You may already have a database Disaster Recovery (DR) strategy and are updating it, or you could be starting from scratch. Regardless, there are significant benefits for your business by including cloud services in the mix. These are discussed along with the first steps to get you started on with your DR on AWS.
Clouds… up until a few years ago they were just white fluffy things in the sky. But nowadays if you mention the word 'cloud', most people – not just IT professionals - will know what you are talking about.
The cloud computing discussion has really gathered steam over the past few years, and has been talked about many times, from many different angles. Some say it is a good thing, while others just don’t want to know about it. But the reality remains that over time the offerings have improved, and are getting better and better, so that today you find companies, both small and large, making use of cloud computing.
If you are not that familiar with cloud technology you may ask, but why? Why use it when I have my own datacenter? A short answer to this is not as easy as it may seem, and if you search the web you will find there are many divergent perspectives here. But one of the big advantages the cloud has for both small and large companies is the fact that the cloud service provider is responsible for maintaining and looking after the infrastructure such as servers, physical networking and storage. What this means is that you don’t need your own datacenter, and all the time and costs that go along with this. It is no secret that setting up and maintaining your own datacenter can be complex and expensive, as you touch on areas such as power consumption, air-conditioning, storage systems, servers and networking, to just name a few. But with cloud computing, you are not responsible for these. Your service provider will maintain the infrastructure related services, leaving you to run your business.
In addition to this, another of the major advantages is that you just pay for what you use. If you require a temporary system for a proof of concept you can establish it in the cloud and once done, decommission it straight away.
You will likely be familiar with the cloud concept, and have possibly even had some dealings with it, but if not then I do recommend you read up on it as you might be surprised by the possibilities it can accommodate. While it may not suit everyone, it is worth at least evaluating as in many cases the cost saving can be substantial.
To tie all this to a specific example, we’ll take a look at Amazon Web Services (AWS), which is one of the most well known and proven cloud computing environments available. AWS now allows you to have your Oracle Standard Edition standby database in the cloud using Dbvisit Standby. With this you have the option to run either a mixed model, where you have your standby or primary in the cloud (AWS), or you can run both in the cloud. The latest versions of Dbvisit Standby are fully certified with Oracle databases running on Amazon’s EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) instances. For a quick overview of Amazon’s EC2 please see here.
To get started with Oracle, Dbvisit Standby and AWS EC2 you are first required to create an account with AWS. The registration process will request your credit card details, but don’t be alarmed, as you only get charged for what you use. So registration is free, but note that when you create EC2 instances you will be charged for what you use. The pricing in most regions is calculated on a per hour basis, based on the instance resource allocations and time used. This is a useful link and a good starting point to get an understanding of the costs involved.
Some of the advantages of using cloud computing include lower costs, scalability, fast deployment capabilities and you can use your existing licenses (also referred to as 'bring your own'). For more details on Oracle licensing using Amazon AWS see this document.
For more hands on exploration of this topic, register for the upcoming live webinar ‘Start with Oracle disaster recovery on AWS'.
Author: Anton Els
An Oracle 11g Certified Master, with more than 13 years experience with Oracle Databases, and extensive Solaris and Linux knowledge, Anton is a highly motivated individual who enjoys working in a challenging environment. His certifications include Oracle 11g OCP, Solaris 10 SCSA and Red Hat 5 RHCSA.