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Using Oracle Big Data Lite Virtual Machine with Ravello trial - update

Big Data VM on Ravello

This is an update of a previous blog post. Since Ravello trial now supports 16GB RAM per VM, the process is much simpler. 

Big Data Lite Virtual Machine is the most straight-forward way to start learning about Oracle Big Data Stack or even develop demos/proof of concepts on top of it (don't forget however that BD Lite only emulates Big Data environment and while it provides the functionality, it can't be used for any kind of performance benchmarks).

As it's a VM, it has some limitations and potential issues, such as:

  • the machine running it needs to have at least 16GB RAM
  • migrating from one machine to another (e.g. from developer's machine to a customer's demo machine) is a slow process
  • sharing isolated snapshot environments of a version among team members is equally slow and painful

Migrating the VM to Oracle IaaS environment is one way to handle some, but not all of those issues.

Turns out there is a better way: Oracle Ravello. Ravello is an overlay cloud service that brings data-center like capabilities to public cloud – enabling one to run VMware and KVM VMs with data-center like Layer 2 networking. Ravello brings these capabilities through a nested virtualization engine and networking & storage overlay that is built into its built-for-cloud hypervisor HVX. With Ravello’s capabilities one can run an existing data-center based VMware / KVM application on public cloud without any modifications, there by accelerating the move.

Some of the key features of Ravello that we want to exploit are:

  • uploading an OVA file directly (BD Lite is distributed as zipped OVA archive)
  • Sharing capability. Once you upload your VM, you can instantly share it either with other Ravello users
  • Blueprints for getting around Ravello trial limitations.
Obviously, the best way to go is to get Ravello as a part of Oracle IaaS. In that case, the whole process is straightforward: upload the OVA, create an Ravello application, add the VM, assign more RAM to it and run it.

1. Get Ravello Trial Account

Go to Ravello site and sign up. It's free for 14 days and includes 2880 free CPU hours.

2. Upload BD Lite OVA

Once you have the account, go to Library -> VMs and click the Import VM button. You will need to install a local service which does the actual upload. Simply select the BD Lite OVA file (download and unzip BD Lite zip files to get it). The process should be straight-forward. Admittedly, I haven't done it myself because somebody was nice enough the do this instead of me and just share the VM with me. More about this later.

3. Create an application

An application in Ravello can be a complex environment required to run a complete application, such as: DB Server, App servers, Load Balancer...

Go to Applications and click "Create Application". Give it a meaningful name, e.g. "BD Lite".

4. Application Blueprint

Drag and drop an instance of Big Data Lite to the canvas. 

Select the machine and under system properties assign 16GB RAM to it. Then, go to services, add, and add supplied service on TCP port 22.

You might want to expose additional services, such as hue (8888) and BDD (9003). However, if you do this, please remember to change your root and oracle passwords, or your machine will be exposed over the internet. 

Publish the application. When you do, you can change some options. Note the "application scheduled to stop in". It will stop in 2 hours by default - meaning the VMs will shut down. Click on the number to change it or change to "Never" if you don't want it to stop automatically.

Well, that's it. After publishing the application you can connect to the VM through the Ravello built in console - or, if you've exposed ssh and other services, you can connect directly using the machine public IP/DNS name.

Sharing VM/Blueprint 

That's one of the really great Ravello features. If you want to share your VM with another user, e.g. your team member or a customer, all you need to do is select your blueprint and share VM+custom settings with them (assuming they have Ravello and you know their Ravello username/email). How awesome is that!?

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