X

Pat Shuff's Blog

Database in Microsoft Azure

Today we are going to look at what it takes to install Oracle Database Enterprise Edition 12c in Microsoft Azure. We had previously looked at deploying Application Express in Azure. The steps to deploy Enterprise Edition are almost the same. We start with the same process by logging into the portal, click on New, search for Oracle and look for the enterprise edition of the database.



In this example we are going to select Enterprise Edition 12c.

The two links at the bottom link you to the licensing and privacy statements from the Oracle website. Note that the license is not included for this edition of the database and you need to adhere to the licensing restrictions of a perpetual license for a cloud deployment. If we refer back to our calculations for perpetual license in AWS we amortize the database license over four years brings this cost to $3,720/month for a four core server as recommended by Microsoft. Note that we can go with a smaller core count and smaller memory count unlike with Amazon. AWS restricts us to a minimum core count for the Oracle database but Azure allows you to go below the suggested minimums to a system that is unusable. It is impossible to run the database on a single core 1 GB of RAM but the option is presented to you. From the previous screen, we click Create to start the deployment. We can only deploy into a Classic Virtual Machine instance.

The first things that we need to define are the server name, username to log in as, and password or ssh keys for the username. We can also define a new storage group or pull from an existing storage group. For our test either works.

When we look at the shapes suggested by Microsoft, a D12 Standard shape (4 cores and 28 GB) is the smallest configuration. This comes in at $290/month or roughly $10/day. This is a little more than we want to pay for a simple test system. We can get by with 2 cores and 3.75 GB for a simple experiment. We can do this at $89/month or roughly $3/day with an A2 Standard shape. We select the shape and click Select.


On the next screen we select the storage profile. The first option is Standard or Premium disk. If we select Premium SSD our shape gets resized to D2 Standard at a much higher per month charge. This gives us a higher IOP to storage which might or might not be required for our deployment. If we default back to Standard to get the lower shape cost, we have the option or locally replicated data, replication between data centers, and read access in a second geo the price goes from $2.40/100 GB/month to $4.80 to $6.10. We will go for the locally replicated data to minimize cost. We can define a new domain name for this account or accept the default. We can also define a virtual network for this instance as well. We can select the subnet routine as well as dynamic or static ip address assignment. We are going to accept the defaults for the network.


We do need to open port 1521 by adding an endpoint to this instance. If we scroll down on the network screen we can add a port by adding an endpoint. We might or might not want to open up this port. When we do this it opens up the port to the world. We can tunnel through ssh to access port 1521 but for demonstration purposes we are going to open up this port to the world and potentially look at white listing or ip address restricting access to this instance. We might also want to open port 1158 to see the enterprise manager console, port 80 for application express which is also available in enterprise edition of the database.

We do have the option of monitoring extensions to look at how things are performing. We are going to skip this option for our experiment but it is interesting to note that you do have additional options for monitoring.

We are not going to explore the diagnostics storage or availability sets because they really don't apply to the database. They are more concerned with operating system and do not extend into the database. At this point we are ready to launch the instance so we click Ok. We do get one final review before we provision the instance with the database installed.

When we click Ok we get a message that the instance is deploying. We can look at more detail by clicking on the bell icon at the top and drilling down into the deployment detail.


It is important to note that the database binaries are installed by the database is not configured. There is no listener running. The ORACLE_SID has not been set. We need to run the odbca to create a database instance.

Other tutorials on installing an Oracle Database on Azure can be found at

To create a database at this point we need to run the dbca command. When I first tried to execute this command I got a strange error in that the system asked for a password then cleared the screen. This is a known issue relating to line wrap and XTERM configurations. It can be fixed by going into the putty settings and turning off line wrap.

If we look at the command line needed to create a database with dbca we notice that we first need -silent to disable the system from using a default X-Window screen to walk you through the installation. We do not have the X-Window system enabled or the ports configured so we need to install the database from the command line. This is done with the -silent option. The second option is -createDatabase. This tells dbca to create a new database. We also need to define a template to use as the foundation. Fortunately we have pre-defined templates in the /u01/app/oracle/product/12.1.0/dbhome_1/assistants/dbca/templates directory. We will be usign the General_Purpose.dbc template. We could use the Data_Warehouse.dbc or create a new one with the New_Database.dbt template. We also need to define the ORACLE_SID and characterset with the -gdbName, -sid, and -characterSet parameters. We finally wrap up the command options with -responseFile set to NO_VALUE. The entire command looks like

dbca -silent -createDatabase -templateName General_Purpose.dbc -gdbname orcl -sid orcl -responseFile NO_VALUE -characterSet AL32UTF8 -memoryPercentage 30 -emConfiguration LOCAL

This will create a database with ORACLE_SID set to orcl. We add a couple of other paramters to configure enterprise manager to be local rather than a central enterprise manager agent and limit the memory that we will use to 30% of the memory on the system.





The database creation agent will configure the database. This step will take 10-15 minutes to get to 100%. Some tutorials on how to use dbca in the silent mode can be found at

There are really no videos on youtube showing an install. In our example we should have include the -pdbName option to create an initial pluggable database as part of our database installation. Once we see the 100%, the database is complete. We then need to set our ORACLE_SID, ORACLE_HOME, PATH, and start the listener so that we can connect to the database. This is done with the commands


oraenv
export ORACLE_HOME=/u01/app/oracle/product/12.0.1/db_home
export PATH=$PATH:$ORACLE_HOME/bin
lsnrctl start


https://blogs.oracle.com/pshuff/resource/azure_db_12c_dbca_lsnrctl.png" width="90%">

From here we can look at the header information to verify that we installed a 12c Enterprise Edition and look at the location of the data files with the following commands


select * from v$version;
select con_id, name from v$datafile order by 1;



We can connect with SQL Developer because we opened up port 1521.


In summary, we can deploy Oracle Database 12c into the Microsoft Azure cloud. We get a partial install when we provision the database from the Marketplace. We still need to go through the dbca configuration as well as spinning up the listener and opening up the right ports for the database. The solution is not PaaS but database on IaaS. We can not size up the database with a single command. We do not get patching or automated backup, in fact we have not event setup backup at this point. This is similar to the Amazon AWS installation in EC2 but falls short of the database as a service delivered as PaaS in the Oracle Public Cloud. Pricing has the same considerations as the Database on AWS EC2 discussion we had yesterday with the only difference being the price for the compute and storage instance. We did not need to look at the online calculator because Microsoft does a very good job of presenting pricing options when you are configuring the instance. Again, we are not trying to say that once implementation is better or worse than the other but provide information so that you can decide your tradeoffs when selecting one cloud vendor over another.

Be the first to comment

Comments ( 0 )
Please enter your name.Please provide a valid email address.Please enter a comment.CAPTCHA challenge response provided was incorrect. Please try again.