MiCORE Blog - "At the CORE of the Solution" regularly produces thoughts and information related to MiCORE, Oracle Consulting and the IT Industry. MiCORE Solutions is a leading provider of Remote Database Management, Support and Consulting Services, specializing in Oracle technologies.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) has been and is the undisputed king of the infrastructure as a service (IaaS) market, and as of the end of December 2016, AWS is estimated to control an incredible 40% of the entire public IaaS market, according to the quarterly research conducted by the Synergy Research Group. AWS also leads the public platform as a service (PaaS) market ahead of its nearest competitor, Salesforce. The likes of Microsoft, Oracle, Google, and IBM are lagging behind badly, but Oracle and Alibaba are continuing to grow impressively in both the PaaS and IaaS market. However, Oracle’s main growth has been in PaaS, and it is quite far behind AWS and the chasing pack.
In 2016, Oracle Cloud launched its second-generation IaaS services in order to aggressively make inroads into the AWS stranglehold of the market. Oracle and its CEO Larry Ellison believe their latest IaaS offerings are far more comprehensive, complete, integrated, and simpler than any other offering in the market due to how seamlessly it can blend with the company’s PaaS, DBaaS, and SaaS offerings, in addition to cross-platform migration.
Oracle’s Bare-Metal servers are unprecedented
Oracle’s Bare Metal Cloud Services seek to combine the security, control, and familiarity of legacy infrastructure services with the utility and elasticity of public cloud services to provide a radically efficient and high-performance set of services. Bare Metal is designed for performance-intensive applications, predictive analytics workloads, and high-performance machine learning that justifiably claims to be years ahead of AWS’s more popular offerings.
The data centers for Bare Metal are fundamentally different as they allow Oracle to have a significant cost and performance advantage. Bare Metal allows customers to shift their complete cloud corporate data, applications, and infrastructure to Oracle Public Cloud without any alterations whatsoever, and this is something that is just not possible with AWS. This new generation service primarily seeks to provide customers with the incentive to shift to a more performance-intensive environment without a semblance of difficulty.
Bare Metal is linked to Oracle’s DBMS
Oracle is the clear market leader in database management systems (DBMS), and its share is more than double of its closest competitor, Microsoft. Owning nearly half the database market will provide Oracle’s new generation services with some serious advantages. Bare Metal servers are essential non-virtualized physical computer nodes that do not have any hypervisor going around and creating virtual machines. In essence, tenants on Oracle’s Public Cloud have direct access and control over the physical machine.
This is huge for high-performance and memory-intensive applications as the clients have a greater degree of control over their applications. Clients can provision, divide, and manage Bare Metal computing resources as required within minutes. Clients have the opportunity to deploy and manage their applications similarly to on premise data centers.
In addition, Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Identity and Access Management Services allow tenants to strictly manage and define users, policies, compartments, and access to resources. Oracle allows you to configure private virtual cloud networks (VCN) in a systematic, structural, and detailed manner. If it wasn’t for Oracle’s late entry into the market, Bare Metal would easily be the dominant market player.
Durable data storage capabilities
Bare Metal’s network storage capabilities and capacity support a wide range of I/O intensive workloads and very few other services come close to matching it. Tenants can easily use block volumes to increase the storage capacity of their individual compute instances as and when required. This provides a more durable and secure form of data storage that can easily be migrated across all types of compute instances.
In addition, tenants have very high throughput storage capacity for unstructured data. Block volumes and object storage are capable of storing large volumes of undefined, analytic data, and you will have highly secure backups as well. The Object Storage Service increases the durability of all types of data being stored.
Oracle is a complete cloud
When you look at Oracle’s offerings across PaaS, SaaS, IaaS, and DBaaS, no other vendor apart from AWS and Salesforce comes close to the complete repertoire of services offered by Oracle. AWS is IaaS heavy, and it is often exceedingly hard to integrate IaaS and SaaS on AWS, especially if you use a different vendor for SaaS. The main problem with AWS is the closed nature of their databases, but this is by design as they seek to gobble up the market.
Oracle’s IaaS services, especially Bare Metal, is far more conducive for organizations that seek to develop and test their applications on-premises and migrate the same applications across platforms. Oracle’s databases are compatible with most of the existing database applications, and it allows you to transfer entire cloud infrastructures from other vendors onto the Oracle Public Cloud without any issues.
Oracle, the database giant, has been making inroads into all aspects of the cloud market for the last few years, and its already existing lead in the database management services (DBMS) market has helped fuel its growth. The Oracle Database Cloud Service is built on its existing Database technology, and the service’s ease of use and simplicity are attracting customers. In addition, when the database offerings are in tandem with the Bare Metal services, Oracle is able to both provide comprehensive infrastructure and a completely malleable environment based on the tenant’s ideas.
Oracle Public Database Cloud comprise of four distinct offerings: Exadata Service, DBaaS, Schema Service, and Virtual Image. Oracle Cloud Machine was the firm’s response to its falling server sales and its inability to catch up in the cloud market, so it decided to kill two birds with one stone. Oracle’s already existing integrated suite of applications and services made it easier for the company to transition to the cloud. Its shareholders were reportedly upset that the company took so long to enter the cloud market.
Free editions are a huge benefit
Maybe the biggest selling point is the two editions of its Database: Personal Edition and Express Edition. These two editions can be installed completely free of charge within a couple of hours. It is commonly used by students and nascent businesses to meet their storage and computing needs. Anyone can provision an entire Oracle Database Cloud environment in a matter of minutes, and its simple interface allows clients track usage, add administrative measures, and change their subscription packages in a simple manner.
Through the Express Edition, Oracle can easily convert small businesses into paying customers once they reach a certain level of scalability. All of this can be done in a matter of minutes, and you can also easily shift data from Oracle Cloud to any other cloud with ease. Once again, the simplicity of migration, administration, and provisioning makes Oracle Database Cloud stand out among its competition.
Oracle has made a bigger dent in PaaS than IaaS
According to the data provided by the Synergy Research Group for the last two quarters of 2016, among current minor players, Alibaba and Oracle made the biggest inroads in the cloud market, and most of Oracle’s growth actually came from the PaaS market rather than the IaaS market. Oracle’s much vaunted Bare Metal services are expected to pull it forward in IaaS, but the Oracle Database Cloud seems to be where the money currently lies.
The best part about Oracle Database Cloud is that you do not need to purchase a database license as access is highly likely to be restricted to the status of an application database administrator. Oracle reduces the tenant’s hold over the administrative infrastructure in order to provide a greater degree of flexibility toward application development and testing, which is what most PaaS-alone customers want anyway. In addition, the tenant has access to a single schema only which is similar to the model employed by Salesforce.
Data security is quite impeccable
Data security has probably been the biggest factor in preventing businesses from adopting cloud-based models due to the inherent security risks of all public clouds. As the Database Cloud Service was developed on Oracle Database, Oracle can justifiably claim to have a robust security system. This has been backed up in real world tests, and the enhanced security is one of the main reasons why tenants have access to only one schema. By limiting tenant control over administration, Oracle has been able to beef up its security.
The wider Oracle Cloud infrastructure has secure protections at a very feasible level such as WebLogic and Apache. Foreign SQLs also cannot be injected into the Oracle Public Cloud. Oracle’s Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) is a highly secure and unique encryption tool that protects backup data and database data behind an incredible level of encryption.
The product is incredibly portable
Portability is another big selling point of Oracle Database Cloud Service. This is why Oracle’s existing lead in the DBMS market was so critical to its exponential cloud growth in the last few years. The database is compatible with every platform that supports Oracle Database. You can easily transfer your applications and data securely across platforms without any alterations whatsoever.
The portability features are very popular as it allows tenants to have a mixed cloud environment without facing any hassles. Oracle Database Cloud Service is popular with businesses that have hybrid cloud environments with development, testing, and deployment spread across private, public, and virtual private clouds. As this system is far more flexible than what its competitors are offering, the database is rightly considered to be why Oracle made significant inroads in the PaaS market.
Oracle Compute Cloud Service is an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) cloud solution that provides on-demand, rapidly scalable computing infrastructure and resources in the public cloud domain. The solution provided are secure, cost-effective, highly reliable, and you pay as you need. There are various IaaS offerings under this service such as Compute, Dedicated Compute, and SPARC Model 300.
The services differ on the basis of computing power, storage capabilities, security requirements, networking services, and various other services. The platform is priced extremely competitively in relation to industry titan, Amazon Web Services (AWS). End users have accesses to the same servers and infrastructure that is used to deploy and run Oracle’s public clouds. Network isolation is one of the biggest selling points of this platform.
Oracle Compute Cloud Service delivery quality performance
As this platform has been developed on Oracle’s business grade x86 and SPARC servers and ZFS Storage, it has enterprise level security and incredibly high performance. Migration of legacy database systems to cloud via this IaaS is typically fast, and you can run any type of workloads on any of the three sub-platforms. It is quite ideal for individuals who have massive workloads or regulatory concerns and data jurisdiction.
The Compute platform
In Compute, customers are not hardware isolated and will need to share space with other tenants. The Compute offering is ideal for a new business that is seeking to scale up, and for individuals that seek to develop and test environments on a small scale in the public cloud. The environment offers a high degree of resiliency that allows you to rapidly scale on Oracle Cloud as you require.
You can easily test, provision or migrate any resource to cloud without any security concerns. You have the ability to define and monitor network topologies and traffic within Compute and you will be connected to a dedicated Compute zone in Oracle’s public cloud. Recovery and load balancing are two of the most salient features of Compute.
An isolated, hardware environment is the key selling point of Dedicated Compute. Your instances will function on hardware that is dedicated to you and you will experience complete network isolation from other tenants on Oracle’s public cloud. Customers can opt for either SPARC or grade x86 servers. Data migration is far easier and faster when compared to Compute, and you can migrate entire data centers very quickly.
The level of security on Dedicated Compute is also far greater, and it is ideal for applications that seek to exist on the public cloud and maintain hardware isolation. Scalability is far easier and smoother to achieve than on Compute, but the platform is vulnerable to VPN tunnels. Many applications are developed in this manner by design to maximize their user base. Dedicated Compute also features much higher OCPUs on both x86 and SPARC.
The SPARC Model 300
The SPARC 300 offers the best possible features of Oracle’s latest generation of IaaS cloud services. The revolutionary service offers security via Silicon encryption and breakthrough analytics acceleration in SPARC’s M7 processor, which Oracle claims is the world’s fastest processor. With the emergence of Generation 2 IaaS, Oracle’s claims could very well be true. The SPARC 300 will be one of the biggest challenges to the hegemony of AWS in the IaaS market.
The only provider in the market that offers a mixture x86 and SPARC-based infrastructure, Oracle’s SPARC 300 can be used for anything from testing to deployment to running production to running workloads for entire enterprise databases. SPARC 300 leverages the nigh-on unbeatable security and performance of the M7.
The SPARC Model 300 provides customers with 300 cores of dedicated, hardware isolated virtual computing power in the public cloud. You will also receive 32 TB of block storage in the public cloud, and Oracle is working on developing, even more, software and hardware configurations. The peerless security offered by the platform comes with no impact on performance.
How does is it compare to AWS?
Oracle claims that its technology is far superior to AWS, and the company seems to be right in light of the performance of the IaaS on critical, high-performance applications. However, Oracle Cloud seems unlikely to dislodge the industry leader anytime soon due to several reasons.
Granted, this was before Generation 2, but it still represents the size of the task at hand. Retaining existing enterprise customers is not the problem for Oracle but attracting the smallest of customers will be the biggest challenge for Oracle. Not every customer requires the high functionality of something like SPARC Model 300. In AWS, it is far easier to start smaller and grow organically than it is on any other IaaS. AWS is actually one of the more expensive options, so it will be interesting to see how Oracle’s Generation 2 will fare against the industry leader.
Outsourcing database administration (DBA) services has become increasingly popular in recent years as firms have started to realize the innumerable benefits associated with outsourcing. Outsourcing has become a widely accepted method of managing entire IT service, and not DBA alone. There exist several firms that are capable of highly efficient DBA services as and when required, and your firm can accrue several benefits such as reduction in staff expenditure, access to a greater field of expertise, increase your firm’s productivity, redirect valuable resources to your firm’s field of expertise, and enhance information security along with numerous other factors.
Reduced staffing expenditure
DBAs are quite expensive to hire on a full-time basis, and most small businesses would require at least 2-3 DBAs. Firms that operate on a 24/7 basis will need to spend greater amounts on DBAs to ensure that customers have constant online access to analysis and data at all times. In addition, in-house DBAs are most likely to function at the same time that the rest of your staff functions, and it may be problematic to ask them to function 24/7, especially if your firm has no existing provisions for it.
Managed Service organizations achieve economies of scale developing defined procedures and best practices that allow them to effectively support multiple companies with a defined team of individuals. As a result, MiCORE Solutions can provide support in a more cost effective manner. By outsourcing DBA, you can significantly reduce the costs associated with staff maintenance and redirect your resources to other avenues of your business. You also do not need to provide additional capital for holidays, training, and other benefits.
Reap the benefits of additional expertise
As database administration technologies are constantly evolving, the need to hire DBAs that stay in-tune with all the latest developments in the field is great. It requires having an extensive skill set and the experience of working with businesses of all shapes and sizes. The proliferation of new technologies such as NoSQL databases demands that highly skilled DBAs be hired. The breadth of skills required make it nearly impossible for an internal dedicated team to acquire these skills if they are committed to one company.
By outsourcing DBA, you have the chance to work with DBAs that possess a much wider range of skills. In addition, for a DBA professional, it makes more professional sense to either work with a dedicated DBA company or simultaneously work with numerous other firms that have outsourced their requirements. The DBA can increase his or her knowledge base which will be invaluable for future employment.
Lower rates of attrition
As mentioned, DBAs tend to stagnate and are unable to learn new technologies at one place. Most DBAs will end up outgrowing the environment, and they need to move to dedicated firms to safeguard their future. As attrition levels increase, your firm will also be losing DBAs with valuable organizational knowledge.
This cycle will repeat on a regular basis, and you cannot keep on hiring young, freshman DBAs as they will have lesser experience on old database systems. Hence, it is a win-win for firms and DBAs to outsource DBA to an external dedicated professional or company. The firm can save costs and reduce attrition while the DBA can continue increasing his or her level of personal expertise. This will save your firm from recruitment headaches and allow you to reroute resources to other critical aspects of your firm that cannot be easily outsourced.
Enhance your firm’s productivity
As you allocate more resources to tasks that your firm is an expert in, your internal team will have more time and resources to focus on doing what they are good at. This will allow you to raise your productivity and drive forward business goals instead of engaging in an endless cycle of hiring and replacing DBAs.
This can directly lead to enhanced customer satisfaction as you can focus on improving your offerings, while leaving DBA and other IT aspects to dedicated professionals. Your internal team will not be side-tracked by time consuming support activities.
24/7 DBA support
By outsourcing to DBAs that are able to function on a 24/7 basis, you won’t have to worry about overburdening an internal DBA team. As an internal DBA may struggle to function efficiently off-hours or when the DBA is on vacation, you are eliminating issues falling through the cracks. As long as you receive a 24/7 guarantee from the firm or team that you outsource DBA to, it will always be more efficient than relying on an ever-changing internal DBA team.
24/7 DBA support can save you from potential disasters and unnecessary downtime. Building a good relationship with the firm that you outsource to is critical to reaping all the awards of 24/7 support.
Using a hybrid cloud approach most definitely seems to be the way forward due to the benefits accrued by using private clouds and public clouds. Hybrid cloud computing is key to efficient management of a firm’s application workloads as different applications require a different platform. However, hybrid cloud does not come without its fair share of challenges and issues. The challenges include security concerns, effective management problems, migration complexities, components partitioning, trust issues, scheduling and execution issues, and numerous other problems. You should remember that these problems are not insurmountable, but they will take some effort to solve.
Risk associated with security are probably the biggest challenge facing hybrid cloud adoption. The whole reason behind having a private cloud is to safeguard sensitive data. With a hybrid cloud model, firms need to simultaneously manage different security platforms. In this moment, transfer of selective data between private and public clouds becomes crucial.
Data externalization leads to issues such as data protections and identity management. The issue of who has access to what and where comes to the fore as valuable data cannot be transferred to the public cloud. The problem is magnified if you have different cloud providers such as Microsoft and Amazon. Hence, management becomes critical as firms need to carefully monitor how data flows between public and private clouds.
Successfully integrating private and public clouds is one of the biggest issues that needs to be solved effectively to aid hybrid cloud infrastructure. The technical skills required to integrate multiple cloud services is quite high. While transferring regular applications between clouds is quite easy, moving configurations and Meta data across environments is more difficult.
Comparability is one of the biggest issues plaguing integration. The nature of the integration workload will ultimately determine which host you select and if hybrid cloud is feasible in the moment. Understanding the patterns and tools required to move processes may be a challenge to even the most seasoned cloud technicians. Also, the integration of legacy systems with cloud computing is a complex matter as well. Creating the infrastructure to manage this integration is complex as hundreds of applications may be involved.
Cloud management is a thankless task
As there is little-to-no standardization for management and configurations of cloud services across different providers, organizations are left to scramble to create an efficient strategy. It is hard to understand how to allocate computational resources as infrastructure can be markedly different across cloud providers. Dealing with servers that exist across multiple environments is critical as a firm will need to understand when an application or an environment is over provisioned or under provisioned.
In addition, you need to account for the ever changing behaviors of resources, end-users, and networks. With cloud computing, you need to understand that nothing is truly infinite and cloud managers need to be aware of maximum scalability levels. Understanding the constraints of each environment is crucial to efficient management and ensuring that resources are not wasted.
Change and scale complications
Every firm will have a set limit for scalability that may need to be revised from time to time. Volumes tend to grow exponentially and keeping abreast of environment limitations and infrastructure is critical to ensuring that you do not overshoot. This is especially true for dynamic and ever scaling clouds. As application are interconnected in a cloud environment, issues with one application could invariably cause your other applications to malfunction, leading to unnecessary complications.
Application load supporting needs to be carefully managed as it can be quite difficult to understand the true limits of data capacity in an environment. This is why load testing is important to the success of any cloud environment. Setting up a solid infrastructure will solve most of your problems and while this may be a time consuming process , the long-term benefits are apparent to any organization that seeks to pursue a long-term hybrid cloud computing approach.
Any hybrid cloud computing model that seeks to have long-term success needs to have excellent network design. Your network needs to account for various factors such as network bandwidth, management between public and private clouds, the impact of location on your network, the network requirements for each individual application, the security requirements of different types of data, and numerous other factors.
Different sets of applications need to operate in different parts of your cloud environment. Understanding the scalability requirements of each application will influence your network and infrastructure design. Cloud managers also need to factor in the limitations of public clouds when it comes to networking and they need to develop strategies to work around this. However, services such as Azure and Cloud Hybrid Service are now providing solutions that allow customers to safely broaden existing data centers without compromising on security and response levels.
Reasons for and the Benefits of Upgrading to Oracle 12c
For Oracle customers still running version 11g, Oracle has already announced EOL for Premium Support. Extended Support is available until 2020, but that comes with added costs. Yet there are other reasons than just support costs for upgrading to version 12c, mainly new features that can solve new IT requirements.
Here we review some of what is new and the benefits of upgrading.
Each major release of Oracle Database usually brings enhancements in scalability, performance, and security. And in an increasingly competitive market, with many alternatives to the paid RDBMS, one would expect that it should bring costs savings too. With 12c, Oracle has addressed all of these criteria.
With version 12c, Oracle has added features to its traditional row-and-column RDBMS and embraced concepts that have thoroughly changed other IT architectures. In particular Oracle now provides support for unstructured data and containers. And to put it on par with SAP Hana, Oracle now lets the user run their entire database in memory.
Containers have revolutionized the way organizations push out software. Using Open Source tools like Ansible, companies can push out complicated software in abstractions called containers. Docker is the most popular one of those. The container is like a virtual machine, but it’s far easier to deploy and entirely portable. It literally takes seconds to install a complex application with Docker once that container has been built. And there are plenty of pre-built ones located in public repositories on the internet.
Oracle calls their adoption of this idea the Multi-Tenant Architecture. Each database inside that includes a PDB (Pluggable Database), each with its own schema. With this the DBA or DevOps can provision new instances for say, development, test, and break-fix environment much easier than before.
Big Data and Graphs
The other objects you can now store in Oracle are far more complicated. These are spatial and graph data. Spatial means geographic. Graph data is a complex data structure that models relations using vectors. This is what Facebook uses to model the “Like” relationship between persons.
Other features are more granular and less sweeping and will interest the command-line DBA more than the CIO. This includes the approximate_count() function which, as the name suggests, lets a user get an approximate count of records in a table without having to run a full table scan. Now there is also the ability to fetch the first 5 records, providing the same benefit. And programmers no longer have to create sequences to automatically assign numbers to columns in a row. And as for expanding Oracle fields, varchar (variable character) columns can now store 32KB of data, up from 4K.
Caching and Encryption
In order to store your whole database in memory you would need an awful lot of memory, such as you can get if you purchase or rent an expensive Oracle Exadata server.
But if it will not fit, you can store the data that is most often used in what they call the Big Table Cache. Caching of course is nothing new. Neither are the algorithms that select records for caching. But what is new is Oracle has implemented this in a way that is unique to its mighty and complicated product. The goal is to avoid expensive disk I/O operations.
Regarding security, now there is support for the FIPS 140 encryption. That will be important for persons working with government clients.
And there are many more new features, which you can learn about by studying the release notes.
The Difference between Standard Edition 2 and Enterprise Edition
What version edition should you pick? One costs more than the other. One has more features than the other.
Oracle characterizes their Standard Edition (SE) as being suitable for departmental and web applications. The Enterprise Edition is for high-volume online transaction (OLTP) processing, data warehouses, and high volume web applications.
Why do they call it SE2? The “2” here just means version 12.
Another distinguishing factor is with EE you can purchase different options, thus paying only for what you need. An example of that is Analytics, which includes predictive analytics and similar tools. That works like the Google Cloud Prediction tool and similar products from DataBricks and IBM Watson. It lets you load data to it and it selects what algorithm to run.
But for those who have data scientists who understand such things, you can buy support for the R statistical programming language as a shell. That makes it like Apache Spark which has support for R, Python, and Scala analytics languages.
Other optional packs include advanced compression plus different management tools. Disk compression should save on storage costs for customers paying for cloud block storage, like Amazon EBS. Regarding costs, the Multi-tenant Architecture should drive down costs in the same way that virtual machines cost less than physical ones.
All of this taken together, and the mix-and-match nature of the EE, plus the looming 11g EOL and its added support costs, makes for compelling reasons to move the DW, ERP system, shopping cart, and other systems to the new platform.
A hybrid approach to cloud incorporates the benefits of public cloud services, enterprise-controlled private clouds, and the once dominant dedicated hosting services. Hybrid approaches have been all the range in the last couple of years as enterprises can avail the advantages of each service while minimizing risk levels. With a hybrid cloud, an enterprise’s data and resources are split between the three forms of storage.
Concern over security has been one of the biggest concerns for businesses that are contemplating a switch to hybrid cloud. After all, the path to public cloud computing can be quite scary for enterprises that are worried about potential threats in a public network spilling over to their network. Concerns over the security of public clouds have led to the rise in popularity of hybrid cloud models.
Organizations can combine the privacy and security of a private cloud with the massive scalability offered by public clouds to meet their requirements. The private cloud can serve as a dedicated hosting environment, but some enterprises seek to integrate their legacy infrastructure with a private cloud to smooth over the eventual, long-term shift to a full cloud environment.
A hybrid approach allows enterprises to manage their databases and applications in a far more efficient manner. Enterprises can host their most valuable data on private clouds and dedicated servers where they will have absolute control over data security and little risk.
They can then use the public cloud space for scalability. New applications can be tested on public cloud resources to test the system and see how feasible the application is. Using public clouds will provide a large degree of financial relief while allowing enterprises to have absolute control over their most precious data.
An organization that uses a hybrid cloud interface will have a far lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than an organization that uses an exclusively cloud system or an exclusively dedicated hosting system. With a hybrid cloud system, you can bid adieu to massive infrastructure requirements. You will be using a pay-as-you-need facility so you will have complete control over your monthly IT costs.
All of your backups will be cloud-based as well, which will further reduce costs. With the assistant programs of numerous public cloud services, you will be able to accurately gauge your requirements and avoid overpaying for capacity that you may not use. Services such as Azure and AWS have been designed in a manner that attempts to reduce overspending on cloud requirements.
Maximize and integrate existing assets
A hybrid environment allows you to use both external and internal spaces as needed. You can use this advantage to scale quickly whenever required so that your system does not meet its limit. However, when demand is normal, you can easily manage it through your internal systems.
As your capacity begins to lurch ever closer to its limit, you can easily migrate whole applications and services to external clouds with minimum fuss. Similarly, whenever there is a need to scale down or you are able to increase internal capabilities, you can migrate services from the public cloud. The flexibility of hybrid systems and its ability to mix and match the best of both worlds is one of the reasons for its growing popularity.
The emergence of hybrid cloud computing systems is a testament to the failure of the all public cloud system. It is simply way too risky to keep all of your sensitive data on a public cloud where you are leaving security in the hands of a third party. All IT resources should never exist in a public cloud as you will have a lower degree of control.
The performance requirements, compliance problems, and security issues show us that local is good and necessary. With a hybrid cloud, you can decide what applications and services need to move to the public cloud and what should stay private. By using a public cloud, you also don’t need to overburden your private, secure cloud space.
Enterprises can use public clouds to develop, test, stage any new application that they may have. You can reduce the cost of failure and understand the capacity that you will need for a particular application. You can solely focus on development without worrying about the prospect of exceeding your limits.
Once you have securely tested something out, you can move its most valuable and secure elements to the private space, and deploy the application on the public cloud. The advent of public cloud has allowed innovation to flourish thanks to the near unlimited potential of scalability and the low costs involved. You can safeguard your privacy and security without compromising the needs of your business. With a hybrid environment, you do not need to rearrange your existing infrastructure to test out a new service.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most popular cloud computing services available today. AWS was launched in 2006 as a subsidiary of Amazon Inc. as an on-demand cloud computing platform. AWS provides a wide range of cloud computing infrastructure such as support for application interfaces, bandwidth allocation, and near unlimited cloud storage capabilities.
AWS is one of the pioneers of cloud computing services. AWS was launched before businesses began to realize the capabilities and the need of cloud computing to meet the needs of the next generation of Internet users. If a business seeks to use the AWS, it will only have to pay for exactly how much it uses and the cost of AWS increases as the business scales up and decreases if the business scales down.
However, if you have already paid for a particular service and you don’t use the full capacity that you paid for, you will have to bear the additional costs. But Amazon Reserved Instance Marketplace exists for this reason alone. It was created to assist clients recoup any losses due to over-purchasing, and it allows you to plan your cloud computing resources far more efficiently.
What are the services offered by AWS?
Some of the most popular services offered by AWS are Amazon CloudFront, Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Amazon Elastic Computer Cloud, and Amazon Dynamo Database to name a few. AWS offers nearly every service required by a business today. The rates of the services vary based on the service you are using, and all of the services are billed according to a business’s level of usage.
AWS provides computing, storage, database, migration, analytics, mobile, IoT, and management services among numerous other services. The most popular and well-known services are Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3). S3 is probably the most efficient low-cost service for storing, backing up, and archiving all of your applications and data. S3 is extremely scalable and super fast. Amazon’s EC2 service is a simple interface that allows users to configure their capacity easily and provides users with absolute control over all their computing resources.
EC2 changed the face of computing when it was released. Before EC2, developers did not have any option of paying only for the capacity they required. EC2 vastly decreases the time needed to get and boot new services allowing businesses to scale capacity rapidly as and when their needs change. The continued success of EC2 is one of the main reasons for AWS’s continued supremacy in the market in the face of challenges posed by the likes of Microsoft and Oracle.
Performance of AWS
AWS is without a doubt one of the fastest, if not fastest, service in the cloud sphere. It is far more reliable than private data centers, and its EC2 service will provide you with Xeon-class performance on hourly rates. In the event of any breakdown or failure, you will still be online, but you may have to work with lesser capacity for a short period.
In a comprehensive cloud environment such as AWS, the processing and storage centers are uniquely distinctive. Even if you experience reduced functionality, you will still be online and continue generating a steady stream of revenue. Thanks to the distributed nature of its services, the storage capabilities of AWS play a large role in maintaining its performance power. In addition, thanks to the incredible bandwidth of AWS, you will be in control of a system that scales rapidly irrespective of the capacity requirement and provides near perfect reliability.
The performance and reliability of AWS is so good that it is has been adopted by some of the leading services in the world. The likes of AirBnb, Spotify, Netflix, and NASA/JPL all run on AWS, making it the finest exponent of cloud computing so far.
Reliability and flexibility
Apart from the storage, the flexibility of AWS is probably its most significant characteristic. All of its services work in tandem and communicate seamlessly with your data and applications. It predicts demand very efficiently and handle the required traffic accordingly.
Amazon’s application-programming interface (API) is the default standard in the market, with numerous companies trying to unseat its dominance. However, the cloud API war between Amazon and its competitors has vendors worried about the issue of future portability. It essentially means that you are binding your application to a particular API, and if you seek to move to another API or your private cloud environment in the future, it could possibly be very costly in a financial sense.
However, Amazon API is razor fast and you can generate fully customized solutions in under 10 minutes, and the API is ready to accept connections the second it is online. Server management has become outdated thanks to API. As of now, Amazon’s API is the default and best cloud interface for your needs, but keep a close eye on its rapidly emerging competition.
There is nothing more valuable for a business than the data that they obtain and store each and every day. This information serves as a backbone for running all operations of your business and requires only the most efficient database security systems and protocols for the best results. If you want to protect both stored data and moving data, the best thing to do is understand where it is at all times and know exactly who is accessing information and when.
In this highly digital world, there are many different information security controls to protect your database from attacks or loss of critical information that you need. The amount of risks are countless and growing each and every day. By using some of these best practices, you can protect your database, stored functions, servers and associated networks to prevent unwanted access.
Why You Should Protect Your Data
Building a secure database is a team effort that takes time and diligence to ensure confidentiality, integrity and availability. To protect your database, the first thing that you want to do is invest time and energy into finding appropriate database consulting representatives to review your information systems. Next, you will need to create a risk management plan to ensure data management controls are met every step of the way.
The goal is to prioritize information and define the scope and risk analysis of your infrastructure and technology while identifying threats, risks, and any possibilities of loss due to breaches or physical malfunctions. Through implementing database monitoring systems, you always know who is accessing your database and why so to improve efficiency and even build trust within your business. This can give you the peace of mind that you need around the clock.
There are many ways that data can be compromised without your knowledge. This is why it is important to develop, test and implement plans for risk treatment and provide continual database monitoring to obtain essential feedback. During this step-by-step process, it is also a good idea to understand that time is of the essence to assess the occurrence and impact of specific risks while evaluating the quality of existing data management controls.
The most important thing to keep in mind is protecting your data from a myriad of issues that could occur. Managing risks can be a tough job, which is why you should create a plan and follow it step-by-step for the best results. The types of risks may be any of the following:
Data Corruption or Loss
Physical Malware Infections and SQL Injection Attacks
How To Protect Your Data
By using the appropriate data management controls, you can ensure that hackers and information crooks do not have access to your invaluable information, no matter what type of business you run. Through creating access control points, authentication keys, integrity controls and application security measures, you can keep your information protected at all times. In fact, data governance and auditing is required for ensuring compliance with HIPAA, PCI and even SOX.
The first step is encrypting all of your information, starting with resting data and continuing to moving data by applying a statistical method to make sure all information is protected. After you prioritize your data, you may find that some data is not as important as others. With this being said, removing unnecessary data from computers and other devices may be the wisest decision to make.
When you speak with a database consulting representative, you can create a data classification policy so that you can easily find any stored data at any point in time. Information can be categorized as either public, confidential or restricted so that you know it is the right hands. Accordingly, if you want to store your data on the cloud, you should take measures to encrypt it before uploading to the cloud, otherwise, it is like uploading your business’s information as well as all of your keys to the cloud provider.
Another important aspect of protecting your data is taking measures to ensure physical damage does not occur. When you test all of your systems and networks, you will be able to identify weaknesses or risks that are present. Of course, after you perform these essential functions, you can regain control of your data and store or upload it wherever you desire.
Understand How To Create Secure Connections
Of greater importance is taking the measures to even protect your network from internal threats. In order to protect your servers, you can create SSH keys to be kept secret by specified users. Users can use the private key to show ownership of the data on your servers before connecting.
When you understand the importance of a virtual private network, you will be able to create a secure connection between computers whenever you need. You will maintain control at every point of access when you use a monitored network. It is also important to implement public key infrastructure (PKI) to create, manage and even validate certificates for identifying individuals use or encrypted communications.
In fact, Oracle has outlined many specifics on how to manage your networks and important data for your convenience. You can learn how to create some of the most effective barriers for your data so as to ensure compliance as well as safety at all times. When you use these guidelines and tips, you can be sure that your data is fully protected to protect from loss of assets and any type of threat that exists in the digital world.
This is the second of a 4-post series comparing Amazon Web Services (AWS) vs. Oracle Cloud. In this post, we look at the prices for virtual machines at each vendor.
Calculating Cloud Pricing: No Easy Fete
Calculating how much Amazon cloud services cost is so difficult that one person even wrote a web site to try to provide an accurate estimate algorithm. He did that, “Because it’s frustrating to compare instances using Amazon’s own instance type, pricing, and other pages.” This data is crowd sourced and scraped from different Amazon screens.
Oracle’s pricing is just as complex, if not more so. Prices are shown on their web site. But you have to call them because they show the prices as a function of CPU, not memory. Obviously the price is going to vary by memory too. But after reaching out to Oracle sales multiple times we were unable to confirm that price varies by memory. Instead they said you can add up to 15GB of memory to even CPU price unit (explained below).
CPU Pricing Metrics
The two vendors use different metrics to size their CPU prices. Amazon uses a concept they call the ECU (elastic computing unit) to measure CPU usage. Oracle uses OCPU.
One Oracle OCPU provides CPU capacity equivalent to one physical core of an Intel Xeon processor with hyper threading enabled. One Amazon ECU is “the equivalent CPU capacity of a 1.0-1.2 GHz 2007 Opteron or 2007 Xeon processor.”
To make any kind of apples-to-apples we can say roughly that 1 Amazon ECU = 1 OCPU. Of course this is not 100% the same as Oracle does not give a clock speed benchmark.
Pay close attention to the various additional charges incurred with both vendors. Amazon assesses surcharges for what they call bursting, which is when the CPU is pegged. In an actual trial run of Amazon, we were charged for something called Data Transfer, for which we did not sign up. When you rent virtual machines from Oracle, you are also required to pay for storage. Amazon does not sell server disk space separately; only disk array-type storage comes with an extra price.
That said, here is the closest we can come up with on a per-CPU cycle price comparison for each vendor:
Other posts in this series
Like what you read? Check out the other posts in our Amazon vs. Oracle Cloud series!