This four-part series by Oracle ACE Director Joel Perez and Oracle ACE Arturo Viveros focuses on cloud integration and is directed towards IT managers and architects, particularly those who are hungry for knowledge related to cloud solutions and the dynamics involved when attempting to integrate them effectively into established business architectures.
Let’s start with why we put together this series of articles.
The situation is pretty clear: most of the IT world is heading deep into the Cloud. The biggest technology vendors, including Oracle, are deliberately pushing their clients into a massive paradigm shift, and many players once considered pioneers or visionaries in the incipient cloud computing business have emerged as juggernaut corporations.
On the other hand, today’s ultra-competitive market requires organizations to be innovative and disruptive in order to remain relevant -- or even to survive. This is where many companies look to attain cloud computing’s main benefits: cost-reduction, elasticity, resiliency, rapid provisioning, flexible charging models, and more.
One of the most relevant implications is the need for fast, reliable, modern, adaptable and ready-made cloud integration platforms. Thus, a concept such as iPaaS has arrived, and it is here to stay.
So, why do we need to focus on cloud integration?
The diversity of cloud vendors out there is huge and growing by the day. In this regard, even Oracle´s cloud solutions portfolio has become incredibly diverse. Having a lot of options can be great, but no one wants to end up building an unsustainable "Tower of Babel.”
Fortunately, a good selection of tools is available to help us mitigate and resolve any issues. Oracle has invested thoroughly in cloud integration and is now able to provide a nice set of advanced capabilities, which we will focus on in this article series. We believe that if we pair these elements with a strong body of knowledge regarding fundamental concepts, design patterns and best practices, we can come up with straightforward approaches for successfully jumping into cloud integration initiatives.
Over the course of four articles, beginning with this introduction, we will emphasize essential cloud computing concepts, integration scenarios, SOA and cloud computing touch points, as well as some hand-picked design patterns for cloud computing architecture. All of the latter will be contextualized within Oracle’s cloud universe, highlighting the current capabilities, as well as some others that are identified in the roadmap.
So before anything else, let’s start by reviewing the fundamental cloud computing concepts that will be referred to in this series.
Here are the most important characteristics of a Cloud:
- On-demand usage
- Ubiquitous access
- Measured usage
*If you're looking for a thorough definition of these concepts, we recommend the following body of knowledge: http://www.whatiscloud.com/
Here are the most common delivery models related to cloud computing:
- IaaS - Infrastructure as a Service (e.g., Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Amazon Web Services)
- PaaS - Platform as a Service (e.g., Oracle Java Cloud Service, Google App Engine)
- SaaS - Software as a Service (e.g., Oracle Taleo, SalesForce.com)
Some of the more sophisticated offerings on the market derive directly from the aforementioned models:
- NaaS - Network as a Service (IaaS)
- iPaaS - Integration Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- DBaaS - Database as a Service (SaaS)
These delivery models can be deployed and managed in a particular way, depending on access levels, permissions, resource availability, connectivity, security requirements and many other factors that will eventually shape the cloud offering’s deployment model of choice:
- Public Cloud - Multi-tenancy and resource pooling are maximized, because any cloud-based asset may be shared among a number of subscribers. Multiple organizations and particulars usually coexist in this model, though each tenant’s proprietary information can remain private and secure.
- Private Cloud – An organization owns, manages and provides a set of cloud-based resources, which will be ultimately used with diverse purposes by cloud consumers inside itself.
- Community Cloud – A group of organizations with a common nature and related goals can put together and manage cloud-based resources in a joint effort. Those resources can be accessed and leveraged only by community members.
- Hybrid Cloud – A combination of two or more cloud offerings based on the models described above. Regarding Oracle’s Cloud Adoption Strategy, this will be the case of most clients, which only enhances the need for a well-rounded Cloud Integration practice.
Once the theoretical concepts are clear and understood, it is important to identify the unique challenges to be faced when looking to adopt cloud computing technology and incorporate it into an organization’s IT ecosystem.
In that context, one of the main focus points should be integration, which automatically brings to the table a lot of questions:
- How do I put this all together and make it work efficiently for the organization’s benefit?
- Can the interaction between diverse cloud services/providers be automatized?
- What are the security considerations, and how do we address them?
- How do I go about cloud integration without going through an on-premise platform?
- Are there any mature design patterns and best practices for on-premise to cloud integrations?
All of these questions and many others have clear and very interesting answers, which we will clarify in the upcoming articles that comprise this series; these articles will focus on the following concerns:
- Cloud to Cloud Integration
- On-premise to Cloud Integration (and vice versa)
- Hybrid Integration: Solving complex / sophisticated scenarios
About the Authors
Arturo Viveros is an outstanding Mexican professional currently based in Oslo, Norway, with 11 years of experience in the development, design, architecture and delivery of IT Projects for a variety of industries. He is also a regular speaker in technology conferences, both in Mexico and abroad. He is an Oracle ACE and works as principal architect in Sysco Middleware. Arturo is also part of the coordinating committee for ORAMEX (Oracle User Group in Mexico) and has recently achieved the Oracle SOA Certified IT Architect certification as well as the Cloud Certified Architect and SOA Certified Architect grades from Arcitura Inc. He is a certified trainer authorized to deliver the SOA School and Cloud School modules both in English and in Spanish. Arturo is also a regular contributor to SOA Magazine, Service Technology Magazine, the Oracle Technology Network.
Joel Perez is an Expert DBA (Oracle ACE Director, OCM Cloud Admin.and OCM11g ) with over 15 years of real world experience with Oracle technologies, specializing in the design and implementation of solutions: High Availability, Disaster Recovery, Upgrades, Replication, Tuning, Cloud and all areas related to Oracle Databases. As an international consultant he has served clients and participated in conferences and activities in more than 50 countries on 5 continents. A prolific writer, Joel has published technical articles for OTN in Spanish and Portugese, and is a regular speaker at Oracle events worldwide, including OTN LAD (Latin America), OTN MENA (Middle East & Africa), OTN APAC (Asian Pacific), DTCC China, and more. Recognized as a pioneer in Oracle technology, Joel was the first Latin American awarded “OTN Expert of the Year” (in 2003), and was one of the first to be awarded Oracle ACE status (2004). Joel was also one of the first OCP Database Cloud Administrators (2013), and, in the biggest professional achievement in his career, was honored as the one of the first “OCM Database Cloud Administrators” in the world. Currently Joel works for Yunhe Enmo (Beijing) Technology Co., Ltd.
This article represents the expertise, findings, and opinions of the authors. It has been published by Oracle in this space as part of a larger effort to encourage the exchange of such information within this Community, and to promote evaluation and commentary by peers. This article has not been reviewed by the relevant Oracle product team for compliance with Oracle's standards and practices, and its publication should not be interpreted as an endorsement by Oracle of the statements expressed therein.