still the same number of entities to be managed ... the aim should be to consolidate workloads, not simply to consolidate machines, because it is workload consolidation that will drive the operational efficiencies of the data center."

 This summary from the paper shows the full scope of the discussion - the paper looks at each of these rows in detail, and finishes with an evaluation of the combinations that make sense (and when they are indicated).  Great reading for anyone looking to consolidate workloads onto SPARC platforms.

Wednesday Nov 05, 2014

RHP Use Cases Series: Provision a New Oracle Home

New in Oracle Database, Rapid Home Provisioning (RHP) provides a standard solution for provisioning, patching and upgrading at the organizational level, in a unified manner, across all architectural layers of software infrastructure. RHP increases performance and improves efficiency in provisioning and managing templates of Oracle software, such as Oracle databases, on all nodes in a private cloud.

Rapid Home Provisioning allows the administrative tasks related to database software distribution to be performed in an automated and standardized manner, thus allowing key people in the organization to focus on innovative activities that bring the most value.

DBAs can use Rapid Home Provisioning in different use cases.  In the next several blog entries we'll explore some of these use cases.  Note that the list is not limited to those we will present.

For each of the Use Cases, the approach is structured as follows:

  • Preparation
  • Execution
  • Results Validation

Also, for each of the use cases we provide a comparison between the pre-RHP approach and the new approach using Rapid Home Provisioning.

For the commands in each of the above phases, the following structure is used:

Action Description

Describes the action performed

Executed on (Server / Client)

Describes where the command can be executed: Server, Client or Both


Describes the purpose of the action/command


The use cases are all based on Oracle DB Software (Oracle DB Homes). In this case all working copies are synonymous with Oracle DB Homes.

I. Preparation

Action: Find out how to use add workingcopy command:

Action Description

Check add workingcopy command’s parameters (use -h option)

Executed on (Server / Client)



Find out how to use add workingcopy command

II. Execution

Action: Create a working copy and provision new Oracle Home

Action Description

Run the add workingcopy command

Executed on (Server / Client)

Either. This example is executed on the server, which connects to the client for some of the operations.


Creates a working copy (Oracle Home)

- named my_wk1

- from the gold image 12c

- provisioned in Oracle Base path

- on the client rwsad0910

- for the user racusr

Sets up Oracle Base

Provisions Oracle Home


III. Results Validation

Action: Check characteristics of newly created my_wk1 to validate that all required parameters (e.g. client, gold image, user, owner, Oracle Home path) are as expected

Action Description

Validation done through Query workingcopy command

Executed on (Server / Client)



Check characteristics of newly created my_wk1 to validate that all required parameters (e.g. client, gold image, user, owner, Oracle Home path) are as expected

Steps Comparison Table


RHP Provisioning

Prepare installation media for each cluster

One command: add workingcopy per cluster

Log into every cluster to invoke OUI

Log into every node to run

Log into very node to invoke dbca (SW only)

Stay tuned for further use cases and connect with us through blog comments if you are interested in specific use cases !

Wednesday Oct 08, 2014

Blog: The Satisfaction Of Online Shopping -- For IT Services

Rex Wang, Vice President of Product Marketing at Oracle, posted a blog recently that explains how business service catalogs are poised to change they way consumers procure IT services.

The Satisfaction Of Online Shopping -- For IT Services

Providers take note: if you don't meet your consumers' changing expectations,  they will find a provider who does...

Tuesday Sep 30, 2014

Oracle Database Learning Steam Video - DBaaS Service Catalog

I recently had the good fortune to record a video on Service Catalogs for Oracle University's Oracle Database Learning Streams series. The video is roughly 30 minutes long and covers the basics of catalog and service definitions, and introduces our standardized service offerings for Oracle DBaaS in a private database cloud.

The video is one of many which you can view in its entirety simply by registering with Oracle University.

All the Database Streams videos are located here.

Wednesday Sep 10, 2014

A new guide to Database as a Service

A new two-part "workbook" is now available to guide your journey to delivering a private database cloud.  Insights from IDC, e-DBA, KPN and the State of Texas provide real-life counsel from seasoned experts at the forefront of the industry's shift to cloud.

Transforming Your IT Environment with a Database Cloud Delivering Database as a Service to Your Organization

Enjoy the read and if you have follow-up questions or comments, you know where to find me ...

Friday Sep 05, 2014

New whitepaper: Database as a Service Reaches New Heights of Efficiency

An IDC research vice president, senior Oracle product managers and a solution provider's technology director explain how Database as a Service Reaches New Heights of Efficiency by leveraging the latest technologies in Oracle Database 12c. 

Thursday Aug 28, 2014

Focus On Documents for DBaaS topics at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

The speaking sessions and hands-on-labs for this year's Oracle OpenWorld are now scheduled, and a good way to find the items you're interested in is to check the FODs that cover your areas of interest.  Two are especially relevant for Database as a Service in private clouds -

 Database as a Service


EM 12c Private Cloud and Lifecycle Management

There is some overlap between the two lists since the topics converge at several private database cloud requirements.  But make sure to check both so you don't miss anything that can help you in your journey to cloud.

Wednesday Jul 23, 2014

Rapid Home Provisioning Simplifies Oracle Database Estate Management

Provisioning, patching and upgrading databases across an enterprise is often performed individually on each database in the estate.  As the estate grows, this becomes a time-consuming and error-prone activity. 

Rapid Home Provisioning, one of the many new features and improvements in the just-released version of Oracle Database, addresses this problem by simplifying and streamlining database maintenance.  With RHP, you create a single standard Oracle home by applying a new patch level once. This reference home can then be used to rapidly deploy new databases and to easily update hundreds to thousands of existing databases with a single command, without the need to apply the patches to each.  Optimizations for networking and storage use make this a very fast and efficient solution.

Learn more in the Clusterware Administration and Deployment Guide and in the OOW 2014 speaking session.

Tuesday Jun 24, 2014

Database as a Service at Oracle OpenWorld 2014

It's almost that time again - to gather in San Francisco for Oracle OpenWorld, and there are many sessions which will be interesting to anyone working in the private cloud / database as a service space.    Here are just a handful of them - starting with the session I will present, and others from the team I'm part of --

Private Database Cloud: a Standardized Catalog for Delivering DBaaS

Database as a Service: Best Practices and Lessons Learned

Database as a Service: a Customer's Journey to the Cloud

Rapid Home Provisioning: Deploying and Updating Database Templates in a Cloud

DBaaS 2.0: Rapid Provisioning, Richer Services, Integrated testing, and more

Create a DBaaS Catalog in an Hour with a PaaS-Ready Infrastructure

If you miss one of our sessions, stop by our booth.  And if you miss OOW completely, watch for the session materials online shortly after the conference ends.

Wednesday Jun 18, 2014

A Thought Experiment Showing the Value of Separating the Business and Technical Catalogs

One common error when creating a business catalog is to expose the underlying technologies that should be mentioned only in the technical catalog.  For IT professionals whose day-to-day lingo is based on products and features, this is an understandable mistake.  And from their perspective, perhaps not at all noteworthy.

Imagine a large enterprise's business catalog which covers all the different types of workloads and storage models the enterprise deploys - OLTP, Data Warehouse, batch and real-time analytics, structured and semi-structured data -- so far so good.  Now suppose that the business catalog exposes the database and analytic engines delivering each type of data source.  This might look OK if the expected vendors and products appear in the appropriate slots.   But what happens when a vendor takes a big leap forward and is now the new best choice to deliver a given service?  Once IT is ready to make that shift in their delivery model, they will need to update the business catalog accordingly.   This is typically not the kind of the change consumers are eager to see.  Instead, they should only see the lower costs and higher SLAs that IT can now provide - without being led to worry about the changes behind the scenes.

This is exactly the scenario that a product-centric business catalog might be facing soon, thanks to some upcoming releases at Oracle, namely, Oracle Database In-Memory and the Big Data Breakthrough.  And the innovation won't end there.  So make sure your business catalog takes the future in to account with the right structure (and of course the right products to support the business services!)

Sunday May 18, 2014

IOUG Webcast recording posted: How to Create a Service Catalog for DBaaS

In case you missed the 6 May 2014 webcast sponsored by the IOUG, you can now view the recorded webinar.

If you have any problems viewing the webcast in Firefox, give IE a try - that worked best for me.

Comments?  Questions?  Leave a note here on the blog, or on the IOUG Cloud SIG forum!

Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

IOUG Cloud Computing SIG Techcast: Database as a Service (DBaaS): How to Create a Database Cloud Service Catalog

Please join us on Tuesday 6 May 2014 at 10:00 am PT for an IOUG-sponsored webcast on Service Catalogs for Oracle Database deployments.  Our audience is anyone interested in providing Oracle Database as a service to their consumers.

A good service catalog is essential for IT service delivery.  We will give an overview of service catalogs, and explain what makes a good catalog in general, and specifically for DBaaS.

We will then present a standardized set of service offerings for Oracle DBaaS which providers can use as-is, or tailor to their needs.  Our goal is for providers to leverage these details to jumpstart their DBaaS initiatives on the right path.

Register here ... and watch for the replay if you're not able to join live.

Monday Apr 21, 2014

Oracle Database Appliance - it's not for SMBs only

Several of the Oracle Database Appliance's key attributes - easy to deploy and maintain, small footprint, pay-as-you-grow pricing - are natural fits for small and medium businesses seeking to provide database consolidation and database as a service solutions.  This is reflected in several customer success stories.  But Oracle Database Appliance is of great value to large enterprises also.  Find out more from Walgreens on Tuesday, April 22nd at 11:00 am PT.

 If you miss the event or wish to hear recording from other customers, visit the Customer Reference Forum Replays page.

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.


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


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