Earlier this year, we excerpted a chapter from Building and Managing a Cloud Using Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c by Madhup Gulati, Adeesh Fulay and Sudip Datta. Realizing that there was much interest around this topic, SearchOracle's Lena J. Weiner asked the authors the following questions. Here's what they had to say.
Cloud is a big buzzword these days and could mean different things to different people. What is the scope of your book?
A number of enterprise customers we work with are considering a move to the cloud. For some this means the adoption of public clouds such as the Oracle Cloud, Amazon Web Services and so forth, but for a vast majority of large IT shops, it is a move towards a more agile IT as a service delivery model in the form of a private cloud. In this book we discuss the various cloud delivery models and best practices for using Oracle's offerings to build and manage a cloud. This book will be of interest to architects and administrators working on a cloud project, business users looking to benefit from the cloud paradigm and the Oracle community at large, who wants to learn about Oracle's cloud management offerings.
What are some of the prevailing misconceptions about the cloud?
When considering a move to a private cloud, IT teams are sometimes held back because of the perceived requirement of large initial investments. It doesn't have to be that way. Oracle's cloud management solution can be used not only to improve greenfield clouds but can also transform existing IT infrastructure and platform investments into private clouds. Another common misconception is that server virtualization is an essential prerequisite for moving to the cloud. Not entirely true. Although server virtualization, and for that matter, storage and network virtualization, can form a foundation for an Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) cloud, many of the platform and application services may be agnostic to the underlying physical or virtual infrastructure. For example, using Oracle Enterprise Manager, it is possible to roll out Platform as a Service (PaaS), Database as a Service (DBaaS), or Middleware as a Service clouds on both physical and virtualized infrastructure.
What kind of IT shop is the best candidate for a move to the cloud?
The cloud follows a natural IT transition from standardization to automation to self-service. Enterprises that are further along the curve in terms of standardizing their hardware and software assets find greater success with clouds. Once they understand the infrastructure, platform and application components they have and the relationships between them, they are in a better position to consolidate and build shared services. Moreover, as they streamline their software and hardware provisioning processes and define clear boundaries of separation between their various infrastructure and application management teams, they achieve greater operational efficiency, agility and cost savings. A comprehensive tool such as Oracle Enterprise Manager can greatly assist with this standardization and automation effort. The cloud then becomes an extension of this, a means for IT to further empower end users, the IT consumers, through self-service and build accountability through metering and chargeback.
What are some essential features that a sophisticated cloud management solution should have?
A comprehensive cloud management solution is one that helps IT realize the true benefits of the cloud. It should enable IT to transform its existing hardware and software assets into a consolidated service delivery platform with the correct models for packaging and delivering various services for IaaS, DBaaS, PaaS and so forth. The tool should provide excellent performance and availability management for various cloud components so IT can maintain desired service levels. It should provide comprehensive configuration management for faster problem resolution and compliance management to reduce security risk. It should allow metering of cloud resources and provide a reporting framework for generating showback reports. In short, a good cloud management project accelerates IT's transition to cloud while reducing costs.
This was first published in April 2013