Tuesday Jan 27, 2015

New whitepaper: Cross-Site Load Balancing: Data agility with Oracle Multitenant: A Proof of Concept

Just posted on the Private Database Cloud OTN page, a new white paper describes a configuration consisting of two separate sites running Oracle Database 12c, with data replication between the sites.  By leveraging Oracle Multitenant, the paper shows how moving a PDB from one site to the other enables a high degree of agility.  There are several scenarios where this agility can enable smoother IT operations, such as:

  • balance load across the two sites by moving competing PDBs away from each other
  • offload a site that needs maintenance
  • prepare for a burst of activity at one site by moving unassociated or lower-priority PDBs to the other site

Watch for more details and examples in upcoming blog postings.

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...

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. 

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 12.1.0.2 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 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 !


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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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