Migrating Oracle from on-premise to the public cloud

oracle migration cloud

With the increasing popularity of the public cloud, more and more organizations consider moving their IT infrastructure to the cloud. At first, small and medium companies were the early cloud adopters; currently more and more large organizations started to become interested in making the move to the public cloud.

However, for large organizations this comes with additional challenges. One of them is the fact that they have more complex IT needs. Over the years these needs resulted in expensive IT solutions which currently live on-premise and are maintained by an entire ecosystem of owners, administrators and developers. This translated into a large investment in licenses and associated support maintenance costs for on-premise software.

We’ve been working with organizations that are either considering migrating to the cloud or are already in the process of moving to the cloud. One of the questions that often comes up is how to make the most out of the investment in on-premise software when moving to the cloud? In order to answer this question, we’ve created a simulation with a very specific scope limited to Oracle Database software.

Case study

Consider a situation with 5 on-premise physical servers that are used as hosts for your virtual machines. Assume these physical servers have 2 identical Intel Xeon CPUs with hyper-threading enabled and with 12 cores per each CPU. The following use case scenarios have been taken into account:

  • Scenario 1:

One (1) single virtual machine has the Oracle Database installed and has 8 vCPUs

  • Scenario 2:

Two (2) virtual machines have the Oracle Database installed and each has 8 vCPUs

  • Scenario 3:

There are enough virtual machines to max out the entire hardware capacity. This  assumes that each vCPU is assigned to one CPU thread. For the 5 physical servers there are 240 available CPU threads (5 servers * 2 CPUs * 12 cores * 2 threads)

Let’s see the Oracle license requirements for these 3 scenarios and how these requirements change from on-premise to the cloud. In order to stay on the topic of leveraging your current Oracle software investment when moving to the cloud, the simulation assumes that the Bring Your Own License (BYOL) licensing model is used with the different cloud providers, if allowed.

The graphic below provides a summary for different on-premise virtualization technologies and cloud providers:

The first thing to notice is that the most attractive option is to move your on-premise Oracle software to Oracle’s own public cloud. Oracle has IaaS or PaaS cloud services for its “technology” portfolio (Oracle Database and Middleware). The PaaS service costs more, but may be considered more convenient from a maintenance perspective (e.g. automatic back-ups are included in PaaS). Oracle allows you to Bring Your Own Licenses if you want to make use of its cloud services.  Oracle allows you to cover two Oracle Compute Units (OCPUs) with 1 Processor license and each OCPU is equivalent to two CPU threads. This ultimately means that one Processor license can cover more processing capacity than for any other cloud provider.

Amazon’s and Microsoft’s offerings are similar when it comes to licensing Oracle software running in their public cloud. For both providers it is relatively cost efficient to license small Oracle workloads (compared to licensing the same workload on an on-premise VMware infrastructure for example). However, as the processing capacity goes up, the number of required Oracle licenses doubles compared to what you would need on-premise. The difference between AWS and Azure is of course made by the cost and service levels offered by the two providers. Here are some other important remarks though. With Amazon you can use the Oracle Database software both with their IaaS (EC2) and also with PaaS (RDS). With Microsoft Azure you only get the IaaS option. However, Microsoft and Oracle now have a partnership meant to allow customers to easily combine infrastructure and platforms from both providers.

Google’s public cloud is not yet on Oracle’s list of Authorized Cloud Environments. Because of this, the only way to migrate your Oracle licenses to their cloud would be through Google’s bare metal solution or to enter (and continuously renew) an Unlimited License Agreement with Oracle.

Oracle allows you to deploy the Oracle programs on Google’s (or Amazon’s or Azure’s) public cloud platform, but does not allow you (as a standard) to certify any deployments at the end of your ULA. This has a direct negative effect on scalability, but it does allow you to stay cost efficient from an Oracle licensing perspective. That is if you choose the right physical machine configurations for your workloads.

Conclusion

Migrating your IT infrastructure to the public cloud holds potential for increased productivity and cost savings. Your current licenses and associated support fees can be used to cover deployments in public cloud. The different licensing options (e.g. BYOL vs License included), their associated costs, possible savings and compliance risks should be evaluated in detail. Migrating from on-premise to the public cloud requires careful consideration – weighing the pros and cons of each option as well as the total cost involved.

Is your company considering moving to the cloud? Do you need to assess the costs involved in owning enough processing capacity in the cloud for your present on-premise workloads? Are you evaluating how cloud services from the different providers can match your needs especially when it comes to Oracle workloads? We can help you with that. Feel free to reach out to us to request an Oracle Cloud Health Check.

This article was published on 23-06-2020