In this part, we will talk about the benefits of the Oracle cloud.
If someone suggests you should do something, the first thing comes into you mind might be „why should I do that?“, “what’s in for me?” or “what are the benefits of doing that?”. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of running your Oracle database in Oracle could.
Not only patching and upgrade are on the list of top challenging tasks for many DBAs, but also database provisioning. Especially in larger enterprises, they have to request the hardware by another department, wait until that is delivered and connected by the network administrators. Then wait for another team to install and configure the operating system, so they could finally install the database software, create the database, configure the backup, and hand over the database to the developers. All these steps might take several days to many weeks or even months.
In the cloud, provisioning a database, even on dedicated hardware, is a matter of minutes or up to only a few hours. You provide the information needed like database name and release version you want, click a button, and enjoy your coffee. At the same time, everything is being configured automatically for you. Backups, including hourly archive log backups, are automated by enabling a single checkbox. The backups are stored on Object Storage, which is highly available by design. Data is stored redundantly across multiple storage servers. Object Storage actively monitors data integrity using checksums and automatically detects and repairs corrupt data and actively monitors and ensures data redundancy. If a redundancy loss is detected, Object Storage automatically creates more data copies.
Oracle Cloud provides you a simple to use web-based console to manage further tasks in the twinkling of an eye. When new patches are released, you’ll see them listed in the console. You can test and apply these patches by clicking the button. Also, adding more storage, more CPUs, restore the database, or create a clone from backup, you only need to access the console, provide little information, and here you go. All tasks can also be done using a command-line interface that provides the same functionality as the console plus additional commands.
High Availability & Disaster Recovery
Furthermore, on-premise, it is even more complex to implement a high availability or disaster recovery solution. Required know-how might be missing, or it takes a long time to get the right configuration to run the system smoothly. And what if you have only one data center?
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure with its’ regions, Availability Domains, and Fault Domains provide the needed building blocks to design and run high availability and disaster recovery architectures for your applications and databases.
Implementing high availability and disaster recovery solution using RAC and Data Guard in the cloud is as simple as clicking a button. You choose which availability domain or even another region your standby database should be deployed in, and all the configuration is done automatically.
Standard Edition customers can configure Refreshable PDB Switchover in the Oracle cloud without additional cost. On-premise, this feature is only available for Enterprise Edition on engineered systems (Oracle Database Appliance and Exadata). For sure, Refreshable PDB Switchover does not provide similar Data Guard features like automatic failover, but still a great option to replicate your Standard Edition database and keep it in sync, even when using a low-cost virtual machine in the cloud.
Oracle Cloud provides different deployment options for your database. You can choose a single OCPU virtual machine, a dedicated bare-metal machine, or an Exadata system for high performance and mission-critical workloads. All databases run on Oracle Linux with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK), which is specifically optimized for Oracle software’s best performance. Scaling up the number of CPUs is provided by changing the virtual machine’s shape, or enabling more CPUs on bare metal and Exadata systems without any downtime.
Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) is enabled by default for all Oracle databases in the Oracle cloud, including Standard Edition databases, without any additional cost. TDE transparently encrypts data on storage and prevents unauthorized attempts from the operating system to access database data stored in files, without impacting how applications access the data using SQL.
With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Identity and Access Management (IAM), you can control who has access to your cloud resources. By defining policies, you can control what type of access a group of users has to specific resources.
Configuring the network access to your database machine is done using Virtual Cloud Networks (VCNs), private subnets, and Security Lists, where you very easily define what kind of traffic on which ports from what IP range is allowed to get through to your database machine.
Additionally, Data Safe can be used with Oracle databases in the cloud for no additional cost. Data Safe is a web-based unified control center that helps you understand your data’s sensitivity, evaluate risks to data, mask sensitive data, implement and monitor security controls, assess user security, monitor user activity, and address data security compliance requirements.
Scalability & Cost Efficiency
Imagine a developer who just implemented a new algorithm that needs to be tested on 100 CPUs. On-premise, you go to your manager and ask to purchase 100 new Oracle processor licenses. Would you do that? What would be the answer you get?
If your algorithm runs for 6 minutes in the Cloud, you consume 600 CPU minutes, or 10 CPU hours, resulting in a total cost of very few dollars.
One of the most beneficial cloud features is scalability on-demand, paying only for what you use, and releasing the resources when not needed anymore. For test and development databases that are not used out of business hours, stop the virtual machine or scale down the core count to zero, and you’ll pay NOTHING for CPU usage and save many costs. The process of stopping and starting your resources can even be automated very easily by using the OCI command-line interface mentioned earlier.
Oracle Autonomous Database
Oracle Autonomous Database takes automation to the next level. The database is provisioned within 2-3 minutes. Automatic backups are enabled by default, so you don’t even need to enable a checkbox. Storage and CPU can be scaled up and down as needed at anytime online without any service interruption. For CPU, autoscaling can be enabled to allow the database to scale up when the workload increases without your intervention. Of course, the database scales down again when the workload decreases, and you pay only for the difference of CPUs for the time being used.
Automation and high availability, performance, and security are taken to the next level. Oracle Autonomous Database runs on Exadata and provides an SLA of 99.95%, including planned AND unplanned downtime. All data are encrypted at rest using TDE. SQL*Net connections and backups are encrypted as well by default. To ensure higher security and prevent human error, encryption can NOT be disabled, even if you would try to.
Oracle Autonomous Database provides unique security features like always-on encryption, self-patching, and access and commands restrictions to reduce human error. All release updates and security patches are applied automatically and immediately as soon as they are available, reducing your database’s vulnerability. Not only the database but also the operating system and the whole infrastructure is patched automatically.
Upgrading to a new release can be done automatically or by clicking the button if you want to control the upgrade time. With that, patching and upgrade, two of the most extensive tasks in a DBA life, are completely automated.
A newly released feature, Autonomous Data Guard, can be enabled to create a standby database to provide data protection and disaster recovery for your Autonomous Database.
Furthermore, there is great news for developers and data scientists. APEX is already available on Oracle Autonomous Database as soon as it is provisioned. You create your workspace and start developing your application. Oracle Machine Learning Notebooks enables data scientists and data analysts to explore their data visually and develop analytical methodologies. The Notebooks interface provides access to Oracle’s high performance, parallel and scalable in-database implementations of machine learning algorithms via SQL and PL/SQL.
Oracle Cloud offers automation, simplified management, scalability, high availability, and security, all with the simple click of a button. Operating your resources in the cloud provides an immense gain of time and effort that enables your business a much faster time to market by developing and optimizing new applications faster.
More automation means faster implementations, less human intervention, and less human error, resulting in higher availability and higher security.
Part 2/10: Introduction to Oracle Database Cloud Services.