What’s New for Oracle Compute Cloud Service (IaaS)

In Cloud, Consolidation, DBA, IaaS on May 1, 2016 at 11:15

Behind every cloud is another cloud.” – Judy Garland

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.” – Mark Twain

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure allows large businesses and corporations to run their workloads, replicate their networks, and back up their data and databases in the cloud. And I would say in a much easy and efficient way than any other provider!

Oracle provides a free software appliance for accessing cloud storage on-premise. The Oracle Storage Cloud Software Appliance is offered free of charge. You do not get this from Amazon. And from Azure, you do not get as much memory on a VM for a core as you get from Oracle. In addition to the hourly metered service, Oracle also provides a non-metered compute capacity with a monthly subscription so that you can provision resources up to twice the subscribed capacity. This is a way to control the budget through a predictable monthly fee rather than the less controllable pure pay-as-you-go model.

Sing_In2 provided recently an excellent overview of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Pat Shuff’s Blog describes in detail the steps for creating an Oracle Linux service on the Oracle Compute Cloud. Glynn Foster’s Blog shows how to create an Oracle Solaris VMs in the Oracle Cloud Compute Service.

Creating an Oracle Compute Service took me (the first time) less than 10 minutes. Accessing it was an immediate process. This is simple, fast, easy and most of all I had no issues whatsoever. OK, I did not find lshw but I installed it in a minute:

yum -y install lshw*
Dependency Updated:
  dbus-libs.x86_64 1:1.2.24-8.0.1.el6_6


VPN for Engineered Systems: if you need a VPN between Oracle and your own infrastructure, then go to the My Oracle Support Note 2056914.1 and follow its instructions.


Creating an Oracle Storage Volume takes about one minute! Even less, if you have done it few times.


[opc@f24074 ~]$ df -h
Filesystem      Size  Used Avail Use% Mounted on
/dev/xvda2      9.4G  1.9G  7.0G  22% /
tmpfs           7.4G     0  7.4G   0% /dev/shm
/dev/xvda1      479M   81M  369M  18% /boot

Note: before connecting to the Oracle VM from any client, remember to add the IP address(es) to the Security IP list and then update the security rules (add a new one).

Few useful links:

Oracle Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Training Content
Using Oracle Compute Cloud Service (IaaS)
Accessing an Oracle Linux Instance Using SSH
Frequently Asked Questions for Oracle Compute Cloud Service
Troubleshooting Oracle Compute Cloud Service
Best Practices for Using Oracle Compute Cloud Service
Siebel CRM in Oracle Public Cloud IAAS
Compute Cloud Pricing / Storage Cloud Pricing / Network Cloud Service Pricing
Oracle Cloud Services Delivered in Your Data Center / Cloud Machine Documentation

Oracle Cloud Machine Operations: Roles and Responsibilities:


What’s New for Oracle Compute Cloud Service (IaaS):

– Both metered and non-metered options of Oracle Compute Cloud Service are now generally available.
– You can no longer subscribe for 50 or 100 OCPU configurations. Instead, you can specify the required number of 1 OCPU subscriptions.
– If you have a non-metered subscription, you can now provision resources up to twice the subscribed capacity. The additional usage will be charged per hour and billed monthly.
– Oracle provides images for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 R2 Standard Edition.
– Oracle provides images for Oracle Solaris 11.3.
– You can clone storage volumes by taking a snapshot of a storage volume and using it to create new storage volumes.
– You can clone an instance by taking a snapshot and using the resulting image to launch new instances.
– You can increase the size of a storage volume, even when it’s attached to an instance.
– You can now find the public and private IP addresses of each instance on the Instances page. Earlier, this information was displayed only on the instance details page of each instance.
– The CLI tool for uploading custom images to Oracle Storage Cloud Service has been updated to support various operating systems. The tool has also been renamed to uploadcli. Earlier it was called upload-img.

For more details, check What’s New for Oracle Compute Cloud Service (IaaS).


And finally, do you wonder what is the underlying hardware?

[root@f24074 ~]# lshw -short
H/W path    Device  Class      Description
                    system     HVM domU
/0                  bus        Motherboard
/0/0                memory     96KiB BIOS
/0/1                processor  Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU E5-2690 v2 @ 3.00GHz
/0/2                processor  CPU
/0/3                processor  CPU
/0/4                processor  CPU
/0/5                memory     System Memory
/0/5/0              memory     15GiB DIMM RAM
/0/5/1              memory     15GiB DIMM RAM
/0/6                memory     96KiB BIOS
/0/7                processor  CPU
/0/8                processor  CPU
/0/9                processor  CPU
/0/a                processor  CPU
/0/b                memory     System Memory
/0/c                memory
/0/d                memory
/0/100              bridge     440FX - 82441FX PMC [Natoma]
/0/100/1            bridge     82371SB PIIX3 ISA [Natoma/Triton II]
/0/100/1.1          storage    82371SB PIIX3 IDE [Natoma/Triton II]
/0/100/1.3          bridge     82371AB/EB/MB PIIX4 ACPI
/0/100/2            display    GD 5446
/0/100/3            generic    Xen Platform Device
/1          eth0    network    Ethernet interface

Oracle In-Memory for SAP Databases

In DBA, Oracle database, SAP HANA on March 19, 2016 at 14:02

The Japanese proverb “HANA YORI DANGO” means literally “Dumplings rather than flowers” meaning “to prefer substance over style, as in to prefer to be given functional, useful items (such as dumplings) instead of merely decorative items (such as flowers)”.

HANA is nowadays a very stylish and trendy concept among the database professionals but I would follow the Japanese saying and rather go with substance.


The two different points of view can be easily found on the internet:

SAP: What Oracle won’t tell you about SAP HANA
Oracle: Oracle Database In-Memory vs SAP HANA benchmark results

The following “Facts vs Claims” will most likely perplex and bewilder everyone. Just have a look and decide for yourself. Let us not go into details but consider this statement:

FACT: Oracle makes big data a bigger problem with 4 copies of the data (3 in-memory and 1 on disk).

I have been trying for quite some time to figure out the 3 copies of in-memory data that Oracle creates with no success. Perhaps this is a riddle?

An year ago, on March 31st 2015, SAP was certified to run on Oracle Database Rather odd one would say, as in the past SAP were awaiting the 2nd release of the Oracle database in order to certify it for SAP. At least a sign that is mature enough to be used for SAP production systems.

As of June 30th 2015, the Oracle Database In-Memory Option is supported and certified for SAP environments for all SAP products based on SAP NetWeaver 7.x. on Unix/Linux, Windows and Oracle Engineered Systems platforms running Oracle Database 12c – in single instance and Oracle Oracle Real Application Clusters deployments.

In-Memory is such a great feature – but (for both Oracle and SAP) often the challenge you’ll face are these 2 tricky questions:

1. Which of your tables, partitions, and even columns should you mark for In-Memory column store availability?
2. What should be the value of the SGA, PGA and IMCS size? That is, how much memory do I need (global_allocation_limit in SAP and inmemory_size for Oracle)?

Here you have a very strong advantage of Oracle over SAP. The answers are now easier to find with the new In-Memory Advisor which is available via download from MOS Note:1965343.1. Use of In-Memory Advisor for databases where the IM option has not yet been deployed does NOT require an Oracle Tuning Pack license.

For SAP, Quick Sizer is used for a new implementation of Business Suite powered by SAP HANA. Here is a How to Properly Size an SAP In-Memory Database. There are two different approaches for performing the sizing: user-based sizing, which determines sizing requirements based on the number of users in the system, and throughput-based sizing, which bases the sizing on the items being processed. The sizing rules for SAP Business Suite on SAP HANA that are outlined in SAP Note 1793345.

Memory Management in the Column Store: SAP HANA aims to keep all relevant data in memory. Standard row tables are loaded into memory when the database is started and remain there as long as it is running. They are not unloaded. Column tables, on the other hand, are loaded on demand, column by column when they are first accessed. With Oracle, only tables (or columns/partitions of the table) that need to be in memory are set in memory thus avoiding waist of unnecessary memory and having the ability to do more with less.

The Oracle approach is much more sophisticated but there are 10 major issues DBAs should pay attention to when using the In-Memory option with SAP databases:

1. To use Oracle Database In-Memory with SAP NetWeaver the following technical and business prerequisites must be met:
– Oracle Database 12c Release 1 Patch Set 1 (
– UNIX/Linux: Oracle Database SAP Bundle Patch June 2015 (SAP1202P_1506) or newer. Strongly recommended Oracle Database SAP Bundle Patch August 2015 (SAP1202P_1508)
– Windows: Windows DB Bundle Patch or newer. Strongly Recommended Windows DB Bundle Patch
– SAP NetWeaver 7.x Version with minimum SAP Kernel 7.21_EXT

2. Indexes. It is not allowed to make any changes to the standard index design of the SAP installations. However, customer specific index design can be changed. That is, all indexes which belong to the Y or Z namespaces can be changed.

3. Database Buffer Cache. It is not allowed to reduce the size of the database buffer cache and assign the memory to the In-Memory column store.

4. SAP Dictionary Support. Full SAP Dictionary (DDIC) Support of in-memory attributes at the table level starts with the support package SAP_BASIS 7.40 SP12.

5. Individual Columns. It is not supported to load individual columns of an SAP table or partition into the IM column store. It is also not supported to exclude individual columns from an SAP table or partition from the IM column store. An SAP table is a database table used by an SAP application.

6. The database where you want to run In-Memory Advisor must have XDB component installed as the In-Memory Advisor relies on functions provided by XDB. In 12c XDB is installed by default.

7. The In-Memory Advisor is contained in the SAP Bundle Patch as patch 21231656.

8. For SAP applications it is strongly recommended to use a reasonable time window of collected AWR data. At least 2-3 days of AWR data should be used for the In-Memory Advisor. It absolutely makes no sense to use data from a 1-2 hour time window.

9. Use these In-Memory Advisor Parameter Name and Value:


10. For SAP systems therefore the following init.ora parameters should be used:

inmemory_max_populate_servers = 4
inmemory_clause_default = “PRIORITY HIGH”
inmemory_size should be set to the value (+ ~20% for metadata and journals) used in the generate recommendation step of the In-Memory Advisor or set to value calculated by the SAP_IM_ADV Package for all tables/partitions to be loaded into the In-Memory column store.

Using RAT shows the benefit of the In-Memory option. Compare the DB time of the 2 replays after going to Exadata with the In-Memory option. DB time is the best and possibly only metric to compare captures with replays.


SAP Notes: 2178980 – Using Oracle Database In-Memory with SAP NetWeaver
MOS Notes: 1292089.1 – Master Note for Oracle XML Database (XDB) Install / Deinstall & 1965343.1 – Oracle Database In-Memory Advisor
Using SAP NetWeaver with Oracle Database In-Memory

Bottom line: if my SAP application runs on top of an Oracle database, I would rather put it on Exadata with the In-Memory option enabled that move it to SAP HANA.

Oracle Database Cloud Service vs Amazon Relational Database Service

In Cloud, Consolidation, DBA, Oracle database on February 28, 2016 at 15:00

How to compare Oracle’s Database Public Cloud with Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS) for enterprise usage? Let us have a look.

Oracle’s Database has 4 editions: Personal Edition, Express Edition (XE): free of charge and used by very small businesses and students, Standard Edition (SE): light version of Enterprise Edition and purpose designed to lack most features needed for running production grade workloads and Enterprise Edition (EE): provides the performance, availability, scalability, and security required for mission-critical applications.

In the comparison in this post, we will evaluate Oracle and Amazon in relation to the Enterprise Edition of Oracle’s database.


Oracle Public Database Cloud consists of 4 DB Cloud offerings: DBaaS, Virtual Image, Schema Service and Exadata Service. Here are few characterizations:

– Oracle supports Exadata, RAC & all DB options
– Simple pricing structure with published costs representing actual costs (unlimited I/Os, etc.)
– Hourly, Monthly & Annual pricing options
– Lowest cloud storage pricing across all major IaaS vendors

Amazon RDS for Oracle Database supports two different licensing models – “License Included” and “Bring-Your-Own-License (BYOL)”. In the “License Included” service model, you do not need separately purchased Oracle licenses. Here are few characterizations:

Enterprise Edition supports only db.r3.large and larger instance classes, up to db.r3.8xlarge
– Need to choose between Single-AZ (= Availability Zone) Deployment and Multi-AZ Deployment
– For Multi-AZ Deployment, Amazon RDS will automatically provision and manage a “standby” replica in a different Availability Zone (prior to failover you cannot directly access the standby, and it cannot be used to serve read traffic)
– Only 2 instance types support 10 Gigabit network: db.m4.10xlarge and db.r3.8xlarge
– Amazon RDS for Oracle is an exciting option for small to medium-sized clients and includes Oracle Database Standard Edition in it’s pricing
– Several application with limited requirements might find Amazon RDS to be a suitable platform for hosting a database
– As the enterprise requirements and resulting degree of complexity of the database solution increase, RDS is gradually ruled out as an option

So, here is high level comparison:


– Oracle’s price includes the EE license with all options
– Amazon AWS is BYOL for EE
– Prices above are based on the EU (Frankfurt) region
– Amazon’s Oracle database hour prices vary from $0.290 to $4.555 for Single AZ Deplyoments and from $0.575 to $9.105 for Multi-AZ Deployments
– Oracle’s database hour prices vary from $0.672 to $8.569


Oracle Archive Storage Pricing
Amazon Glacier Storage Pricing
Amazon Database Pricing
Oracle Database Pricing
Amazon Options for Oracle Database Engine
Oracle on Amazon RDS Support & Limitations

So, Amazon RDS is not an option if you need any of the following: Real Application Clusters (RAC), Real Application Testing, Data Guard / Active Data Guard, Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control, Automated Storage Management, Database Vault, Streams, Java Support, Locator, Oracle Label Security, Spatial, Oracle XML DB Protocol Server or Network access utilities such as utl_http, utl_tcp, utl_smtp, and utl_mail.

Interesting articles related to this topic:

1. Burning question for Oracle: What’s your response to Amazon? by Barb Darrow
2. Shootout: Oracle DB Cloud vs. Amazon RDS by Jan Navratil
3. The Oracle Database Cloud Service vs Oracle on Amazon RDS by Ranko Mosic
4. A Most Simple Cloud: Is Amazon RDS for Oracle Right for you? by by Jeremiah Wilton
5. Oracle RAC and AWS: A Hybrid Cloud Solution by Lindsay Van Thoen
6. How Much Does It Cost to Run Relational Database (RDS) Options on AWS by Yoav Mor
7. Oracle vs. Amazon: The Cloud Wars by Chris Lawless


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