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Running Oracle database inside Amazon Cloud (Step 1)

April 18, 2011

Almost easy: Setting up an AWS account

First step was just going to the AWS starting page to register for an account. You can actually do this with only a few clicks. Nevertheless, especially if you are planning to use this as a company account, it makes sense to prepare a few things:

I recommend using a technical mail address, e.g. a distribution list like awsadmins@yourcompany.com. Also your AWS account name should reflect this, e.g. “YourCompany Cloud Admin”.

You can add payment details later. But keep in mind that credit card is the only payment option. A few days after month’s end you will get a notification email showing your total amount for the month. You can download a proper invoice as PDF file, but this has to be done manually.

It is certainly advisable to doublecheck with your finance department at an early stage whether “Amazon Web Services LLC” is already listed as a known supplier, which credit card can be charged, how an appropriate purchase order (PO) has to look like or what else is needed…

When filling out the PO you may need to enter some actual monthly or yearly amounts. Naturally, this is not so easy for a cloud service as there ARE no fixed cost, just pricing by resource usage. Means: you can enter some estimated maximum values at best. But even these estimations need you to have some detailed knowledge about the actual future usage of the various cloud services, including:

  • Which instances of which size will run for how many hours per month, and in which region (Europe, US/West etc.)?
  • How much storage do these instances need?
  • Does the storage have to be persistent (probably yes for an Oracle instance)?
  • How much I/O into the cloud and out of the cloud do you expect?

I really recommend using the AWS Simple Monthly Calculator for that. It will show you the needed metrics and list up all the calculations. But even with this tool, you will probably have to do some guessing about the actual usage values.

If you entered one or more credit cards, the only remaining step is to “sign-up” for the specific services. The best starting point for this is the AWS Management Console. You will use this one a lot, and I will refer to it a lot during the next parts. The first click on the “Amazon EC2” tab leads to a signup process. You will have to choose one of the credit cards for charging EC2 usage. Part of the signup is also an identity check by phone, i.e. you have to be reachable by the phone number that you entered as part of your AWS profile. After a few seconds or minutes, you will receive several confirmation mails, one for EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), VPC (Virtual Private Cloud), S3 (Simple Storage Service) and SNS (Simple Notification Service).

Important: Up to this point you won’t be charged for anything. You have just only registered for the AWS services.

Separate Signups exist and are needed if you want to use other services like SimpleDB or RDS (Relational Data Services, like a MySQL databases in the cloud). This won’t be covered here.

During the next posts I will talk about setting up Oracle instances in AWS.

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