I had a couple of comments on a previous email from an Oracle salesperson. In response to one of them I linked to my Oracle Cloud : First Impressions post. His reply to that was,
@ Tim. You are referring to a review from August 28, 2015? Facts from 17 months ago-Seriously? #OracleCloud has changed *significantly* in 17 months. Suggest you relook/re-evaluate your research.
So here is the update of the stuff I said 17-ish months ago and the state of things as I see them now. Remember, this was a direct challenge from an Oracle salesperson.
Oracle Cloud : Look and Feel
At the time I was pretty positive about this. At first there were some inconsistencies in the navigation menus. They later made some changes to make things more consistent and I reflected that in my article in an update.
My biggest problem at the time was how slow the interface for Oracle Public Cloud was. Well, 17 months later it is still slow. Sometimes taking 30+ seconds to respond when you click a tab. I’ve heard people say, “It’s your internet connection!”, before. Nope! Same at work (a University with a scarily fast internet connection), home and at Oracle HQ. 🙂 In comparison the Azure or AWS the Oracle Public Cloud interface feels slow and unresponsive.
Oracle Cloud : Ease of Use
I was also pretty positive about this in my initial review. Same here really.
My major gripe was with the firewall interface. If you access this via a service like DBaaS, it does limit the view of the rules to that service now, which makes it more usable. Before you could only edit them from the Compute > Network section, so you saw all the rules for all your services. That was a nightmare.
You still can’t edit the rules, with the exception of enable/disable. I don’t like this. It feels like someone has put a wrapper over basic firewall commands, rather than thinking how a user might like to use this interface. Don’t get me wrong, the firewall interface is better than it was, but it still feels like a botch-job to me.
A quote from someone who shall remain nameless,
My router at home has a better firewall interface than Oracle Public Cloud.
Remember, I’m not talking about the security of the firewall. I’m talking about the interface here!
No multiplexed redo logs. That was the case 17 months ago. That’s the case today. I don’t consider an instance without multiplexed redo logs fit for anything but playing. It is an Oracle recommendation to multiplex redo logs. See here.
Oracle recommends that you multiplex your redo log files. The loss of the log file data can be catastrophic if recovery is required. Note that when you multiplex the redo log, the database must increase the amount of I/O that it performs. Depending on your configuration, this may impact overall database performance.
So before you use DBaaS for anything other than messing about, multiplex those logs.
Management Fragmentation. That was the case 17 months ago. That’s the case today. Some of the service management is done in the main cloud interface. Some is, or can be, done in the DBaaS Monitor application, which has improved, but I’m still not really a fan. For other tasks you jump across to [DBConsole – 11g | DB Express -12c]. This is still a fragmented approach to management and doesn’t feel like a consistent DBaaS offering to me.
Firewall. I’ve mentioned this before. There have been improvements in this area, but I still don’t like it. DBaaS still builds a bunch of disabled public rules which you would be insane to enable. I can only imagine that they are there for inspiration. As mentioned previously, you can’t edit them. So my comment from 17 months ago stands. Do it properly or don’t bother.
Access to Management Interfaces. My original point was, because of the fragmentation of the management interface explained above, some of the management functionality is not available until you define firewall rules to access it. This is because of a design choice. It felt wrong then. It feels wrong now.
Access to OS. This is very much *my opinion* and I’m sure many others will not agree. I feel like a Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering, which Database as a Service (DBaaS) is a part, should separate you from certain bits of the infrastructure. I originally thought access to the OS and therefore the Oracle installation was a good thing. As I started using the system it felt too much like Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). I would prefer a fully managed service, which Oracle are going to offer at some point in the future. Like I said, just my opinion of what PaaS and IaaS are… So my opinion remains unchanged since the original post. Please don’t comment about Schema Service or Exadata Express as exampled of fully managed services. I don’t need to get into another fight!
Oracle Database Cloud Service – Virtual Image. I thought it was a waste of time when I tried it. I still think it’s a waste of time. If I’ve got to do everything myself, it’s not DBaaS. Get rid of this option and make me use IaaS.
That article from 17-ish months ago is still pretty much on the button today.
Oracle Public Cloud has certainly changed a lot over that time, but most of the points I raised all that time ago have not been addressed, or at least not to my satisfaction.
These issue were raised in that original blog, directly using a private feedback space set up for Oracle ACEs, and in some cases directly with PMs. I believe I’ve done everything I can as a self-proclaimed fanboy to get this stuff sorted.
I’m sure, based on my previous post about the cloud licensing policy change, some people will see this as me angling for a fight, but I’m really not. I had no intention of writing this post until I was directly challenged to do so by this sales guy. If he had taken the time to check his facts before issuing this challenge, I guess he would have kept his gob shut!