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Need some feedback on Article

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Sep 6, 2008
Hi All,

This is my first stab at writing an article to advertise my business and I could use some feedback before I post it. I've removed the branding/contact info as I'm not trying to advertise my service here, just trying to seek advice.

If this violates any forum policies, let me know and I'll delete the post.


Migrating from On-Premise E-Business Suite into the Cloud

Not too long ago, I came across an article from ZDNet, Cloud Computing Migration more Expensive and Complicated than you Thought <linked to article>. It gave a very good general explanation of the issues and costs companies run into when trying to move their operations to the cloud.

E-Business Suite in the Cloud

Oracle E-Business Suite is a mature product that many companies have used successfully for many years. The complex nature of these systems, as they have been customized and added to over time, makes it difficult to reimplement on a newer cloud-based ERP. In some cases, the E-Business Suite functionality a business relies on may not exist in the chosen ERP. In which case, the logical move to the cloud involves moving the current on-premise E-Business Suite onto a cloud infrastructure. There are numerous advantages to using a cloud infrastructure, but you need to be well informed to make the decision to move and then plan the move correctly. Especially when talking about Oracle E-Business Suite.


Licensing is a major consideration for moving the Oracle Database to the cloud. Oracle licensing is complicated and mistakes can be extremely costly. Most Oracle shops should be familiar with the licensing options and the core factor calculations. For instance, you need 4 processor licenses to run an Oracle Database Enterprise Edition on a server with 2 hyperthreaded Xeon quad-core processors. This is based on 8 physical cores multiplied by the x86 core factor of .5. Oracle identified “Authorized Cloud Environments” in the Oracle cloud licensing document <linked to document>. Namely, Amazon ECS, Amazon RDS or Microsoft Azure. The interesting portion, for those looking to move their instances to these cloud providers is that the core factor is no longer considered. In the cloud, Oracle considers 1 virtual CPU equal to 1 physical processor license, unless hyperthreading is enabled. In which case, 2 virtual CPUs equals 1 physical processor license.

Using our earlier example of a 2 Xeon quad-core processor server, you get a total of 16 threads for 4 processor licenses. On the cloud systems, you can only get a virtual machine with 8 vCPU for those 4 processor licenses. You must choose whether you are willing to live with less processing power or purchase an additional 4 processor licenses to use a virtual machine sized equivalent to your physical server.

I am not an certified expert in Oracle licensing, so of course, consult with your Oracle Sales Representative to confirm the current licensing requirements for the cloud platform of your choice.

Storage Speed

When sizing a virtual machine on the cloud, not only should you look at the number of vCPU, but you should also look at the maximum IOPS (Input/output operations per second) and overall throughput of that machine size. Cloud VMs put limitations on IOPS and generally speaking, you need to purchase a larger or more powerful VM instance to get higher IOPS. You will need to determine the properly sized VM for your performance needs and it is rarely the least expensive VM that matches your vCPU and memory requirements. You may have no choice but to purchase additional processor licenses to get the performance you need out of your cloud system.

Network Resources/Security

A factor that many people fail to consider when moving to the cloud is the network and how to properly configure network security. How much data do you expect to transfer in and out of your cloud environment? Have you calculated how much data gets queried from the database on a monthly basis? Have you thought about where your backups go? Do you leave them on the VM or do you transfer them to a remote data center? It’s all very easy to lose track of every which way data gets moved around the network and you get charged for network usage.

Another aspect of network is security. Most likely, the basic vpn does not provide enough functionality to do what you need. For an enterprise system, your company network needs to seamlessly connect with your cloud network. How are the employees connecting to the cloud network from the office? How about the automated systems? How about printers? An enterprise system on the public cloud should have a robust firewall. This means you should purchase firewall services from your cloud provider or purchase and build a firewall VM in the cloud.

Middle Tier Servers

The cloud system is not just the database alone. Ideally, you want the middle tier servers to be located near your database server to reduce latency and allow them to co-exist on the same local network. Each virtual machine you create in the cloud for your middle tier servers may be in the same data center, but they are most likely not anywhere near your database server.

If you interface your Oracle E-Business Suite with other systems, you may need to decide whether to keep these servers on-premise and pay for the network bandwidth to move the data from the database in the cloud to your local network or create additional virtual machines on the cloud platform to run them as well.

Administration Overhead

With the public cloud systems, you will need to administer the cloud servers yourself. Administration of your cloud environment is different than administration of an on premise system. Your internal admin team has some, but not all of the knowledge to properly administer cloud and you will eventually have to train them as a cloud engineer or hire one outright.

Oracle Cloud Platform

Oracle has a cloud platform to run the Oracle database. All of the same information and issues above applies, except for the licensing. On Oracle’s cloud platform, the core factor multiplier is still in effect and when you bring your own licenses you are getting a one to one core count on your virtual machine.

The <COMPANY NAME> Difference

<COMPANY NAME> systems were architected to run the Oracle database and the associated middle tiers. The differences from the public cloud providers are addressed below.

Licensing: We use a hypervisor identified by Oracle as one that they recognize Hard Partitioning of virtual CPUs for licensing purposes. You will get the same properly licensed processing power on <COMPANY NAME>’s systems as you get with your own on-premise hardware.

Storage: We utilize all SSD storage and high network bandwidth to enable quick database access to storage. We do not throttle access to the disks. You have the full capability to your allocated storage up to the physical limitations of the hardware.

Network: We use a simple monthly pricing model that includes the network utilization. You do not get charged a separate fee as you use or send data across the network. Our systems already have physical firewall servers configured in High Availability mode to protect your systems and allow direct connection from your company networks to the <COMPANY NAME> cloud network, no extra cost for that.

Middle Tiers: As much as possible, we keep the middle tier virtual machines on the same physical hardware as the database. Compared to a public cloud system, where they might be on the same rack, but could easily be on the opposite corners of the floor.

Administration Overhead: We will administer and monitor everything up to and including the Operating System of your virtual machines as part of our monthly fee. You do not need to train or hire personnel to learn how to use our systems. You’re current system administrator, network administrator and database administrator can continue to perform the work that they are familiar with. If you need additional help with this, we can provide it for an additional monthly fee, but it generally isn’t necessary.

Bottom Line

We want to be your concierge partners on the cloud. We concentrate on the Oracle system so that we know it inside and out and can add value to your existing ecosystem. We want to understand you and your business so that we can build your platform around how you need the cloud to run, not force you into a one-size fits all data center.

Visit <COMPANY URL> or call us at <COMPANY PHONE> and let us show you the difference.
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