Converting on Premise Essbase to the Cloud: What You Need to Know

Published July 22 2020 by John Patterson
Back to insights

Converting on Premises Essbase to Cloud

If you’ve been considering moving dozens of cubes to the cloud, take heart.  We have recently entered a positive transformational period for Essbase. Now is a good time to begin planning the transition to the cloud for Essbase.  In September of 2019, Essbase 19c was released as an Infrastructure as a service.   What does this mean? Oracle heard our User Community demand more control of Essbase in the cloud and delivered. 

What’s Changing from the current Cloud Offering, aka OAC “Classic”

Since 2016, OAC (Oracle Analytics Cloud) offered Essbase in the Platform as a Service format. Oracle managed most elements of the Infrastructure before and after deployment. As anyone knows, great Essbase Applications and automation, will from time to time require a little tuning and tinkering during the build and sometimes thereafter as businesses scale up and use cases change. OAC Classic deployments relied on Oracle Support for assistance to make customizations or adjustments requiring server access. 

Essbase 19c released in September 2019, transitions to, IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service.  It is now offered on the OCI Marketplace. For those of you, that like to continually improve with full control over the what, when, and how improvements occur, we now can touch Essbase under the hood.  In fact, we have total control.  It is no longer necessary to place a call to support to change a configuration setting or ssh to the server to make a change.  For those of us supporting and deploying environments with dozens of Apps and Cubes, this is great news.

It gets better. Infrastructure as a Service means Oracle pre-packaged its cloud deployment of Essbase.   There are still custom selections at the time of deployment, enabling Essbase to support the varying needs of different environments and circumstances.  Using a pre-packaged deployment eliminates a lot of the complexity and time it would normally take to scale out. There is even the option to still fully customize and self-deploy the product on the cloud.  We’ll dive into more into deployment on a future blog.

The New-New Cloud Essbase is also On Premises Essbase

Essbase was not “retrofit” for the cloud.  With security in mind, Oracle rebuilt Essbase for the cloud on Java 8 and transitioned to a REST API with Encryption, also leveraging IDCS. In the process, some things were simplified and significantly improved.  In future blogs, we will examine some of the following new features more deeply and the context of how they will make our touchpoints with Essbase easier and more flexible:

  • Smart View “Cube Designer” for admins enables rapid design and build in Excel
  • Connections and Data Sources are centrally managed. They are no longer saved in data load rules unless that is the desire.
  • Hybrid Mode has been “hardened” and enhanced. A new BSO to Hybrid Conversion feature tagged “Expert Mode” will convert BSO cubes.
  • Bolt-ons have been eliminated. Drill-through is a native feature to Essbase.  Studio is no longer required.
  • Federated Partitioning, one of the most exciting features to hit Essbase since partitions in general, gives us the ability to connect Essbase directly to relational sources. We can even mix it up with partitions for some sources and traditional data loads in the same cube.

Sometimes, we need to keep Essbase in-house. For situations where an in-house deployment is preferred, Oracle is delivering Essbase 20c with the on-premise option in addition to the cloud IaaS option in early 2021. While the delivery method varies, the ground and cloud options are the same “Essbase”.  According to Oracle, depending on your licensing, it is even possible to deploy in-ground and cloud should the need arise.  

On-premise Essbase 20c will be first delivered in the flavor of Red Hat Linux 7.  A Windows version is on the roadmap for 2021 as well.

Existing OAC deployments will also be moving to 19c before December 2020.  If a self-managed, IaaS cloud environment is daunting, Alithya is prepared to ease the transition and help with ongoing management (patching, upgrades, etc.) in the IaaS offering.  Shops with smaller deployments may wish to consider the new Free Form Application offered in the SaaS format with EPM Planning.   

For comments, questions, or suggestions for future topics, please reach out to us at infosolutions@alithya.com.  Visit our blog regularly for new posts about Cloud updates and other Oracle Cloud Services such as Planning and Budgeting, Financial Consolidation, Account Reconciliation, and Enterprise Data Management.  Follow Alithya on social media for the latest information about EPM, ERP, and Analytics solutions to meet your business needs.

Contact us