The first article of the ‘Path to JD Edwards Cloud POV Series’, talked about six myths surrounding JD Edwards in Cloud that focused on discussing the hype around JD Edwards on Cloud and elaborating on the most common myths that this hype has triggered. You can read the article here

The second article talked about the six buzzwords that are common in the JD Edwards on Cloud space and what they mean. You can read the article here.

This is the third article in KPIT's "Path to JD Edwards Cloud POV Series". In this piece, we will discuss several technical nuances to think about and consider on your JD Edwards cloud journey:
1
IaaS Vendor Options
JD Edwards EnterpriseOne deployment on the cloud is not a new concept and has been in play for many years. What was once called Hosting and Application Service Provider (ASP) and more, has adopted the new buzzwords - Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Cloud. What has changed in recent years is the presence of big players offering services in this market. Powerhouse companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, IBM, and now Oracle already have, and are continuing to invest an enormous amount of capital in this space.

But not all flavors are the same when it comes to JD Edwards on the Cloud. It is true that at the core, and to put it simply, a customer is basically renting servers and management of these servers from an IaaS vendor at a fixed or variable fee. It is also true that the competitors in this market offer similar features and options to efficiently provision, scale, and maintain the hardware. Having said that, Oracle will continue to have an edge over the competition given their deep knowledge of the JD Edwards product.
 
With their first JD Edwards deployment on Oracle Cloud solution released in early 2016, Oracle came out with options (Trial Edition, Multi-Tier) to rapidly deploy a working JD Edwards 9.2 instance within hours. Oracle will likely continue their investment to provide more features, flexibility, and ROI to entice customers to choose Oracle Cloud for their JD Edwards software. The possibilities are endless and it will be exciting to see what innovations Oracle JD Edwards comes out with.
2
JD Edwards Database Migration
Your JD Edwards Production database needs to be given careful consideration during your on premises to cloud migration journey. The size of this database will vary greatly from customer to customer, but the importance of this component is paramount. Due to the physical distance limitations between on premises and cloud locations, and the limited time during final Go Live cutover, traditional methods to copy databases are not viable options. Instead, specialized database replication tools such as Oracle Golden Gate or Dbvisit will be required to execute this process. These tools can perform a bulk synchronization in the weeks or months prior to Go Live cutover. Then as changes are made to the source databases (on-premises), the tool will replicate the changes to the target database located on the cloud. Finally at Go Live cutover, the source is placed in a restrictive state to prevent any further changes and the tool is given time to replicate the final set of changes from the source to the target databases.
3
Split out Dev/Test & Production between Cloud and on-premises
So you've made your decision to choose JD Edwards as your ERP platform, but you're unsure if a cloud deployment is right for you. It is a difficult decision with many variables and options, especially to companies where they've always kept their systems on-premises. Some may be led down the path where non-Prod (Dev/Test) servers and environments are placed on the cloud and Production is implemented on-premises, or vice versa, and all are part of a single instance of JD Edwards. This is a decision that needs to be carefully reviewed.

JD Edwards, out of the box, is written and configured so that all environments share a common database for system related information (user details, security, job queues, system definitions, and all kinds of technical configuration details). For simplicity, we'll just call this the system database. On the other hand, each JD Edwards environment also has its own distinct objects and/or data schemas, or a combination thereof. But no matter which environment a user uses, it is constantly talking to the system database, which for obvious reasons, you keep wherever your Production servers reside. So splitting out non-Prod and Prod into two separate data centers, one being the Cloud and the other being on-premise, means that the non-Prod users will need to constantly communicate with the system database at the other data center over a WAN connection. This type of setup will likely lead to very slow performance for non-Prod users. So, is there a workaround for this? Possibly, but not a simple one, and certainly not within the scope of this article.

So when does having JD Edwards Dev/Test on the cloud make sense? I can think of 2 use cases, but I'm sure there are more.
  • A customer decides to implement JD Edwards but their procurement/delivery of on-premises hardware is either delayed or strategically pushed out. In this case, the implementation project can start on schedule by spinning up JD Edwards with an IaaS vendor. Oracle Cloud probably makes the most sense here, but any IaaS vendor can be employed. A detailed solution and plan to export/import data, configurations, developed objects, etc. to the on-premises JD Edwards instance will need to be strategically mapped out beforehand.
  • A customer is contemplating an upgrade to JD Edwards 9.2 and wants to take it for a test drive to experience firsthand what the excitement is all about. The quickest and most efficient way would be to subscribe to Oracle Cloud and deploy the JD Edwards 9.2 templates from Oracle's Marketplace. You could take a high level test drive of the 9.2 features by going with the Trial Edition, or go with the full featured Multi-tier option if you are looking to do a deeper dive, such as retrofit analysis.
4
Network Performance to the Cloud
For those that have been running JD Edwards in a local data center environment and are thinking about migrating it to the cloud, the reality is that the "cloud" may be hundreds or even thousands of miles away from your office or your end users. And even with today's advancements in network technologies and robust bandwidth, there are lots of variables between point A and point B that may negatively impact your connection. As part of your JD Edwards cloud migration project, it would be prudent to implement monitoring and mitigation strategies at various key points in the connection so that when network performance issues hits you smack in the head, you are well prepared to identify, isolate, or resolve the problem.
5
Security Implications
A possible downside of moving your JD Edwards instance to the cloud is that you will have minimal to no control over how the cloud data center is secured. That being said, almost all the Tier 1 cloud providers like Amazon, Microsoft, and Oracle do an extremely good job of providing physical, access, and data security. Your focus should be more on transmission and application security by ensuring that HTTPS is used for all presentation layer servers and TLS/SSL is enabled for the Application servers in certain circumstances.
 
If you want to continue using or want to enable LDAP authentication for your JDE instance, then your on-premise LDAP authentication solution will need to be visible and be able to talk to the JDE Application servers on the cloud. The exact process for implementing LDAP federation over the internet is outside the scope of this article.

Generally, however, cloud-based systems are more secure than in-house systems by virtue of the fact that cloud-based providers are often held to a higher standard by multiple organizations. That kind of pressure makes cloud-based vendors invest more time and money into providing the best security possible. The down side to this is that you will need to bake in additional time and effort into your project plan to work through these additional layers of security so that your JD Edwards system and its integration solutions are able to communicate seamlessly in this type of environment.
Where does Oracle JD Edwards fit in?
 
Oracle offers to host JD Edwards in the Public Cloud as well as the Private Cloud. Oracle Cloud Machine solution can be leveraged by JD Edwards customers as well. These offerings can be broadly classified under IaaS. Besides Oracle, there are many other cloud services providers that have similar offerings.

JD Edwards is a single-tenant system, which is an important distinction and therefore, it can offer both on premises and in the cloud options. Oracle and KPIT offer creative financing to defer traditional licensing cost over multiple years with an option to own the licenses after the stated period.
 
Want to know more about JD Edwards Cloud?
Connect with the Expert
Milind Joshi
VP and Head, Oracle JD Edwards Practice
KPIT Technologies
 
   

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