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.


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.

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...



Thursday May 16, 2013

Northern California Oracle Users Group (NoCOUG) - Spring 2013 Conference

The NoCOUG holds its spring 2013 conference next Wednesday, 22 May 2013, from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM at The California Center Pleasanton (formerly CarrAmerica Conference Center).

More details and registration are available on their website.

Fellow dbclouders, please take note of Mark Scardina's session from 2:30 to 3:30 in the auditorium: Why and how you should be using Policy-Managed Databases. From the abstract:

Did you know that policy-managed databases are the default database type for Oracle Database 12c RAC implementations? If you are running Administration-managed databases and would like to learn more about Policy-managed database deployments, introduced in Oracle Database 11gR2, you should attend this session. This presentation will detail how Oracle RAC policy-managed database deployments solve longstanding customer requirements such as database service start order and last service standing, database zero-configuration scaling, HA event shutdown of less critical services and managing to performance objectives while maximizing utilization. Oracle RAC database deployment, upgrade and conversion to policy management along with the use of server pools will be explained and relevant use cases presented.

There are several other topics and speakers of interest - we hope you can make it for the entire conference!
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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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