Oracle cloud / Softwarelicensing

What is Oracle OCI? – Updated for 2024

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is:

  • Cloud Computing Platform: Provided by Oracle Corporation, it includes a comprehensive set of infrastructure services​​.
  • Supports Diverse Applications: Enables the building and running of a wide range of applications in a scalable, secure, highly available, and high-performance environment​​.
  • Infrastructure Services: Offers services like computing power, storage, networking, and database management for deploying and managing cloud workloads​​.
  • Performance and Cost-Effective: Matches the performance and control of enterprise data centers with the cost-savings of public clouds​​.
  • Scalable and Highly Available: Designed to meet the demands of modern businesses, offering options for existing workloads and cloud-native app development​​.
  • Cross-Cloud Connectivity: In partnership with Microsoft, OCI provides unique cross-cloud solutions, enhancing the functionality of multi-tier applications.

Understanding Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)

what is oracle oci

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) is a cloud computing platform developed by Oracle Corporation.

It provides many cloud services such as computing, storage, networking, databases, analytics, and various application development and management tools.

OCI is designed to offer a highly scalable, reliable, and secure infrastructure for running applications and storing data in the cloud.

Utilizing Oracle OCI

OCI is a versatile cloud computing platform used for a multitude of purposes. Some common uses include:

  • Running Applications: OCI provides various computing options like virtual machines, bare metal servers, and containers, enabling users to run applications in the cloud.
  • Data Storage: It offers different storage options, including block storage, object storage, and file storage, which can be used to store and manage data in the cloud.
  • Networking: OCI provides various networking services, such as virtual cloud networks, load balancers, and DNS, which can be used to create and manage network infrastructure in the cloud.
  • Database Management: It offers various database services, including traditional relational databases, NoSQL databases, and in-memory databases, for storing and managing data in the cloud.
  • Data Analytics: OCI provides analytics services, including data processing and visualization, which can be used to analyze and derive insights from data stored in the cloud.

Comparing AWS and OCI

Comparing AWS and OCI

Amazon Web Services (AWS) and OCI are both cloud computing platforms that offer a range of services for building, deploying, and managing applications and storing data in the cloud.

However, they differ in several ways:

  • Services Offered: AWS and OCI offer a wide range of services, but their specific services and features may differ. For instance, AWS offers various database services like Amazon RDS, Amazon DynamoDB, and Amazon Redshift, while OCI offers traditional relational databases, NoSQL databases, and in-memory databases.
  • Pricing: AWS and OCI have different pricing models and cost structures. AWS uses a pay-as-you-go pricing model, while OCI offers a range of pricing options, including a pay-as-you-go model and a discounted, upfront payment model.
  • Ecosystem: AWS has a large and well-established ecosystem of tools and services from third-party providers, while OCI’s ecosystem is more petite and less mature.
  • Focus: AWS has a broader focus, offering a wide range of services for various use cases, while OCI has a more specialized focus, particularly on database and analytics services.

Why Choose OCI?

Several reasons make OCI a preferred choice for cloud computing needs:

  • Comprehensive Services: OCI provides a wide range of services for building, deploying, and managing applications and storing data in the cloud.
  • Focus on Database and Analytics: OCI emphasizes database and analytics services, offering various options for traditional relational databases, NoSQL databases, in-memory databases, and analytics services for data processing and visualization.
  • Scalability and Reliability: OCI is designed to provide a highly scalable and reliable infrastructure for running applications and storing data in the cloud.
  • Security: OCI prioritizes safety, with various features and controls in place to protect data and applications in the cloud.
  • Integration with Oracle Products: OCI integrates seamlessly with other Oracle products, making it an excellent choice for organizations already using Oracle products.

OCI Certifications

OCI Certifications

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) certifications are designed to validate expertise and skills in working with Oracle’s cloud infrastructure.

These certifications are categorized into various levels, each focusing on different aspects of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

The key certifications include:

  1. OCI Foundations (1Z0-1085): This entry-level certification introduces different OCI services. It covers cloud fundamentals, OCI’s structure, storage services, networking, security, IAM, Oracle Database services, pricing, and service level agreements (SLAs)​​.
  2. OCI Architect Associate (1Z0-1072): This certification is more practical and requires hands-on experience with OCI. It includes resource provisioning, networking, database usage, high availability, cloning, object storage, and migration from on-premises to OCI​​.
  3. OCI Developer (1Z0-1084): Targeted at developers, this certification focuses on API development, Kubernetes skills, serverless offerings, OCI Events, Notifications, Monitoring, Streaming, and CAP Theorem. It tests practical knowledge and understanding of development in OCI​​.
  4. OCI Operations (1Z0-1067): This exam is considered challenging and covers Terraform, OCI Resource Manager, policies, CLI commands, Alarms, Notifications, Monitoring Query Language (MQL), and various administrative tasks like setting up budgets and audit logs​​.
  5. OCI Architect Professional (1Z0-997): As the advanced level certification, it encompasses a broad range of topics, including IAM policies, object storage, connectivity, load balancing, disaster recovery planning, networking troubleshooting, compartment policies, autoscaling, and cost tracking​​.

Everyday Tips for All Certifications:

  • Hands-on practice in the OCI console is crucial for success.
  • Utilize flashcards and practice exams available online.
  • Understand the rationale behind the correct answers in practice exams.
  • In the exam, use the process of elimination for uncertain answers and mark questions for review to revisit later​​.

These certifications are a testament to one’s proficiency in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. They are precious for professionals seeking to establish or advance their careers in cloud computing and Oracle technologies.

OCI Regions

OCI Regions

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) regions are essential to Oracle’s public cloud, providing a globally distributed network that supports secure and high-performance cloud services.

Here’s a detailed overview:

  1. Global Distribution: Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is available globally, with services from 48 public cloud regions in 24 countries. This extensive network ensures that organizations can access Oracle’s cloud services from various locations worldwide​​.
  2. Secure and High-Performance Local Environments: Each OCI region is designed to provide secure and high-performance environments, enabling organizations to move, build, and run all workloads and cloud applications. These regions comply with regional data regulations, ensuring data sovereignty and security requirements are met​​.
  3. Organized Cloud Realms: OCI regions are organized into separate cloud realms to cater to customers with different security and compliance needs. These realms are isolated, with no shared physical infrastructure, accounts, data, resources, or network connections. Customer tenancies exist within a single realm and can only access regions, ensuring the security and integrity of data and operations​​.
  4. Geographical Separation and High Availability: The regions in different cities operate on distinct power grid network infrastructures and are located in areas that consider geographic natural disaster risks. Each region has at least three fault domains (FDs) to ensure the high availability of applications and databases. These FDs provide anti-affinity, allowing for the distribution of instances across different physical hardware. In some regions, multiple availability domains (ADs) are also available for even higher availability, albeit with slightly higher latency​​.
  5. Business Continuity and Disaster Protection: Deploying applications and replicating data across at least two OCI regions enhances business continuity and disaster protection. Countries like the US, Canada, the UK, France, South Korea, Japan, Brazil, India, the UAE, and Australia already have multiple cloud regions. Oracle continuously expands its network to include more regions worldwide, supporting diverse business needs and regulatory compliance​​.
  6. Interconnected Regions and Encrypted Traffic: Each OCI region is interconnected with others through a private, redundant, Oracle-managed backbone. This network provides 10 TB per month of outbound bandwidth at no cost and offers competitive prices for additional bandwidth usage. Furthermore, traffic between regions and between availability domains is encrypted, ensuring secure data transfer and communications​​.

Regions by the end of 2023.

  • North America: 13 regions
  • South America: 5 regions
  • Europe: 15 regions
  • Middle East & Africa: 5 areas (with three more coming soon)
  • Asia Pacific: 9 areas (with one more coming soon)

Oracle OCI Security

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) provides robust security features to ensure the safety and integrity of cloud services and data. Its security model is based on several core pillars:

  1. Customer Isolation: OCI ensures full isolation of your applications and data from other tenants and Oracle staff, providing a secure environment for deployment​​.
  2. Data Encryption: OCI secures data at rest and in transit, meeting stringent security and compliance requirements for cryptographic algorithms and key management​​.
  3. Security Controls: Access to services is limited, and operational responsibilities are segregated to mitigate risks associated with malicious or accidental user actions​​.
  4. Visibility: Comprehensive log data and security analytics are provided for auditing and monitoring actions on resources, aiding in operational risk reduction and audit compliance​​.
  5. Secure Hybrid Cloud: OCI allows using existing and third-party security solutions for accessing cloud resources and securing data and applications​​.
  6. High Availability: OCI’s infrastructure includes fault-independent data centers designed for scalable, resilient architectures resistant to network attacks​​.
  7. Verifiably Secure Infrastructure: Rigorous processes and effective security controls are used throughout service development and operation. Oracle adheres to strict security standards validated through third-party audits and certifications​​.

Basic Security Considerations

Users are advised to follow critical principles for secure application use in OCI:

  • Keep software up-to-date, including patches.
  • Limit user privileges and review them periodically.
  • Monitor system activity and understand OCI security features.
  • Stay informed about security updates and install security patches promptly​​.

Shared Security Model

Security responsibilities are shared between Oracle and users:

  • Oracle secures the underlying cloud infrastructure.
  • Users are responsible for securing their workloads and configuring cloud resources securely​​.

Specific Areas of Responsibility

  1. Identity and Access Management (IAM): Users manage access credentials and user accounts; Oracle provides IAM services.
  2. Workload Security: Users secure operating systems and applications; Oracle provides secure, patched images.
  3. Data Classification and Compliance: Users classify data and ensure compliance.
  4. Host Infrastructure Security: Users manage compute, storage, and platform services; Oracle shares security responsibility.
  5. Network Security: Users configure network elements; Oracle provides secure network infrastructure.
  6. Client and Endpoint Protection: Users secure all devices accessing OCI services.
  7. Physical Security: Oracle ensures global infrastructure security​​.

Infrastructure Security Model

OCI’s security model encompasses the following:

  • Security Culture: A security-first approach throughout the organization.
  • Security Design and Controls: Integrated security into cloud products and operations.
  • Secure Software Development: Security practices built into the product development lifecycle.
  • Personnel Security: Hiring and training processes focused on security.
  • Physical Security: Rigorous site selection and robust data center design.
  • Security Operations: Monitoring and securing OCI technologies and responding to security threats​​.

Customer Data Protection

OCI emphasizes customer data protection, including:

  • Data Rights and Ownership: Customers retain ownership and intellectual property rights.
  • Data Privacy: Features to align with common data privacy principles.
  • Law Enforcement Requests: Prompt customer notification of any related subpoenas or orders.
  • Compliance: Practices aligned with ISO/IEC 27002 and external audits​​.

Oracle OCI Disaster Recovery

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s Full Stack Disaster Recovery service offers:

  • Comprehensive Disaster Recovery: Provides orchestration and management for disaster recovery across all application stack layers, including infrastructure, middleware, database, and application​​.

While detailed specifics about the Full Stack Disaster Recovery Service’s workings, prerequisites, and implementation, such as creating Disaster Recovery Protection Groups, are available, the provided sources do not explain these aspects in-depth​​.

Critical Competitors in the Cloud Computing Arena

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS): Often considered the market leader, AWS offers a wide range of services, from basic computing power to advanced machine learning and AI tools. Its global network of data centers provides robust scalability and reliability. Compared to Oracle OCI, AWS has a more extensive service catalog but can be more complex to navigate for newcomers.
  • Microsoft Azure: A close competitor to AWS, Azure is known for its integration with Microsoft’s software ecosystem, making it a preferred choice for businesses already using Microsoft products. Azure’s highly scalable platform offers strong support for hybrid cloud environments. While Oracle OCI focuses on high-performance computing, Azure emphasizes integration and developer tools.
  • Google Cloud Platform (GCP): GCP stands out with its data analytics and machine learning capabilities, leveraging Google’s expertise in these areas. It’s particularly attractive for companies focused on big data and AI-driven applications. GCP’s pricing model is also more flexible than Oracle OCI’s.

Feature-by-Feature Comparison

  • Computing Power: Oracle OCI is renowned for its high-performance computing capabilities, especially for enterprise-grade applications. AWS and Azure offer comparable power but with different configurations and pricing models.
  • Storage Solutions: All three platforms provide a range of storage options, including block, file, and object storage. Oracle OCI’s storage solutions are highly secure and critical for many enterprises.
  • Network and Connectivity: Oracle OCI boasts a robust network backbone, ensuring high-speed connectivity between data centers. AWS and Azure, with their larger global footprints, offer more extensive networking options.
  • Security and Compliance: Security is a paramount concern for cloud providers. Oracle OCI, AWS, Azure, and GCP all have strong security measures in place, but Oracle emphasizes database security.
  • Pricing and Cost-Efficiency: Pricing models vary across these platforms. Oracle OCI is often praised for its transparent pricing structure, but AWS and Azure offer more flexible pricing options, especially for smaller-scale operations.

OCI Pricing

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) offers various pricing models, including Universal Cloud Credits and Pay-as-you-go (PAYG), as well as discounts and incentives to make cloud services more accessible and cost-effective for different usage patterns.

Oracle Universal Cloud Credits

  1. Flexible Payment Method: Oracle Universal Credits provide a flexible way to pay for any OCI service in any region, including future cloud services. Customers commit to an annual spend, which they can use for any OCI services during the 12 months​​​​.
  2. Usage Flexibility: Credits can be used for any eligible OCI service in any region, allowing customers to change service usage as needed. This model encourages experimentation with different services without long-term commitments​​.
  3. Cost Efficiency: Customers purchasing under this model receive discounts on OCI service prices. If the annual commitment is exceeded, Oracle invoices monthly for excess usage at established rate card pricing. Unused credits by the end of the contract term are forfeited​​.

Pay As You Go (PAYG) and Annual Flex

  1. PAYG: This model is billed in arrears based on actual usage. It offers flexibility, especially for fluctuating or unpredictable usage patterns.
  2. Annual Universal Credit: Customers prepay for a certain number of credits for at least 12 months. Unused credits are lost, and pricing is approximately 66% of the PAYG rates. Enterprise clients often choose this model for predictable usage and budgeting​​.

Additional Pricing Features

  1. Customer-Friendly Approach: OCI aims to eliminate overpayment and billing surprises with features like flexible computing and lower data egress fees. OCI service prices are consistent across all global regions, including government regions and OCI Dedicated Region​​.
  2. Data Egress Fees: OCI offers 10 TB free monthly and charges significantly less for data egress than other providers. This facilitates data transfer across the globe without incurring high costs​​​​.
  3. Oracle Support Rewards: This program helps reduce on-premises technical support costs, reducing $0.25 for every $1 spent on OCI. This incentive is designed to encourage cloud transition for enterprise customers​​.
  4. Volume Discounts: Purchasing a sufficient number of Oracle Universal Credits entitles customers to volume discounts, maintaining the contracted service rate even if credits are consumed before the contract ends​​.
  5. Inclusive Technical Support: Base fees for OCI services include enterprise-ready support without extra charges, unlike other providers who may charge additional fees for technical support​​.
  6. Financial Management Tools: OCI provides free tools for monitoring and managing spending, including budgets, visualizations, advice, and scheduled cost and usage reports​​.
  7. Consistent Global Pricing: OCI charges the same for services in every region, including government regions, providing a consistent experience in terms of performance and cost. This consistency also applies to OCI Dedicated Region and Oracle Alloy​​.
  8. Virtual Machine Scaling: OCI virtual machines can be scaled precisely to match workloads, avoiding overpayment for unneeded capacity​​.

In summary, OCI’s pricing models cater to various customer needs, offering flexibility, cost-efficiency, and predictability.

The combination of PAYG and Universal Credit models, additional incentives, and global pricing consistency make OCI an attractive option for diverse cloud computing requirements.

FAQ

  1. How is OCI different from Oracle?
    OCI, or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, is a part of Oracle’s vast array of services, specifically focusing on cloud services and infrastructure. On the other hand, Oracle is a larger entity offering a wide range of software and hardware products, including databases, applications, and enterprise IT solutions.
  2. How is OCI different from AWS?
    OCI and AWS (Amazon Web Services) are cloud service providers, but their core strengths and offerings differ. AWS has a broader global reach, a more extensive range of services, and a larger customer base. OCI, however, offers deep integration with Oracle’s database and applications, potentially offering better performance and cost-effectiveness for Oracle-based solutions.
  3. What is Oracle OIC?
    Oracle Integration Cloud (OIC) is a cloud service offered by Oracle that provides capabilities for integrating various cloud and on-premise applications, automating business processes, and developing web and mobile applications.
  4. What are the three types of Oracle Cloud?
    The three types of Oracle Cloud are:
    • Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) for IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service).
    • Oracle Cloud Applications (OCA), also known as Oracle SaaS (Software as a Service).
    • Oracle Cloud Platform (OCP) for PaaS (Platform as a Service).
  5. Why is OCI better than AWS?
    OCI may be considered better than AWS for specific use cases, particularly for businesses heavily invested in Oracle databases and applications, as it offers optimized performance and pricing for these products. OCI also emphasizes strong network performance and security features.
  6. Is Oracle Cloud cheaper than AWS?
    The cost comparison between Oracle Cloud and AWS can vary depending on the specific services and usage patterns. In some cases, Oracle Cloud may offer more competitive pricing, especially for Oracle-centric workloads.
  7. Why is OCI better than Azure?
    OCI’s advantages over Azure may include better integration with Oracle’s suite of products, potentially lower costs for Oracle workloads, and specific technological features like network performance and security. However, the better choice depends on the organization’s needs and existing infrastructure.
  8. Who uses Oracle OCI?
    Oracle OCI is used by various businesses from various sectors, especially those with existing Oracle databases and application investments. This includes large enterprises, government organizations, and companies in industries like finance, healthcare, and retail.
  9. Is Oracle or AWS better?
    Whether Oracle (OCI) or AWS is better depends on specific business needs, existing infrastructure, and the nature of the workloads. AWS offers a broader range of services and a larger ecosystem, while OCI provides deep integration and optimization for Oracle products.
  10. What are the disadvantages of Oracle Cloud?
    Disadvantages of Oracle Cloud may include a smaller global footprint compared to AWS and Azure, potentially higher complexity in certain configurations, and a learning curve for users unfamiliar with Oracle’s environment.
  11. Why migrate Oracle Database to OCI?
    Migrating Oracle Database to OCI can offer several benefits, including improved performance, lower costs, easier scalability, enhanced security, and better integration with other Oracle cloud services.

Partnering with Redress Compliance for Oracle OCI

If you’re considering migrating to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) or looking to manage your existing Oracle OCI deployments more effectively, partnering with Redress Compliance could be a strategic move.

  • Expertise in Oracle Technologies: Redress Compliance has in-depth knowledge of Oracle solutions, including OCI.
  • Migration Assistance: They can facilitate a smooth transition to Oracle OCI, ensuring minimal disruption to your operations.
  • Management and Optimization: Redress Compliance can help efficiently manage and optimize your Oracle OCI deployments beyond migration.
  • Tailored Solutions: Understanding that each business has unique needs, they offer customized solutions to your specific requirements.

For businesses seeking professional guidance and support in leveraging Oracle OCI to its fullest potential, Redress Compliance presents itself as a valuable partner.

Author

  • Fredrik Filipsson

    Fredrik Filipsson brings two decades of Oracle license management experience, including a nine-year tenure at Oracle and 11 years in Oracle license consulting. His expertise extends across leading IT corporations like IBM, enriching his profile with a broad spectrum of software and cloud projects. Filipsson's proficiency encompasses IBM, SAP, Microsoft, and Salesforce platforms, alongside significant involvement in Microsoft Copilot and AI initiatives, enhancing organizational efficiency.