Oracle database is one of the leading relational database system on this planet, known for its performance on production grade systems. If you are about to learn or already started with Oracle database, then this article is for you!
If everyone’s following same route to learn Oracle DB, how are you heading yourself so that you stand out of crowd? Answer to this question is: “Go Cloudy Way!” Learn along with cloud technology and be prepared for the current market demands.
You need an AWS account to get started. On an average, you may need to spend $5 to $10 monthly for learning Oracle database using RDS service from Amazon Web services (AWS) cloud.
The following four flavors of Oracle database is available on RDS:
- Oracle Enterprise Edition
- Oracle Standard Edition
- Oracle Standard Edition One
- Oracle Standard Edition Two
For those who are new to AWS or to the RDS service from AWS, should not skip the next paragraph on RDS.
What is RDS?
RDS (Relational database service) from AWS provides managed relational database as a service on-demand. You don’t need to own and maintain a database server. You don’t need to install any database on it.
Learning concept: All you have to do is, log on to AWS console, choose the RDS service from search, click on launch an instance button and choose your database (here, in our case, is Oracle DB). Once the instance is running and active, you can connect to the database from your desktop/Mac or with your laptop. You need SQL developer tool or any other Oracle client to connect and work with Oracle database that we create.
Once you’re done with your learning, don’t forget to delete the instance. If you keep it running, you will be billed for every single hour.
Also, if you want to continue with the previous database, then you can take a snapshot from it and can then spin up new instance out of it.
If you want to get hands on experience with Oracle database or say for any other database, don’t try it in your laptop or on your desktop/Mac.
You need to have it in a cloud environment. The reason is that you should know database alone with the knowledge of how is being deployed in the real world production scenarios.
In this page I’ll guide you through the detailed steps on spinning RDS Oracle database instance.
Step 1: Select Oracle engine
When you go and find all the available database engines with RDS, you will be surprised. Along with Oracle database, we have Amazon Aurora, MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL and Microsoft SQL Server. Our need is Oracle and choose to proceed. Under the selection, you will find four different editions of Oracle database currently supported at RDS on Amazon cloud.
Choose standard edition if your learning plan is not covering on expert topics. Now click on “Next”.
Step 2: Choose your use case
Here AWS allows you to specify what kind of deployment would this database intended for. In our case, we would be starting with a simple single instance Oracle database setup, and hence choose Dev/Test under the option.
Production use case allows us to utilize multi-availability zone deployment (Multi-AZ, in short). This requires advanced cloud concept of hosting multiple server instance running at multiple regions to support low latency highly available deployment.
Be aware of the fact that multi-AZ deployment gives you huge bill at the end. Though they are billed at hourly basis, if you forgot to clear up after the usage, then you would end paying huge bill despite the fact that you haven’t utilized the resource.
Step 3: Configure the DB instance
This is the important step among the three. You need to be careful while entering details related to capacity. Mentioned higher capacity above the optimal levels may end up with heavy bill.
DB Engine Version
Specify the version of Oracle database you want to spin up. If unsure, leave the latest version which was already set on the page.
DB instance class
Here you will be specifying the instance capacity. Choose “db.t2.micro — 1 vCPU, 1 GiB RAM”.
This instance is the minimum capacity, you will find this entry in top of the instance class list. Choosing higher capacity ends up paying higher price ($/hour).
This micro instance is way more sufficient enough for learning. If you have your friends too joining with this learning plan, then you don’t need to worry since this instance can surely server up to 20 people at a moment.
Estimated bill for this RDS instance
Scroll to the end of the step 3 page to check the estimated bill for this instance for a month. AWS charges you for hour basis. Divide the estimated amount with the total hours in a month. 30 days each with 24 hours. Hence we have 720 hours.
Let’s say you will be using this instance for 3 hours a day. So, you would be using 30 days with 3 hours each. Which is 30 x 3 = 90 hours.
Now, you need to understand one thing before you calculate estimate for this new instance. We found out that you would be using for a total 90 hours for a month (or one bill cycle). The instance charges includes running cost (CPU) and storage. Whether or not you are using the instance, you would have the storage occupied all the time of the month.
However, RDS instance can’t be shutdown as you can do with your EC2 server instance. RDS can only be terminated with a snapshot taken before the termination. Even when we terminate, we would have the storage cost firing every hour for the snapshot. Well, when we move this to S3 bucket, it would require you less price compared to snapshot kept in otherwise.
So, take up the DB instance estimated charge amount from the page. Divide it by 720. Then multiply with 90 hours. So, $12 / 720 X 90 = $1.5 only. Now add $2.5 for storage cost for your snapshot. The total will be $4. Adding tax (depends on your billing country), you will get somewhere between $5 to $10.
Also, note that you should only keep one recent snapshot all the time. Or else, you need to pay for the storage cost for all the snapshots.
Other DB instance settings
DB instance identifier: Specify a name that is unique for all DB instances owned by your AWS account in the current region.
Master username and password: Used when you want to connect to the instance.
Connecting with our database
Finally after step 3, click on “Review and Launch” button. Wait for few minutes to get it running. Go to the RDS dashboard and check the instance status. When the status shows all pass and in green, click and check the instance details for the connect string.
This connect string is a unique publicly accessible RDS instance URL which you need to configure in Oracle SQL developer tool for connection.
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