Enterprise Class Oracle Databases in the Public Cloud?

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Most of enterprise class shops today run their Oracle databases on either HP-UX, AIX or Sun OS operating systems. Is it possible to move these databases to the public cloud, and, if so, who are providers who can help with such a move?

Public cloud services are closely related to virtualization i.e. usage of various flavors of popular Virtual Machines (VMware, XEN). VMs are one of major ingredients giving cloud services such great characteristics as scalability, on-demand instant provisioning and deprovisioning of resources. Virtual Machines are able to run many guest operating systems – mostly flavors of Linux, Windows and Open Solaris.

Most of public cloud providers are not using or supporting proprietary HP, IBM and Sun Virtual Machines that host  HP-UX, IBM AIX and Sun OS operating systems. Majority of public cloud providers use either VMware or XEN Virtual Machines i.e. they only support Linux/Windows/Open Solaris operating systems. That leaves you with two options if you are considering moving your HP-UX, AIX or Sun OS based Oracle databases to the public cloud.

1) You can try and find public cloud service or hosting provider which supports these operating systems. Savvis, for example, is offering Foundation Hosting where they outsource physical layer and you are in full control of operating system licensing, installation, monitoring and management. You maintain your freedom to run your own operating system as you see fit. This strategy will significantly limit your choices since only a handful of providers offer such services. It is not real cloud solution either – major advantages and features of public clouds are not present here.

2) You will migrate your Oracle databases to Linux platform. This strategy implies an extra step of migrating to another operating system which should be done as an integral part of move to the public cloud .

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