Moving from Essbase On-Premises to Cloud

Moving from Essbase On-Premises to Cloud

Overview

PARC consulting has both on-premises and cloud-based Essbase customers, and we are seeing an industry trend toward moving Essbase to the cloud. In addition, Oracle is heavily promoting its cloud offering as a key part of its product direction. This blog covers some of the advantages of moving Essbase from on-premises to the cloud.

Features

To begin, the features available in the on-premises and cloud-based Essbase products are similar, though those in the cloud version add significant functionality.

Essbase’s added cloud features include:

  • The Cube Designer. This downloadable Excel add-in allows you to design, create, and modify both BSO and ASO Essbase applications using Excel application workbooks. These workbooks contain application and cube information, alias table and substitution variable worksheets, and full metadata worksheets for each of the dimensions. For those familiar with Planning, this is the Excel Admin Extension on steroids.
  • Hybrid Mode. The Essbase Hybrid mode, which takes the typical block storage mode of Essbase and enhances it with the benefits of aggregate storage technology, is now the default mode for block storage cubes. Make any (or even all) of your sparse dimensions dynamic and eliminate aggregation calculations!
  • Catalog. New in the cloud is the Catalog, a cloud-based file structure in which you can store files and artifacts of any kind and includes a Gallery of cube templates in the form of Excel application workbooks.
  • Connections and Datasources. These reusable artifacts eliminate having to code connection details (like SQL source information) into artifacts like rule files or filters.
  • Scenario Management. This offers the ability to build private work areas or sandboxes where users can model different assumptions within the data and see the effect on aggregated results without affecting the primary cube data set.

Technology

A key technology consideration – far and away above any others – is the sheer power in the Essbase Cloud infrastructure. Most companies would be challenged to justify the capital expense of acquiring the hardware to match Oracle’s cloud servers’ powerful capability and then maintain it. Performance-wise, PARC’s experience has shown dramatic improvements in calculation performance and data retrieval capacity of cloud-based Essbase.

As for the architecture, Essbase is now part of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) platform. A key benefit of OCI infrastructure is purchasing Essbase as a standalone product instead of the former requirement of acquiring it as a bundled component of Oracle Analytics Cloud (OAC). This required purchasing the entire OAC suite, which, for many customers, provided unneeded and unused products and capabilities.

For a complete comparison of Essbase Cloud to on-premises Essbase, see the Oracle summary here: Essbase On-premise to Essbase Cloud

Summary

The cloud-based Essbase offering is Oracle’s path to the future. At PARC, we have found the cloud product’s learning curve quite manageable, and we are impressed with both its new features and the notable gains in performance we have seen. PARC currently has customers using Essbase cloud version 19c, and the 21c version will be released for the cloud later in Q1 2021.

Cloud-based solutions are not for everyone, and in a future post, we will discuss what factors may have you desiring to stay on-premises. However, for most customers, the cloud’s power and convenience outweigh most of the minor downsides.

If you are considering moving your Essbase environment to the cloud, need on-premises guidance, or would like an assessment on cloud readiness and strategy, PARC can provide roadmaps, guidelines, installation and migration assistance, and ongoing management and support for your Essbase environment. Contact us today!

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