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November 2013

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Q&A: Oracle VP Datta on Delivering Database as a Service

In October 2013, Oracle hosted an online forum (now available for on-demand viewing) in which analysts and industry experts explored best practices for the adoption of database as a service (DBaaS)—including prescriptive steps to design, deploy, and deliver such a solution.

Forum speakers included Carl Olofson, research vice president at IDC; Juan Loaiza, senior vice president of systems technology, Oracle; Todd Kimbriel, director State of Texas, eGovernment division; James Anthony, eDBA; Michelle Malcher, IOUG; and Sudip Datta, vice president of product management, Oracle.

In his breakout session, Datta detailed Oracle’s complete, lifecycle-driven approach to DBaaS, plus a range of real-world case studies, from a major bank to Oracle's own public cloud service.

We decided to ask Datta a few questions about DBaaS—and the ways Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c together with Oracle Database 12c can dramatically simplify the delivery process.

Q. What are the business and IT pressures that database professionals currently face?
A. End users increasingly expect database services on demand and on a self-service basis, without being gated by IT for every single request. But adopting such an approach increases complexity and costs and also requires metering in order to ensure optimal utilization of resources.

At the same time, IT is already struggling to cope with a huge proliferation of databases across development, testing, and production environments—a problem that can be exacerbated by widespread adoption of poorly managed DBaaS. Large enterprises often have hundreds and even thousands of databases, usually with many different versions, configurations, and patch levels. Such dispersed, siloed, and complex environments create serious challenges, from deployment to administration and compliance.

Q. How does DBaaS address these challenges, and what are its key elements?
A. Not only does DBaaS give IT organizations a larger and more flexible menu of database services, it also enables them to essentially manage many databases as one—with an automated, secure, and lifecycle-driven approach.

To make that possible, you first need a shared, consolidated platform on which to provision databases. Then you need to support self-service provisioning. You also need to be able to easily scale up or scale back services, including relocation and retirement. And to ensure optimal use of resources, you need to support showback or chargeback on resource usage.

Finally, you need to have the flexibility to cater to a range of use cases. For example, the requirements of a developer are very different from a DBA building a new database, or a quality assurance professional who requires a full database for intense load testing.

Q. Can you briefly explain how Oracle Database 12c supports DBaaS?
A. The Oracle Multitenant option of Oracle Database 12c goes beyond previous consolidation methods such as server, platform, and schema consolidation to true database consolidation. A multitenant container database can hold many pluggable databases, enabling DBAs to manage many databases as one. For example, they can perform backups across the entire container with the push of a button—without sacrificing the advantages of isolation and resource prioritization. The same principle applies to recovery, patches and updates, provisioning, cloning, and more.

So not only do you dramatically reduce management complexity, you also maximize consolidation density—all with no application changes.

Q. What about support for self-service provisioning?
A. That is where Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c comes in. It provides a consolidated platform for provisioning database services delivered via a self-service model. Besides comprehensive support for consolidation, it provides automated, intelligent placement (including workflow and configuration), a complete self-service catalog (from governance to showback), and integrated lifecycle management (including monitoring, backup, and patching).

Just as important, it provides a flexible cloning architecture, including full data cloning that leverages backups and instant provisioning using Oracle Enterprise Manager’s snap clone feature. And finally, it supports comprehensive representational state transfer—RESTful—APIs for integration and orchestration.

Access Oracle’s Database as a Service Online Forum, including Datta's presentation on DBaaS delivery.

Learn how the latest release of Oracle Enterprise Manager supports pluggable database as a service.

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