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Oracle NoSQL database comes to the cloud

Another Oracle database is coming to the cloud with the general availability of Oracle NoSQL Database Cloud Service as the demand for database as a service continues to grow.

Oracle has been growing its cloud strategy over the past several years, with its namesake Oracle database being one of the primary constituents of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure platform. This week, Oracle expanded its roster of databases in the cloud with the general availability of the Oracle NoSQL Database Cloud Service.

Oracle NoSQL has been available as an on-premises technology since 2011, when the database was first launched. With the launch of Oracle NoSQL Database Cloud Service, Oracle is bringing more of its own technologies to the cloud, as well as following the broader trend of enabling database as a service (DBaaS). By providing its NoSQL database as a cloud service, Oracle is also helping to better enable customers that rely on cloud-based infrastructure.

One such organization is BizDoc Storage, which lets customers scan, manage and store documents in the cloud. Jim Geldermann, director of technology at BizDoc Storage, said his company uses a series of microservices to render clients' forms in a web services environment.

"In the environment we are porting from, we needed to create a table with unique fields for indexing and querying," Geldermann said. "This had a major impact when dealing with high-frequency sets."

He added that in order to handle peak periods, a thread was spawned for each transaction, which was a drain on resources.

"With Oracle's NoSQL offering, we are able to combine all of the disparate tables into one table and use a well-known key name to query for the data type," Geldermann said. "This gives data architects the freedom to create data sets without the need to involve the database administrator."

Oracle NoSQL Database Cloud Service Dashboard
The new Oracle NoSQL Database Cloud Service aims to help users create and manage NoSQL databases.

That freedom is critical for BizDoc Storage as it fits the company's rapid development environment. According to Geldermann, the design, build, test, deploy lifecycle is significantly reduced because the resources needed in the iterative process are limited to the team tasked with deploying the form.

Inside the Oracle NoSQL Cloud Service

The new cloud service is based on the existing on-premises Oracle NoSQL Database version 19.3, with additional infrastructure for the fully managed cloud features, explained Dave Rubin, senior director of NoSQL and embedded database development at Oracle.

With Oracle's NoSQL offering, we are able to combine all of the disparate tables into one table and use a well-known key name to query for the data type.
Jim GeldermannDirector of technology, BizDoc Storage

He added that the cloud service will iterate at roughly the same velocity as the Oracle NoSQL Database, which is quarterly. As to why Oracle decided now was the right time for the NoSQL database to become available in the cloud, Rubin said the current COVID-19 pandemic was not a driver.

"This is simply the case of the software being ready for general availability," Rubin said. "We have spent the last 18 months fine-tuning the cloud service, and it is now ready for large-scale usage."

Running the NoSQL database in the cloud

Getting the Oracle NoSQL Database to run in the cloud wasn't a simple exercise. Rubin said there were many technical challenges to overcome in building the cloud service.

"Some of these challenges involved rate limiting over a large-scale distributed system, building a multi-tenancy service with predictable latency, and preventing noisy neighbors," he said. "There are many components that make up the back-end service, and they are running as Docker containers and being orchestrated by a container orchestrator."

Hybrid deployments are supported

While organizations now have the option to run Oracle NoSQL Database in the cloud, there will still be a need for many to run in a hybrid mode, with database services both on premises and in the cloud. Rubin said Oracle is fully supporting a hybrid deployment mode for the NoSQL database.

"Customers can deploy a part of their application by connecting to the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure-based cloud service, and then another part of their application can connect to NoSQL Database running in another cloud data center," Rubin said. "Accessing the NoSQL database is accomplished using the same API for either data center."

Looking forward, he said Oracle has a roadmap for future development of the NoSQL Cloud Service that includes multi-region tables, point-in-time recovery and streaming change data capture to the cloud.

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