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What is Oracle Cloud Infrastructure?

The purpose of this Oracle Cloud Infrastructure tutorial for beginners is to illustrate the fundamental capabilities of OCI and encourage the learner to consider new ways to use cloud infrastructure.

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Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is a scalable, highly available, and cost-effective cloud platform designed to meet the demands of today's businesses. It provides developers and IT with a wide range of options for running existing workloads and developing cloud-native apps. Oracle Cloud is the first public cloud that has been designed from the ground up to be a superior cloud for every application. This tutorial demonstrates some fundamental concepts of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Tutorial - Table of Contents

What is Oracle Cloud Infrastructure?

Architecture

Key Features

Benefits

Compartments

Functions

Services

What is Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)?

Researchers recognized an opportunity to develop our cloud differently than existing clouds, which were meant to enable web and "scaling out" cloud-native apps. Enterprise applications that employ relational databases, technical applications, and departmental apps are the three types of applications that most businesses have. The first two often required changes or even rewrites to run on the cloud, while the third was frequently replaced with SaaS equivalents. Oracle has put a lot of effort into building essential infrastructure services from the bottom up so that customers can run all five types of apps with ease. Oracle also offers a broad and comprehensive array of cloud applications (SaaS) for practically any departmental and industry-specific demand on top of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

The use of computer resources such as servers, data storage, and processing power through the internet is known as cloud computing. Computing resources are made available on-demand and without the need for human contact.

A multi-tenant model is one in which resources are pooled to serve several users across an extensive network. Users only pay for the resources, and resources may be accessible dynamically based on demand. These are the key features of cloud computing that have helped it become so successful and appealing to consumers.

Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS), Platform as a Service (PAAS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) are the three cloud service paradigms. 

OCI supports the following:

  • High availability: Cloud resources are available at all times and have no single point of failure.
  • Disaster Recovery: Allow for a speedy recovery or service continuance in any type of outage.
  • Fault Tolerance: Keep downtime to a minimum.
  • Scalability: Allow resources to be scaled up or down (vertical scaling), in and out (horizontal scaling).
  • Elasticity: The ability to rapidly scale resources such as virtual machines and storage.
If you want to enrich your career and become a professional in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, then enroll in "Oracle OCI Training". This course will help you to achieve excellence in this domain.

OCI Architecture

The OCI architecture comprises four major components:

Region - These are the geographical places where cloud services are offered worldwide.

Availability Domain - Isolated data centers within a region make up an availability domain.

Fault Domain - Within an availability domain, fault domains are logical data centers.

Compartment – The term "compartment" refers to a logical grouping of linked resources. Compartments may be layered up to six layers:

  1. A resource can only be assigned to one compartment.
  2. Resources can be added or removed from a compartment.
  3. Resources in various compartments can interact with each other.
  4. Transferring resources from one compartment to another is feasible.
  5. Multiple regions' resources can be stored in the same compartment.
  6. A budget is set aside for the compartment's resources.

Even though availability domains are segregated, they are linked via a low-latency, high-bandwidth network. For high resource availability, each AD has three fault domains. Resources in distinct fault domains don't have a single point of failure in common. Compartments assist in isolating and controlling access to cloud resources.

Key Features of Oracle OCI

1. Performance Metrics

Keep track of your Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's key performance indicators. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure supports a wide range of technologies, including compute, storage, networking, security, database management, analytics, and big data, among others. The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure monitoring feature in Applications Manager will provide you with deep insight into its computing capabilities.

You may do the following with Applications Manager's Oracle Cloud Monitoring service:

  • Monitor your computing elements in real-time.
  • Keep an eye on the CPU and memory use.
  • Keeping an eye on your boot volumes is a good idea.
  • Keep track of block volumes efficiently.
  • Ensure that the network is as efficient as possible.
  • Quickly resolve issues and create reports

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2. Health Checks

You may use compute infrastructure health metrics to keep track of the state and health of your compute instances.

Status of instance health (up/down): When a bare metal instance is operating, the instance status metric may be used to determine if it is available (up) or unavailable (down). Contact assistance if the instance is down for more than 30 minutes.

Instance maintenance status: You may use the maintenance status metric to see if a VM instance is scheduled for planned infrastructure maintenance.

Health state of bare metal infrastructure: The health status metric allows you to keep track of the infrastructure for bare metal instances, including hardware components like the CPU and RAM.

3. Alarm Notification

When the alarm is in the firing state, the alarm query assesses the notification destination and other alarm features. Managing Alarms advises on how to manage alarms.

Use the Monitoring Query Language (MQL) expression to assess the alarm. A measure, statistic, interval, and trigger rule must all be specified in an alarm query (threshold or absence). The Monitoring service's Alarms feature interprets the findings for each provided time series as a Boolean value, with zero, indicating false and a non-zero value indicating true. The trigger rule condition has been fulfilled if the value is actual.

4. Instance Pool updates

Whether you're using the Console or the REST API with an SDK, CLI, or another tool to monitor resources, you must be granted the proper type of access in a policy created by an administrator. The policy must grant you access to both the monitoring services and the monitored resources.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Benefits

1. Superior performance

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is built for persistent high-performance applications, such as stateful database connections, raw processing via CPUs or GPUs, millions of storage IOPS, and GB/s throughput.

Non-blocking networks ensure that all resources receive consistent high performance and low latency. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure uses the most up-to-date CPUs, GPUs, networking, and storage technologies, such as NVMe SSD drives. OCI, for example, provides bare-metal instances with 51.2 TB of NVMe solid-state storage that can handle millions of reading and write transactions per second. According to third-party testing, Oracle's computing and storage deliver 2-5 times the I/O performance of equivalent on-premises or AWS offerings, with more consistent low latency. Faster outcomes for end customers and more productivity benefit from excellent performance. For marketing agency Maritz, for example, financial operations that used to take two hours now take ten minutes.

2. Superior Economics

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure's Compute services cost around half as much as equivalent AWS or Azure options.

Customers may customize and pay for instances with precisely the number of cores and memory they want, saving money over coarser-grained "t-shirt-sized" instances. Oracle's block and database storage cost up to 95% less than rival cloud providers. We don't charge for outbound bandwidth up to 10TB per month and only a fraction of the price of other cloud providers after that. Every worldwide region, including our US and UK government regions, offers the exact everyday affordable costs. Outbound bandwidth is the only pricing that fluctuates internationally since we put a constant margin on higher network provider prices while still offering significant savings over other cloud providers.

Compared to equivalent on-premises or AWS infrastructure, our lower product costs translate into a 20-60% lower TCO across various applications. By switching from AWS to OCI, 8x8, a unified communications provider, saved 80% on networking expenditures. Many Oracle Cloud Infrastructure services are metered on a per-second basis, allowing you to expand resources and only pay for what you use. Oracle's Universal Credits scheme also offers discounted yearly commitment pricing.

3. Built-in security

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is built on a zero-trust foundation. This implies that renters are not only separated from one another but are also secluded from Oracle. The segregated network virtualization discussed earlier and a bespoke hardware root of trust to reimage every instance before a new client gets it; all contribute to this clean separation. Layers of protection, including default data encryption, least-privilege identity and access management, and granular resource and network control out to the edge, are layered on top of Oracle Cloud's basic architecture. To defend against attacks, Oracle Cloud includes tight code security development and deployment processes, a comprehensive compliance team regularly inspecting new regions and services, and an Around-the-clock Security Operations Center.

SOC, ISO, PCI-DSS, HIPAA, FedRAMP, IL-5, GDPR, and other global, regional, and industry standards are all met by Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Secure architecture, technology, development, and procedure create a more secure environment than most on-premises facilities and other clouds.

4. Broad Regional availability and Complete Hybrid Cloud Solutions

Oracle Cloud has cloud regions worldwide and a long list of additional areas planned. To provide genuine catastrophe protection while protecting data sovereignty, Oracle wants to establish at least two geographically distinct cloud zones in each country. Asia Pacific: Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul, Chuncheon, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Sydney, and Melbourne are among the Oracle Cloud areas available.

Oracle provides several hybrid cloud options if multi-tenant public regions or limited-tenancy government regions aren't suitable for you.

Oracle Dedicated Region, Cloud Customer, is a fully managed cloud region that includes all of Oracle's products and services.

Oracle Fusion cloud applications and public cloud infrastructure services into your data center, keeping your data and control plane on your premises. It provides high-performance cloud services and lowers your expenses with consumption-based cloud subscription pricing while fulfilling tight latency standards.

Dedicated Region is utilized by NRI, a prominent Japanese consultancy, to host critical SaaS applications employed by around 70% of Japan's capital market enterprises. Oracle Autonomous Database on Exadata Cloud Customer combines the power of Exadata with the convenience of a cloud service. It enables you to fulfill stringent data sovereignty and security standards and automate numerous database and infrastructure administration activities while providing the best Oracle Database performance for on-premises corporate applications. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is best suited for specific applications.

5. Robust APIs and Developer Tools

The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure APIs are RESTful APIs that use HTTPS to send requests and answers.

You can handle large-scale workloads and automate everything with this easy API, which comes with a command-line interface and standard SDKs in Java, Python, Typescript, Javascript,.NET, Go, and Ruby. In addition, Terraform automation, and cloud-init features are inherent to Oracle Cloud. Using the same set of APIs, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure allows you to deploy and manage single-tenant, dedicated physical hosts and multi-tenant VMs. Oracle Cloud allows you to develop and test your application on virtual machines, but deploy it on dedicated physical hosts, or vice versa: you don't have to change your app because the single and multi-tenant models use the same cloud-optimized hardware, firmware, software stack, and networking infrastructure, and it only takes a few clicks (in the GUI console or API calls).

Related Article: Oracle OCI Interview Questions and Answers

OCI Compartments

Compartments are a substantial security isolation and access control feature in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). They provide a global logical namespace, similar to a file system's folders, where regulations may be enforced. They cover all OCI areas within a tenancy since they are worldwide. They provide the appropriate access level based on the parameters established by the organization for resource management and delegated administration through policy enforcement. These factors differ from one organization to the next. Compartments, for example, can mirror an organization's functional structure, with each department having its compartment with its administrator. Each department compartment can have sub-compartments for multiple environments (Dev, Test, Prod), each with its administrator if needed. This structure is depicted in the picture below, used as the foundation for the practical example detailed in this article. OCI resources are represented by the short forms (cubes, circles, and squares) inside the compartments.

OCI Compartments

In addition to describing compartments, we’d want to demonstrate how to share a resource (a Compute instance definition) between compartments. It depicts a scenario in which someone in HR creates a beneficial and excellent Compute instance and wants to share it with the Sales department for reuse.

Any OCI tenancy has a default root compartment named after the tenancy. Any user who is a member of the default Administrators group is the tenancy administrator (default root compartment administrator). After compartments have been built, they may be allocated administrators who can then build sub-compartments and appoint delegated administrators to each of them. OCI allows for a 6-level deep compartment hierarchy, with the administrator of a parent compartment having complete control over its offspring compartments.

When working with compartments, keep in mind that some OCI resources are only available in the region where they were generated, implying that they have a regional scope. Compute instances, databases, block volumes, and virtual cloud networks are examples of these resources (VCNs). Such an issue frequently arises in the OCI admin panel when an administrator looks in the correct compartment but cannot locate a particular resource.

Probably, the administrator hasn't picked the proper area. Other resources are worldwide. Thus they are always available regardless of the location picked. All IAM (identification and Access Management) resources, including users, groups, rules, and compartments, are included in global resources.

Oracle OCI Functions

Functions — Serverless computing is one of the services provided by OCI. Fn Project is the foundation for Oracle OCI Functions. The Fn project is a serverless container-native open-source platform that can operate anywhere. In OCI, the serverless solution is called OCI Functions. OCI Functions are typically short-running, stateless, and designed to perform a single logic task. These are compatible with a variety of microservice execution and integration paradigms in OCI.

The following are some of the most important advantages of OCI Functions:

  • DevOps ensures continuous delivery.
  • Scalable
  • High Availability
  • Resilient \sFlexible
  • Isolation of Autonomous Failure

Applications are logical groups of OCI functions. OCI Applications are coupled to an OCI Virtual Cloud Network (VCN) resource, and functions inside them are connected to the VCN network as soon as they are started.

A logical grouping of functions, a way to allocate and configure resources for all functions in the application, a familiar context to store configuration variables available to all functions in the application, and a way to ensure function runtime isolation are all characteristics of an OCI Application.

The following are the OCI functions:

  • Small but strong code units usually perform a single task.
  • Organized into Docker images and saved in a chosen Docker registry in response to a CLI command or a signed HTTP request.
  • Fn Project CLI is a command-line interface for the Fn Project (fn invoke)
  • CLI OCI (oci fn function invoke)
  • OCI Functions invoke endpoint with signed HTTP request (oci raw-request — http-method POST)
  • OCI Events triggered this.
  • API Gateway service provided by OCI
  • Notification Service for OCI

Ruby, Python, Java, Kotlin, Go, and NodeJS is supported natively by OCI Functions. For the programme to begin, we must declare the programming runtime language for functions and its memory allocation. These are saved in the file func.yaml. Custom Docker images may also be added to OCI Functions.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Services

OCI provides five different computing services:

  • Bare metal
  • Virtual machine
  • Dedicated virtual host
  • Container engine
  • Function

Without any virtualization; bare metal provides only the actual server. In addition to the server, virtual machines provide the virtualization layer. In the case of a dedicated virtual host, the user has total control over the virtual machines (VMs) operating on the host. The user will only be able to handle the programme in the container engine since the cloud provider will manage the OS. Finally, in the case of Oracle Functions, the user is just responsible for the code; the rest is taken care of. The benefit of Oracle Functions is that the user only pays for the resources used while executing the code.

Oracle provides four different storage services:

  • Data is stored in fixed-size blocks in block storage. There is no metadata in the database. It's network-based storage that's accessible from anywhere. The block volume can be backed up regularly by the user. It can be done manually or automatically.
  • Local NVMe — Attached to the computing instance, is temporary storage. When an instance dies, the data is lost, which is not the case with other forms of storage.
  • A hierarchical collection of documents organized into folders is known as file storage. It's a form of network storage that's highly long-lasting. Snapshots can be taken from backups.
  • Object storage – All data types are saved as objects in a bucket, including images, videos, and documents. Without a folder organization, these are kept in a single flat format. As a result, data retrieval is rapid, and metadata is also saved. It is often used to store Big Data and unstructured data since it is very scalable.
  • Rarely accessed data can be kept in archive object storage for lengthy periods at a lower cost.

Conclusion

We have reached the end of this tutorial.  Hope the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure tutorial for beginners is helpful for you to explore the various topics related to OCI.

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Last updated: 09 December 2022
About Author
Madhuri Yerukala

Madhuri is a Senior Content Creator at MindMajix. She has written about a range of different topics on various technologies, which include, Splunk, Tensorflow, Selenium, and CEH. She spends most of her time researching on technology, and startups. Connect with her via LinkedIn and Twitter .

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