Cloning Oracle E-Business Suite environments on-premises is one of the most common activities in the daily life of every applications DBA. To perform this task, EBS provides the built-in Rapid Clone utility. Rapid Clone includes routines to separately package the application tier and database tier elements of the source environment. DBAs then copy the packages to a target server, and launch a configuration step on the target system. This traditional cloning process usually takes several hours to execute. Customers with sophisticated storage solutions have sometimes been able to reduce the copy operation to a few minutes, but the packaging and configuration operations still take the same time.
If you have deployed EBS on Oracle’s Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), you can take advantage of IaaS facilities to make cloning faster. Oracle Compute Cloud Service provides a sophisticated set of APIs that allow you to automate the creation and management of cloud resources. EBS Development has created a set of automation scripts based on these APIs that allow you to provision and manage EBS environments. These automation scripts, known as the EBS Cloud Admin Tool, can be deployed to an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure account by creating a virtual machine (VM) using the EBS Provisioning Tools image hosted in the Oracle Cloud Marketplace.
One of these automated management operations is fast cloning. The fast cloning process is divided into two main parts:
1. Create a snapshot of the existing environment
2. Create a new environment based on that snapshot
This process is described in the Oracle by Example tutorial, Managing Oracle E-Business Suite on Oracle Cloud Using the EBS Cloud Admin Tool. In this blog article we describe the assumptions and operations that make the fast cloning process possible.
EBS environments provisioned in Oracle Cloud infrastructure using the EBS Cloud Admin Tool use the following three basic components:
The first step is the creation of an environment snapshot, which typically takes a few minutes. This is performed by the EBS Cloud Admin Tool, which orchestrates the creation of a co-located volume snapshot for all volumes attached to the source EBS environment VMs, using the block storage volume snapshot technology provided by Oracle’s Infrastructure as a Service. The combination of all these snapshots is called an EBS environment snapshot. For more information on co-located volume snapshots, refer to the Backing Up and Restoring Storage Volumes Using Snapshots chapter in Using Oracle Compute Cloud Service (IaaS).
The following diagram shows the snapshot creation process.
The second step is creation of a new set of block storage volumes, based on the snapshots obtained in the previous step. At the end of this step, the orchestration instantiates a VM for each node of the source environment, and attaches the new storage volumes to these VMs. The orchestration then performs some final configuration steps, and starts the EBS services in the target environment.
The entire process to create the target environment typically takes a few minutes. You’ll be presented with a URL at the end of the processing that allows you to access a running and fully functional target environment.
The ability to utilize block storage volume snapshots is a good example of how you can take advantage of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure capabilities when planning your EBS cloud deployments.