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Brief review of cloud computing concepts
National Institute for Standard and Technology (NIST), USA has defined cloud computing, and this is the best starting point to understand the fundamentals of cloud computing. The definition is as follows:
"Cloud computing is a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (for example, networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can rapidly be provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction."
The cloud model proposed by NIST is composed of five essential characteristics, three service models, and four deployment models.
The five essential services defined by NIST are as follows:
- On-demand self-service: This enables users to provision and manage computing resources, such as server time, amount of storage, and network bandwidth, without a need for human administrators.
- Broad network access: Cloud services and capabilities must be available and accessed from heterogeneous platforms, such as personal computers and mobile devices.
- Resource pooling: Provider resources are shared among multiple consumers, and these physical and virtual resources are automatically managed according to consumer demand.
- Rapid elasticity: Resources can be elastically provisioned and released to rapidly scale out and scale in as per user need.
- Measured service: Cloud provider resources should be tracked for usage by its consumers for the purpose of billing, generally on a pay-per-use basis.
Cloud services are available in the following models:
- Software as a Service (SaaS): When application software is deployed over a cloud, it is called Software as a Service; for example, Oracle planning and budgeting and Salesforce CRM. Consumers can access this application software from heterogeneous devices without having to worry about the management of hardware, network, and operating system. The user only needs to manage some application-specific settings, if required.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): Platform as a Service provides an application development platform in the form of a cloud service; for example, Oracle Java Cloud Services, the Google App engine, and so on. Consumers need not bother about the management of hardware, network, and operating system and only supposed to manage application deployment and configuration settings.
- Infrastructure as a Service(IaaS): Similarly, hardware infrastructure is made available to its consumers using Infrastructure as a Service clouds, for example, Oracle IaaS/Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud. Consumers need not to manage the hardware infrastructure but have full control over the operating system, development platform, and application.
Cloud services can be deployed using one of the following four Cloud deployment models:
- Private cloud: In a private cloud, the cloud facilities are operated only for a specific organization. It can be owned or managed by the organization, a third party, or a combined entity and can be deployed within the organization or on some other location.
- Community cloud: A community cloud is shared by multiple organizations of similar concerns such as goals, mission, and data. It can be owned or managed by several organizations from the community, a third-party, or a combined entity and can be deployed within the organizations or on some other location.
- Public cloud: A public cloud is open for a large user group or can provide open access for general users. The public cloud is generally managed by business, academic, or government organizations.
- Hybrid cloud: A hybrid cloud is a blending of private, community, or public clouds.
Oracle Cloud Services
Oracle offers a range of services for all the cloud service models. These services are as follows:
- Oracle SaaS Services include customer relationship management, human capital management, and enterprise resource planning. These applications cover almost all of the requirements of any commercial application.
- Oracle PaaS Services offer Java Service, Database Service, and Developer Service.
- At IaaS level, Oracle offers Oracle servers, Oracle Linux, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and so on.
- Oracle also offers some common services such as Oracle Social Services, Oracle Management Services, Oracle Storage Services , and Oracle Messaging Services.
Oracle Cloud Services have been organized by Oracle into various categories, such as Oracle Application Services, Oracle Platform Services, Oracle Social Services, Oracle Common Infrastructure Services and Oracle Managed Cloud Services.
Oracle Application Services
Oracle application services provide a broad range of industry-strength, commercial Oracle applications on the cloud. These cloud services enable its consumers to easily use, enhance, and administer the applications. The Oracle Application Services are part of a full suite of business applications. It includes:
- Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) Service: Oracle's ERP Cloud Service offers a full set of financial and operational capabilities. It contains almost all the applications required by an organization of any size.
- Planning and budgeting: This application supports planning and budgeting of work flow in the organization.
- Financial reporting: This application provides timely, accurate financial and management reports required for decision making.
- Human capital management: This application supports work force management and simplifies the human resource management process.
- Talent management: This application empowers businesses to recruit and retain the best resource using its effective functionalities.
- Sales and marketing: This application can be used to capture sales and customer data and presents analytic reports to improve sales.
- Customer service and support: This application supports various functionalities related to customer satisfaction and support, such as contact center, feedback management, incidence management, and other functions related to customer services.
Oracle Platform Services
Oracle platform services enable developers to develop rich applications for their organizations. These services support a wide range of technologies for application development, including:
- Java Service: This service provides an enterprise-level Java application development platform. The applications can be deployed on an Oracle WebLogic server. It provides flexibility to consumers without a vender lock-in problem. This service is accessible through various consoles and interfaces.
- Database Service: Using this service, consumers can access an Oracle database on a cloud by Oracle Application Services, RESTful web services, Java Services, and so on. It provides complete SQL and PL/SQL support over the cloud. It supports various application development tools, including SQL developer, an application builder named as Oracle Application Express bundled with the Oracle Cloud, and the RESTful web service wizard.
- Developer Service: This service provides software development Platforms as a Service to its consumers. The facilities provided by this service include project configuration, user management, source control repositories, defect tracking systems, and documentation systems through wiki.
Oracle Social Services
Oracle social services offer facilities and tools for social presence, social marketing, and social data research. Social Services include:
Oracle Common Infrastructure Services
This group of Oracle Services includes two common services that can be used by and integrated with the other services. These services are:
- Oracle Storage Service: This service provides online storage facilities to store and manage the data/contents on the cloud. This makes the application deployment cost effective and efficient. This service offers a single point of control, secure, scalable, and high performance access to consumer data.
- Oracle Messaging Service: This service enables communication between various software components using the common messaging API. It also provides an infrastructure for software components to communicate with each other by sending and receiving the messages to establish a dynamic and automated workflow environment.
Oracle Managed Cloud Services
Oracle Managed Cloud Services offer a variety of services to customers for smooth transition to the Oracle Cloud and its successful maintenance. These services provide Oracle's expertise in the form of management services to its user. They include the facility for transition, recovery, security, and testing of the services to be migrated.
- Transition Service: This service is a set of services to facilitate the smooth transition of normal non-cloud applications to the cloud. It includes a Transition Advisory, migration to proven configuration, CEMLI (Customizations, Extensions, Modifications, Localizations, and Integrations) migrations, upgrade assistance, and DBA support services.
- Disaster Recovery Service: This service provides robust solutions for preventing, detecting, and recovering from sudden outages to keep the functionality running.
- Security Service: This service assures its customers about the security and compliance of their data. It provides federal security services, Payment Card Industry (PCI) compliance , Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act(HIPAA) compliance, identity management, strong authentication, Single Sign-On, identity analytic services, and so on.
- Testing Service: This service helps customers to ensure that the provider's infrastructure is capable of fulfilling their needs at peak load time and assures customers that the system will meet their expectations.
In this article we have discussed the various services offered by the Oracle Public Cloud. We have described the categorization of these services.
Resources for Article:
- Remote Job Agent in Oracle 11g Database with Oracle Scheduler [Article]
- Introduction to Oracle Service Bus & Oracle Service Registry [Article]
- Configuration, Release and Change Management with Oracle [Article]