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Private Cloud Design: Pick the Right Brick

October 2015

I guess many of you still remember good old times when your company had about three core applications, users were less than twenty, the client layer was installed on a few workstations and all this was fitting perfectly on 2 single instance databases.

And then, the company grows, business gets diversified, and suddenly IT becomes a service, and as a service that has to satisfy requirements about quality, efficiency, scalability and flexibility.

The idea of Private Cloud is born, one central infrastructure that can provide services to our business, such as:

  • IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service
  • PaaS – Platform as a service
  • DBaaS – Database as a service

If you think about the infrastructure you should build to fulfill the business requests, you can think of it as a construction made of primary bricks.

At the beginning, as the company is small and the business requirements are fairly rudimentary, a few small bricks are enough, but as requirements grow, you need bigger and more complex bricks, in order to deliver solid, reliable and flexible solutions.

During the last few years, Oracle has further refined its own hardware and software catalog towards cloud computing. Let’s have a look at what bricks it can provide, the features we see as their sweet spots for cloud enablement and how you could use them:

Oracle Database 12c

  • The best-performing Oracle database engine yet
  • Multitenancy
  • Ease of deployment
  • Rapid provisioning/cloning
  • Security
  • Improved availability

Oracle VM

  • Rapid environment deployment
  • VM templates
  • Extreme Scalability
  • Logical partitioning to limit software license footprint

Oracle Database Appliance

  • 12c GI/RDBMS
  • Oracle VM Manager
  • Fine grained resource management
  • High availability
  • Capacity-on-demand licensing
  • Ability to consolidate application and database workloads onto the same platform

Oracle Exadata  

  • Pre-Installed 12c GI/RDBMS
  • Allows isolated virtual clusters
  • Extreme scalability
  • Extreme performance
  • Fine grained resource management

Oracle Supercluster

  • All the performance benefits of Exadata storage cells
  • Proven robustness of SPARC hardware
  • Ability to consolidate application and database workloads onto the same platform
  • Software-in-silicon benefits for Oracle database workloads

Oracle Private Cloud Appliance

  • Implement Oracle VM in a stream-lined, wizard-driven fashion
  • Allows consolidation of heterogeneous environments (database servers, APP servers, VDI. etc)
  • Trusted partitioning
  • Extreme scalability
  • Ease of operational manageability
  • Fine-tuning in resource allocations

ZFS Storage Appliance

  • Quick and easy storage provisioning and management
  • Zero-space cloning of Production databases in seconds
  • Hybrid columnar compression for Oracle database
  • Ideal platform for Information Lifecycle Management for Oracle databases
  • Scalability to Exabytes of supported storage
  • Intelligent storage optimization
  • High speed interconnection with the other Oracle appliances

At this point, once you have acquired all your bricks, the main challenge is to understand which brick you should use for each business requirement, in order to define the most appropriate architecture for your organization.

The first tool to visit to address this challenge is Oracle Enterprise Manager, which allows you to:

  • Monitor and manage all available resources in your architecture
  • Design and deploy resource pools
  • Measure usage of resources
  • Automatize deployment of services
  • Define and manage service templates
  • Define and manage cloud service catalog

Below you can find a few examples of services built and deployed using one or more bricks from the above list. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list, but should give you an idea of the power, flexibility and agility which can be gained using Oracle Engineered Systems.

Sandbox database

  • Steps
    • Creation of a new NFS share on ZFS storage appliance
    • Mount share on an existing database server
    • Creation of a clone or 12c pluggable database on the new share
  • Bricks to use
    • 12c Database
    • ZFS Storage Appliance

New multi-database critical application

  • Steps
    • Creation of one 12c cluster database on an Exadata virtual cluster
    • Deploy pluggable databases and distribution on separate nodes
    • Deploy application on Virtual Machine guests
  • Bricks to use
    • Exadata
    • 12c Database
    • OVM

Increase Weblogic server pool

  • Steps
    • Provision new LUNs on ZFS
    • Discover new storage on ZFS using VM manager
    • Clone existing VMs onto provisioned storage
  • Bricks to use
    • Oracle VM
    • ZFS Storage Appliance

Segregated App-in-a-Box

  • Steps
    • Deployment of a new ORACLE_HOME on Oracle Database Appliance (ODA)
    • Creation of a new cluster database
    • Deployment of App VM guest using a stored template onto the same ODA
    • Enable App VM guests for automated failover using built-in ODA / OVM functionality
    • Provisioning of storage for external backup/cloning
  • Bricks to use
    • Database Appliance
    • ZFS Storage Appliance

High performance analytical application environment

  • Steps
    • Creation of a DSS cluster database
    • Deployment of App VM guests
    • Deployment of Oracle BI software
    • Provisioning of storage for cold data/backup
  • Bricks to use
    • Exadata
    • Oracle VM
    • ZFS Storage Appliance

P2V consolidation of legacy windows system

  • Steps
    • Provision new LUNs on ZFS
    • Deployment of new VMs on Cloud appliance, using provisioned storage
  • Bricks to use
    • Private Cloud Appliance
    • ZFS Storage Appliance

As you can see, it’s primarily a matter of choosing the right bricks and following proven best practices, in order to quickly build enterprise-class, reliable and optimized architectures for every IT service need.

Do you want to know more? Contact us and we can help you to design and deploy a cloud-enabled architecture tailored to your needs.

Written by Luca Giannone, Database Architect, Cintra UK