Cloud Ace Blog

Aug 12, 2019 | GCP Database

by Avinash Bodapati

Cloud Solutions Engineer

Oracle database on Google Cloud Platform - What do you need to know?


Photo by Paul Skorupskas on Unsplash

With the ‘Anthos’ hybrid cloud platform offering and the more recent ‘Google Cloud VMware Solution by CloudSimple’ announcement, it looks nothing but evident that enterprise workloads are an aggressively pursued market by Google Cloud.

Speaking of enterprise support, as a Google Cloud Premier Partner, we keep getting questions from customers on the Google Cloud offering & support when it comes to running Oracle DB. While there is information out there for anyone to Google, one finds it scattered and incomplete leaving the customers with some unanswered questions. This rightly gives us a reason to come up with this article discussing various feasibilities on GCP. If you are someone looking for information on these lines, we believe this post comes in handy.


What are the supported cloud providers for Oracle DB?

This document published by Oracle helps you understand the list of ‘Authorized Cloud Environments’ . As mentioned, AWS and Azure have been named as supported environments whereas Google Cloud Platform does not appear listed.

AWS and Azure being supported environments, allow you to setup the managed versions of Oracle database with licensing. AWS RDS is a well known and used service to host Oracle DB in the cloud. The below picture shows the landscape on Azure.


A screenshot from the Azure console showing the availability of BYOL Oracle database image in the Marketplace

Having mentioned that, should we just stop thereby disregarding Google Cloud as an option for Oracle DB workloads? Not really ! We tried to address the three common questions/scenarios, we face from customers.


What does it mean when we say Oracle DB is not supported on GCP?

People often misunderstand that the infrastructure or the hypervisor in particular does not support running Oracle DB. Technically, it is very well possible to run Oracle DB on a Google Compute Engine (GCE) instance. One can spin up a RHEL7 VM, download Oracle DB package and install it following the usual installation procedures. The lack of licensing options is what makes it a ‘not supported’ case. You can neither BYOL nor buy the licenses for Oracle DB on GCE VMs. We do not go into the business reasons about why Google Cloud is not supported by Oracle in here.


Oracle DB on cloud bare metal servers?

The licensing constraints imposed by Oracle can mostly be attributed to the hypervisor being used by the Cloud provider and the way the number of cores and VCPUs are calculated. As you know, Oracle licensing is tied up to the numbers of processors the Oracle binaries are running on. In that sense, running Oracle DB on bare metal servers should not be a problem!

We get queries on support for Oracle DB on GCP Sole Tenant nodes. It needs to be clarified that Sole Tenancy is reserving an entire physical host for a single customer workloads. It is however, not be seen as ‘Bare Metal as a Service’. Sole tenant nodes still have the OS and hypervisor installed onto them. That brings us to the next question. What does Google Cloud offer in this regard as we started this article by speaking of enterprise support?

Managed service offering for Oracle DB on GCP

To answer the above question, we shall take a look at the below solution published in Google Cloud’s marketplace:


Managed service offering for Oracle database on GCP marketplace

On the bottom left of the above screenshot, it mentions that the service runs on Accenture Cloud Servers. This marketplace solution provisions an Oracle Database in a co-location adjacent to GCP (less than 1ms latency) as a fully managed service on a supported hardware platform. This solution enables you to provision, monitor and managed the database from the GCP console thereby providing the integration with the rest of GCP services. This solution supports BYOL method helping customers make use of the existing licenses. This rids of you the operational burden maintaining an Oracle DB and allows you to work with your favourite APIs on Google Cloud.


Foot note -Other options to look into:

Alternatively, for anyone who can consider migrating away from Oracle onto something else, we do think of some compatible options given below:

  1. Migrating the data from Oracle to Cloud Spanner
  2. Leveraging EDB to migrate to a managed enterprise PostgreSQL
  3. Using striim to build data migration pipelines streaming data into GCP target systems.

This is not an exhaustive list in anyway as it only lists a few popular choices. With an ex-Oracle exec leading the Google Cloud team now, we would be watching this space eagerly for any interesting developments :)


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