Put Your Oracle Database In the Oracle Cloud

The “Cloud” has become a popular location for many things, and Oracle databases are in that list. Oracle Corporation provides Cloud services to create, migrate and manage databases there, and once a subscription is in hand the provided Cloud dashboard can make it fairly easy to migrate single instance and RAC databases to Cloud storage and services. Let’s look at what is available in the Cloud and get an overview of moving a database from on-premises storage to the Cloud.

The Oracle Database Cloud Service offers two service levels to choose from:

	Oracle Database Cloud Service -- Virtual Image
		pre-installed VM images to create and run an Oracle database.
		All maintenance operations are performed by account holder.
		!2cR2 is not available with this service level.

	Oracle Database Cloud Service
		All items from above plus pre-created and configured Oracle database.
		Automatic and on-demand backups available, patching, upgrading and
		PIT recovery.

Since Oracle’s Cloud services are offered on a subscription basis there are two options for the frequency of service metering:

	Hourly -- You pay for hours used during the month (Pay As You Go)

	Monthly -- There is one price for unlimited access during the month

	The choice of these options is set at deployment/database creation
        and cannot be changed for a configured and running database afterwards.

Since this is Oracle offering the service there are currently three software releases supported for Cloud databases, depending upon which service level the contract is written for:

	Oracle (Supported for the duration of the Extended Support period for this version)
	Oracle 12.1.0.x
	Oracle 12.2.0.x (Not available with Virtual Image service level)

Notice that 12.2.0.x is not available in the pre-configured Virtual Image option. If you want 12.2 you’ll need to subscribe to the Oracle Database Cloud Service.

These database releases are offered in two basic editions:

	Standard Edition
	Enterprise Edition
		Includes all available enterprise management packs and options
		appropriate for Cloud service (this may change)

Enterprise Edition databases are also offered in performance-enhanced versions:

	Enterprise Edition -- High Performance
		Includes all available enterprise management packs and options
		appropriate for Cloud service
	Enterprise Edition -- Extreme Performance
		Includes all database service packs, features and options

The descriptions are Oracle’s own words; there may be no difference between those two versions currently, but it does open the door for Oracle to restrict the management packs available under the High Performance banner later on.

Several types of database configuration are offered in the Oracle Cloud, two single-instance offerings and two RAC offerings, however as the descriptions state RAC in the Cloud is restricted to the Extreme Performance configuration. Also RAC is not available with Standard Edition databases or with the Virtual Image service; it’s only available with Cloud Infrastructure Classic, which is the original Cloud services configuration. The configurations as described by Oracle are:

	Single instance -- Only type available with Virtual Image service and/or Standard Edition
	Single instance with Data Guard standby

-- Available only with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic --
	RAC two-node cluster
	RAC two-node cluster with Data Guard configured between the nodes
		Both available only with Enterprise Edition -- Extreme Performance
-- Available only with Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic --

	Data Guard standby for Hybrid DR -- Cloud-based standby of an on-premises database

The Hybrid DR configuration is interesting as it keeps your on-premises database where it is, providing a standby database in the Cloud. The RAC configurations are restricted to two nodes, either in a classic RAC configuration (two primary nodes accessing a single database) or in a DataGuard configuration (where node 1 is the primary and node 2 is the standby, which doesn’t seem to be RAC since the standby must be its own database. The configuration is ‘housed’ in a RAC cluster configuration (with Grid Control), which apparently makes it, well, RAC.

There are several ‘hardware’ options available, depending on whether a VM or bare-metal installation is selected. The CPU count and installed RAM are listed below for each configuration:

For Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
-- Virtual Machine --

VM.Standard1.1  -  1.0 OCPU,   7.0 GB RAM
VM.Standard1.2  -  2.0 OCPU,  14.0 GB RAM
VM.Standard1.4  -  4.0 OCPU,  28.0 GB RAM
VM.Standard1.8  -  8.0 OCPU,  56.0 GB RAM
VM.Standard1.16 - 16.0 OCPU, 112.0 GB RAM

-- Bare metal only --

BM.Standard1.32 - 36.0 OCPU, 256.0 GB RAM

For Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic
General Purpose:

OC3  -  1 OCPU,   7.5 GB RAM
OC4  -  2 OCPU,  15.0 GB RAM
OC5  -  4 OCPU,  30.0 GB RAM
OC6  -  8 OCPU,  60.0 GB RAM
OC7  - 16 OCPU, 120.0 GB RAM

High Memory:

OC1M -  1 OCPU,  15.0 GB RAM
OC2M -  2 OCPU,  30.0 GB RAM
OC3M -  4 OCPU,  60.0 GB RAM
OC4M -  8 OCPU, 120.0 GB RAM
OC5M - 16 OCPU, 240.0 GB RAM

Depending on how the Cloud database is to be used it may be beneficial to select the classic Cloud infrastructure over the newer infrastructure.

Database storage is always of concern to the DBA; Oracle Cloud services provides these limits on per-database storage depending on whether or not you choose to have Cloud backups configured:

Maximum initial size with Cloud and local storage backups  -- 1200 GB
Maximum initial size with Cloud-only backups or no backups -- 2 TB

Those are the initial storage limits for database creation. (Databases are larger without automatic backups configured as the storage those backups would consume is transferred to the Cloud database configuration.) Oracle Cloud Services also provides what they refer to as ‘scale-up’ operations to increase the database storage available. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic provides 5 scale-up operations for a total maximum database size of 4.7 TB (with Cloud and local backups) or 10 TB with Cloud backups or no backups (RAC maximum is 7.7 TB). Oracle Cloud Infrastructure provides 26 scale-up operations, for a total maximum database size of 19 TB with Cloud and local backups or 48 TB with Cloud-only or no backups (Databases of these sizes are recommended to be placed on Oracle Exadata Cloud Service, which is where RAC is available with possibly more than two nodes configured, depending on the size of the system selected.)

Automatic backup configurations are available:

Cloud and local storage -- 30-day rolling window with last 7 days available oncompute node local storage
			   Uses existing Cloud storage bucket for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
			   Uses existing Classic Cloud storage container for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Classic 
Cloud storage only      -- 30 days, all backup solely on Cloud storage (Not available with RAC installations)

And the option of no automatic backups is available; backups are then the responsibility of the customer to both configure and manage.

Once a subscription is in place, creating a Cloud database isn’t difficult as the Cloud Services Dashboard provides a fairly intuitive way to get that first database created and running in the Cloud. The Quickstart service is the fastest way to deploy a Cloud database as many of the choices are already made. Simply choose the group of options you need and proceed through the service to get a database configured and deployed. Choices such as administrative passwords and backup configuration are left to the customer. Detailed, step-by-step instructions can be found here.

Obviously, this hasn’t been a detailed treatise on creating and managing Cloud databases, but hopefully the information provided here will help in getting a start on using Oracle Cloud services. Creating Cloud services databases isn’t a task that can be taken lightly, but it appears that Oracle Cloud Services has made it easier. Plan on taking time to become familiar with the service and its options and there should be very few surprises later. The more you know the better you can manage Cloud databases.

See all articles by David Fitzjarrell

David Fitzjarrell
David Fitzjarrell
David Fitzjarrell has more than 20 years of administration experience with various releases of the Oracle DBMS. He has installed the Oracle software on many platforms, including UNIX, Windows and Linux, and monitored and tuned performance in those environments. He is knowledgeable in the traditional tools for performance tuning – the Oracle Wait Interface, Statspack, event 10046 and 10053 traces, tkprof, explain plan and autotrace – and has used these to great advantage at the U.S. Postal Service, American Airlines/SABRE, ConocoPhilips and SiriusXM Radio, among others, to increase throughput and improve the quality of the production system. He has also set up scripts to regularly monitor available space and set thresholds to notify DBAs of impending space shortages before they affect the production environment. These scripts generate data which can also used to trend database growth over time, aiding in capacity planning. He has used RMAN, Streams, RAC and Data Guard in Oracle installations to ensure full recoverability and failover capabilities as well as high availability, and has configured a 'cascading' set of DR databases using the primary DR databases as the source, managing the archivelog transfers manually and montoring, through scripts, the health of these secondary DR databases. He has also used ASM, ASMM and ASSM to improve performance and manage storage and shared memory.

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