Specialized: E-Business Suite deployment on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Specialized, one of the largest manufacturers and marketers of bicycles and related products, was looking for a complete, platform-level migration from their existing on-premises solution to the cloud.

Specialized had an on-premises deployment of software applications, components, and services for their Oracle E-Business Suite solution. The solution enabled customers to order products from the web, supports point-of-sale transactions, and enables Specialized to ship products to customers.

These complex solutions have stringent security requirements and require robust infrastructure. In addition, the seasonal nature of the business can create challenges for scaling infrastructure and data processing.

Specialized had the following key challenges with their on-premises deployment:

  • No disaster recovery setup, mainly relying on native high availability of the solution
  • The ongoing cost and effort required to maintain on-premises infrastructure and hardware
  • The amount of time required to scale the solution both horizontally and vertically
  • The amount of time required to deploy new applications

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure solves these key challenges in the following ways:

  • Provides multiregion disaster recovery solutions with full capability of application and database backup
  • On-demand infrastructure resource creation with dynamic scaling to meet increased traffic demands
  • Real application cluster database with high availability using Exadata Cloud Service and virtual machine (VM) database service
  • Segregation and segmentation of applications through public and private subnets
  • Enhanced load-balancing capabilities using public and private load balancers
  • Improved security posture with Identity and Access Management (IAM) service and customized security policies per subnet
  • Performance improvement by eight times in transaction and batch processing with Exadata Cloud database system

Customer Story

Learn more about Specialized's journey to Oracle Cloud:

Learn more about Specialized's innovative disaster recovery (DR) and reporting solution:

Architecture

Specialized used three virtual cloud networks (VCNs) with multiple subnets in a hub-spoke architecture with NAT and local peering gateways. Components (application, database, tools, and web interface) were deployed in multiple subnets (both public and private). These subnets also helped in deploying applications with their own customized security policies.

The applications perform the following functions:

  • External interface with external customers with global web services deployed using Oracle WebLogic Server
  • Internal interface with third-party vendor applications for tasks such as distribution, printing, and handling Oracle E-Business Suite transactions
  • Interface with different point of sale (POS) and payment systems
  • B2B portal (9ias) interacting with legacy systems, retailers, and business partners globally

For reliable and fast connectivity, Specialized uses Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect. This service not only helped to quickly transfer more than 8 TB of data but also enables Specialized to connect with other cloud providers.

A multiregion deployment provides disaster recovery by replicating and synchronizing applications, binaries, and databases (using Oracle Data Guard). Dynamic scaling in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure also provides the ability to scale up in case of a disaster event at the primary site.

Specialized went from proof of concept to full deployment in a short amount of time. As part of this complex migration, Specialized first migrated their Agile database to production and then other databases and application components in the second phase. Migration to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure not only meets their existing demand but provides the flexibility to support future growth.

Specialized is exploring Oracle Integration service, which provides prebuilt integration points and can be used to integrated legacy applications.

The following diagram illustrates the architecture that Specialized deployed in a single region.



The following diagram illustrates the architecture that Specialized deployed across multiple regions.



The architecture has the following components:
  • Region

    An Oracle Cloud Infrastructure region is a localized geographic area that contains one or more data centers, called availability domains. Regions are independent of other regions, and vast distances can separate them (across countries or even continents).

    All the resources in this architecture are deployed in a single region.

  • Availability domain

    Availability domains are standalone, independent data centers within a region. The physical resources in each availability domain are isolated from the resources in the other availability domains, which provides fault tolerance. Availability domains don’t share infrastructure such as power or cooling, or the internal availability domain network. So, a failure at one availability domain is unlikely to affect the other availability domains in the region.

  • Compartment

    Compartments are cross-region logical partitions within an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure tenancy. Use compartments to organize your resources in Oracle Cloud, control access to the resources, and set usage quotas. To control access to the resources in a given compartment, you define policies that specify who can access the resources and what actions they can perform.

  • VCN and subnets

    A VCN is a customizable, software-defined network that you set up in an Oracle Cloud Infrastructure region. Like traditional data center networks, VCNs give you complete control over your network environment. A VCN can have multiple non-overlapping CIDR blocks that you can change after you create the VCN. You can segment a VCN into subnets, which can be scoped to a region or to an availability domain. Each subnet consists of a contiguous range of addresses that don't overlap with the other subnets in the VCN. You can change the size of a subnet after creation. A subnet can be public or private.

    This architecture uses a single VCN, with separate subnets for the load balancer, web servers, application servers, and database.

  • Dynamic routing gateway (DRG)

    The DRG is a virtual router that provides a path for private network traffic between a VCN and a network outside the region, such as a VCN in another Oracle Cloud Infrastructure region, an on-premises network, or a network in another cloud provider.

    For fast and reliable connectivity from their on-premises network to Oracle Cloud, Alliance Data chose Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect.

  • Local peering gateway (LPG)

    An LPG enables you to peer one VCN with another VCN in the same region. Peering means the VCNs communicate using private IP addresses, without the traffic traversing the internet or routing through your on-premises network.

  • Remote peering gateway (RPG)

    Remote peering allows the VCNs' resources to communicate using private IP addresses without routing the traffic over the internet or through your on-premises network. Remote peering eliminates the need for an internet gateway and public IP addresses for the instances that need to communicate with another VCN in a different region.

  • NAT gateway

    The NAT gateway enables private resources in a VCN to access hosts on the internet, without exposing those resources to incoming internet connections.

  • Route tables

    Virtual route tables contain rules to route traffic from subnets to destinations outside a VCN, typically through gateways.

  • Security lists

    For each subnet, you can create security rules that specify the source, destination, and type of traffic that must be allowed in and out of the subnet.

  • Load balancer

    The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Load Balancing service provides automated traffic distribution from a single entry point to multiple servers in the back end.

  • Compute VMs

    The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute service enables you provision and manage compute hosts in the cloud. You can launch compute instances with shapes that meet your resource requirements (CPU, memory, network bandwidth, and storage). After creating a compute instance, you can access it securely, restart it, attach and detach volumes, and terminate it when you don't need it.

    The architecture includes compute VMs for the web servers and the application servers.

  • Exadata database

    Exadata Cloud Service enables you to leverage the power of Exadata in the cloud. You can provision flexible X8M systems that allow you to add database compute servers and storage servers to your system as your needs grow. X8M systems offer RoCE (RDMA over Converged Ethernet) networking for high bandwidth and low latency, persistent memory (PMEM) modules, and intelligent Exadata software. You can provision X8M systems by using a shape that's equivalent to a quarter-rack X8 system, and then add database and storage servers at any time after provisioning.

    To migrate their on-premises Exadata databases to the Exadata Cloud Service, Alliance Data employed a variety of strategies depending on the size of each database. Smaller databases were migrated by exporting data from the on-premises environment and importing the data to the cloud. For the larger databases, Alliance Data implemented a phased switchover by replicating data from the on-premises databases to the cloud using Oracle Data Guard. After migration, all data resides in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Exadata database.

  • Database Systems

    Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers single-node database systems on either bare metal or virtual machines, and 2-node RAC database systems on virtual machines.

  • Data Guard

    Oracle Data Guard provides a comprehensive set of services that create, maintain, manage, and monitor one or more standby databases to enable production Oracle databases to remain available without interruption. Oracle Data Guard maintains these standby databases as copies of the production database. Then, if the production database becomes unavailable because of a planned or an unplanned outage, Oracle Data Guard can switch any standby database to the production role, minimizing the downtime associated with the outage.

  • Object storage

    Object storage provides quick access to large amounts of structured and unstructured data of any content type, including database backups, analytic data, and rich content such as images and videos. Use standard storage for "hot" storage that you need to access quickly, immediately, and frequently. Use archive storage for "cold" storage that you retain for long periods of time and seldom or rarely access.

Explore More

Learn more about the features of this architecture.

Best practices framework for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure