Service Catalogs for Database as a Service

Service Catalogs for Database as a Service
Oracle White Paper
November 2016
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized
Database Services
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
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Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Service Catalogs enable the evolution to enterprise cloud ................. 2
Service catalog overview ................................................................... 4
Case Studies ..................................................................................... 7
Standardized service offerings for Oracle Database services .......... 18
Describing availability ...................................................................... 20
Oracle Database availability levels .................................................. 21
Oracle Database security levels ...................................................... 30
Capacity .......................................................................................... 33
Oracle Database agility levels ......................................................... 34
Oracle Database performance management ................................... 35
Consolidating Oracle Database Services......................................... 37
Engineered Systems for Oracle Database Services ........................ 38
Conclusion ...................................................................................... 39
Glossary of ‘service’ terms............................................................... 40
References ...................................................................................... 42
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Service Catalogs enable the evolution to enterprise cloud
The promises of cloud computing—greater agility, less risk, and lower costs—are real, but
their realization depends on the approach you adopt. Making the full transformation to
an enterprise cloud may take several years, and will affect many aspects of organizations
and roles, processes, policies and service delivery. Many enterprises have successfully
organized their transformation into a phased approach—an evolution to enterprise cloud.
Figure 1: Evolution to enterprise cloud
The first step of this transformation is standardization, and one of the key deliverables
that supports standardization is a service catalog. A service catalog is a collection of
documents and artifacts which describe the services an IT organization provides, and
specifies how those services are delivered and managed.
Standardized services can be deployed more quickly and repeatably than custom services.
This benefits consumers directly since they have faster access to more reliable services,
while the provider spends less time with the nuts and bolts of provisioning, and can focus
on higher-value initiatives.
During its lifecycle, a standardized service will behave predictably during maintenance,
unplanned outages, and under system load. Consumers and providers will have common,
documented expectations for these scenarios.
Moving to a standardized environment is a significant change with important benefits. If
done properly, standardization also paves the way for further steps. For example, if most
deployments use the same operating system and database version, it is easier to
consolidate those deployments together into a shared operating environment.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
The service delivery phase of the evolution focuses on dynamic, policy-driven resource
management. If the standardized components support those capabilities, then enabling a
service delivery model is a simple matter of activating the supporting features and options
of the environment – no upgrades or rearchitecting are needed.
Effective standardization
The effectiveness of standardization depends on several factors. One might assume that
the more rigidly standardized an enterprise’s services are, the better. But it is rarely
possible to meet all of a large enterprise’s IT requirements with a single deployment
option. At the other end of the spectrum, each department or functional team cannot
create individual “standards” that simply describe what each group happens to be doing.
For standardization to be effective, it must
Apply across the entire enterprise
Satisfy the majority of current and future use cases
Allow for but minimize exceptions
When properly implemented and maintained, a service catalog enables effective
Enterprise-wide, end-to-end view of the IT estate
Each enterprise needs a single source which defines what IT provides, and specifies the
components and processes that support those offerings. As the single source of
information, the service catalog can be audited for consistency and uniformity —
standardization (or its absence) can be readily seen. This facilitates the creation and
enforcement of standardization.
Clear and consistent terminology defines all service offerings – this enables consumers to
understand what each service provides (and does not provide), and the cost of each
service. Services can be compared to other services both within the enterprise and to
external (public cloud) services where appropriate.
Fulfill the majority of current and future use cases
Services should be designed that meet current and future consumer needs. To make this
happen, the service offerings should be developed and evolved collaboratively between IT
(hereafter referred to as the “provider”) and end users (hereafter known as “consumers”).
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
When the provider and consumers meet to define and evaluate the offerings, consumers
have a forum to provide feedback and to understand new offerings and collections of
services. The provider has a framework for refining the service offerings and an
opportunity to guide consumers to appropriate services and beneficial behaviors.
Allow for but minimize exceptions
Some degree of flexibility must be available to accommodate non-standard cases, such as
legacy applications or exceptional resource requirements. Defining a methodology for
identifying and handling such exceptions is a necessary aspect of standardization and
should be documented in the service catalog.
The exception process must not be too cumbersome, or administering it will be time
consuming and contentious. Consumers who need an exception could choose to take
their workload elsewhere (e.g., into a public cloud, creating a “shadow IT” scenario).
And, it must not be too generous, or consumers will not be compelled to adopt the new
standards, but will be content to keep doing business as usual.
Finding the right balance between per-consumer flexibility (low standardization) and
business agility (high standardization) is possible only when consumers and providers
collaborate to develop and evolve a framework that is consistent for all stakeholders and
can be adapted over time. The service catalog and its proper management meet those
Service catalog overview
The catalog is divided into different components for different audiences. Collectively, the
service catalog provides an end-to-end view of the entire IT estate and its management.
The business catalog provides consumers with a succinct description of the salient
features and costs of available services
Selected services are exposed in a self-service catalog, allowing consumers to
independently provision those services on demand
The technical catalog is the provider’s detailed guide to deploying and managing
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Criteria for identifying and handling exceptions are specified
Figure 2: Service Catalog Components
Business catalog
The business catalog is the consumers’ view of the services available. Typically, three or
more service offerings will be defined. Often they are labeled with a scheme such as
Bronze/Silver/Gold to provide a high-level differentiation. For each service, the
capabilities, policies and procedures of the service are documented in formal terms that
are relevant to the consumer.
The definition for each service offering should include:
Description of the service offering, in business terms
For each service category which defines the service, an explanation of the level of
service provided
How to order, change, learn more about the service offering
We will examine the different service categories that comprise a service offering in a
following section.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Self-service catalog
An enterprise may wish to offer some of the services from the business catalog in an ondemand, self-service model. This will usually be a subset of the business catalog, i.e.,
those services well-suited for full automation, and services that are provisioned and
deprovisioned frequently. Database services for test and development are a common
example. More complex configurations, such as those with unique compliance or
performance requirements, are not usually offered in a self-service catalog.
The self-service catalog will be an interactive portal through which consumers can deploy,
monitor and manage services on-demand.
Technical service catalog
The technical service catalog is the provider’s detailed guide for how to deploy and
manage each service offering. For each service, there will be a standardized deployment
template. The template includes every detail needed for provisioning the service: database
edition, version, patch level; number of database instances; configuration parameters;
options to be enabled (such as encryption to support a security requirement), and so on.
Ideally, the template should be fully portable so that the service can be deployed in a
private or a public cloud. The template would specify any variations required to address
the differences between the two provisioning models. There will also be variants to
describe instantiations of the service for the different consolidation models in which
services can be deployed.
It is unrealistic to expect that a service catalog can provide standardized offerings that
address every possible service that a business may need. In fact, trying to enumerate every
possible service variant will lead to a complex and confusing catalog. Instead, service
attributes that trigger an exception should be spelled out, along with the response to nonstandard requests. Unique sizing or isolation requirements are typical examples of such
However to encourage customers to adopt the standard services, the exception process
should be less agile and more expensive than for standard services. By designing services
which address most current and future needs, and encouraging their adoption, exceptions
can be minimized to perhaps fewer than ten percent over time.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Case Studies
Our discussion so far may suggest that designing an effective service catalog is a simple
process that will produce very similar results from one case to the next. To the contrary,
we will see a wide variety in the customer examples that follow. For each case, we will
highlight one or two items which illustrate the range of choices available to a catalog
1. Extreme standardization at a large commercial bank
A large bank began an extensive transformation of its IT estate in 2008. One of their
guiding principles for their transformation has been to enforce strong standardization.
This is reflected in the bank’s highly standardized service catalog for their Oracle
Database offerings:
Figure 3: Service Catalog for a large commercial bank
Obviously, it is very easy for consumers to choose a service. And it is very
straightforward to provide the selected service. The cost model is also very simple, and
reflects the bank’s decision to leverage the economics of standardization and
consolidation by providing every consumer with the same high degree of availability and
disaster recovery protection.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
If a database service cannot be provided by the two choices above, then the bank creates a
custom deployment. This process (intentionally) takes longer than deploying a service
through the service catalog, thereby allowing but discouraging exceptions.
2. Security options for database services at a northern European bank
A worldwide bank based in northern Europe has developed five service levels which
address about 80% of their Oracle Database deployments. Their business catalog reflects
a common way to address security – it is handled orthogonally to other service categories:
Figure 4: Business Catalog for a global financial services company
The security classes are constructed to comply with relevant mandates from the national
banking system. All three security options are applicable to and available for all of the
service levels. When a particular service is provisioned, the selection of the security class
is made by an oversight group.
Also, note that the service use cases give consumers helpful guidance for their selection.
Recovery objectives and support hours are detailed so consumers know what to expect in
the event of a localized failure (“Availability”) or a large-scale incident (“Disaster
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Although 9’s are used to describe availability, in practice this measurement is not
emphasized at the bank. Several caveats (e.g., not applicable outside of support hours)
make the 9’s yardstick less relevant than the RPO / RTO targets and the support hours.
The technical catalog informs the provider (IT) of the database configuration and
supporting options:
Figure 5: Technical Catalog for a global financial services company
The security classes are implemented with pre-defined templates; these details are not
exposed in the business catalog.
Note that service levels A, B and C are all implemented with RAC One Node. While the
bank determined that a Single Instance deployment could meet the availability
requirements of level A, the bank sought to reduce the variety of supported deployments.
Therefore RAC One Node is used for all three service levels.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
3. Pre-defined templates and a “custom” option at a global insurance company
This customer offers three levels of DBaaS. For the first two tiers, the consumer chooses
a database size from a set of pre-defined templates. This is a common approach and
helps ensure that resources are appropriately balanced for each service. If a consumer
needs a database service at the highest tier, then by definition there is a custom sizing
exercise to define the resource allocation.
Figure 6: Business Catalog for a global insurance company
Not reflected in the business catalog – the consumer does not need to know this – is the
fact that Advanced services are deployed in a dedicated platform.
Figure 7: Technical Catalog for a global insurance company
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
4. Some database services may be deployed in Virtual Machines
While all of the other examples we have and will see follow the best practice of deploying
Oracle Database services on bare metal, some enterprises have identified use cases which
they wish to support by provisioning in a VM.
Figure 8: Service Catalog for a financial institution
Note that the provisioning detail of deploying in VM is not exposed in the business
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
5. Planned downtime is important to consumers
Planned maintenance of hardware and software is typically more frequent than unplanned
events that can disrupt services. Maintenance may require service downtime, depending
on the activity. To prepare consumers for maintenance events, several enterprises spell
out pre-defined maintenance windows, so consumers can plan ahead for downtime.
Figure 9: Service Catalog for a Telco
Providers report that although consumers may be reluctant at first to sign up for a service
with planned downtime, they usually adapt quickly to the predictable schedule. For
consumers that require customized maintenance terms, the provider has an opportunity to
“upsell” that as a special service.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
6. SLA specification can be general, or more precise
Defining RTO and RPO for overall availability – i.e., with any possible planned or
unplanned event in mind – can produce misleading metrics, since they must account for
the worst-case scenario. A worst-case scenario (such as site destruction) is very unlikely,
so unless the architecture is designed to handle the worst-case quickly, then giving a single
metric will not reflect the service’s performance in the face of localized events.
This customer has divided availability into two categories – local and disaster – and
provided separate metrics for the classes of events:
Figure 10: Business Catalog for a U.S. government agency
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
This condensed representation of the customer’s technical catalog provides a feel for the
level of detail that the technical catalog should cover:
Figure 11: Technical Catalog for U.S. government agency
Of course, the above is only a summary of the actual technical catalog. The actual
document will cover more details such as how often to take backups, access controls for
different users and administrators, and so on.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
7. Provisioning services on different platforms
Most datacenters host more than one type of server platform. This European Telco
deploys Bronze services on Oracle Exadata when those services support a Silver or Gold
service (i.e., support a service that is by definition deployed on Exadata). Otherwise, the
service is deployed on a non-engineered system.
Figure 12: Business Catalog for Telco provider
This implementation detail is not exposed in the business catalog, since there is no choice
or decision for the consumer to make, beyond the selection of a Bronze service.
8. Variability and options provide flexibility
This large financial institution specifies two levels of performance for services. Bronze
and Silver services can be given more resources, but the activity must be scheduled ahead
of time. Gold and Platinum services, on the other hand, can rapidly scale up as workloads
Also note that availability is defined as a metric for Bronze and Silver services, and
qualitatively for Gold and Platinum.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Figure 13: Business Catalog for large financial services company
The technical catalog is very succinct, and provides a limited number of architectures.
The backup and recovery approaches build up in a logical, stepped manner. Note that in
the business catalog, technologies for backup and restore are not shown – only the
metrics which the consumer is concerned about.
Figure 14: Technical Catalog for large financial services company
Note that this customer chose to meet the DR business goals for Platinum services with
tiered Oracle Data Guard targets. The local Data Guard secondary is also useful for
maintenance activities such as database upgrades.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Exception handling
Customer case study number three showed one example of exception identification and
resolution. Additional examples illustrate other criteria that customers have selected for
triggering custom deployments:
Figure 15: Exception Triggers and Responses
Note that in each case, the exceptions are handled with a dedicated pool: non-standard
services are not consolidated with standard services, nor with other non-standard services.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Standardized service offerings for Oracle Database services
Now that we have looked at several customer case studies, we will summarize with our
recommendation for the service categories that should be used to define database services:
Figure 16: DBaaS Service Categories
When defining database services, most if not all of the above should be specified for
describing services.
We will now apply these concepts as we define standardized service offerings for Oracle
Database services in private clouds. Customers are encouraged to adopt these definitions,
or adapt them to their particular needs. At the highest level, our standardized service
offerings are as follows:
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Figure 17: Standardized service offerings for Oracle Database services
Within each service offering, the service level for each service category is as follows:
Figure 18: Service levels for each service category
We will now examine each service category, and the definitions of the service levels listed
in the above figure.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Describing availability
The business catalog could enumerate every possible event that can impact services, and
describe service availability in the face of each, but this introduces much more complexity
than a business catalog should expose. Instead, either an expression of global availability
or a more fine-grained description that defines the service availability for different outage
classes is recommended.
A global definition can be quantitative or qualitative. Recovery Time Objective (RTO)
and Recovery Point Objective (RPO) are more useful as a quantitative measure than
nines, because for a nines measurement to be useful it must account for the probability of
every possible disruptive event, and the mean-time-to-fix for each. Alternatively, a
qualitative description for availability levels (e.g., basic, high) can provide useful
expectations for service consumers.
Defining availability in terms of outage classes is often employed. We define those classes
as follows:
Figure 19: Availability Outage Classes
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Recoverable local outages covers component failures that can be addressed within
the service’s local environment.
Planned maintenance includes hardware and software patching and upgrades
Data protection – data loss due to failure of storage media
Corruption protection – from physical and logical corruptions, and lost writes, is
handled with data protection technologies and processes
Disaster Recovery handles events which cannot be addressed at the primary site,
or render the entire site unavailable
Human errors are often limited and quickly reparable, but errors with large impact
may take a significant amount of time to correct
Oracle Database availability levels
With a broad range of features and options, virtually any level of availability can be
delivered with the Oracle Database. Oracle has defined four availability levels with
distinct characteristics and bounded implementation choices1. Enterprises offering
database services may wish to adopt the definitions and implementations of these
availability levels to align with established terminology and proven best practices:
Complete details in MAA Best Practices for Database Consolidation: the Foundation for Database-as-a-Service
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Figure 20: Oracle DBaaS Availability Levels
Bronze Availability
The entry level, which provides basic availability, is for database services that are not
highly critical. The service is hosted on a single standalone machine with no failover
target. If that machine fails or is taken offline for maintenance the service is not available
until the machine is restored or replaced. Data loss and disaster recovery are addressed by
restoring from backup.
Silver Availability
These services provide high availability with clustering. This improves service levels in the
face of recoverable local outages and planned maintenance. As with Bronze, data loss and
disaster recovery are addressed by restoring from backup.
Gold Availability
The availability requirements of business-critical services are met with Gold availability.
As with Silver, the service has clustering for local HA. The difference in this architecture
is that a secondary site is maintained, which provides fast recovery for DR and
unrecoverable local outages, and also improves protection from data corruptions.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Platinum Availability
Platinum leverages new capabilities of Oracle Database 12c to enable the deployment of
database services which can provide zero outage to Platinum-ready applications. (More
details are provided in the MAA white paper cited above.) Platinum addresses the
requirements of the most mission-critical workloads.
The following figures offer side-by-side comparisons of the four availability levels in more
detail. A provider may choose to expose some of this information in the business catalog,
depending on the needs of the consumers.
Figure 21: Availability service levels within each outage class
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Figure 22: Impact of outage classes for each availability level
Figure 23: RTO and RPO within each availability level
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Figure 24: Relative Capabilities per outage class
Providing availability for Oracle Database Services
To deliver the availability levels described above, simply follow these implementation
templates endorsed by Oracle’s Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA) team:
Bronze availability
Figure 25: Bronze Availability
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Bronze services are based on Oracle Database Enterprise Edition and Oracle ASM. The
capabilities of the database and ASM, together with manual checks during RMAN backup
and restore, provide good protection against data corruption.
Because there is no
secondary site with a replica of the database, the overall RTO for all outages and planned
maintenance activities will range from minutes to possibly days for full restore and
recovery operation. Some planned maintenance activities will be less disruptive when the
database is deployed in a virtual machine.
The second part of the architecture is a well defined backup/restore solution.
recommend using RMAN backups to disk, to tape and offsite for DR purposes.
Silver availability
Figure 26: Silver Availability
Silver services extend the capabilities of Bronze services with clustering, using either
Oracle RAC or Oracle RAC One Node. Oracle RAC is required if the service is too large
for a single server, or if the fastest possible local failover is required. Otherwise, the
lower-cost alternative of Oracle RAC One Node can be deployed.
With Oracle RAC / Oracle RAC One Node, RTO and RPO for recoverable local
outages, and RTO for planned maintenance are significantly reduced when compared to
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Gold availability
Figure 27: Gold Availability
Gold is designed for business-critical workloads which must be resilient to unrecoverable
local outages and disaster events. Therefore a secondary site is deployed, and kept current
with the primary using Oracle Active Data Guard. Active Data Guard provides the
management, monitoring, and automation software to create and maintain one or more
standby databases to protect from a variety of events, including site-wide outages.
Active Data Guard can replicate data in either synchronous (enabling zero data loss) or
asynchronous mode (near-zero data loss). For synchronous replication, the network
capability between the sites will limit the practical distance separation.
With Active Data Guard added to the capabilities of RMAN and ASM, comprehensive
protection against data corruption is delivered with continuous checks on both the
primary and the replica for corruptions and lost writes, and automatic block repair on
corrupted data blocks.
GoldenGate may also be used for replication, however, note that it does not provide the
corruption protection of Active Data Guard. Also, Golden Gate provides asynchronous
replication only.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Platinum Availability
Figure 28: Platinum Availability
Platinum takes Silver to the next level, enabling configurations in which applications
experience no outage during any failure or maintenance activity, and zero data loss is
possible with no regards to the distance between the sites. While Bronze, Silver and Gold
services can be provided with Oracle Database 11g or Oracle Database 12c, Oracle
Database 12c is required to deliver Platinum availability by leveraging Application
Continuity, Global Data Services, and Active Data Guard Far Sync.
Application Continuity
Application Continuity is invoked for outages that result in recoverable errors, typically
related to underlying software, hardware, communications, network, or storage layers
outages. Application Continuity is used to improve the user experience when handling
both unplanned outages and planned outages.
Introduced in Oracle Database 12c, Application Continuity strengthens the fault tolerance
of systems and applications that use an Oracle database.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Active Data Guard Far Sync
Prior to the release of Oracle Active Data Guard Far Sync with Oracle Database 12c,
disaster recovery architectures faced a difficult choice:
Target an RPO of zero with a nearby site (usually closer than 100 km, and thus
vulnerable to large scale events that would impact both sites)
separate the secondary site by a large (safe) distance but accept a higher RPO
Oracle Active Data Guard Far Sync resolves this dilemma by offering the best of both
options: unlimited site separation and potentially zero RPO. Active Data Guard Far Sync
enables zero data loss protection for a production database by maintaining a synchronized
standby database located at any distance from the primary location, without impacting
database performance and with minimal cost or complexity. A far sync instance receives
changes synchronously from a primary database and forwards them asynchronously to a
remote standby. Production can be quickly failed over, manually or automatically, to the
remote standby database with zero data loss.
Platinum availability leverages Active Data Guard Far Sync to enable unlimited site
separation and an RPO target of zero.
Global Data Services
Global Data Services (GDS) extends database services to span multiple database instances
(which can belong to different, synchronized databases) in near and far locations. GDS
extends Oracle RAC-like failover, service management, and service load balancing to
database configurations using Active Data Guard and GoldenGate for replication. GDS
benefits include:
higher availability with service failover across local and global databases.
better scalability by providing load balancing across multiple databases.
better manageability via centralized administration of global resources.
GDS provides inter- and intra-region load balancing across replicated databases. For
example, it can distribute load across a reader farm composed of standby instances, and
even direct some read traffic to the primary if conditions warrant it. This enables true
location independence for database services.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Oracle Database security levels
An enterprise will typically define a minimum security level that all data must comply with.
The implementation details and supporting processes will be part of the technical service
catalog. Data that must comply with further internal policies or industry or government
regulations such as PCI-DSS should be flagged as such in the business catalog, because
responsibility for proper data security extends to the highest level in the enterprise. Of
course, the implementation details for each security level remain in the technical service
This will often be prescriptive. For example, the service for a database containing credit
card information cannot propose PCI-DSS compliance as an option. Instead, PCI-DSS
compliance must be an integral part of the service definition.
Also note that the security and compliance requirements are often orthogonal to other key
service attributes such as availability level: there can be databases containing sensitive
information, but with low HA requirements. Conversely, a database with high HA
requirements may or may not contain data with special compliance needs. Therefore,
compliance is usually shown as a menu of options available to appropriate service
The Oracle DBaaS business catalog makes this easy for consumers: for each service
offering, the default security level is Bronze. Service offerings that may need higher
security can be upgraded as an option. The four standard levels are:
Figure 29: Security levels
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
The technical catalog then spells out the components and processes that the provider
must implement. The implementations for each level outlined above are as follows:
Figure 30: Bronze security
Figure 31: Silver security
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Figure 32: Gold security
Figure 33: Platinum security
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
While the outlines above establish a baseline of essential components for meeting
different security and compliance requirements, providing full compliance with
regulations such as PCI-DSS or HIPAA HITECH entails more than simply deploying the
products and options mentioned above. For full details of meeting government and
industry regulations, please refer to the reference material listed in this paper’s reference
Providers may determine service footprint based on characterstics of the service request
such as workload type, but they often specify “T-shirt sizes” for consumers to choose
from. A menu would specify balanced configurations such as the following:
Table 1: Example service footprint sizings
However the provider chooses to expose (or not expose) CPU and RAM for services,
storage is typically exposed in the business catalog in fixed increments, which consumers
may be allowed to increase post-deployment:
Table 2: Example storage sizings and tiers
Capacity (TB)
Slow | Medium | Fast
Furthermore, the provider may offer the consumer to select from different storage tiers,
which could be priced appropriately.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Oracle Database agility levels
Agility describes the capabilities of the service in terms of provisioning speed and
modality; whether the service can receive capacity-on-demand as workloads require; and
the service mobility, which includes changing the service level (for example of availability),
and physically relocating the service.
Relocating a service could be desirable for several reasons. For example, the consumer
might move their service to a datacenter with lower costs or more desirable service levels.
The agility levels are defined as follows:
Figure 34: Agility levels
Static agility is the default for the Bronze and Silver service offerings. Resources such as
CPU and IOPs can be shared by multiple services, and dynamically allocated to address
changing workloads. Features such as Instance Caging and Database Resource Manager
enable this agility level.
The Gold service offering provides capabilities for dynamic pools and services, including
the ability to change a service’s service tier. Oracle Real Application Cluster and Quality
of Service Management are the key technologies for delivering agility to Gold services.
Platinum services provide service mobility within and across data centers. Features in
Oracle Database 12c including Global Data Services and Application Continuity broaden
the scope of mobility.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Oracle Database performance management
The Performance service category describes IT’s involvement (manually or via automation
and polices) with a service’s performance:
Figure 35: Oracle Database performance management levels
By default, Bronze and Silver service offerings are provided with no Key Performance
Indicators – the assumption is that the resource allocation and management rules
provided at provisioning time will deliver acceptable performance.
Gold and Platinum service offerings are monitored and potentially tuned with Enterprise
Manager packs to ensure that performance goals are met. A provider may consider the
option to apply this same performance level to Silver services.
To enable dynamic resource adjustments to meet KPIs, Quality of Service Management
will be applied. Using a policy-based architecture, QoS Management correlates accurate
run-time performance and resource metrics, analyzes this data with its expert system to
identify bottlenecks, and produces recommended resource adjustments to meet and
maintain performance objectives under dynamic load conditions. Should sufficient
resources not be available, QoS will preserve the more business critical objectives at the
expense of the less critical ones.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Support terms
This category defines the time windows that support is available for the service, and the
form of the support. A mission-critical service will usually receive 24x7 live support. A
non-critical service such as a development environment could have ticket-driven support
during business hours, with self-helps forums (e.g. a wiki/FAQ) as the primary support
mechanism. This category also specifies the response and resolution times for support
Also, maintenance windows are often specified: their frequency, duration, and impact to
the service. Even though the provider might not need to perform maintenance during
each scheduled window, having a defined schedule avoids surprises for the service
Cost model
Enterprises often associate a cost with each service. Funds may be recovered from
consumers, or the cost metrics may be used only for “showback” purposes. When
chargeback or showback are implemented, there are several options, including:
Fixed cost for service tier
Fixed cost for service footprint (whether resources are used or not)
Variable cost based on resources consumed
A formula that factors in service tier and footprint
Possible charges for special capabilities, service tier upgrades or downgrades,
resizing, etc.
Service uplifts available to consumers could include things such as on-demand or morefrequent backups, or preferential / consumer-scheduled maintenance windows.
Several customers we work with have examined all the options carefully and concluded
that simpler is better. Keep in mind that for an enterprise cloud, the provider is not
attempting to make money from the consumers. Ultimately, the provider is there to add
value to the business.
However the provider chooses to handle costs, Enterprise Manager 12c offers a full range
of options. Enterprise Manager Chargeback provides the administrator with:
Metering for Enterprise Manager targets and resources
Assignment of rates to metered resources
Management of a cost center hierarchy
Assignment of costs to cost centers
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Usage and charge reports
Integration with billing applications
This set of features can be used to implement chargeback in a private cloud. API’s that
export metering and charge data to billing solutions such as Oracle Billing and Revenue
Management (BRM) provide a solution for the creation of chargeback and billing
Consolidating Oracle Database Services
Oracle Database services can be consolidated onto a shared platform in several ways:
An Oracle Database Service can be provisioned into any of these consolidation
architectures. We recommend deploying standardized Oracle Database 12c services as
PDBs. For non-standard Oracle Database 12c services, and standard Oracle 10g and 11g
services, we recommend provisioning a dedicated database. Except for selected Bronze
services, provisioning into a virtual machine environment is recommended only for nonstandard cases that require a high level of isolation.
For complete details of consolidating Oracle Database Services and considerations for
isolation, security, networking etc., please visit the Private Database Cloud page on the
Oracle Technology Network2.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Engineered Systems for Oracle Database Services
The concepts in this paper are platform-agnostic. In other words, the benefits of a service
catalog approach can be realized for Oracle Databases deployed on any supported
platform. In fact, as noted earlier, the deployment templates for database services should
be portable, to facilitate provisioning in private clouds, public clouds, and hybrid clouds,
on whatever platform is appropriate.
Of course, the capabilities of each specific hardware platform will influence several
characteristics of the overall services solution. For example, a small configuration can
host only a small overall workload, limiting the consolidation possibilities. From another
perspective, hosting services in an environment with a variety of third-party components
will be more time-consuming and error-prone than hosting services on a pre-built
platform. For those and other considerations, Oracle’s engineered systems offer several
advantages for hosting Oracle Database services:
Oracle’s engineered systems are optimized to achieve enterprise performance
levels that are unmatched in the industry
Faster time to production is achieved by implementing pre-engineered and preassembled hardware and software bundles
Single-vendor stack simplifies and reduces the costs associated with purchasing,
deploying, and supporting IT environments
The Oracle Exadata Database Machine provides extreme performance for both data
warehousing and online transaction processing (OLTP) applications.
Oracle SuperCluster is Oracle's fastest and most scalable engineered system, ideal for
consolidating databases and applications, private cloud deployments, and Oracle software.
Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance is an integrated, wire-once, software-defined
infrastructure system designed for the quick deployment of hardware and virtualized
The Oracle Database Appliance is an engineered system of software, servers, storage and
networking that offers a simple, reliable, low-cost package for mid-range database
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Creating and maintaining effective standardization is the essential foundation for realizing
the benefits of cloud computing. In fact, many enterprises have achieved significant
results simply by effectively standardizing their environments and processes.
The tool to achieve effective standardization is the service catalog. The service catalog
provides an end-to-end view of the IT estate, and establishes a provider/consumer
relationship between IT and end-users. Evolving the catalog in a collaborative manner
enables an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship.
Several key points summarize our suggestions for implementing and managing a service
Keep it simple – the Business Catalog should fit on one page
Clear terms and conditions
You’ll probably need three ~ five Service Offerings
Develop jointly with consumers
Define a process to identify and handle exceptions
Minimize the number of distinct environments
Add services incrementally as needed
Stay with the plan but be willing to adjust
Make sure the entire model supports your business goals
Become a service provider
The Oracle Database includes features and options that enable the full range of enterprise
deployments—from basic development environments to the most demanding missioncritical. The full spectrum is possible, which can make it challenging to create a succinct
business catalog with a small set of standardized database services.
To address this, we have leveraged Oracle’s best practices and key lessons learned to
define four service offerings for Oracle Database services. Providers can adopt or adapt
these to quickly create the foundation for delivering Database as a Service with the service
catalog model.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
Glossary of ‘service’ terms
Database as a Service (DBaaS)
Database as a Service (DBaaS) is an architectural and operational approach enabling IT
providers to deliver database functionality as a service to one or more consumers.
Database as a Service architectures support the following capabilities:
Consumer-based provisioning and management of database instances using ondemand, self-service mechanisms;
Automated monitoring of and compliance with provider-defined service
definitions, attributes and quality of service levels;
Fine-grained metering of database usage enabling show-back reporting or chargeback functionality for each individual consumer
In addition to these characteristics, it is expected that DBaaS architectures will naturally
support granular service elasticity, secure multi-tenancy, access using a broad range of
non-proprietary devices and mechanisms, automated resource management, and
integrated capacity planning.
Database Service
Database services represent groups of applications with common attributes, service level
thresholds, and priorities. Database services provide a single system image to manage
competing applications, and allow each workload to be managed as a unit. A database
service can span one or more instances of an Oracle database, multiple databases in a
global cluster, and a single instance can support multiple database services.
Consumer-based provisioning and management of services, available through a web portal
interface. The process could be fully automated, i.e., the service can be provisioned
through the portal; or, it could start a workflow with gating approvals and so on.
Service Catalog
The collection of documents and artifacts that describe the services provided by IT, and
the details of how those services are provisioned and managed.
Service Delivery
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
In the evolution to enterprise cloud, the service delivery phase increases speed and agility
by leveraging automation and dynamic, online operations. Services are provisioned faster,
and operate at higher levels, with less manual attention. A self-service portal allows users
to provision and manage database services without IT engagement. End users benefit
from faster access to services, and better availability of those services. IT benefits by
spending less time on manual operations, and can focus on higher-value initiatives.
Automated, dynamic management of resources is a key characteristic of a service delivery
environment. In an environment managed with manual processes, adjusting a database’s
footprint requires human intervention. By contrast, a service delivery environment uses
tools to monitor and dynamically adjust both resource allocations and footprint without
impact to running workloads. Adjustments are faster and less error-prone, enabling
higher resource utilization and higher service levels.
Because the environment is dynamic, metering and analyzing system operations becomes
more important than in a more static environment. The key is choosing what to meter and
when to look at the data, both periodically and event-driven. Triggers should be defined
which result in audits and adjustments. For example, all system outages should be
analyzed to address root causes and improve recovery policies. Missed SLAs or sustained
operation at near-capacity are other examples of situations that should trigger alerts and
be investigated.
Metrics are also critical for measuring each consumer’s resource usage. Consumers might
be charged for usage, or perhaps only shown their usage. In either case, collecting usage
metrics provides hard data that charts usage patterns, enabling better planning and
budgeting, and identifying underutilized assets.
Service Catalogs: Defining Standardized Database Services
MAA for OnPremises,
Public, and
Hybrid Cloud
Database 12c
Evolution to
Security and
with Oracle
Database 12c
Service Catalogs:Defining Standardized
Copyright © 2013, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is provided for information purposes only and the
Database Services
contents hereof are subject to change without notice. This document is not warranted to be error-free, nor subject to any other
November 2016, Revision 1.6
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Author: Burt Clouse Contributing authors: Joe
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