2011/04/07

cloud services

In the last 48 hours or so there have been two interesting events in the Oracle and IT front in Sydney.

 
First one was the Oracle Cloud Summit at the Sofitel Wentworth.



Like so many other marketing events it had its fair share of "ooh-aahh" stuff.


You know, the usual:   "Exadata can finish work before it started",  "Exalogic can finish it before it was thought out in the first place", yadda yadda, ho hum...


But this one actually was a bit different.  You see, it looked mostly at cloud technology and how to implement it within the Oracle universe.


Now as I hinted here a number of times before, we have actually been gearing up for the private cloud for quite a while now.  And of course anything to do with that is always welcome material.


Within moderation, of course!  :)


How did we prepare for the private cloud?  About 4 years ago we initiated an effort to consolidate the cacophony of database servers and releases we had floating around - a legacy of years of neglect in terms of architecture and lots of "let's use the cheapest services" without the slightest care as to an overall strategy and direction.


I was lucky enough to be backed and followed on by the next level of management who demonstrated a willingness to give it a go and expand the concept across to all IT services. 


Thanks for that, Chris.  With your help, ideas and unwavering support, we now have an ideal platform to expand on a private cloud service that not only works like a charm but - oh, surprise! - actually delivers


In the process we managed to get rid of pre-historic release 7 servers, hardware that was actually and literally rusting, and we managed to squeeze the best performance possible out of hardware and software-based virtualization.


We're at the point where we can provision IaaS easily and quickly for any ad-hoc business requests, with a full infra-structure framework capable of resilience, reliability and with performance near the top of what anyone else can do within our budgetary constraints. 


But the work is not yet finished.


One of the areas that now needs further thought and architecture is the inter-application data movement.  We have a multi-supplier data centre - IBM, Microsoft, EMC, Oracle, RH, etc, so I am always on the lookout for ways to provide multi-vendor data integration.


Hence why this summit was so relevant: for once, Oracle took the initiative and showed a lot of interesting technologies that can be leveraged to provide this.  As well as many other facilities.



One that particularly struck me as incredibly useful was GoldenGate.  Not only is the software child's play to install - although I'm sure adding it to OUI will take away that advantage!... - but it's also dirt easy to configure and get going and it provides an amazing range of features.


I definitely recommend anyone reading this to spend some time investigating this technology.  Not only can it be used to do seamless upgrades - the case study shown in the summit - but it also can be leveraged to provide Dataguard-like resilience to MSSQL, Postgres, DB2, and so on.  As well as allow data transport - filtered or not is a config option - between any of those two!


Now, that is COOL!  One word in my dictionary sums it up:   AWESOME!




The other event was the Sydney Oracle Meetup tele-presentation by Chris Muir  on JDeveloper and web services.


Now don't get me wrong here: I still think that web services, SOAP and all the other alphabet soup that surrounds it is nothing more nothing less than an evolution/re-hash of good old EDI.
In simpler terms: nothing new in concept.  But of course using modern technologies.


I don't mean that in any way in a derogatory sense:  EDI is a necessary technology.  In particular, with the cloud taking off as it is,  EDI becomes even more relevant.


Whatever format its provision takes.


Web Services, SOAP, RPC, XML-based, JAX-WS, who cares: those are just vehicles.  What's important is the trip and the destination!


Chris's presentation re-inforced this feeling: he spends the first half of it actually discussing the whole concept and how it can be approached with a number of architectures and technologies.  And then he shows how easy it can be to implement with JDeveloper.


My use of JDeveloper is admitedly very small.  I used it nearly 10 years ago to show a bunch of websphere fanatics how I could produce a fully functioning web application made up of a number of inter-connected screens in one 10th of the time it took them to decide where to go for coffee!


The tool was already interesting back then.  But now it can do a LOT more.  I was glad the idea of using wizards for code frame generation was still there, although of course much better and much more sophisticated.


Chris did a great job of showing us how JDeveloper can help reduce the coding complexity of the many alphabet soups that seem to surround any web-related project nowadays.


He also showed how it can be used to produce a fully functioning PLSQL-based web service, re-jigged to work in a JAX-WS environment straight out of the stored code in the DB.


THAT was cool!


Note: Chris was careful enough to point out the shortcomings and there are a few.  But provided we are aware of them, it's possible to work around by design/coding.


He then provided some welcome insights into the actual process of actual web services provisioning projects and the possible gotchas that one can expect in such cases.  That was exceedingly useful, in particular in view of the current evolution of our IaaS provision!


Thanks for that, Chris: owe you a drink next time you're in Sydney.


This concept of tele-presentations is actually working a treat for us.  With the tirany of distance affecting greatly the number of opportunities for networking at this level, this technology is actually enabling us to provide a great service to the Sydney Meetup members.  Great idea, Yury!






But enough of the boring stuff.


This is in one of our centres:



I like it: original, intriguing, and yet quite easy on the eye.


Although of course this may be a lot more striking:



a Space Invaders image if I ever saw one, complete with "mothership"!  ;)


But you want weird?  Here it is:



Sydney's  Saint Mary in full "Sydney light show" regalia!



Catchyalata, folks!

2 Comments:

Anonymous Amardeep Sidhu said...

"Exadata can finish work before it started", "Exalogic can finish it before it was thought out in the first place", yadda yadda, ho hum...

Hehehe ;)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011 3:54:00 pm  
Anonymous Doug Burns said...

When your recent post showed up, it reminded me I'd still to come back and comment on this one.

If you'd been in SF you would have had the thrill of seeing Oracle turn all cloudy but a few months after this post!

Monday, November 07, 2011 9:43:00 am  

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