Alliance Data Systems faced a challenge that's common to many modern businesses: renew their current data center agreement or move to the cloud.
Alliance Data Systems is a leading global provider of loyalty and marketing services to consumer-facing businesses spanning retail, travel, pharmaceutical, financial services, auto, and more. Their operations were powered by a range of on-premises Oracle applications and technology.
After a thorough evaluation of multiple cloud providers, Alliance Data migrated their on-premises Oracle PeopleSoft applications to Oracle Cloud.
- Keep the PeopleSoft applications on Oracle-managed infrastructure
- Operate a topology that's simple, scalable, and easy to monitor and administer
- Implement granular network security
- Ensure fault-tolerance and high availability
Alliance Data is actively exploring opportunities to migrate additional workloads to Oracle Cloud, with a focus on the autonomous database services.
The multitier cloud topology deployed by Alliance Data is designed for resilience and security.
The resources in each tier are isolated in separate subnets to fulfill tier-specific network security requirements. To ensure high availability of the applications, the resources in the web and application tiers are distributed redundantly across fault-tolerant availability domains. A load balancer distributes client traffic to the web servers.
Alliance Data implemented granular, role-based access to the resources in the cloud by using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Identity and Access Management.
The following diagram illustrates the cloud architecture that Alliance Data deployed.
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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.
The resources in this architecture are distributed across the availability domains in the region.
- 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.
- 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 to provision and manage compute hosts in the cloud. You can launch compute instances with shapes that meet your resource requirements for 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 no longer 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.
Learn more about deploying Oracle PeopleSoft applications in Oracle Cloud.