If you are new to Oracle Cloud or Oracle in general you may look at the number of acronyms and become very quickly overwhelmed, I certainly wouldn’t blame you. With all the acronyms floating around this only adds to the confusion of Cloud, OCI, VCN, AD, FD, DBaaS, ADB, ATP, ADW, ZDM, MAA and ELT to name just a few.
In this short blog, I’m going to break down a few of these acronyms and explain what they stand for and more importantly, why they matter.
Let's start with an easy one OCI (Oracle Cloud Infrastructure) this is the entire Cloud infrastructure that Oracle offers to its customers, this ranges from Cloud Networks to Applications and databases with an ever-growing list of services in areas such as Analytics, Compute, Containers, Data, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence the list goes on and is ever-expanding.
Within the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, one of the first things created is a VCN (Virtual Cloud Network) this is the core networking for your cloud environment and provides subnets, IP Addresses and internal connectivity inside OCI for your compute and services to communicate with each other. This is the key building block for all connectivity.
Next in the deployment may come a VM (Virtual Machine) this is a compute instance with an operating system such as Oracle Linux or Windows that you can then place any applications you wish on the same as you would on-premise. Each VM is placed into an AD (Availability Domain) which is typically one or more data centres inside your chosen region, each of which will have multiple FDs (Fault Domains), a collection of grouped hardware inside that data centre, for example, different racks on different network switches for resilience. The simple way to look at this is that you want your services in different ADs and FDs where possible, so not all services are impacted in an outage. A great example would be ensuring your production database was in a different AD and FD to its Data Guard DR (Disaster Recovery) database or that’s each node of your 2 node RAC cluster sat in a different FD.
It's now time to cover off a couple of database options and their acronyms, one of the key services our customers use is Oracle’s DBaaS (Database as a service) these offer Oracle database in various editions and versions, ADB (Autonomous Database), ATP (Autonomous Transaction Processing), ADW (Autonomous Data Wharehouse), Exadata Service and more. No matter which DBaaS method you choose, Oracle will provide scalable solutions with various levels of automation and management as part of this service.
We then move on to resilience and availability, Oracle’s main architecture for resilience and availability is MAA (Maximum Availability Architecture) which consists of a variety of products including RAC (Real Application Clusters), to remove the dependency on a single machine serving the database and to provide resilience across multiple machines each serving read and writes for the same database. Data Guard for DR, by physically replicating the database to another location, RMAN (Oracle Recovery Manager) to perform backups in case of recovery requirements due to failure or corruption and Oracle Golden Gate to provide logical replication across different versions of database and platforms for near-zero downtime migrations, upgrade, DR or transformation of data for reporting using ELT (Extract Load Transform) technology.
Last in this blog comes migrations or re-platforming of databases for which Oracle uses their ZDM (Zero Downtime Migration) toolset, as per the MAA details above, this toolset comes with a variety of products such as Data Pump, for exporting data and importing into new platforms of different versions, editions and operating systems. As well as, Autonomous OCI, Golden Gate, Data Guard and RMAN, as described above. All of these services are utilised depending on the scenario with Oracle automation built around the processes to help you migrate with ease and minimal downtime.
There are many more acronyms not mentioned here, but I hope this gives you an insight and understanding of a few. As always we are here to help your OCI and Oracle needs.