Tuesday, 08 June 2021 13:16

Oracle offers 13 more Always Free services for developers


Oracle has unveiled 13 more Always Free services to Cloud Free Tier, which enables developers and operators to learn, kick the tyres, and deploy workloads on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

With the 13 additional services, users can deploy a low-code APEX app, build a WordPress website, deploy a Minecraft service on Oracle Cloud infrastructure— all free of charge.

In September 2019, Oracle began offering Always Free services including Compute, Storage, and Autonomous Database. The Always Free services include Ampere A1 Compute, Autonomous JSON Database, NoSQL, APEX Application Development, Logging, Service Connector Hub, Application Performance Monitoring (APM), flexible load balancer, flexible network load balancer, VPN Connect V2, Oracle Security Zones, Oracle Security Advisor, and OCI Bastion.

Oracle’s Always Free services complement the existing Always Free Compute virtual machines (VM), Object Storage, Block Storage, Load Balancing, Autonomous Data Warehouse, and Autonomous Transaction Processing service.

For example, users can now deploy a low-code APEX app, build a WordPress website, or deploy a Minecraft server on OCI, all free of charge for an unlimited time. Our Always Free services can also help users learn about the primitives and capabilities of OCI that they can scale with a paid OCI account in the future. All OCI Always Free services and resources are available with an active Oracle Cloud account.

New Always Free Compute resources
To support Arm architecture coming to servers, Oracle OCI launched Ampere A1 Compute instances in the cloud. Oracle has created an Arm developer ecosystem to enable developers to transition, build, and run applications on OCI Arm instances. The latest Ampere processors used in OCI run most server workloads.

Oracle offers Always Free Arm resources (four OCPUs, 24-GB Memory) in the industry to enable developers to build and test apps (not just “hello world” demos).

New Always Free Databases resources and services
With the launch of the Always Free Autonomous JSON Database resources on Oracle Cloud, users can run up to two databases with their choice of workload types, ranging from Autonomous Transaction Processing, Autonomous Data Warehouse, and Autonomous JSON Database. They can also use a fully managed NoSQL database cloud service designed for database operations that require predictable, single digit millisecond latency responses to simple queries.

Autonomous JSON Database
Always Free Oracle Autonomous JSON Database delivers the benefits of Oracle’s Paid Autonomous JSON Database free of charge. Autonomous JSON Database is a cloud document database service that makes it simple to develop JSON-centric applications and handle JSON workloads.

It features JSON document APIs, full SQL access, serverless scaling, ACID transactions, and security. Because the service is a member of the Oracle Autonomous Database family, it automates provisioning, configuring, tuning, scaling, patching, encrypting, and repairing of the database, eliminating most database management tasks while delivering availability and single digit millisecond response times. Free JSON Database provides up to 1 OCPU (shared) and 20 GB of storage,

Oracle NoSQL Database Cloud service allows developers to build applications using document, columnar, and key-value database models, delivering single-digit millisecond response times with data replication for availability. The service is said to offer atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability (ACID) transactions, serverless scaling, comprehensive security, and low pay-per-use pricing, including 100% compatibility with on-premises Oracle NoSQL Database. The Always Free NoSQL resources is said to include up to 133 million reads per month, 133 million writes per month, and three tables with 25-GB storage per table. Oracle Cloud customers like Airbus use NoSQL Cloud Service for its value and performance.

Always Free application development services
With new Always Free Oracle APEX Application Development, amateur and professional developers can build and deploy low-code apps in Oracle Cloud free of charge. Oracle APEX empowers developers to create modern data-driven applications up to 38 times faster than coding. Developers can get the most from data assets by building converged applications that integrate relational, JSON, spatial, and graph data. They can pull data from the included Oracle Autonomous Database or virtually any representational state transfer (REST) endpoint.

Developers can also extend applications by incorporating Oracle and third-party APEX plugins or by adding custom JavaScript, SQL, and PL/SQL logic. Always Free APEX Service delivers Oracle APEX running in Oracle Cloud as a service with up to 1 OCPU (shared) and 20 GB of storage. It can support 3–6 users accessing the service simultaneously, plus an unlimited number of applications, developer accounts, and end-user accounts.

The OCI Logging service is a scalable and single pane of glass for all the logs in tenancy, providing 10 GB per month. Log ingest and search are also free. Logging provides access to audit, service, and custom logs from OCI resources. These logs include diagnostic information that describes how resources are performing and being accessed. Users can use the search engine to explore logs. They can also make every log line actionable in near-real time to act on, export, or archive their logs for indefinite retention with OCI Service Connector Hub support.

OCI logs are encrypted in-flight while they are in the process of being ingested into OCI Logging. After the logs are in the system, they are encrypted with disk-level encryption for commercial environments. Logs are also encrypted when they are archived and while in storage, providing a solid, around-the-clock log security. For interoperability, OCI Logging uses the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) Fluentd agent for log ingestion and the CNCF CloudEvents standard for log events.

Service Connector Hub
Service Connector Hub is a free service that moves data between your services, both within OCI and from OCI to third-party tools. It moves data, such as logs from logging, to services such as object storage, streaming, and monitoring, for extra processing and compliance storage needs. It triggers functions for custom data processing and sending notifications about changes to cloud resources. Service Connector Hub eliminates the overhead associated with building and maintaining complex applications for moving data between services.

Users can use Service Connector Hub to integrate with third-party tools for more processing and analytics, store data on Object Storage for compliance purposes, emit metrics from logs based on certain criterion (Alarms), process data in transit with functions, get notifications about changes to cloud resources, and gain full visibility over data movement.

Application Performance Monitoring (APM)
Application Performance Monitoring delivers four capabilities that enable application administrators and DevOps engineers to get a true picture of every user’s experience. APM implements a distributed tracing system as a service, tracking every step of every transaction with no sampling and no aggregation in microservices-based applications and legacy multi tier architectures.

APM provides end user monitoring to track the actual experiences of each end user, all the time, no matter where and how they access the application through browser instrumentation, session diagnostics, and combining with server-side tracing. Synthetic monitoring helps developers and operators to become proactive by preventing issues before users are impacted. Users can schedule and script synthetic monitors to meet the requirements for application availability. Server monitoring allows APM to collect metrics from any component involved in delivering a service.

APM data collection is compatible with cloud native open standards, including OpenMetrics and OpenTelemetry. Always Free version includes 1,000 events per hour, enabling users to experiment with the service or monitor low volume applications, taking advantage of the distributed tracing, end-user monitoring, and server monitoring capabilities. Currently, synthetic monitoring is not included in the Always Free option.

Flexible Load Balancer
With OCI Flexible Load Balancing, users are no longer restricted to fixed bandwidth load balancer shapes or scaling based only on general traffic patterns. You can choose a custom minimum bandwidth and an optional maximum bandwidth, both anywhere between 10–8,000 Mbps.

The minimum bandwidth is always available for workloads. The optional maximum bandwidth setting can limit bandwidth, even during unexpected peaks to control costs. Based on incoming traffic patterns, available bandwidth scales up from the minimum as traffic increases. Oracle’s Always Free accounts get one flexible load balancer with a minimum and maximum bandwidth of 10 Mbps.

Flexible network load balancer
OCI’s flexible network load balancer is a non-proxy load balancing solution that performs pass-through load balancing of layer 3 and layer 4 (TCP/UDP/ICMP) workloads. It offers a scalable regional VIP address that can scale up or down based on client traffic with no minimum or maximum bandwidth configuration requirement. It also provides flow availability, source and destination IP address, and port preservation. It is designed to handle traffic patterns and millions of flows, offering throughput while maintaining latency. The network load balancer is optimised for long-running connections for days or months.

VPN Connect V2
OCI VPN connections use industry-standard IPSec protocols through VPN Connect service, also known as IPSec VPN. VPN Connect provides a site-to-site IPSec VPN between your on-premises network and your virtual cloud network (VCN). The IPSec protocol suite encrypts IP traffic before the packets are transferred from the source to the destination and decrypts the traffic when it arrives. With Oracle’s offer, VPN Connect V2 improves availability and reliability of IPSec connections. Users can now use two IPSec-connections for free to run lightweight workloads for an indefinite time.

Oracle Security Zones and Oracle Security Advisor
Users can automatically set up and enforce security policies for compartments in OCI using Oracle Security Zones and Oracle Security Advisor. Oracle Security Zones service includes a policy library to enable cloud security posture management, so administrators can immediately ensure that their compartments are secure.

Security Zones and Security Advisor are complementary, and together with other built-in security capabilities of OCI, they allow to build cloud infrastructure in a secure, automated manner. With these capabilities, users can focus on building a customer experience in their software without having to worry about security. Both are classified as OCI’s Always Free services, providing users security for their cases.

OCI Bastion
OCI Bastion is a service providing SSH access to the private resources in OCI, eliminating the need for deploying complex networking or jump hosts to get access to private resources. User authentication and authorisation are integrated with Identity and Access Management (IAM) services enabling authorised users to connect from specific IP addresses to target resources by using any software or protocol supported by SSH. OCI Bastion is classified as OCI’s Always Free service and is said to support 20 sessions per bastion and five bastions in each tenancy.

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