Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Software Defined Networks (SDN)

One hot topic that I would like to discuss today is that of software defined networks (SDN) in respect to Oracle and other database platforms. Key vendors that provide core technologies around this area are provided by VMware, Redhat, and Oracle. First let us cover the basics of SDN.

VMware Software Defined Network

From VMware approach, the new vCloud Director suite provides the tools to implement an end to end software defined network and virtualized ecosystem along with robust technologies such as VMware vCenter and VMware vSphere. According to VMware the Software Data Center:

The Software-Defined Data Center: Operating Principles

Rather than mask the inherent rigidity of specialized hardware under a tangle of scripts, the Software-Defined Data center leapfrogs these constraints to change the way all data center services are delivered.

As implemented in VMware’s vCloud Suite, the virtualization principles of abstraction, pooling and automation are applied to compute, storage, networking, security, and availability. This creates the Virtual Data Center, a new construct that aggregates these software-defined services and enables intelligent, policy-based provisioning, automation, and monitoring. APIs and other connectors provide seamless extensibility to third-party platforms and public cloud services.

Below is the architecture for vCloud environment for SDN:

Taken together, these capabilities comprise VMware Cloud Infrastructure, the virtualized infrastructure at the heart of the Software-Defined Data Center. As highly capable as it is, this “engine” is not sufficient on its own. It must be fully managed, which encompasses everything from delivering access to the right services with the right approvals to ensuring the performance, compliance and efficiency of your private cloud.

These management capabilities—delivered via VMware Cloud Management—are specifically designed to provide deep insight into cloud infrastructure performance, while enabling services to be provisioned and accessed in any available cloud.

For many companies, the Software-Defined Data Center will coexist in a heterogeneous environment with multiple hypervisors, hardware from different vendors, and various public cloud services. You can abstract away this complexity by extending VMware Cloud Management beyond your vSphere-enabled Software-Defined Data Center—to impose uniform governance, control, access and self-service over your entire heterogeneous, hybrid cloud environment.

Cloud Service Provisioning: Automate the provisioning of infrastructure and applications within the Software-Defined Data Center, and beyond it across multiple clouds and platforms. Cloud Operations Management: Manage the health, risk, efficiency and compliance of your infrastructure and applications. Cloud Business Management: Govern and manage cloud services as a critical element of running IT like a business.

Oracle Software Defined Network

Oracle has a different approach to software defined networking and virtualized data centers that is more application focused along the core suite of applications that run Oracle database and Oracle systems.

Below is an overview of the approach for SDN taken by Oracle:

Last but not least, completely integrated systems that merge SDN with hardware, storage, compute and network converged infrastructure are now on the market and provide turn key solutions to large customers who require a quick time to market data center such as that provided by VCE ( via the vBlock platform. A good overview of the vBlock is available below:

Until next time

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Oracle 12c New Features and Release

Oracle 12c has been released this month and this is the biggest news since Oracle 11g came out some time back.

Below are some new features:

Oracle cloning

Oracle PDB

Oracle RAC and ASM enhancements

Oracle security enhancements

Oracle 12c New Features

As an Oracle RAC expert, the deployment features for Oracle 12c RAC and ASM are quite exciting and should make highly available scalable clusters with the new Flex cluster more fun and powerful for large enterprise data centers. Per the 12c new features for Flex RAC clusters:

"Oracle Flex Cluster is a new Oracle Clusterware based topology utilizing two types of cluster nodes: Hub Nodes and Leaf Nodes. Hub Nodes represent traditional nodes, tightly coupled using network and storage. Leaf Nodes are a new type of node that runs a lighter weight stack and does not require direct shared storage connectivity."

I also like the new 12c policy based approach to database and RAC deployments:

"Oracle Grid Infrastructure allows running multiple applications in one cluster. Using a policy-based approach, the workload introduced by these applications can be allocated across the cluster using a policy set. In addition, a policy set enables different policies to be applied to the cluster over time as required. Policy sets can be defined using a web-based interface or a command-line interface.

Hosting various workloads in the same cluster helps to consolidate the workloads into a shared infrastructure that provides high availability and scalability. Using a centralized policy-based approach allows for dynamic resource reallocation and prioritization as the demand changes."

Stay tuned for exciting new developments as I test out the many new 12c features from Oracle. Oracle has truly raised the bar once again for enterprise database and application technology! Bravo!