Essbase Cloud Service (OAC): It's PaaS not SaaS. How does that affect me?

Author: Guillaume Slee

There's been a lot of buzz recently about the Oracle Analytics Cloud (Essbase cloud service) and rightly so. What's not to like about a combination of Essbase 12c, DVCS (Data Visualisation Cloud Service) and BICS (BI Cloud Service) all wrapped up in a cuddly cloud service bundle?

There are some great blogs which go through all of the new Essbase features in OAC (listed below) but I haven't seen anything out there yet which talks about what you need to consider before you use the service.

Up to now, EPM cloud services (PBCS, FCCS etc) have all used a simple SaaS model. You only need to consider two things:

1. Which application service do I need (PBCS/FCCS...)?
2. How many users will access the application?

OAC uses the PaaS (Platform as a Service) model and requires a little more thought. You will need to consider the following:

1. Which edition do I need (Standard/Enterprise)?
2. Do I want a metered service or non-metered?
3. How much compute power do I need (CPU/RAM)?
4. How much disk space will I need for my Essbase cubes?
5. How much disk space will I need for my Oracle database instance (DBCS)?
6. How much disk space will I need for my backups?

OACS Product

The OAC product choice (Standard vs Enterprise) is simple.
Standard Edition   =  Essbase + DVCS.
Enterprise Edition =  Essbase + DVCS + BICS + Day by Day (new mobile app).

Metered or Non-Metered?

The core features are the same for both, it's just the billing model that changes.

DBCS

Getting a bit more complicated now...Database Cloud Service? I thought I'd bought Essbase! Well just like on-prem the various OAC components (DVCS, BICS, Essbase) will need a relational repository to store configuration information. You might also want to use it to model/process data before loading into Essbase or use it as another data source for BICS.

IaaS

The IaaS component comprises of compute (CPU and RAM) and disk (block storage, compute storage, backup storage). If you've got big complex cubes you'll need to ramp up on your compute and disk. There might be some life left in EPM infrastructure consultants afterall!

Oracle offers various CPU + RAM  bundles called shapes.

All-purpose compute shapes include:

OC3: 1 OCPU and 7.5 GB memory
OC4: 2 OCPUs and 15 GB memory
OC5: 4 OCPUs and 30 GB memory
OC6: 8 OCPUs and 60 GB memory

Memory-intensive compute shapes include:

OC1M: 1 OCPUs and 15 GB memory
OC2M: 2 OCPU and 30 GB memory
OC3M: 4 OCPUs and 60 GB memory
OC4M: 8 OCPUs and 120 GB memory

If you're used to Exalytics sized boxes then these shapes will look tiny. An OCPU provides CPU capacity equivalent to one physical core of an Intel Xeon processor with hyper threading enabled. You can scale the shape up or down after you've created the service instance if your business needs change.

As far as I can tell you have an unlimited number of users if you access via Smart View/DVCS/BICS. However, if you have the standard edition you are limited to 50 users of the Data Visualization Desktop. Again you'll need to ramp up your compute power as the number of users increases.

Patching

Yes you'll need to patch your instance! Don't worry though, there's no sign of a command line or opatch here. You will be notified when a new patch is available and the patching process is a click of a button in the Administration menu. To roll-back the patch click Rollback.

Cost

So what will you be paying for? At the beginning of the blog I called this a cuddly cloud bundle.

cuddly
adjective
"endearing and pleasant to cuddle, especially as a result of being soft or plump."

Well, I'm not sure about it being soft but it's definitely plump. You'll need to subscribe to the following:

  • Oracle Analytics Cloud Service
  • Oracle Database Cloud Service
  • Oracle Database Backup Service
  • Oracle Compute Cloud Service
  • Oracle Storage Cloud Service
 

I need more info!

You can find a whole lot more information here: https://cloud.oracle.com/oac and the documentation link is here: http://docs.oracle.com/cloud/latest/analytics-cloud/index.html

Here is the blog-roll from some Essbase/BI gurus who have access to a pre-release version:
https://womaninepm.com/2017/03/17/oac-series-finally-released
http://redpillanalytics.com/introducing-oracle-analytics-cloud/
http://integrationmadesimple.blogspot.com/2017/03/oac-metadata-management.html
http://www.cubecoder.com/essbase-cloud-for-the-on-prem-crowd/
http://bimobilelabs.com/post/158484477555/OACMobileOptions
http://glennschwartzbergs-essbase-blog.blogspot.com/2017/03/essbase-cloud-service-is-it-here-or.html
https://epmsxsw.com/2017/03/17/you-down-with-oac-yeah-you-know-me
https://realtrigeek.com/2017/03/17/essbase-as-a-data-source-in-oracle-data-visualization
http://camerons-blog-for-essbase-hackers.blogspot.co.uk/2017/03/head-in-essbase-cloud-no-1-blessed-event.html

That's all for now, I'll update the blog as more information becomes available.