Service Catalogs and the evolution to enterprise cloud (Part 2 of 2)

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Service Catalogs and the evolution to enterprise cloud (Part 2 of 2)

In our previous article (you can read part 1 here) we’ve talked about the role of Service Catalogs as a turnkey, enabling the evolution towards a more sustainable enterprise cloud. Because DBaaS can become extremely complex, maintaining an efficient standardization is key, according to an Oracle White Paper titled “Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services”, published in June 2014.

In this succeeding article, we are going to delve into details and discuss more about the relevance of another type of catalog in Oracle Database as a Service (Oracle DBaaS): the Business Catalog along with its many standardized service offerings.

Overview of the Business Catalog

The business catalog, in a nutshell, is the consumers’ overview of the services available in the database. It is a comprehensive repository, which stores the components used in implementing some of the flow objects of Business Process Modeling Notation (BPMN).

As we have discussed in the previous article, Oracle leverages its best practices with a catalog needed for delivering efficient database as a service. The catalogs are divided into many different components that cater to its many different audiences. As a whole, the service catalog covers the entire IT infrastructure and management. However, it is the business catalog that mainly supports the service catalog. It provides a concise description of the many relevant features, including the costs for the available services. Among the various types of components that the business catalog stores include the following:

  • Errors
  • Business Rules
  • Service Adapters
  • Events
  • Synthesized Types
  • BPEL Processes and Mediators
  • Human Tasks
  • Business Objects
  • Business Exceptions

The component that is being implemented depends on how it is being utilized for a specific activity. It is also dependent on the definition of data associations of any flow object.

Typically, in any given business catalog, there are three or more service offerings given that are often labeled with a scheme. This may come as Bronze, Silver or Gold, and on special cases, Platinum. By definition, each service offering should have at least a description on how to order, information about the offering, and an explanation of the level provided. In the following section, we will further examine the different service standards in this category.

Oracle Database’s standardized service offerings

There are many ways to define and assess database services, and when it comes to Oracle, most, if not all, are prescribed to the following criteria:

  • Database availability levels
  • Database agility levels
  • Database performance management

These three define Oracle Database’s standardized service offerings especially in private clouds.

Levels of availability

First off, we’ll start with Oracle Database’s levels of availability. Availability dictates that any business catalog can enumerate likelihood of events that can impact services. A more detailed description is opted as it defines the availability for outage classes, which is recommended.

Along with defining availability, classes are then sorted according to the following categories:

  • Recoverable local outages – only includes local component failures
  • Planned maintenance – scheduled maintenance that includes software patching and hardware upgrades
  • Data protection – media and disk failures
  • Corruption protection – covers logical to physical corruptions
  • Human errors – accounts for limited and reparable errors. These errors should be large enough that it might require a significant amount of correction time.
  • Disaster recovery – covers unrecoverable local outages and site loss

Oracle’s four levels of availability

Because Oracle Database’s levels of availability have a broad range of features, almost all can be delivered within the database system. However, to make matters more streamlined, Oracle has defined four types of availability, or levels – each has its own distinctive characteristic and implementation option.

  1. The first one is the Bronze Availability (entry level). This provides a basic availability for services that are not really highly critical. It is hosted on a single machine. If that machine fails or goes offline for maintenance, it is then not available. It only goes back online when the machine is either restored or replaced. Data loss is addressed from backup.
  2. The second level is the Silver Availability. It provides higher clustering and a much-improved service levels especially when it comes to recoverable outages. However, just like the Bronze level, it only addresses data loss by restoring the backup.
  3. Then there is the Gold Availability. This level is recommended for business-critical services. Like the Silver level, it also has clustering, however, the difference lies in its architecture. A secondary site is used to provide faster recovery especially for unrecoverable local outages. With Gold, your business will have a better protection from data corruptions.
  4. Finally there’s the Platinum Availability. It showcases the capabilities and power of the well-reputed Oracle Database 12c. This level allows the database to provide zero outage especially to applications that are Platinum-ready, addressing the heavy requirements of even the most mission-critical workloads.

Agility levels and performance management

Another prescribed criteria are Oracle Database’s agility levels, referring to provisioning capabilities and speed of service. In relocating a service, speed is necessary, especially when the consumer prefers to move their service for lower costs. Normally, for the Bronze and Silver levels, static agility is applied. On the other hand, Gold provides dynamic pools and key technologies for better responsiveness to its services. Meanwhile, Platinum provides mobility across the data centers, thanks to Oracle Database 12c.

If you need assistance or if you want to know more about Oracle Database as a Service (DbaaS), Oracle Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Oracle Software as a Service (SaaS), contact Four Cornerstone now. We have a team of highly qualified IT experts that can help you with any issues related to Oracle Cloud, Oracle Database Cloud and Oracle Database 12c. We can also help your businesses migrate to, develop, integrate and implement cloud computing applications. You can call us at 817-377-1144. You can also send an email to info@fourcornerstone.com.

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