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Exciting Changes to Provisioning Instances in Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) 105.2
Posted on April 1, 2019
Author: Andy Tauro, Performance Architects

Ever since Oracle started transitioning Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC) to the Oracle Generation 2 Cloud infrastructure, customers lost the ability to make certain changes to instances once they are provisioned. The big issue was that we couldn’t start or stop instances; also, once created, instances couldn’t scale up or down.

This presented a significant hurdle to new implementations, since the prevalent guideline was to maintain one OCPU for every 40-50 users, which meant that number could get out of hand very quickly (with an OCPU defined by Oracle as, “the CPU capacity equivalent of one physical core of an Intel Xeon processor with hyper-threading enabled; for an Intel Xeon processor, each OCPU corresponds to two hardware execution threads, known as vCPUs”). This was because any organization that has made the strategic decision to invest in OAC encourages as many of its users as possible to use the environment.

It isn’t unusual to have 500 or more users provisioned in an OAC environment, though in most cases, these users would most likely access just a few reports or dashboards, maybe even just one! This made it very difficult to gauge the size of a new environment, especially if the organization never had an enterprise-wide reporting and analytics solution before.

In such cases, it is very useful to start with a baseline specification and then scale the environment based on need. With the move to Oracle Gen 2, the only way to make sizing changes to an instance once it was created was to create a new one, move the solution to this new environment, and delete the old one.

The release of OAC 105.2 has changed this to some extent, by returning the ability to scale up/down instances that was lost when we moved off Gen 1 Cloud. However, at least as of this blog post date, we still can’t update existing instances to this version, and we must create a new instance to take advantage of the new capabilities.  In addition, OAC Essbase instances cannot be scaled up/down at this time:

Moreover, one OCPU instances are now considered to be “trial-only” instances. As a result, they do not have the scale up/down capability. When creating a new instance, however, the drop-down box indicates that one OCPU is recommended for non-production (Test / Development) instances, and that an instance needs to be – at a minimum – two OCPUs to scale. This link provides details on the ranges that instances can be scaled to, given their starting point; the chart is repeated here for quick reference:

Once an instance is created, the process for scaling the instance is relatively straightforward. In the “Service Console,” chose “Scale Instance” from the action menu against the instance to get started:

The dialog box provides options. Note that the instance can scale in multiples of two, and the selection here will increase the OCPU count by the number (not by the count). For example, if you start at two OCPUs, and you chose four OCPUs in this drop-down, it will take your instance to six and not four OCPUs. Once the process is initiated, it takes about 10-15 minutes for the process to complete. To scale down, the process is identical, with “Decrease OCPUs” as the first drop-down box selection:

While a step in the right direction for sure, the let-down is that existing Oracle-managed instances do not seem to be able to be updated to this version number. Still, if you are early enough in your implementation, this is a great improvement over the current process!

Need help determining how to provision your instances to make the best use of the changes? Drop us a line at communications@performancearchitects.com, and we can figure out a way to chat. Looking for more information on the other functionality that was released as part of the 15.2 update to OAC? Stay tuned to this blog for an update soon.

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