Deploying Oracle Databases to Amazon AWS (EC2, RDS)

Amazon recently added Oracle database hosting capabilities to its RDS service offering. You can rent an Oracle database in a pay-as-you-go fashion now. We are going to explore if corporations should be utilizing Amazon AWS Oracle Database related services (EC2, RDS ), how it should be used, where possible savings and potential trouble points are. With services like Amazon AWS it doesn’t matter where your hardware and software physically is – it could be in a room next to you or in some other country. It is much easier and cheaper to procure and get new servers up and running.

What’s Really New?
You swipe your credit card and get an Oracle database server up and running in half an hour. Sounds like magic, especially if you compare it to the weeks and months it normally takes to have an Oracle database server operational in an average enterprise today. There is no capex and opex is lower than for in-house hosted servers.

Oracle databases can be deployed to Amazon Web Services in two ways: Platform as a Service ( Amazon RDS ), or Infrastructure as a Service ( Amazon EC2 ).

The traditional process of establishing and procuring of a new database server consists of the following steps:

  • IT infrastructure team receives request for new database server
  • Hardware/software/storage is provisioned
  • IP addresses are assigned
  • IT infrastructure team installs operating system and database
  • IT application team deploys application components ( to both database and application server)

A new, cloud-based process would be (for example when using Amazon AWS ):

  • IT infrastructure team receives a request for a new database server (hardware/software/storage)
  • IP addresses, OS and database installation are provisioned almost instantaneously via Amazon service
  • IT application team deploys application components

You will get your server much faster than what it would normally take. The timeline and upfront costs are thus visibly reduced. All procedures are automated with much reduced human intervention. There is no inter-departmental friction, manual work, then rework when mistakes need to be corrected. Since you are incorporating new servers in your enterprise there will be a need to adjust change management procedures to make new environments part of your enterprise. This is no different than adding any new environment to in-house data center. Contemporary enterprise has many environments that are by no means uniform – development environment is quite different then production in many ways – different hardware, software, sometimes even different operating system.

Companies that are very sensitive to capital expenditure cost reductions can make good use of Amazon AWS immediately. Our opinion is that Amazon AWS can be used without much deliberation by startups, educational institutions (companies dealing with Oracle training, needing disposable environments for teaching purposes, for example), for demonstration and similar types of environments.

Mid-size and large corporations will encounter more internal IT resistance to including Amazon Web Services into portfolio of systems they have to manage. Various reasons are typically stated – change management difficulties, security, performance, new techniques to be learnt. AWS is enterprise class platform that finally solves some of the toughest problems in IT departments. We think that IT should embrace new capabilities sooner, rather than later. They are here to stay.

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