Oracle managed hosting offers some of the most powerful database technology available, but it comes with a lot of complex options and can be challenging to manage. Running Oracle-based applications efficiently and securely demands experienced technical staff with a wide range of specific skills.
To save operating costs, reduce the stress on in-house IT, and improve reliability, performance, and/or data protection, many small to midsized businesses (SMBs) are turning to Oracle-managed cloud services or other forms of hosting for their Oracle investments.
2 Paths to Oracle Database Hosting
When it comes to Oracle database hosting, there are basically two paths you can take:
- One is to migrate all your Oracle RDBMS environment with all your data to a public, private or hybrid cloud, where it will reside on virtualized servers and run on virtualized and containerized services. From there, you can either manage your databases in the cloud yourself or outsource some or all of your programs to an Oracle-managed cloud service provider.
- But what if you no longer want to maintain your own data center and manage your own Oracle environment, but prefer not to move your sensitive data to the cloud? You can leverage Oracle-managed hosting in an isolated and fully managed physical data center, including specialists to move and manage your databases and maintain your servers, operating systems, and applications. Some providers even specify that your data will be hosted in the US or North America, along with an ala carte managed services menu and a choice of service levels.
Which approach is right for your business? That depends on multiple factors, including your budget, data volume, and data growth rate, in-house skill sets, security and compliance risk tolerance, and business goals. Applicable regulatory or contract requirements, especially around security, are another major factor in the decision to move your Oracle databases to the cloud—one that can trump all other considerations for some organizations, especially in regulated industries like government, legal, healthcare, and financial services.
Leveraging Oracle Managed Cloud Services
The pressure to transition your Oracle environment to the cloud may be intense. Cloud is seen as “the future” and the only route to digital transformation, with a promise of cost savings and operational improvements. But the cloud presents unique security, reliability, and performance challenges, making it imperative that you carefully manage your cloud database solution. This is where Oracle cloud managed services come in.
With Oracle-managed cloud services, you get remote support to manage your Oracle environment in the cloud. This typically takes the form of a virtual team of certified Oracle practitioners who will monitor and manage your cloud-based Oracle environment (often 24×7), as well as help you with Oracle upgrades and security configurations and monitoring.
Oracle Managed Cloud Services Benefits
By engaging with an Oracle cloud managed services provider (MSP), you liberate your in-house resources to focus on strategic goals rather than ongoing, everyday tasks. You may also experience smoother database operations thanks to the specialist third-party’s broad expertise.
Other benefits that an Oracle cloud managed service provider can offer include:
- The reduced total cost of ownership (TCO) of your Oracle environment versus keeping your Oracle databases on your own physical servers and using internal resources to manage and maintain everything.
- The ability to scale up database infrastructure on-demand versus a more time- and labor-intensive purchasing and provisioning process.
- Reduced cybersecurity risk due to improved security expertise and controls, including stronger patch management and the availability of proactive cyber threat mitigation tools like database activity monitoring<SUGGEST LINK TO RECENT POST ON DAM (not yet posted to the blog)>.
- Improved business continuity and disaster recovery capabilities thanks to cloud-based services to deliver redundancy and high availability.
- Better overall IT agility and faster IT decision-making, since your team can now put more attention on keeping IT aligned with business needs.
When Cloud is Not the Best Option
But while moving your Oracle resources to the cloud has the potential to deliver significant benefits, this move is not for every organization. Every business needs a secure, resilient and cost-effective Oracle application infrastructure, but the cloud is not always the right place to host it.
For example, defense suppliers may be subject to the use of the “Not Releasable to Foreign Nationals” (NOFORN) caveat on Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI), classified data and even contract documents that they store and/or handle. NOFORN data cannot be stored in data centers outside the US, which rules out many cloud services because of how they move data and workloads across national geographies without the customer even being aware of it.
For other firms, such as in the financial services industry, the need to keep applications and data on isolated platforms for security and compliance reasons could be paramount.
Leveraging Oracle Managed Hosting
For businesses that need or want to keep certain Oracle data and workloads out of the cloud, Oracle managed hosting can be a great option. In this scenario, your Oracle environment is fully managed by expert staff in an isolated physical environment, giving you far more control.
With Oracle managed hosting, you always know where your data resides, so you can meet NOFORN and other contractual and regulatory mandates. You will also enjoy outstanding overall security, reliability and availability of your databases, along with many of the scalability and cost reduction benefits of cloud. Finally, as a managed service, Oracle managed hosting offers all the strategic and staffing benefits of a cloud-based outsourcing model.
How Oracle Managed Hosting Works
Here is how most Oracle managed hosting scenarios work:
- Expert database professionals handle the total process of migrating your Oracle databases to the hosted data center. This includes configuring the new Oracle environment, instantiating your databases and moving your data. Most Oracle-managed hosting providers will work alongside your in-house team and/or a third-party vendor(s) to ensure an optimal outcome with minimal downtime.
- Expert network administrators setup, configure and manage the network, firewalls, and connectivity associated with your hosted Oracle databases.
- Expert IT system administrators install, configure, manage and patch your database infrastructure, including servers, operating systems, and applications.
- Expert Oracle database administrators (DBAs) monitor and manage your databases, including maintaining disaster recovery and high availability capabilities.
Security Benefits of Oracle Managed Hosting
One of the top reasons to host your Oracle database in an outsourced physical data center is unsurpassed security. Besides giving you a dedicated environment with isolated hardware and software in a US-based Tier 3 (or potentially Tier 4) data center, most Oracle-managed hosting providers offer special features like Oracle Advanced Security and enhanced security monitoring.
Oracle managed hosting also offers disaster recovery and business continuity services, like:
- Replication across geographically separate (US-based) data centers to protect from natural disasters.
- Best-practice disaster recovery planning and processes. Many SMBs either never create or never test a disaster recovery plan, or test it infrequently, and thus have weak and unreliable disaster recovery capability. Moving to the cloud alone does not improve this situation.
If you are ready to make or are considering outsourcing your Oracle database hosting, Buda Consulting can help. We are Oracle managed hosting specialists with over 20 years’ experience. We offer professional, reliable and secure Oracle database hosting. Whether your database footprint is small or massive, let us help you free your business from the constraints of managing Oracle in-house, while cost-effectively addressing your unique security, compliance and other business requirements.
Contact us to talk about our services, custom hosting packages, hardware and Oracle licensing options, and more.