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All I Want for Christmas

I love working for Oracle.  I haven’t found a company with better work/life balance, better benefits or wide variety of technical products for one to learn from.  As we move into the world of cloud, there is one thing that I would like to ask Santa for-  access to the Oracle cloud.  Yes, as much as you hear that the great thing about cloud is that it is not on-premise and that the challenges of allocation of hardware for projects is a thing of the past, when you work for the cloud provider, everything BECOMES on premise and this can be challenging when you want to get more technical experience with your own cloud product.

This is a post that took much thought and consideration before writing, but I think it is one of those opportunities that would go a long way if we did discuss them.  I’d been chatting at the last couple conferences as many of those that are part of the ACE programs, user groups and attendees all stressed frustration with what they needed to test on the Oracle cloud and what they had access to.  Since I’m internal, I thought it was best for me to test it out for myself, but realized that the following hindered me from doing so:

  1.  I’d tested out my Oracle Cloud 30 day trial before I came on as an employee, was still at its infancy and no, can’t test it out again.  The registration process recognizes me, even with my new, internal email address, so I’m out of luck there.
  2. As an employee, I have an account, but aren’t allowed to be granted a trial or even dev/test space on the cloud.
  3. There are multiple “clouds” at Oracle and I’m having difficulty figuring out, even from inside which cloud is which and I’m not the only one.
  4. I now have a team cloud environment, but due to two folks that have engagements coming up immediately, we need to serialize our test cases and I need to wait my turn to allocate a load on it.

As a few folks had mentioned that they wanted to test out or work with the Oracle cloud similar to what they had with Amazon’s or Azure, I decided while I am waiting for access to any Oracle cloud environment, I would test out what was available from the main competitors.

Amazon

I went out to Amazon and was quickly offered a free, limited space EC2 account.  From this option, I’m allowed a small, 5G space offering with limited features.  They use a new or existing Amazon account to set up your cloud account and you’re able to separate or connect any part of this account with a business.  I was then offered a variety of services, some of them included or some of them at an extra cost, (they ask for your credit card when you set up your cloud account, so keep this in mind as you choose features…)

One of the offerings are RDS, (Relational Database Service) with a number of database platforms available.  I was able to choose an Oracle database, chose SE, version 12.1 and deployed it to my cloud in less than an hour.

There were a number of questions that aren’t any different than what you’d experience as part of the Oracle installer, including character set, backup options, etc.  It was very quick and painless.  For developers or those wanting to learn Oracle, this is a great option and you can easily migrate your known license for the platform and version to the Amazon cloud to make license management simple, too.

The monitoring dashboard is simple, but gives the need to know:

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I literally set up my account and deployed a database in less than an hour and seriously, I’m padding the time it took.

I could quickly add any number of databases, databases of other platforms to my cloud environment.  I also could take a quick view of my databases by performance, backup and other actions.

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The “Instance Actions” menu offers a number of options, including one to take snapshots, PIT restoration, ability to modify settings, reboot and removal of an instance.

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As I’m all about monitoring, I was curious what I could configure and although it’s not robust or in anyway as feature empowered like Enterprise Manager, you can create “Cloud Alarms” to keep you aware of any issues.

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I didn’t spend a whole lot of time in this area, but noted that there were a number of metrics you could monitor for and alert on.  I could even create my own dashboards to manage and monitor my instances.

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I have to say, the plethora of offerings from Amazon cloud did make me pretty dizzy with excitement about what I might want to get into mischief with.

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Azure

Azure has a similar offering to Oracle of a free trial.  They offering $200 in free cloud credits, (still trying to figure out what that means…) but uses your Microsoft login, very similar sign up as to Amazon, along with credit card information to verify your identification, (and I’m sure charge you when you go over your trial, which I can say from Oracle’s, did not.  Oracle did a great job with their original trial I was on, but again, it was in its very infancy at that point.)

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It took about twice as long to allocate the cloud storage, but Azure ensured they emailed me when it was ready so I wouldn’t have to monitor the progress of it.  As Microsoft owns Azure, deploying a MSSQL database can be done as easily as deploying any database to Amazon, but deploying Oracle to Azure is a bit more complicated.

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I was satisfied with the ease of access for Azure, but as an Oracle professional, I’d be more apt to stick to an Oracle Cloud or Amazon cloud first.

The monitoring was more advanced for MSSQL, as it’s the database platform they own, so it would have all the bells and whistles, (which I’m hoping to experience the same on Oracle’s Cloud for Oracle databases.)

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Same went for events, alert rules and database resource monitoring.  The graphs were simple, informational and accurate for all that I viewed in my short demo of the product.  I could quickly see the MSSQL instances, (different than an Oracle instance, keep in mind) and servers allocated.

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I could also deploy, just as easily as I saw with Amazon, VM’s, which is what would be required for my Oracle environments with Azure and then the robust SaaS offerings.

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I can see why the MSSQL DBAs love Azure and for any Microsoft shop, it is definitely the way to go.

MY Oracle Cloud

So what does my Oracle cloud, as an Oracle employee look like today?  I have an account, but not much else.

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Its a sad, lonely place that I would love to work in and work with Oracle products.  I’ve considered doing what others have done and use another email account and start a new trial, but I keep thinking, as an Oracle employee won’t Santa recognize that I’ve been a good girl this year and bring me a trial to work with my own cloud? :)

 

 

 

 



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