Innovation drives transformation. In the case of Docker containers and Kubernetes, the key benefit is a shift to rapid application deployment services. Oracle and many others have embraced containers and provide images of applications, such as for the Oracle 12c database, that can be deployed in days and instantiated in seconds. Installations and other repetitive tasks are replaced with packaged applications that enable the developer to work quickly in the database. The ease of using Docker and Kubernetes combined with rapid provisioning of persistent storage transforms development by removing wait time and enabling the developer to move closer to the speed of thought. The Docker containers have also eased the workload of Oracle DBAs. They do not have to divide their attention between performing production database maintenance and copying the production copies to the developers for development and testing work.
While the shift to Docker containers in Use Case 1 benefited our developers, provisioning and attaching storage was a manual process that slowed the overall speed of application development. The challenges with manual storage provisioning are two-fold: variety and velocity. As the IT organization adds more application images, variety increases administration and support complexity. Velocity, the frequency of provisioning applications, tends to increase with greater selection. Increased velocity is a growth indicator but also places pressure on the IT organization to address automation.
The second transformation was the addition of the Kubernetes orchestration system and the CSI Driver for Dell EMC PowerFlex. Kubernetes brings a rich user interface that simplifies provisioning containers and persistent storage. In our testing, we found that Kubernetes plus the CSI Driver for Dell EMC PowerFlex enabled developers to provision containerized applications with persistent storage. This solution features point-and-click simplicity and frees valuable time so that the storage administrator can focus on business-critical tasks.
Kubernetes, enhanced with the CSI Driver for Dell EMC PowerFlex, provides the capability to attach and manage PowerFlex storage volumes to containerized applications. Our developer worked with a familiar Kubernetes interface to modify a copy of Oracle database schema gathered from the database and connect it to the Oracle database container. After modifying the database, the developer protected all progress by using the snapshot feature of PowerFlex and creating a point-in-time copy of the database.
Moving to a Docker plus Kubernetes infrastructure provides a faster and more consistent way to package and deploy an Oracle database. In 2017, Oracle developers made the Oracle 12c database available in the Docker Store. The open-source community that supports Docker and Kubernetes has done much of the foundational work. Manual or scripted installation procedures are not necessary, leaving only customization to the business. Dell EMC adds storage value through PowerFlex for enterprises and the CSI Driver for Dell EMC PowerFlex, streamlining the delivery of applications. The goal of this white paper is to jump-start your application development transformation to enable you to achieve these benefits. Dell Technologies can show you how and can provide an infrastructure that optimizes your containerized applications so that Oracle 12c and 19c databases can be rapidly deployed, initiated, and used.