What to expect from Oracle Cloud?
Even if it’s not dominating the market, Oracle Cloud is gaining more users every day. As with most cloud models, there is the misconception that moving to the cloud and managing your assets there is an easy task. In practice, we see that managing correctly the Oracle Cloud services can be a real challenge. In this article you will find more details about the service models offered by Oracle and some examples of how compliance issues may appear. In the end, you’ll need to decide if deploying Oracle Cloud solutions is the best option for your business, but having the information upfront is definitely helpful.
ORACLE CLOUD DEPLOYMENT MODELS
Since you are already familiar with the types of cloud deployment models described in our whitepaper you know now, based on the deployment model selected, how to manage the cloud solution and any customization of the provided services, who can access the data and, of course, where and who hosts the services. Let’s have a look at Oracle’s cloud deployment models.
Oracle Public Cloud – The most common deployment model, public cloud offers limited visibility on the services’ architecture. If in the past it was easy to retrieve useful data from different applications’ tables directly through an SQL query, for example, now you have to make use of the available tools delivered by the cloud solution provider. One of the benefits of deploying services in public cloud is that it helps you save money on short terms, since you are “renting” the infrastructure and not purchasing it.
Oracle Private Cloud – When you need to have everything under control, the private cloud deployment model is probably the best solution for you. This does not mean that you are also responsible for managing or owning the private cloud solutions, but you’ll have the ability to define the offerings of the services, type of the infrastructure and security levels.
Oracle Hybrid Cloud – Combining two or more deployment models, based on your needs, results in hybrid cloud, which contains both, the public and the private concepts.
Oracle Community Cloud – When multiple organizations have a common interest, it is better to collaborate through a community cloud solution. What’s different here is that each organization may select the type of cloud deployment model they prefer, public or private, but they are sharing and exchanging the required and necessary data and information through the community cloud.
CLASSIFICATION OF ORACLE CLOUD SERVICES
All services are built based on a set of functionalities that describes how they work based on the structure delivered by Oracle. We can see any cloud service as a software in Oracle Cloud, classified in two main categories: applications – which refers to Software as a Service (SaaS) and Data as a Service (DaaS), and platforms – which refers to Platform as a Services (PaaS) and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
SaaS – Oracle delivers software in the cloud on a subscription basis. This means that everything from updates to back-ups is covered and maintained by Oracle and all you have to do is log-in. When it comes to SaaS or applications deployed in the cloud, Oracle offers plenty of solutions. Depending on your needs, these include Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP), Human Capital Management (HCM), Supply Chain Management (SCM), Marketing or Sales.
DaaS – Besides the three main cloud categories (SaaS, PaaS, IaaS), Oracle is offering a special application service type which provides access on demand to data, without any influence from the organizational or geographical separation between the consumer and the provider.
If you have other requirements that cannot be found through the multitude of standard solutions offered by Oracle, it might be better to opt for a PaaS model and start building your own application on top of the platform provided by Oracle.
PaaS – Through this model, Oracle is providing the platform that will allow you to manage your third-party or in-house developed applications. It will be Oracle’s responsibility to take care of all complex buildings on the infrastructure and any other functionalities on the platform developed to sustain your application(s) installation.
IaaS – When you’re deploying Oracle’s IaaS, you’ll have access to computing infrastructure and hardware components from the vendor’s side through a public connection, but you’ll have to take care of the platform, data and applications, including therefore the operating system and middleware components. Oracle hosts and manages the physical servers and the networking infrastructure and the customers receive access to this “cloud” infrastructure.
ORACLE CLOUD SUBSCRIPTION TYPES
Having a general overview about the types of deployment models and cloud services offered by Oracle, let’s have a look at what your business needs might be from two aspects: technological and financial, to determine what Oracle Cloud subscription may suit your organization best.
Oracle simplified a bit the purchasing and consumption model for cloud, dividing the pricing models into three main categories. The first one is “Pay As You Go” and it means that you only pay for what you are actually using. This pricing model also describes one of the best essential characteristics of cloud computing – rapid elasticity. Oracle offers the ability to rapidly scale outward or inward depending on your needs. For example, you can pay extra for a few hours only in case you need more servers to test solutions developed in-house for PaaS or IaaS solutions. In SaaS case, you can rapidly increase or decrease the number of hosted named users by either assigning standard roles, part of specific privileges in order to give access towards Oracle services, or defining customized ones. When your needs go back to usual, you can scale down to the initial usage.
The second purchasing model described by Oracle is called “Universal Credits – Monthly Flex” and it is recommended when you can predict your next month’s consumption in cloud to avoid scaling up and down. The main idea if opting for this purchasing model is to have access to a maximum amount of resources. Keep in mind though that if you do not use all the resources, they cannot be rolled over the next month.
The last model when it comes to purchasing Oracle Cloud solutions is “Bring Your Own License”. This type of subscription was created in order to encourage the existing Oracle on-premise customers to migrate their Oracle Database, Middleware or Analytics licenses to cloud.
MOST COMMON COMPLIANCE ISSUES FOR ORACLE CLOUD SUBSCRIPTIONS
Even though many users believe that managing compliance is easy, or even unnecessary in the cloud, they are surprised when they learn that it is possible to be non-compliant. For example, in Oracle Fusion Cloud case, the biggest compliance issue is usually coming from SaaS services, because you may have defined more users that have access to the cloud applications. Another reason for non-compliance may also be that you can easily customize privileges and roles for your users and by mistake associate those new rights to more users and groups than needed.
When we are analyzing Oracle Fusion Cloud consumption, no matter what the application type is – ERP, CRM or EPM, we do not look only at the final count towards each service, but more into the cause that may generate or has already generated a compliance issue. We look at the users, at what privileges they have, at the roles associated with each privilege and the services accessed through those, in order to construct a complete overview of the Fusion Cloud deployment.
Another example is Oracle Eloqua Cloud, where compliance issues usually derive from the fact that the number of contacts defined may exceed the purchased number. Contacts are represented by email addresses and it’s important to store them correctly, so that the number of emails that cannot be delivered is not higher than 5% of the total number of contacts.
Also, be careful of how many non-production environments you have included with your Oracle Cloud license. Usually any cloud license includes one production environment and only one testing environment, therefore, any other additional test environment has to be purchased separately.
Fortunately, Oracle offers different tools and options that can help you to monitor and review your consumption. In the case of Oracle Fusion Cloud, you can either relate on the User Activity Metric and Service Usage Metrics Reports to have a general overview on the consumption. Or, if you want more details, you can relate on data exported through already pre-defined queries from schedule processes or from BI Publisher. Having more details about your Oracle Fusion Cloud services helps you in managing them better in the future. In Eloqua’s case, you can simply export the contacts marked or not as “hard-bounce”, allowing you to simply review and modify the data from a licensing perspective. For IaaS and PaaS it’s easier to scale down, especially due to Oracle’s interactive modality of showing the consumption in real time.
In the end the question would be “is Oracle Cloud a good solution for my organization?”. Do you have any (other) questions related to this topic? We are here to offer you answers, support you and help you monitor your Oracle Cloud services in order to reduce costs. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us.
This article was published on 10-09-2020
Laura started to work in the Software Asset Management industry in 2017, as a Technical Analyst at B-lay. Her responsibilities include delivering license compliance reports to our customers, helping in automating B-lay’s internal tools for data analysis and designing new processes.
Laura holds a Bachelor Degree in Economic Informatics from The Bucharest University of Economic Studies and a Master of Business Administration and Engineering from the University Politehnica of Bucharest.