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Make the Most Of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

Table of Contents

    The challenges that businesses face today have become more complex and demanding than before. However, the advancement of technology has risen to meet these challenges and present unique solutions.

    Cloud services are the new normal. Businesses are no longer asking why they should implement the use of cloud technology, but when, how and which one?

    Within such a saturated industry of cloud infrastructure options, the cloud service that stands out amongst the rest is the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). It allows businesses to easily and efficiently migrate their operations and workloads without losing or altering the aspects that have been working effectively for them.

    Oracle customers can take advantage of OCI to solve a number of the complex, never-ending business challenges that they may be facing. OCI has been designed to provide a simple migration process, and to integrate with the most popular programs, softwares and tech stacks that you are already using to ensure a seamless transition.

    Below we’ll discuss the key advantages of implementing OCI as your primary business solution and how to get started with your journey to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

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    1. Solutions for Modern Problems

    As mentioned above, businesses are continuously facing new challenges. There is never a shortage of issues or demanding constraints that force businesses to look outside the realm of traditional solutions.

    Furthermore, businesses have different needs today compared to ten years ago or when they first introduced cloud services into their internal operations. Users, consumers, and partners are also constantly bringing new challenges to the table.

    Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has evolved over the years to adapt to the modern landscape. It consistently develops new solutions, introduces innovative technology and establishes valuable partnerships to meet the ever-changing needs of businesses today.

    2. Solutions for Speed and Agility

    One of the primary demands that OCI addresses is the need for speed and agility. From carrying out a new deployment to managing maintenance for an existing technology investment or delivering a new product or solution, businesses want to be able to do so efficiently. OCI delivers technology that offers a faster, more dependable solution that allows businesses to compete in today’s world.

    3. Solutions for Protection

    Security has always been one of the most important aspects of a business. In recent years, we’ve witnessed some of the largest companies in the world experience security breaches, which resulted in millions of data rows with private information being exposed. These occurrences meant that these major companies were being put at risk.

    Protection from these risks and breaches for organizations, employees, and consumers is paramount as more and more business activities join the virtual frontier. Looking towards the future, businesses do not want and should not have to make any compromises when it comes to their security needs.

    OCI provides businesses with more tools for monitoring plus local and global compliance that ensure their security needs are met.

    4. Solutions for Efficiency

    Businesses want to do more with less. This has traditionally been associated with the ability to achieve more with a smaller investment in the technology and software that they deploy.

    Today, businesses have come to expect more out of their software vendors. Automation for efficiency is a prime differentiator in the modern market, meaning that when a business purchases software or technology they expect the vendor to provide automation and efficiency capabilities that differentiate them from others in the market. This has become one of the main criteria for choosing cloud services.

    OCI provides tools for productivity and automation for efficiency. It offers innovative capabilities that make it easier for their customers to integrate, while also supporting built in adapters, options for analytics and lifecycle management and more.

    5. Solutions for Supporting the Customer’s Choices

    As cloud services become more of the norm for businesses throughout the world, it is important to recognize that migration does not necessarily happen overnight. Moving applications and workloads onto a cloud infrastructure takes time.

    The process of migrating a business’s operations onto the cloud can be time consuming for various reasons. These reasons can include the fact that certain workloads need refactoring or upgrading before they’re suitable for the cloud and a business’s future requirements.

    On the other hand, some applications may never move to the cloud. Instead, they may remain in an on-premise customer data center, due to data privacy or other security concerns. Other applications may have an end of life, which would mean that it doesn’t make sense for them to become a part of the cloud solution.

    Customers will always have applications in their own data center or a hosted location in addition to their cloud services. Taking all of these factors into consideration, customers want choice. They want to be able to control how and what applications or workloads they choose to migrate onto the cloud.

    OCI provides the best hybrid solutions and multi-cloud integrations that allow customers to leverage the security, integration, connectivity and management tools available in the market to meet their specific needs. Rather than relying solely on a singular cloud infrastructure, customers can distribute their workloads among different platforms that integrate with each other seamlessly.

    6. Solutions for Tracking, Measuring and Reporting

    Tracking, measuring and reporting key performance metrics is a priority for most businesses to be able to evaluate the efficiency and return on investment of implementing any software or technology. The capabilities to perform these evaluations have become a determining factor in choosing a cloud service for businesses.

    In the past, businesses have shelled out millions of dollars on large packaged applications, softwares and their implementations. However, these packages have lacked the tools and processes to perform the measuring capabilities to see how their investment in these products has paid off. This has led to businesses questioning their decision to invest.

    The ability to measure and report on the performance of these products is essential to delivering value. Cloud customers today utilize specific metrics to evaluate future solutions. The following is a list of just a few of these key metrics:

    • Cost savings
    • Performance Improvement
    • Maintenance Windows
    • Online Processes
    • Integration Performance
    • Security Monitoring Reports
    • Compliance Reports

    With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, businesses are provided with the right tools to measure progress, track performance, manage proactively, and report on outcomes and the ROI of their cloud infrastructure. OCI allows its customers to track how much they spend on a granular level, including by hour, by department, by workload or on a monthly or annual basis to provide detailed insight into how OCI is meeting their business needs and how they can optimize moving forward.

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    Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Overview

    To successfully achieve these solutions, companies are realizing they must leave behind the traditional models of on-premise data hosting (for the most part). Moving their operations to a cloud platform has become a necessity in order to attain scalability and innovation.

    Over the years, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has consistently risen to meet the growing challenges that businesses experience and has become a front runner for cloud services and solutions. At a high level, OCI offers services to govern, secure, manage and automate workloads.

    • Governance: IAM, Tagging, and Cost Analysis
    • Security: IAM, Audit, KMS, CASB
    • Management: Monitoring, Notifications, Alarms
    • Automation: Resource Manager, Ansible

    There are a number of different aspects within each of these areas of service for Public and Government regions. OCI’s governance tools give customers the ability to containerize their workloads using open source solutions like Kubernetes. Additionally, OCI offers elite computing capabilities.

    OCI also provides powerful solutions for data management, movement and storage, and autonomous database options that can be used for essential business analytics such as transactional processing, fast provisioning, automatic tuning, patching and data warehousing with 99.995% availability. The storage capabilities ensure predictable IOPS Block Storage for up to 98% less and for a whole lifecycle.

    For compliance and security functionality, OCI also implements isolated networks with reserved IPs, security lists, and firewalls. These include VCN, LBaaS, FastConnect and VPN.

    Among the newer capabilities that Oracle has announced within the last three to six months are its powerful automation tools including Cloud native events, streaming, and other functions. More specifically, these tools allow customers to have the option of fully managed FaaS event-triggered functions, high data volume ingest and notifications.

    All of these comprehensive services and solutions are available for government sectors that need solutions and tools that are sufficient for compliance and security. OCI services are also compatible with the needs of public or more commercial sectors that have less constricted requirements.

    Take Advantage of OCI’s Partnerships and Integrations

    As mentioned above, one of the most common concerns that businesses have and a key factor in choosing the right cloud service is the desire and need for choice. Businesses prefer working with a hybrid solution to address their unique challenges.

    OCI offers extensive partnerships with other cloud services to offer seamless workload interoperability and integration. The following is a list of the integrations that Oracle Cloud provides.

    • Technology Integration
    • Application Interoperability
    • Ecosystem Alignment
    • Performance and Security
    • Simplified Implementation

    Oracle Cloud Infrastructure has developed an integration with Microsoft Azure, including the following capabilities:

    • Azure DevOps
    • Azure Stream Analytics
    • Azure Databricks
    • Azure Cognitive Services
    • Azure IoT Hub
    • Azure Kubernetes Services
    • And more

    OCI and Microsoft’s partnership allows customers to operate their workloads in both cloud platforms. It also allows customers to communicate through InterConnect, which is an incredibly fast networking pipe that gives them the ability to transfer data between workloads efficiently, as if they’re sitting right next to each other. Applications can be run smoothly on either cloud service.

    Microsoft and Oracle are also currently working on developing artificial intelligence and chatbot capabilities for both platforms.

    Additionally, OCI has teamed up with VMware Solutions offering a full stack software-defined data center on Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud. This software enables businesses to easily extend and/or migrate their existing on-premises VMware infrastructure and applications to the Oracle Cloud without needing to re-architect or re-tool any operations.

    While Microsoft and VMware Solutions are two of the biggest partnerships with Oracle, there are several integrations that Oracle offers for interoperability, workload deployment and analytic resources.

    Designing Your OCI Roadmap

    Every business has unique needs for implementing the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. This means that their journey to start achieving success with the solutions provided by OCI will begin at different places.

    For some enterprises, the OCI journey begins with migrating their PeopleSoft, EBS, Ellucian Banner, and other Oracle DB related applications to the cloud and leveraging the platform’s automation capabilities. Other companies may need to start with establishing disaster recovery to ensure continuity throughout their business with the Oracle Cloud for their applications and DB.

    Companies may also begin their OCI journey with the immediate need to obtain insight into their ERP, CRM, sales, or other data. Starting with analytics offers a no-code approach to gathering these data insights and rich data visualizations.

    Many other Oracle customers may only require the need to build new Cloud native applications, integrate existing applications and extend others, using the latest tools and technology that OCI provides.

    There is no set path. Oracle customers can begin using the cloud platform at whatever point makes sense for their unique business criteria and needs. No matter where the journey begins, implementing Oracle Cloud Infrastructure requires a detailed and strategic plan to successfully integrate its solutions.

    Furthermore, businesses are finding that all roads lead to the cloud model through the use of SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Employees no longer want to be in charge of procuring, tracking and maintaining hardware on-site. They would rather put their trust in a cloud vendor.

    There are four paths we recognize that customers are taking that lead away from the traditional data center model and result in integration to the cloud.

    • Migrate: Migration means taking existing applications and workloads as they are and relocating them onto the cloud infrastructure. This includes applications such as PeopleSoft or Non-Oracle Applications like Ellucian Banner ERP on Oracle DB on MSSQL server (which is common in the education industry today).
    • Optimize: The optimization path is for businesses that want to move to the cloud with intentions of improving security, performance, monitoring services, and implementing business continuity plans. A business continuity plan is for customers that need scalability and cost-efficiency.
    • Refactor: This path refers to the process of a business rebuilding applications so that they are suitable for the cloud and the future of their business. Refactoring is usually used in the context of legacy applications. Their applications can be rebuilt or refactored with Kubernetes, Terraform or other open source tools.
    • Transform: The transformation phase is not only about migration to the cloud, but also retooling or recreating a business’s processes and aligning the business with the future state solutions that are important to their unique needs and pain points. Transformation allows for a more efficient way for a business to operate. The applications will be retooled into more data centric applications with high bandwidth and high performance requirements.

    OCI Performance-Based SLA Features that Make the Difference

    Service Level Agreements (SLAs) for performance on public Cloud have become increasingly crucial in terms of setting quality service standards, managing expectations, addressing liabilities and responsibilities, and designing frameworks for handling and providing support during outages.

    Well-defined SLAs are, in fact, non-negotiable, especially when many mission-critical business operations largely depend on the reliability and quality of these services provided by Cloud infrastructure providers. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services offer industry-leading SLAs that provide assurances to small and large enterprises to confidently deploy their mission-critical application workloads on OCI.

    Oracle offers ‘end-to-end’ SLAs that cover the entire gamut of availability, manageability, and performance, which differentiates Oracle from other Cloud providers who only offer basic availability and do not include performance SLAs. Here are the categories of OCI SLAs.

    • Availability: To ensure that mission-critical workloads on OCI are highly available.
    • Manageability: To provide manageability, empowering you to manage resources with an elastic and configurable infrastructure.
    • Performance: To provide industry-leading, Cloud performance SLA, giving customers higher assurance on its Cloud infrastructure for enterprise applications.

    A Brief Comparison of OCI SLA vs Amazon AWS SLA

    Statistics have shown that Oracle provides an approximate 99.99% SLA for virtual machines whereas Amazon provides the same at 99.95%. With respect to the Oracle Cloud database, Oracle’s SLA = (100% – what they define as ‘the average of the Error Rates from each one-hour period in any given month of the Services Period’).

    “If the vendor provides an SLA of 99.9% uptime for any unit of time, after how many units of time will the probability of the system going down equal to certainty, i.e. 100%?”

    Oracle, with an SLA of 99.9%, has a (1 – 99.9%) = 1/1,000) chance of it being down at any given time. Therefore, after 1,000 units of uptime, you can expect a 1,000(1/1,000) = 100% chance of at least one outage.

    Essentially, OCI’s Service Level Agreement (SLA) policy allows you to define your own standards of performance for your business applications, and subsequently monitor any deviations from those standards.

    Service / Resource

    Measurement

    Monthly SLA Percentage

    Oracle Service Credit if SLA Breached

    Compute local NVMe drive

    Disk IOPS

    Resource performance greater than 90% of published performance, 99.9% of the time

    10% / 25%

    Block Volumes

    Disk IOPS

    Resource performance greater than 90% of published performance, 99.9% of the time

    10% / 25%

    Network

    Network performance

    Resource performance greater than 90% of published performance, 99.9% of the time

    10% / 25%

    With OCI, expedite your time-to-market with these key differentiators:

    • Allows definition of multiple performance objectives, and each objective when violated, triggers a failure value for ease of tracking.
    • Increased reliability in the enterprise application infrastructure with more than just accessibility of IaaS resources that consistently helps deliver optimum performance.
    • Guaranteed optimum performance whilst ensuring consistency and accessibility and the ability to monitor and manage resources running on the Cloud in the event of a mission critical breakdown.
    • Enhanced availability where Oracle offers different discounts if service levels are breached in any of the areas.
    • Rapid resolution with the least restrictive service level agreement in the event of an issue triggering multiple instances where a Service Commitment for a given OCI service is not met.
    • Service Credits offered for underlying compute resources consumed by customers making the claims.

    Selecting the Right Cloud MSP for Your Business

    As more and more Oracle customers adopt Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for their computing needs, get out of the data center business and focus on their core mission. They are also looking to hire qualified Oracle Cloud Managed Service Providers (OCI MSP) who can manage their workloads on Oracle Cloud.

    The benefits of using an experienced cloud Managed Services Provider (MSP) to migrate your workloads to Cloud are well known. Managing workloads post-migration requires specialized skills and a deep understanding of the Cloud provider’s environment and the tools to optimize its use.

    What Does an Oracle MSP Do?

    An Oracle MSP’s assistance starts with advising you on how to begin your OCI roadmap and establishing a catered-to-you cloud strategy. They will walk you through the process of identifying your specific pain points and needs, developing your strategy, completing an analysis, and suggesting workshops for you to learn more.

    The next step in your cloud journey with a Cloud MSP is to migrate your operations and workloads onto the cloud. You can think of this stage as the “Move and Improve” or “Lift and Shift” stage. You’ll relocate and begin running your existing applications on the cloud without having to rearchitect them unless it is necessary to do so. Any applications that need to be retooled or recreated will be upgraded, and your partner will also establish your disaster recovery and security monitoring services.

    Once your applications have been migrated and upgraded, your Oracle Partner will assist you in managing your cloud experience with service level agreement (SLA) based services. You will continue to work together to run and maintain, and continuously optimize your cloud solutions to keep up with the ever-changing needs of your business.

    The Oracle Cloud is constantly evolving and introducing new technology. For this reason, an MSP can help you extend and improve your experience with OCI to ensure that you are making the most out of their solutions.

    Not all MSPs are created equal. Most, if not all, will demonstrate capability and competency through certifications, third-party audits, and compliance requirements. However, there is more to MSP than just technical skills. The ideal OCI MSP partner, in addition to demonstrating technical expertise and experience on Oracle Cloud managing Oracle and Non-Oracle workloads, will need to have additional characteristics that will define your future success on the cloud.

    Here are the key characteristics to look out for when selecting the right MSP for your business:

    Industry Focus

    While Oracle ERP applications may largely be the same regardless of industry, the business processes, regulatory requirements, audit and compliance requirements, and culture vary significantly from one industry to another. The right Oracle Cloud MSP will not only understand your applications and the OCI architecture it will run on but also be able to offer services that meet your business needs.

    Your cloud MSP should be able to provide effective governance through a flexible, hybrid delivery model. Through well-integrated processes and technologies, the MSP should be able to demonstrate their ability to secure your workloads, apply and manage security policies to secure personally identifiable information. They should also be able to follow industry best practices in managing workloads such as HIPAA for healthcare, GDPR across all industries, and more.

    Broad Capabilities

    When starting out on your Oracle Cloud journey, you may first consider deploying PeopleSoft on OCI, or Oracle databases on OCI in your first project. While you must evaluate and select a partner with the depth of expertise to help you succeed, you must also consider your Cloud roadmap and see what other workloads you want to migrate in future phases. This is also the time to decide whether the OCI MSP is capable of expanding its services to meet your needs. Ask if the MSP is capable of supporting Non-Oracle workloads and is able to support multi-cloud deployments that include OCI, Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud.

    The MSP should ensure that it can build and deploy on-demand cloud services through a hybrid service delivery environment and maintain a safe and current environment that your business-critical applications are run on, including industry-leading software on the latest-generation hardware and are supported by world-class infrastructure.

    Provider Relationships

    It is important to inquire about what relationships the OCI MSP has in the Oracle ecosystem and how deep and broad their network is. The right MSP will have ties into OCI Product Management, OCI Engineering, Channels and Alliances, Sales, and Marketing teams to name a few. They will be tightly integrated with the Oracle Cloud Success team to ensure that you are successful.

    Automation Capabilities

    With every new release, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is adding more services and better tools and utilities to deploy and maintain them. The OCI Console is a starting point for novices to configure, create and manage workloads but it is not where experts spend their time. Expert MSP Partners know that Infrastructure As Code automation using tools such as Terra-form or Ansible is the industry standard and they adopt them as best practices.

    They also know that above the Infrastructure layer there are specific tools for Cloud Platform management and application life-cycle management that you may need for your Enterprise applications such as speakers. So the ideal partner would be one that can combine all of these automation capabilities and package them such that you get the benefits of a stringent SLA, improve performance, better monitoring, and audit compliance. When starting your Oracle Cloud journey, your MSP partner should demonstrate codified best practices in a suite of tools, automated capabilities, and collaboration models that can handle migration and ongoing management.

    Delivering on the Cloud Promise

    The right MSP is one that can talk the talk and walk the walk. Your success depends on it. You may set out on your cloud journey with the promise of cost savings, performance improvements, an extensive repository of platform and infrastructure services that you can tap into, enhance security controls, and much more. It’s easier said than done.

    The MSP partner to choose is the one who can show you before you evaluate and select that they have helped your peers and other similar customers not only achieve their goals but have measured outcomes and proven their success. Your MSP Partner should be your partner for continuous optimization, one that provides cost controls, governance, and accountability that ensure you generate long-term benefit.

    In Conclusion

    As more and more businesses ditch the outdated model of an on-premise data center hosting and move towards using cloud solutions for their business needs, they are seeing major improvements in their day to day operations, interdepartmental communication and customer experience. Cloud services have become a necessary tool for all industries and an effective way to accelerate growth and scalability.

    Companies are no longer asking why they should migrate to a cloud infrastructure. The answer is clear. The questions being asked today are “How do I migrate my business onto the cloud?” and “Which cloud infrastructure is right for my business?”

    If you ask any major enterprise which cloud infrastructure they prefer, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure will most likely be the answer. OCI offers comprehensive solutions that address the most significant challenges that most businesses are facing today.

    OCI provides extensive tools and software to address modern problems businesses experience. It is continuously introducing new technology, partnerships, and functions to keep up with the evolving needs of businesses.

    Oracle’s software is excellent for accomplishing tasks with speed and agility. It allows businesses to efficiently carry out new deployments, manage their maintenance for an existing technology investment and deliver new products.

    You can be sure that security will be taken care of with OCI. It offers monitoring and compliance tools that ensure protection from risks and security breaches in the modern virtual landscape that is quickly becoming more and more saturated.

    Additionally, OCI gives its customers the right technology for productivity and automation for efficiency. Its innovative capabilities make it easier for customers to integrate their existing workloads and applications, manage lifecycles, and much more. OCI also provides tracking, measuring and reporting software so that customers can analyze the value of their investment.

    But most importantly, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure supports its customers’ desire to have a choice. OCI offers multi-cloud integrations and hybrid solutions to leverage the security, integration, connectivity and management tools available in the market to meet their customers’ specific needs and protect their future interests.

    If you’re ready to move your business onto the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, don’t hesitate. Get started with an Oracle Partner, like Astute Business Solutions, to discuss your business needs, design a Cloud strategy, and set your business on the path to Cloud success today.

    Ready to get started on Oracle Cloud? Schedule a meeing with an Astute team member.

    Arvind Rajan

    Arvind Rajan is Co-Founder and CEO of Astute Business Solutions. He is leading the expansion of Astute services to include Cloud Managed Services, Disaster Recovery on Cloud, and Integration and Process Automation using Platform Cloud Services.

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