The Ultimate Guide to Oracle Database@Azure

Phil Brown 30-Apr-2024 13:35:28

The Microsoft and Oracle Partnership has steadily revolutionised the multicloud space since its inception in 2019. The inaugural Oracle Azure Interconnect simplified the architecture design pattern, and indeed, DSP was one of the first partners to deploy it (read the case study here). Since then, we have seen several innovations in this space, and now the latest iteration, Oracle Database@Azure (OD@A), has launched in the UK and has the potential to be a genuine game changer for organisations that use both platforms. In this blog, I’m going to outline the key aspects of OD@A you need to know about to optimise Oracle Database management on the Azure platform.

The Ultimate Guide to OD@A Image 1
The evolution of the Oracle and Microsoft partnership

Understanding Oracle Database Integration with Azure

Let’s start at the beginning – what is it? Oracle Database@Azure allows organisations to simplify the consumption of Oracle Database technology by enabling it to be purchased and provisioned co-located within Azure.  This means essentially that existing Azure subscribers can purchase the OD@A via the Azure marketplace. It’s then provisioned within Oracle Cloud infrastructure, which ensures co-location in terms of redundancy and sub-second latency for mission-critical workloads.

Here’s a quick service overview:

  • Co-located with Microsoft Azure Data Centre
  • Native integration between Azure and OCI resource
  • No manual configuration of private interconnect between the providers
  • Microseconds latency
  • OCI native Exadata Database Service
  • The highest level of Oracle database performance scalability, security and availability
  • Collaborative technical support from Microsoft and Oracle

It can take some wrapping your head around, but it is well worth the effort because it will allow you to make informed decisions about how to best utilise these technologies to optimise your database management.

Key Benefits of Using Oracle Database@Azure

So, that’s what it is, but why make the switch? Using Oracle Database@Azure offers several key benefits for businesses:

  • Simplicity: Simplify the consumption and purchasing of Oracle Database within the Azure platform, rather than having to manage the two in silo
  • Cost Savings: OD@A is purchased via Azure credits – meaning you can use your existing consumption.
  • Security: Oracle offers robust security features, including data encryption, access controls, and threat detection, ensuring the protection of sensitive data stored in the Oracle Database.
  • Integration with Azure Services: OD@A gives the advantage of co-location and sub-second latency. Businesses can leverage additional capabilities and increase the functionality of their database. 

Deploying Oracle Database Deployment@Azure

Oracle Database@Azure is a turnkey solution, but there are some operational responsibilities to consider, which I’ve listed below.

Oracle’s Responsibilities:

  • Manage Exadata Database Service Infrastructure running in Azure
  • Service Software Updates
  • Service Infrastructure updates
  • Support Oracle Database@Azure issues

Azure Customers:

  • Provision Exadata Database Service infrastructure
  • Manage the Provisioned Databases in the service
  • Operate and monitor infrastructure and database

One key thing to call out is that provisioning the Exadata infrastructure is done via the Azure portal, but certain elements of managing the databases are currently still carried out through the OCI portal (although this may change in the future). Alongside this, it’s worth mentioning that Azure provides built-in features for high availability and disaster recovery, minimising downtime and ensuring business continuity.

There are other important considerations for deploying OD@A:

  • Resource Sizing: Ensure that the allocated resources for the Oracle Database in Azure are appropriately sized to meet the workload requirements. Use case and requirements, consolidation or re-platforming from on-premises.
  • Network Configuration: Configure the network settings in Azure to enable secure communication between the Oracle Database and other resources. It’s important to understand the prerequisites from an Azure networking perspective and the subnet requirements for the Exadata for the client and backup network, as well as the IAM requirements
  • Monitoring and Performance Optimisation: Utilise Azure monitoring tools to track the performance of the Oracle Database and optimise its performance through tuning and optimisation techniques.

Optimising Performance and Security of Oracle Database@Azure

Let’s look to the long term. To optimise the performance and security of Oracle Database@Azure, think about the following strategies:

  • Performance Tuning: Regularly monitor and analyse the performance of the database using Azure monitoring tools and apply performance tuning techniques to improve its responsiveness.
  • Indexing and Partitioning: Implement proper indexing and partitioning strategies to enhance query performance and optimise storage utilisation.
  • Data Encryption: Enable data encryption at rest and in transit to protect sensitive data stored in the database.
  • Access Controls: Implement fine-grained access controls and user roles to restrict unauthorised access to the database.
  • Regular Patching and Updates: Keep the Oracle Database@Azure up to date with the latest patches and updates to ensure security and stability.

By implementing these performance and security optimisation strategies, you’ll maximise the benefits of Oracle Database@Azure.

Future Trends in Oracle Database@Azure

The future of Oracle Database@Azure is filled with exciting possibilities. Here are some trends to watch out for:

  • AI and Machine Learning Integration: Oracle and Azure are continuously investing in AI and machine learning capabilities, which will enable businesses to leverage advanced analytics and automation to derive valuable insights from their Oracle Database.
  • Serverless Architecture: The adoption of serverless architecture in Azure can revolutionise the way businesses manage their Oracle Database, allowing for more efficient resource utilisation and cost savings.
  • Cloud Integration: As businesses increasingly adopt hybrid cloud strategies, Oracle and Azure are working together to provide seamless integration between on-premises Oracle databases and Oracle Database@Azure, enabling businesses to leverage the benefits of both environments.
  • Advanced Security Features: Oracle and Azure are continuously enhancing the security features of Oracle Database@Azure to address evolving threats and compliance requirements.

Hopefully, that has given you a starting point for the possibilities of Oracle Database@Azure. Like I said at the beginning, I think it could really be a game-changer. I’ve worked with both Oracle and Microsoft for many years, and it’s exciting to see them come together for the benefit of customers.

When making any change to your existing environment, I would suggest that you enlist the help of a specialist who will be able to help you configure and deploy your new set-up successfully. DSP is a specialist in both Microsoft and Oracle technologies, so we are in an excellent position to help you maximise performance and value in the long term.

Find out more about Oracle Database@Azure here or contact our experts today.

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