OTM in the Cloud: Hosting Architectures, Part 2 – 1+RDS

  In our last post on cloud architectures, I covered a simple one-node Oracle Transportation Management instance on Amazon Web Services using EC2.  This OTM cloud hosting configuration is well-suited to a development environment and is a very inexpensive option for teams that have on-staff database administration skills.

  For teams that do not have the staff or cycles available to manage the database tier, there are other options.  The least complex of these options is called 1+RDS, and involves moving the database tier to Amazon’s Relational Database Service (RDS).  The diagram below outlines the resulting configuration.

OTM Architecture: 1+RDS
OTM Architecture: 1+RDS

  This should look very similar to the single node architecture from last post.  However, instead of housing an Oracle database on the EC2 instance, the application tier now communicates with an Oracle database via Amazon RDS.  RDS is like EC2 but for databases; in other words, it’s a managed service that provides you with a fully functioning database, but takes much of the day-to-day maintenance out of the picture.

  Starting at 10 cents an hour, you get an Oracle Enterprise instance including backup, patching, snapshot-recovery, and monitoring.  In addition, you can scale your database server up and down with no downtime, configure geographically-distributed replication, and isolate the database in a private subnet.

  The implication for an OTM development instance is clear.  You can focus your team’s time on OTM, not installing memory on the database server or manually refreshing from an old snapshot.  RDS also saves time during instance configuration.  Instead of sitting through the 11gR2 installer for the hundredth time (silent or not), you requisition a database with the following menu:

  That’s it.  Database and DBA services for pennies an hour with setup in minutes.  When you’re done, turn it off and stop paying.  No 30-day termination notice, no exit penalty, no need to go through laying off the extra DBA.  Just a few clicks in a menu, then point your OTM installer at RDS and get back to dynamically optimizing your intermodal networks and enjoying item-level shipment visibility.

  In the next post on OTM cloud hosting, we’ll finally get into more production-like OTM instances.  Supporting software like PC Miler will require a Windows server, and business needs like high-availability and no-downtime patching will lead us to redundancy at the web and application tiers.  Stay tuned!