There’s no doubt that "the cloud" is coming, even in the relatively conservative world of mission-critical Oracle platforms.
At the end of 2012 I took a trial of what was then "Java (or WebLogic) as a Service" (now known as "SaaS Extension"). Back then I wasn’t hugely impressed – yes, I could deploy a simple web app, but the WebLogic environment was very heavily constrained and almost entirely hidden from the administrator – no WebLogic console, no WLST, minimal logs. As a result as soon as I tried to deploy something non-trivial, in this case Apache Roller (the software running this blog), I ran into all sorts of class white-list issues and with little debug information so I quickly gave up in despair!
Anyway here we are, over 2 years later, and Oracle’s latest "Java Cloud Service" (JCS) is looking far more promising, so here are my initial impressions of what I’ve seen and read. First things first: JCS comes in 3 variants:
- Java Cloud Service – SaaS Extension: essentially this is product I tried previously which is now targetted at extending Oracle’s SaaS applications (including cloud-based Oracle Fusion Applications), presumably with relatively simple ADF apps.
- Java Cloud Service – Virtual Image: this is a single instance WebLogic VM intended for development use and simple testing.
- Java Cloud Service: the "full" version (Oracle doesn’t seem to have a distinct name to differentiate it) which can be clustered and is designed for production workloads.
For this article I’m only going to focus on the last of these options, i.e. fully clustered WebLogic with root level access to the VMs but automated provisioning and management provided by Oracle!
Before we get into too much technical detail, let’s get an idea of pricing for a single, production-grade environment. To keep it simple I’m going to make some assumptions:
- I need WebLogic Suite for all its various benefits, as well as the option to run SOA Suite, etc.
- I’m only considering a 2 node cluster of 2 x 2 vCPU (or 2 x 4 vCPU) running in a single data centre.
- The cluster is of static specification and running 24/7 for a year.
- I need a load balancer to front my cluster and for SSL termination.
Oracle has come up with a term called the Oracle (OCPU) for billing purposes. 1 OCPU equates to the "CPU capacity of an Intel Xeon E5-2600 … processor core with hyper threading enabled. Each OCPU corresponds to two hardware execution threads, known as vCPUs." Elsewhere (I can’t find it now) I’ve seen it called a "2012 model 3.0 GHz Xeon core", which would be an E5-26xx (v1) processor, though, like Amazon EC2, I suspect there will be some variability – if you’re lucky you might "land" on a new E5-26xx v3-based server. Very sensibly Oracle are allocating those vCPUs from the same cores (see below) – modern hyper-threading gives you a performance boost but it’s a long way from double the single core performance, and having vCPUs on hyper-threads on different, fully populated, cores would be very bad for performance.
The virtual machines, aka instances, come in what Oracle called "shapes". A shape is a very similar concept to Amazon’s EC2 instance type and describes fixed vCPU/memory permutations. There’s a full table of VM shapes here but, for this article, we’re interested in the following:
- OC3: 2 vCPU, 7.5 GB => 1 OCPU (general purpose)
- OC1M: 2 vCPU, 15 GB => 1 OCPU (high memory)
- OC2M: 4 vCPU, 30 GB => 2 OCPU (high memory)
Read the complete article here.
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