At the end of 2012 I took a trial of what was then "Java (or WebLogic) as a Service" (now known as "SaaS Extension"). Back then I wasn't hugely impressed - yes, I could deploy a simple web app, but the WebLogic environment was very heavily constrained and almost entirely hidden from the administrator - no WebLogic console, no WLST, minimal logs. As a result as soon as I tried to deploy something non-trivial, in this case Apache Roller (the software running this blog), I ran into all sorts of class white-list issues and with little debug information so I quickly gave up in despair!
Anyway here we are, over 2 years later, and Oracle's latest "Java Cloud Service" (JCS) is looking far more promising, so here are my initial impressions of what I've seen and read. First things first: JCS comes in 3 variants:
Before we get into too much technical detail, let's get an idea of pricing for a single, production-grade environment. To keep it simple I'm going to make some assumptions:
Oracle has come up with a term called the Oracle (OCPU) for billing purposes. 1 OCPU equates to the "CPU capacity of an Intel Xeon E5-2600 ... processor core with hyper threading enabled. Each OCPU corresponds to two hardware execution threads, known as vCPUs." Elsewhere (I can't find it now) I've seen it called a "2012 model 3.0 GHz Xeon core", which would be an E5-26xx (v1) processor, though, like Amazon EC2, I suspect there will be some variability - if you're lucky you might "land" on a new E5-26xx v3-based server. Very sensibly Oracle are allocating those vCPUs from the same cores (see below) - modern hyper-threading gives you a performance boost but it's a long way from double the single core performance, and having vCPUs on hyper-threads on different, fully populated, cores would be very bad for performance.
The virtual machines, aka instances, come in what Oracle called "shapes". A shape is a very similar concept to Amazon's EC2 instance type and describes fixed vCPU/memory permutations. There's a full table of VM shapes here but, for this article, we're interested in the following:
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