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New Oracle Cloud Offering – Indexing as a Service (IDXaaS) (I Pity The Fool) April 1, 2016

Posted by Richard Foote in 12c Rel 2, IDXaaS, Oracle Cloud, Oracle Indexes.

This of course is an April Fools joke. Sorry !!

A very exciting announcement !! I’ve recently been promoted within Oracle Corporation to lead their brand new Oracle Cloud offering “Indexing as a Service” (IDXaaS) team, based on my previous work and experience in the indexing space. Yes, I’m both thrilled and excited to be involved in this new venture 🙂

Promising both improved levels of service and reductions in maintenance and administration overheads, this new Oracle Cloud offering will take all indexing related hassles from on-premise databases and address them in the Cloud. No more index rebuilds, no more concerns you don’t have the right indexes in place and importantly no more worrying that indexes are taking up valuable TBs of storage. Oracle indexes can now be safely and seamlessly migrated and stored in the Oracle Cloud.

Relational databases depend heavily on indexes to ensure data can be retrieved quickly and efficiently, but indexes can be very difficult to administer, can use considerable resources to maintain and consume considerable amounts of disk space. They can be so problematic that some folk actually devote an entire blog on the subject !! Imagine if all these issues and overheads can be taken away from you when administrating Oracle databases…

Index DDL will be enhanced in the 12c Release 2 Oracle Database to optionally specify a Cloud Domian Identifier (CDI) instead of a tablespace. So you will be able to either build or rebuild an index into the Oracle IDXaaS Cloud with syntax such as follows: CREATE INDEX bowie_idx on bowie(id) CLOUD LOCATION bowies_cloud_domain; This index will fully index the bowie table that exists in an on premise database (or indeed a database that is also in the cloud) but the index itself will be created and maintained in the Oracle Cloud. The database is fully aware of the actual physical location of the index as it is when created in a traditional tablespace and will simply update the index structure as DML is applied to the base table as it has always done. All Oracle indexing types and options will be fully supported including Oracle Text and Spatial indexes.

Like indexes stored in a tablespace, these indexes will need to be rebuilt or coalesced every now and then, but you won’t need to worry about this as Oracle will now implicitly do this for you in the Oracle Cloud. I’m currently hiring a team of DBAs with expertise in the “art” of rebuilding indexes who will ensure all your indexes will be rebuilt automatically for customers as necessary. By default, these operations will usually be performed on Sundays within the Oracle Cloud, but as indexes can be rebuilt online and as these indexes are no longer physically stored within your database, it’s an operation that is now performed automatically and seamlessly for you. Customers no longer need concern themselves with these types of index operations or when they occur, so while “we” work over the weekend, your DBAs can instead relax and keep their gardens nice and weed free. Please leave a comment on the blog if you think you have what it takes to effectively rebuild Oracle indexes and interested in joining my elite IDXaaS team !!

For customers that choose to use the “Premium IDXaaS” offering, Oracle will automatically create or drop indexes as required in the Oracle Cloud. Customers no longer have to make the decision on what indexes should be created on which columns in which order; this will be performed automatically for you by Oracle’s IDXaaS. By running new advanced analysis routines on your database workloads, the Premium IDXaaS offering will create an index if it will help the efficiency of any of your current workloads. Conversely, if Oracle believes an index is redundant (for example if your database is running on Exadata), indexes will first be automatically made “invisible” and if there are no serious repercussions, will be automatically dropped 7 days later. DBAs and Developers will no longer need to worry about which indexes to create/drop, significantly reducing the complexities in managing both current and future Oracle database environments.

Oracle will also introduce a new package that will easily migrate all your existing indexes for you into the Oracle Cloud. The DBMS_INDEX_CLOUD package will automatically migrate all indexes for a specified Table/Partition/Schema/Pluggable Database/Database into the Oracle Cloud, which will be a fully online, seamless operation. Once completed, associated indexes within “on premise” tablespaces will effectively be dropped and be replaced with their Cloud equivalents. All that “expensive” storage that was previously tied up in storing all those Oracle indexes can now be freed up to store much more business rich data such as emails, selfie photos, David Bowie music catalogs, etc. Note that these significant storage savings will also translate in smaller backups, smaller Standby databases, smaller Production clones, etc. Importantly, the Oracle Cost Based Optimizer will be fully aware of the Cloud Indexes (as their definitions, statistics and other metadata are still stored within the database data dictionary) and will use the Cloud Indexes as appropriate. No changes to existing SQL is necessary, the CBO will decide to use an index in the cloud in the same manner as it chooses to use an index currently. There is also a new Cloud Index execution path option that allows data to be retrieved via the Cloud Index in a “good enough” manner which is much more efficient than a normal index scan, although it might not necessarily retrieve all the possible data that meets an SQL predicate. It effectively provides what we refer to as that “internet” data retrieval experience.

Oracle Open World 2016 will be the time of the official release for this exciting new Oracle Cloud offering. I will be presenting a number of sessions at OOW16 on this new IDXaaS and there will be a number of live demos to demonstrate its unique capabilities and the simplicity of the migration process. However, there will be a number of announcements before then, including the opportunity to be involved in a beta customer program. There will also be a number of hands-on workshops being conducted globally, with customers getting the chance to see for themselves how easily it is to move database indexes into the Oracle Cloud.

Lastly and perhaps most exciting of all, this new IDXaaS capability will initially be a free option with all current Oracle databases from 12c Release 2 onwards. You will be able to migrate all your existing 12.2 Oracle database indexes onto the Oracle Cloud and they will be stored, maintained and administrated for free as part of your current Oracle database licenses. All Oracle database editions will be supported. This free offer however is likely to end once the 12c Release 2 database is officially released but the additional pay as you go licensing constructs are proposed to be extremely competitive with yearly “indexed” priced increments. Also to be subsequently released will be Oracle IDXaaS support for most other commercial databases including DB2, SQL Server, NoSQL, MySQL, Sybase, Hana, Hadoop and Notepad.

So administrating Oracle (and other) Databases will soon change forever.  Oracle indexes will no longer have to be a concern for customers as all database indexes can instead be stored in the Oracle Cloud via the new IDXaaS offering, allowing Oracle to automatically store and manage these tricky database objects for you. Not only will index rebuilds be a thing of the past, but so will all concerns regarding index storage, creation and maintenance. I’m very excited to be involved in this new undertaking and indeed with my move to Oracle HQ in San Francisco in the coming months (I’ll up in the Clouds level of Building 1). I look forward to talking IDXaaS with you in the days to come 🙂


This of course is an April Fools joke. Sorry !!