As a speaker on the webcast, I really enjoyed seeing the high number of questions in the text chat window - that's maybe the most fun part! Here are some of the questions & answers we had. (They've been slightly edited for clarity.) As always, you're welcome to comment via the blog.
Q: What is Showback?
A: Showback is like chargeback, except that no money actually changes hands. IT is just showing the users how many resources they used.
Q: In Database Replay, does the workload run on an actual production-like environment, or is it just a simulation?
A: Database Replay allows you to replay the captured workload on the actual proposed environment. This is often useful for upgrade exercises and testing new configurations.
Q: Yes, but if consolidation is in planning stage, then the actual proposed environment won't be there. Are you talking about proposed environment in the cloud only?
A: Using Consolidation Planner, you can simulate the workload and arrive at the target environment requirement for a specific set of workloads. Also, using Real Application Testing and SQL Performance Analyzer, you can test using captured workloads and replay them.
Q: Can EM provision MS SQL Server, and can EM provision in the Azure or Amazon cloud?
A: EM has no out of box capabilities for provisioning non-Oracle DBs. Current capabilities are focused on private cloud. Provisioning for public cloud is on the roadmap.
Q: Can you buy plugins for MS SQL Server?
A: Yes, plugins are available for non-Oracle DBs, including SQL Server, Sybase, DB2. The Oracle Extensibility Exchange on OTN has a list of available plugins from Oracle and from third party sources.
Q: I have a customer that wants to use Azure Pack as their provisioning UI. Can EM talk to Azure Pack in order to do this?
A: Yes, your customer can use Oracle Cloud APIs and build the relevant application for provisioning.
Q: So would Oracle Cloud APIs be an integration layer to Azure Pack?
A: You need to write your own code to integrate the Oracle private cloud solution into any third party solution.
Q: What's difference between full and snap clone?
A: As the names suggest, a full clone is a copy of the source database - it will occupy the same amount of space as the source. Snap Clone is a sparse copy of the source database, where the copy will occupy very little space on the disk as it uses copy-on-write storage technology.
Q: So Snap Clone only stores the changes and reads most data from the source?
A: Snap Clone stores only changes made in the clone copy.
Q: In Snap Clone, what is the continuous refresh from production?
A: When you clone a database (typically from production to either a test or dev environment), there may be a need to refresh the clone on a regular basis.
Q: What is drift tracking?
A: Using the new configuration management features, you can define a configuration standard for your databases. If there is a deviation, you can get a report (typically called) drift analysis.
Q: What are some of the critical security-related configurations that you recommend for DB12c?
A: EM12c can be used to track and enforce compliance, including industry standards such as PCI or customer policies created and monitored by EM itself.
Q; With self-service DBaaS, can the end user can update or upgrade the database or DB home?
A: The end user (Self Service User) can upgrade the database service that he/she created earlier. Only Cloud Admin can upgrade Oracle Homes.
Q: Can you explain this with an example?
A: The Cloud Admin will upgrade all Oracle Homes in a Pool to the next patchset release. Now, SSA users can subscribe to upgrade the database services they created. If SSA users do not do so by a certain time, the Cloud Admin can force-upgrade their databases.
Q: What is the difference between a hosting environment and a cloud?
A: Resource abstraction, metering, chargeback, self-service, and a few other things are industry-accepted characteristics of a cloud.
Q: Is dev/test in the public cloud, and production in the private cloud, the most common architecture?
A: It's definitely very common. Dev/test environments are often temporary in nature and that lends itself very well to public cloud.
Q: What's the difference between Exadata and Exalogic?
A: Both are Oracle hardware systems. Exadata is optimized for databases, whereas Exalogic is meant for Oracle middleware and applications.
Q: Thank you for answering all my questions. Great webcast!
A: Thanks so much! Glad we got the opportunity to share the news.