Oracle Is Ramping Up Its Cloud Infrastructure Backbone

Oracles is ramping up its cloud infrastructure backbone. The Oracle backbone network is a secure, dedicated network for connecting Oracle Cloud Infrastructure regions in a range of geographic locations. It offers privately routed inter-region connectivity and aims to provide consistent inter-regional performance for latency, jitter and bandwidth as compared to the public Internet.

Oracle’s goal is to continually provide “a high performance, reliable and scalable transport” allowing customers to rely on its service for all their workloads. Oracle’s private network particularly works to enable workloads that don’t work well over the public Internet, including real-time replication, clustering, disaster recovery, and other such use cases. Its backbone is designed to “route around failures” in order to guarantee availability of the connections between its data centers.

Communications that run through the Oracle backbone are all secured by industry-standard encryption protocol, ensuring confidentiality for every transaction that happens between the Oracle data centers. Automation is included on the planning for the fiber routes, device deployment, maintenance and operations. Oracle describes itself as “making every effort to remove human failures from the engineering perspective”.

On May 1st, the company connected all its regions to the backbone so customers worldwide can utilize it for their own needs.

Oracle hosts its cloud infrastructure in regions and availability domains. They define a region as “a localized geographic area” and an availability domain as “one or more data centers located within a region”. A region is essentially comprised of several availability domains.

The availability domains in a single region are connected to one another via a low latency, high bandwidth network. Each availability domain is fault tolerant and deliberately isolated from the others in order to make it highly unlikely for them to fail at the same time, so that a region can support replicated systems in multiple availability domains for both disaster recovery and high availability connectivity for customers. The availability domains don’t share infrastructure such as cooling or power, nor do they share the internal availability domain network meaning that a failure at one site is unlikely to affect the availability of the others.

Regions are also independent of other regions. Regions can be separated by significant distances – across countries or continents. In general, Oracle recommends that you deploy an application in the region where it is used the most as drawing on nearby resources will be quicker than using distance ones. However, there are several reasons why applications might be deployed across different regions, for instance, to meet regulatory or legal requirements, or to mitigate the risk of region-wide events like large weather systems.

Most of Oracle’s infrastructure resources are region-specific or availability domain-specific.

Regional resources:

  • buckets (however, they can be accessed from any location if you use the correct region-specific Object Storage URL for the API calls)
  • customer-premises equipment (CPE)
  • DHCP options sets
  • dynamic routing gateways (DRGs)
  • images
  • internet gateways
  • load balancers
  • local peering gateways (LPGs)
  • reserved public IPs
  • route tables
  • security lists
  • virtual cloud networks (VCNs)
  • volume backups (they can also be restored as new volumes to any availability domain within the region in which they are stored)

Availability domain-specific resources:

  • DB Systems
  • ephemeral public IPs
  • instances (they can be attached only to volumes in the same availability domain)
  • subnets
  • volumes (they can be attached only to an instance in the same availability domain)

Global resources:

  • API signing keys
  • compartments
  • dynamic groups
  • federation resources
  • groups
  • policies
  • tag namespaces
  • tag keys
  • users

The Oracle backbone is particularly aimed at use cases that cover multiple regions such as multi-region VCN peering, high-availability applications, and replication of data. Furthermore, the backbone offers transit between a backbone point-of-presence (POP) location and the other Oracle Cloud Infrastructure data centers to extend connectivity for its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure FastConnect service customers.

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