Disclaimer – I’m an Oracle ACE Director and I’ve been provided with a trial account for testing Oracle Cloud services.
With the above disclaimer out the way, one nice feature of Oracle Cloud is that ANYONE can sign up for a free trial. Originally when Oracle Cloud launched there was a waiting period after requesting a trial, I’m not entirely sure if trial access is instant now or if there is still a waiting period, however it’s still pretty cool you can sign up for free (without having to enter any credit card details) and kick-the-tires before deciding if you want to use the service or not.
Once you’ve signed up for a DBaaS trial account and receiving your credentials you can login, however this is where things get a little different to Amazon AWS if you’re familiar with it.
With Amazon AWS you typically login to your account and you can get an overview across all the datacenters you have instances running in.
Oracle have gone a different route and as part of signing into your account you are first asked to enter the datacenter you wish to login to. This immediately presents a couple of potential problems:
- You need to remember which datacenters you are using (was it US1 or US2?)
- If I have instances in different datacenters then I need to logout and back in, which is sub-optimal. I’d prefer a single entry point that then allows me to select a data-center once I’m logged in.
Over the time I’ve been using Oracle Cloud this hasn’t changed so it looks like their approach isn’t going to change anytime soon, however I can see it being initially confusing for someone looking to migrate away from AWS.
So next I’m asked for my Identity Domain:
You will have chosen an identity domain when you signed up for the trial. This needs to be unique across a datacenter (if someone else has already chosen it then you won’t be able to use it). I’m not entirely sure if it needs to be unique across datacenters (I haven’t checked that). So – a bit like Twitter, Google, Facebook etc…if you have a name you want to use, make sure you sign up before someone else grabs it! 😉
Next I’m presented with the usual login and password screen:
once I’ve logged in then I’m presented with the main dashboard:
note in my case I have access to most of the Trial Service types, lower down in my Services Dashboard I can see the Database Cloud Service option:
I have to say that I’ve noticed this Dashboard ‘evolve’ in the first few days, I did have some issues when viewing it on a large external monitor (images were repeated, and weird CSS related issues). It gradually seems to be settling down to a relatively visually appealing dashboard, I’m sure Oracle will enhance and tweak it as they get more feedback on it.
My first impressions were that there are lots of places I can click and navigate to and once I’ve navigated a different screen I might get a very different UI experience. Again Oracle seems to be working on this and I expect there will be a much more unified UI experience soon.
Clicking on the Details option in the Database Cloud Service section gives me some basic overview of my service:
(note I’ve obscured some information here).
Pretty basic stuff.
The billing metrics link isn’t that interesting to show for a Trial account so I’ll omit it here, but gives you some nice stats and charts that break down your usage for your different instance types.
Clicking on the ‘Open Service Console’ link is where all the fun stuff is, you can see here that I have already created an instance and I get some basic (albeit aggregated) stats on how many OCPU’s, memory and storage space I’m using in total.
In the next blog post we’ll walk through creating an instance from scratch.