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 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!


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.

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 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!

Friday May 10, 2013

The Lone Star State: On the Journey to Cloud

When we talk about the journey to cloud (see 19 January 2013 entry below), we highlight the fact that we developed this methodology with guidance from customers who are making successful transitions to cloud.  Many of these customers are in sectors such as finance and online travel -- enterprises with large scale and extreme cost-awareness.  So you might wonder whether those customers were limited, special cases -- or, is the journey being applied at more sites, across more sectors. 

In fact, the journey is underway at data centers of all shapes and sizes.  A new example from the public sector is the State of Texas.  Working with the Oracle Enterprise Architecture team, they are making the journey to cloud.  To quote from the recently published Oracle Enterprise Architecture White Paper:

"The State of Texas is setting a progressive example for other state governments by relying on cloud service providers to provision IT resources to dozens of state agencies. Led by the Texas Department of Information Resources (DIR), the state is creating the Texas Cloud Marketplace, a private cloud that utilizes engineered systems such as Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic to deliver new technology while fulfilling legislative mandates. Oracle is helping to transform the state’s widespread infrastructure, which spans hundreds of databases and tens of thousands of applications. The billion-dollar consolidation project was designed to help 300,000 government employees serve 25 million citizens in a more flexible and cost-effective way."

Too busy to read the white paper?  Then check out this article in Profit Magazine for a quick overview.



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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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