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Oracle Private Cloud Appliance OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Buyer's Guide

Download the Converged Infrastructure Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: July 2022

What is Oracle Private Cloud Appliance?

Oracle Private Cloud Appliance, is an integrated infrastructure system engineered to enable rapid deployment of converged compute, network, and storage technologies for hosting applications or workloads on a guest OS. It is a data center-class system that provides incremental and scalable performance optimized for consolidation of mixed workloads.

Oracle Private Cloud Appliance Customers

Agnitum Information Technologies, Mediacloud, Xait AS, Atos Global Managed Services, CaixaBI, ICA AB, BT Spain, Secure-24, Xait

Oracle Private Cloud Appliance Video

Archived Oracle Private Cloud Appliance Reviews (more than two years old)

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Fabrizio Bordacchini - PeerSpot reviewer
Oracle Technical Architect at UKCloud Ltd
MSP
Has high availability but the management can be better
Pros and Cons
  • "You will find the high availability and License Team with Oracle very valuable."
  • "The initial setup was very complex."

What is our primary use case?

We are cloud providers so we provide platform services and infrastructures.

How has it helped my organization?

The main advantage of the PCA is licensing, for Oracle Database. It's the main reason why companies decide to deploy the PCA, or the software it runs (OVS, OVMM). On the PCA you also have live migration, which is a huge plus.

What is most valuable?

Live migration.

What needs improvement?

The PCA is built on Oracle VM Server for x86 and Oracle VM Manager. Ok, then you have OEM Cloud Control (unfortunately) on top. OVMM uses a clustered MySQL database, which contents are encrypted (probably to keep DBAs away, and force you to use the CLI). OEM Cloud Control uses an Oracle Database, not encrypted, that you can't touch!

As it is now (Feb 2020) the PCA has no automation, there is one Ansible module to start/stop VMs.. that's all the automation. You need to build tools on your own, in 2020, you think of AWS and laugh at the PCA..The Cloud Control interface is slow and crippled, there is no Identity and Access Management, i mean a proper solution. It is a pretty closed system.

The overall engineered system is years behind other vendors, i'm thinking of VMware, OpenStack, Azure Stack. The only selling point is the savings on Oracle licensing. The platform can only be improved.

In my opinion, and i might be horribly wrong here, i would rebuild the system from scratch. There is a great Infiniband infrastructure (SDN), wonderful, keep it. Oracle is moving away from Oracle VM Server to land on KVM, great. 

Why can't you have one single database, maybe even based on Oracle Database 18c (or later). Not encrypted, with a license that allows sysadmins to use it to store data useful to the platform. An engine to manage the hypervisors, one engine to manage assets (system provisioning, customers and users), one engine to provide services to customers. Yes, i'm talking of getting rid of OEM! Technically it can be done, but Oracle won't let you. It's easier to have one million Java developers building plugins for what has now become a monster: OEM.

I think that Oracle is not really investing in the PCA because they are far behind the competition, and they can only compete by providing Hard Partitioning. Yeeah.. sorry, not enough to have my million pounds.

This kind of engineered system, in my vision, should have: System provisioning, Identity Management integrated. An Automation engine that taps into the main (a single database) repository to carry out tasks on the platform. Those actions that are scheduled in the internal Job Scheduler (which uses, again, the single database). Messaging between node is done using a message broker, no not AQ, a better one like RabbitMQ (and it's open source). They need a central location to collect logs, and run analytics on them (again, open source solutions here availables). More storage options, the ZFSSA works great for block storage and file (NFS). But you need to have access to object storage, where is it? You could use Apache Cassandra to do that.. (look at Cloudian). Monitoring: do we really have to say that OEM is not exactly the best way to do it? Even Nagios works better for monitoring. I would use collectd (open source) and RabbitMQ to transport metrics. Have Redis on one of the nodes used for management, and have an all in-memory repository, for realtime notifications/alerting (with a monitoring engine here).

When you have the basics, for those workloads that use Oracle Databases, you can introduce a CI tool (i have already built one). Like a version control system for Oracle Databases. That could be used to have automated deployments against the rdbms. Building CI pipelines at that point would be the next logical move. Don't forget that this kind of systems (because it's Oracle) should host an internal DBaaS infrastructure.

Again, i could be wrong on the subject. This is the platform that shines in my dreams. I'm trying to build it, but being alone makes the project long to complete. All i know is that it can be done, and it could be a wonderful platform for virtual machines, and databases, to graze in. 

Buyer's Guide
Converged Infrastructure
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Rackspace and others in Converged Infrastructure. Updated: July 2022.
620,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Oracle Private Cloud Appliance for a year, and the software used in the PCA in a private cloud for another year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Patching the PCA is not exactly like a walk in the park, it can be improved. When you are not patching, the platform is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It doesn't really scale well at cloud size.

How are customer service and support?

The technical support is average - it was much better in the past. You hardly get the answers you are looking for.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is not hard, the management after can be.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

VMware ESXi/vCloud Director.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to others would be to wait before buying this program because the Oracle VM server is about to die and the PCA will probably evolve into using Oracle Linux KVM. This means that, if you buy the PCA, you will have to migrate your machines into the new platform. So they should just be aware of the fact that the software they're using is about to change and there will be a different management system, called Oracle Linux Utilization Manager. Everything will change. So, right now is probably not the best time to buy the PCA.

Additional features I would you like in the next release would be automation and better management. On a scale from one to 10, I will rate Oracle Private Cloud Appliance a six.

I think that it's quite powerful as a platform but there are way too much work to be done. For instance, if you buy this program there are so many things you must do first before you can actually roll out into production. You have to build the tools yourself to make the management easier and you have to understand cloud control and Oracle VM Manager. And the patching system is too faulty, because every time you patch something, you break something else. You patch a component, you break something else.

And in monitoring, for example, cloud control doesn't work well and there are loads of work to be done as it is right now. And that's why my rating is low.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Public Cloud

If public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud, which cloud provider do you use?

Other
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user

Hi Fabrizio,

Which version of Oracle Cloud Appliance are using - X5-2 or X8-2 ?

Regards,

Simphiwe Malgas

System Admin at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 20
It is scalable as the box can be increased by one compute node. Patching processing takes a long time.
Pros and Cons
  • "It is scalable as the box can be increased by one compute node, if required."
  • "It has helped us to reduce Oracle licensing costs for database and applications."
  • "Supports connection to most of network topology, such as VLAN and network segmentation."
  • "OVM Manager Interface is using HTML5. It should be reconverted to be a Java interface."
  • "Patching processing takes a long time. Only one compute node is patched at a time."

What is our primary use case?

  • PCA is flexible and supports different workloads, such as database, middleware, apps, etc.
  • Supports many operating systems, such as most of Linux distributions, Solaris, and Microsoft Windows.  
  • No software or firmware licences are required. All are included SW; free. 

How has it helped my organization?

  • It is a converged system, which contains integrated HW components (compute servers, networks switches, and storage) and management software plus Oracle VM. 
  • It provides more flexibility to choose the required OS. 
  • It is scalable as the box can be increased by one compute node, if required. 
  • It has helped us to reduce Oracle licensing costs for database and applications.         

What is most valuable?

  • Scalability is a valuable feature, as compute nodes can be added as required. There is no force to increase form 1/8 Rack to 1/4 Rack as in Exalogic, for example. 
  • All shipped SW is free, such as OVM and SDN
  • Supports mixed compute node version, such as X4-2, X5-2 X6-2, etc., and capacity On Demand feature for both HW and Oracle licenses. 
  • Fabric Interconnect Xsigo switches, which are used to connect PCA to the customer datacenter core switch or to the SAN switch, are very flexible and support all type of connectivity, such as QSFP, SAN port 16Gb, InfiniBand connectivity, etc.
  • Supports connection to most of network topology, such as VLAN and network segmentation. 
  • Oracle provides Linux and Solaris OS templates ready to create VM servers for PCA in OVA format.       

What needs improvement?

  • OVM Manager Interface is using HTML5. It should be reconverted to be a Java interface. 
  • A VM server console is needed as an improvement, especially when GUI mode is active.
  • Oracle should provide the OVM client console per user based on his/her privileges to manage his dedicated resources and VM servers.
  • Patching processing takes a long time. Only one compute node is patched at a time.
  • Creating networks for PCA is done via CLI. It should moved to the OVM GUI with a clear diagram or graphics.
  • The PCA dashboard needs more enhancement to contain more info about the components and showing the external connective network links.
  • Internal ZFS storage at PCA is designed to be used for the OVM database, configurations data, and contain VM servers OS only. The customer has to attach an external storage from his own data (it is allowed to use non-Oracle storage), so this design is adding more complexity. I would prefer if Oracle provided another design or option with an internal scalable storage that can be used for both configurations data and customer data without the need to get external storage.           

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Until now, it has been fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not scaled to test. 

How are customer service and technical support?

I cannot give the support more than a six out of 10.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

We switched to reduce Oracle licenses and support costs.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward:

  • Three management IPs form two OVM management nodes clustered in active/passive.
  • Provision the compute nodes to OVM cluster.
  • Connect the external storage. 

For normal setup, it will take around one day. 

What about the implementation team?

We used a vendor team for the implementation. I would rate their expertise as a seven out of 10.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

  • No licenses for the shipped software or firmware.
  • For pricing, it is more expensive than the normal solution or the hyper-converged system.  

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

VMware and Nutanix.

What other advice do I have?

If you have many Oracle products, such as databases, middleware, and apps, it will help you reduce Oracle app licences and support costs. 

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
Buyer's Guide
Converged Infrastructure
July 2022
Find out what your peers are saying about Oracle, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, Rackspace and others in Converged Infrastructure. Updated: July 2022.
620,987 professionals have used our research since 2012.
Syed Jaffar Hussain - PeerSpot reviewer
CTO at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Leaderboard
Allows us to run mixed workloads for Oracle and non-Oracle environments.

What is most valuable?

  • Flexibility to run mixed workloads for Oracle and non-Oracle environments.
  • One stop to all your applications; for example, consolidation of various platforms, Linux, RHEL, WM Windows and Solaris into one single system.
  • Provisioning for rapid application deployments (in just a few hours).
  • Also, cloud-ready solutions.

How has it helped my organization?

Any new deployment typically takes weeks or months to get things ready. With PCA, the deployment provisioning is made easy; the new environment can be ready in just few hours. Thus, this will hep organizations to avoid delays in launching new deployments.

What needs improvement?

  • Support and more awareness of the system functionality and internal mechanism.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used it for less than six months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Initial system planning is most important; how to distribute the resources, configuring the virtual network, and the best usage of OEM is important for the new deployments. Besides, teams with VM concepts and background would be handy to execute the project. When you have such teams available, you're unlikely to encounter any serious issues during the deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Planning of resource distribution and management is a vital step in configuration; also, network setup. When you put best practices in place, you shouldn't be facing any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not experienced any scalability issues yet.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Since the PCA is relative new, finding experienced resources is bit hard; need a lot of improvements in terms of documentation and technical details.

Technical Support:

Technical support is satisfactory.

How was the initial setup?

Engineered System setup is never going to be an easy or straightforward installation, anytime; requires solid planning and skilled resources.

What about the implementation team?

A combination of Oracle Customer Support (ACS) and an Oracle global partner implemented it.

What was our ROI?

Rapid provisioning of new environments make launch of production on-time.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

No additional software licenses are required for Oracle Private Cloud Appliance.
The Oracle Private Cloud Appliance system price includes all the required software. It's the most cost-effective solution for your mixed Oracle and non-Oracle workloads. Achieve efficiencies by only paying for the Oracle Database software licensing that you actually use.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We compared various cloud options that supports the full range of Oracle software, including AWS, MS Azure, etc.

What other advice do I have?

Oracle PCA is definitely worth investing in.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
PeerSpot user
PeerSpot user
CTO/Architect at Viscosity North America
Video Review
Consultant
It allows us to consolidate not only the web servers and app servers, but database servers as well.

What is most valuable?

It's considered a converged system, so one of the real interesting things about it, you can have mixed workloads. You can install web server, app server, databases, rack, all those things, so it's pretty much an open-ended environment where you can install pretty much anything that you want to install on it as it's x86.

How has it helped my organization?

One of the benefits, like I said, it's a converged system, so that I can install a web server and my entire EBS stock. I can have my app server, web server, my Oracle Database all on that one compute node, all on that compute stack, that is.

What needs improvement?

I think a tighter integration with external storage, the simplicity of having, let's say for example, EMC storage or Hitachi storage connected to PCA would have been a nice little added.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

While it scales, the base configuration is two nodes and it can go up to 25, I believe, so it can scale as you need to. As your business grows, as your compute requirements grow, you just add nodes as needed.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support's pretty good. Again, it's a fairly new product, but the OVM support team, the Linux team, as well as the traditional database support teams are all pretty good. We haven't had to tap into those guys too much but we know the times we did there were pretty good.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

This is really a good consolidation play. So typically customers would have 10, 15 servers out there, probably older and what PCA does is give them a platform for consolidation. So it really gives them an area to consolidate not only the web servers, app servers, but database servers too.

What about the implementation team?

Since it is a new product, there's a lot of new things we had to kind of learn, connectivity-wise, although it's based on Oracle Virtual Machine. So we knew that skill set before it came on so we had that a little bit going on. But some of the nuances of the new technology stack, the converged system, was something we had to adapt to and learn.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The key, first and foremost, is again, you have to have CAPEX or OPEX or both. So if that's your main driver is cost reduction and CAPEX and OPEX is one of those, then this is a good avenue to go to too solve those problems.

Hyper-converged and converged systems are the new thing that's happening in the industry and PCA just falls right into that category. There's a lot of options for customers to look at besides PCA.

What other advice do I have?

Rating: since this is an early product, I think the good thing about it is it's moving up in the scale as opposed to moving flat. I'd probably give it a seven and a half and upwardly moving as it adopts to the industry standards.

My suggestion would be have a good organizational boundaries on how you're going to support this because it does tether around the borders of network, storage and database, so you have to have a good organizational definition of how you're going to support a configuration such as this.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
PeerSpot user