1 Cloud Management - An Overview

This chapter introduces Cloud Management and provides an overview of the various service offerings and components available with the Oracle Cloud platform.

It also describes the Consolidation Planner, which is useful in planning your Cloud requirements, as well as various life cycle management capabilities of Oracle Enterprise Manager including resource management, metering and chargeback support.

This chapter contains the following sections:

Introduction to Cloud Management

Enterprises and Cloud service providers can use Oracle Enterprise Manager to build and operate their Cloud services. The functionality provided by Enterprise Manager spans the entire Cloud lifecycle and allows you to setup and manage any type of Cloud service.

Enterprises must support hundreds or even thousands of applications to meet growing business demands. This growth has driven up the cost of acquiring and managing servers and storage. Clouds enable customers to consolidate servers, storage, and database workloads onto a shared hardware and software infrastructure.

By providing on-demand access to servers and storage in a self-service, elastically scalable and metered manner, Enterprise Manager offers the following benefits.

  • Increasing Quality of Service: IT organizations are not only trying to drive down costs, they are also looking at solutions that will simultaneously improve quality of service in terms of performance, availability and security. Cloud consumers inherently benefit from the high availability characteristics built into the Cloud.

    Organizations can also enforce a unified identity and security infrastructure as part of standardized provisioning. Thus, instead of bolting on security policies, these policies and compliance regulations are part of the provisioning process.

  • Enabling Faster Deployment: Building the Cloud infrastructure using standard building block components (for example, servers, CPUs, storage, and network), configurations, and tools, enables a streamlined, automated, and simplified deployment process.

  • Providing Resource Elasticity: The ability to grow and shrink the capacity of a given database, both in terms of storage size and compute power, allows applications the flexibility to meet the dynamic nature of business workloads.

  • Rapid Provisioning: Databases in a Cloud can be rapidly provisioned, often by way of a self-service infrastructure, providing agility in application deployment. This reduces overall time in deploying production applications, development platforms, or creating test bed configurations.

Managing the Cloud Management Lifecycle With Enterprise Manager

Enterprise Manager allows you to manage the entire Cloud lifecycle which includes the following:


Using Enterprise Manager, you can transform existing data centers into a Cloud environment. Before setting up a Cloud, you should map out your infrastructure requirements, such as the physical and virtual networks, storage arrays, applications and so on.

The Enterprise Manager Consolidation Planner is a powerful tool that helps administrators plan the Cloud architecture. It allows you to identify source and destination targets and applicable technical and functional constraints such as where the application can reside, and so on. You can generate consolidation advisories that may include plans to move from Physical to Virtual (P2V), Physical to Physical (P2P), or Physical to an Exadata solution. The Consolidation Planner can also be used to identify the database consolidation plan which is helpful when setting up Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS).

Setting Up the Cloud

Enterprise Manager can be used to model Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) clouds. It is important to select the appropriate Cloud Service Model (as discussed in Understanding the Oracle Cloud Service Models) that suits the needs of your users and organization. To facilitate Cloud setup, Enterprise Manager offers capabilities for both physical and virtual infrastructure.

For physical infrastructure, Enterprise Manager leverages its core automation framework of deployment procedures, job system, and the enterprise software library. It offers out of the box deployment procedures that can be used for provisioning the pre-requisite software for both databases and middleware. The same automation framework is also used to interact with third party storage systems for the purposes of data cloning and storage management.For virtual infrastructure, it offers bare metal provisioning of hypervisor and setting up server and storage pools. Once completed, you can group all of these into zones based on functional or QoS characteristics. Enterprise Manager leverages the Virtualization Storage Connect technology, where the Cloud setup process is integrated with storage technologies like Netapp, Hitachi, Fujitsu. Administrators can define standardized service templates for databases and middleware platforms, and publish these as services. These services can represent single-tier templates or complex, multi-tier enterprise platforms.

Enterprise Manager supports role-driven access control. Resource limits, or quotas, are assigned to roles to control access to services. This prevents unauthorized usage of a service while also preventing a few users from using majority of the resources in the Cloud. Integration with LDAP allows Enterprise Manager to inherit enterprise roles.

Building the Cloud

Enterprise Manager allows entire applications or components to be packaged and published to the Cloud as a service. This expedites application development and provisioning processes within an organization.

Developers can publish utility components and applications in the form of assemblies and service templates for reuse within their groups. Similarly, allowing applications to be available as assemblies allows testing teams, business analysts or production teams to deploy pre-built applications in a few clicks.

Testing and Deploying a Service

After an application has been built, it needs to be tested. Enterprise Manager provides a testing portfolio that allows users to test both application changes and changes to the database.

The testing solution provides the ability to capture a production load and replay in a test environment, so that the results are predictable. It also leverages the diagnostic capabilities built into the technology layers and provides prescriptions for remediation.

Enterprise Manager provides a self-service application that lets end-users deploy a service. This self service application can be customized. End users can choose to provision application assemblies, along with databases and platforms, in an on-demand manner. For each request, users can specify the amount of underlying resources such as CPU, memory, and so on that they require for each component. Enterprise Manager automatically provisions the requested service and the appropriate resources. The self-service application also lets users define policies to scale out or scale back resources based on schedule or performance metrics.

Monitoring and Managing the Cloud

Enterprise Manger offers a number of inherent monitoring and management features that collectively comprise a full Cloud management system.

For example, Enterprise Manager provides the ability to collate targets into groups for better manageability. The Administration Group feature allows administrators to define monitoring settings, compliance standards and cloud policies through templates and also organize each target in multiple hierarchies, such as Line of Business and Lifecycle status. This allows the monitoring framework to scale to thousands of servers, databases and middleware targets in the Cloud.

Enterprise Manager's built-in Incident Management system allows you to monitor the Cloud for complex operational issues that may affect performance. You can review, suppress, escalate and remediate events that occur as needed, and even integrate incident escalation with existing support ticketing systems. See the Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Administrator's Guide for details.Contractual Service Level Agreements (SLAs) can be defined to govern the contract between the application owner and the provider of the Cloud. Administrators as well as users can also define management policies that automatically adjust the service resources to ensure that SLAs are met.

The configuration management capabilities of Enterprise Manager are optimized for Cloud environments. For example, Enterprise Manager can monitor vast numbers of configurations continuously to discover changes, measure drifts, pin-point configuration errors, and offer insight into system topologies - all through a single console. Enterprise Manager Cloud management capabilities are also integrated with My Oracle Support. This integration delivers facilities such as Patch Advisories, Service Request Management, Knowledge Management right on-premise and in-context of the overall Cloud.

The IaaS, and DBaaS Home pages provided through the Enterprise Manager Cloud Control user interface allow Cloud administrators to get a summary view of the requests, the general state of the service such as zones, pools, servers, service instances, and databases.

Metering, Charging, and Optimization

The Metering and Chargeback features in Enterprise Manager enable enterprises to account for actual usage versus representative usage. Administrators can also extend the pricing models to account for fixed costs, configurations, administrative expenses, people costs, energy utilization or a combination of these.Cloud Management also entails an ongoing optimization of resources as well as processes to make sure that the service levels are persistent. Enterprise Manager provides administrators and application users with features that help rediscover assets, re-evaluate the performance, rebalance the Cloud, and fine-tune the provisioning process. Chargeback supports basic metrics like CPU, memory, and storage usage. It also offers pricing models based on application usage, database usage, and Middleware-level metrics.

Understanding the Oracle Cloud Service Models

This section describes the available Oracle Cloud service models available.

Oracle Cloud Service Models

Oracle's Cloud service models can be divided into two primary categories: Infrastructure as a Service, which allows users to request the physical infrastructure required to run applications; and Platform as a Service, which provides the database components required by applications.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Service Model: In the IaaS model, users request servers that are created as guest virtual machines, or Guest VMs.

    The IaaS model allows users to request Guest VMs using the Self Service Portal in Enterprise Manager. It also allows users to specify an assembly or a template that is to be deployed on the requested Guest VMs. Using pre-packaged assemblies consisting of the operating system, database software and middleware software, a platform can be deployed using this service.

    Users can monitor the services provided using the Self Service Portal and perform limited management operations as permitted. They can also run chargeback reports to review resource usage and chargeback amounts calculated for the resources consumed.

    IaaS cloud infrastructure can be built out of Oracle hardware and software components such as Oracle VM, Oracle Solaris, Oracle Enterprise Linux, and so on, or it may have 3rd party components.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) Service Model: The PaaS model allows you to create platforms onto which consumers can deploy their own applications. A platform resource is typically comprised of a host, an operating system, an Oracle WebLogic Application server - all of which can be virtualized. It can also include an Oracle database or RAC cluster.

    Models available with PaaS include:

    • Database as a Service (DBaaS) Service Model: In this model, users can request database services (single instance or RAC) through the Self Service Portal. DBaaS is implemented through several options:

      • Virtual Machine Based: The database is deployed as a part of a virtual assembly or template, and several virtual machines share the same physical server. This offers the maximum level of isolation (at the operating system level).

      • Shared Cluster: The database is deployed on existing clusterware. Typically the grid infrastructure (Oracle Clusterware, ASM) and database software is pre-installed; the Cloud service essentially consists of the deployment of databases on top of that infrastructure.

      • Shared Installation: The database is deployed as a single instance database on an existing database installation.

      • Pluggable Database as a Service: A pluggable database is deployed. This model provides high consolidation, and minimal administrative and maintenance overhead.

      • Snap Clone: You can make a thin-clone using copy on write technology of the database. This model requires minimal space, provides instantaneous cloning, and is ideal for functional testing.

      • Full Clone: You can make a full copy of the database. This model is ideal for load testing with significant data updates.

      • Shared Database (Schema as a Service): The database service is a schema deployment on an existing database. It is assumed for purposes of metering and chargeback that each of the consumers of the database will use a different service while accessing the database. This service model is also referred to as Schema as a Service.

      As in IaaS, users are allowed to perform a few administrative tasks such as start/stop, backup, and recovery of databases. Chargeback reports are also made available for Self Service users.

Oracle Cloud Anatomy

In the Oracle implementation, Clouds are composed of logical zones. Zones are composed of logical pools and pools are composed of targets on hosts.

The pools in an IaaS zone are collections of one or more Oracle VM servers and their associated storage resources. The pools in DBaaS zones are collections of one or more Oracle Database homes (used for database requests), or databases (used for schema requests) of the same platform and version (for example, Oracle Database RAC on Oracle Linux 6 x86-64), or Oracle Middleware homes of the same platform and version (for example, Oracle Database on Linux x86-64).

In either IaaS or PaaS, Self Service users will request resources at the zone level from a catalog of templates. Enterprise Manager will then determine which pool in the chosen zone can be used to satisfy the request. The needed Enterprise Manager jobs will be initiated on one or more hosts in the selected pool to create the entities required to fulfill the request.

In an IaaS Cloud, self-service users request that servers be created. These are actually guest virtual machines, or Guest VMs. A single IaaS request may result in one or more virtual machines being created complete with database(s), middleware software and deployed applications.

In the DBaaS view, you can request a new Database or schemas in existing databases be created. In the PDBaaS view, you can request a new Pluggable database.

Databases can be single instance or RAC, depending upon the zones and catalog templates to which the user has access.

Figure Figure 1-1 shows the Cloud anatomy.

Figure 1-1 Cloud Anatomy

Cloud Anatomy

IaaS Components

The IaaS Cloud model consists of the following components:

  • Cloud: A Cloud is a set of storage pools, server pools and zones under the programmatic control of a Cloud Controller and the administrative control of the Cloud Administrator. The Cloud Administrator works with the Cost Center Administrator who has paid for the cloud to determine a resource allocation and charge back policy that meets their needs.

  • Zone: A Cloud can consist of one of more zones. A zone is a logical grouping of resources - for example, servers and storage entities - that facilitate self-service provisioning and administration. A typical zone may consist of hundreds to thousands of servers.

    A zone can be an empty zone or consist of a set of server pools. The second case may be simple to set up and will not require shared storage; however no HA and live migration is permitted within this zone.

    Zones are non-overlapping, which means that a resource can only belong to one zone. However, resources within a zone may be accessible from another zone. For example, it is possible for a virtual machine in Zone 1 to interact with a virtual machine in another zone.

  • Server Pool: A server pool is a set of tightly coupled group of servers (typically up to 32 servers) that hosts a set of Guest VMs. The servers are assumed to be largely homogeneous in capabilities and in connectivity. High Availability and Live Migration is permitted within a server pool boundary. Each server pool needs to have access to a shared storage subsystem (which could just be an NFS mount point) to facilitate live migration. In addition, access to a clustered file system may be required to maintain the HA heartbeat file.

  • Storage Entity: A storage entity is an individual file system or block store. Each storage entity is served by a storage pool. Some entities are free standing and will exist until they are deleted. Other storage entities that are associated with one or more Guest VMs are deleted when those VMs are retired.

  • Storage Pool: A storage pool is an abstract storage system that hosts a set of storage entities. A storage pool is generally implemented using a set of storage devices such as disks, SSDs, and storage servers.

DBaaS Components

The DBaaS Cloud structures consist of the following:

  • PaaS Infrastructure Zone: A PaaS infrastructure zone is a group of hosts. Each resource in a zone represents a location at which a service instance is to be deployed.

    Before you enable or setup DBaaS, you must create a PaaS Infrastructure Zone which allows you to define the placement policy constraints for a specified set of targets and the users to whom this zone will be available.

  • Software Pool: A software pool is a set of homogeneous resources. You can create software pools for DBaaS. A Database Pool, which is created in DBaaS, is a collection of database homes, databases, or container databases depending on the type of cloud service model selected.

    A software pool has the following constraints:

    • A target can belong to only one software pool.
    • The name of the software pool and the version cannot be modified after it has been created.
    • All targets in a software pool must be homogeneous.
    • A service template can use multiple zones but only one software pool within each zone.
  • Database Provisioning Profile: A database provisioning profile is an entity that captures source database information for provisioning. A profile can represent a complete database or a set of related schemas that form an application.
  • Service Template: A service template is a standardized service definition that is offered to self service users to create databases, schemas, or middleware services.

Accessing Oracle Cloud Features

Access to the Oracle Cloud features is either through the standard Enterprise Manager console, or the Self Service Portal, which is also part of Enterprise Manager.

Access to the rest of the Enterprise Manager functionality is restricted. This allows enterprises to safely implement Clouds without worrying about exposing the entire infrastructure to the end users.

Enterprise Manager Cloud Control Console

Administrators will use the Enterprise Manager Cloud Control console to set up, monitor, and manage Cloud services. Each service is managed using a page specific to that service. For example, IaaS, and DBaaS have their own pages that can be accessed directly from the Cloud Summary page or from the Enterprise Manager menu.

The Enterprise Manager Cloud Summary page is a single pane that contains the summary of all Cloud services. Enterprise Manager enables a layer of abstraction that hides the underlying complexities of the application from the end-user. This abstraction is delivered via a self-service interface, both in Graphical User Interface (GUI) and Application Programming User Interface (API).

Self Service Portal

To directly manage the Cloud infrastructure, Enterprise Manager provides an out-of-the-box Self Service Portal that allows self-service users to access Cloud services (provisioning applications) without IT intervention. It provides several pre-packaged virtual assemblies and templates for on-demand provisioning, tracks usage of services and resources, and allows data to be used for Chargeback reports and capacity planning.

The Self Service Portal is the Home Page for the self service user. Users who have the necessary privileges can navigate between Services pages by clicking the appropriate radio button. How you use the Portal will vary depending on the type of service you are managing.