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Best Practices from Oracle Development's A‑Team

Deploying Connection Manager for Oracle Analytics Private Access Channel

Validated February 9, 2021 with OAC 5.9

Introduction

Oracle Analytics instances may require a proxy to reach data sources for various reasons including security, routing and privacy. For use cases requiring sophisticated functionality, Oracle's Connection Manager provides database transparency, high-availability, protocol conversion and enhanced security, scalability and performance.

This post is a step-by-step guide for deploying Connection Manager on Linux with a simple starter configuration specifically for Oracle Analytics using Private Access Channel. It is part of the Oracle Analytics Private Access Channel SeriesRefer here for a post for Oracle Analytics without Private Access Channel.

Refer to Understanding Oracle Connection Manager Architecture for details on the architecture shown below.

 

Primary Uses

The primary uses of Connection Manager for Oracle Analytics are private egress, transparency, and protocol conversion.

Private Egress provides access to private databases.

Private Access Channel is the preferred method for private egress. This post is for Private Access Channel cases with complex data sources requiring a proxy. Real Application Clusters and Autonomous Databases on dedicated infrastructure are two such cases.

Transparency hides the details of connecting to unsupported databases or those with complex connection criteria. It allows users to think that they are connecting to a single-instance Oracle database using just a host, port, and service name. Connection Manager stores the connection complexities for all users and applications. When it receives a request, it connects to the target database for session creation. The database receives the actual user, application and network address for its session details.

Protocol Conversion converts TCP traffic to TCPS used by Autonomous Databases. This feature along with transparency further simplifies the user experience by hiding the need for Secure Socket Layer wallets and associated networking parameters. Connection Manager stores complex TCPS wallet placement and handshake parameters for all users and applications. When it receives a request, it forwards it on to the SSL-protected database for session creation.

Additional Uses

Additional uses of Connection Manager are access control and anonymity.

Access Control provides solutions for database access when a database subnet allows ingress only from designated application subnets. A Connection Manager instance in such a subnet receives connection requests and connects to the databases on the application's behalf.

Anonymity builds on transparency by hiding the application from the database. The database only receives Connection Manager's proxy user and network address for its session details.

Validations

February 9, 2021 with OAC 5.9 

Topics

Before You Begin

Deploying Required Components

Installing and Configuring Connection Manager

Validating Connection Manager

 Before You Begin and Assumptions 

Acronyms

OAC Oracle Analytics Cloud
PE Private Endpoint
CMAN Connection Manager
DB Database
DV Data Visualization
OCI Oracle Cloud Infrastructure
FQDN Fully Qualified Domain Name
PAC Private Access Channel
OSN Oracle Services Network
RAC Real Application Clusters
ADB Autonomous Database
DNS Domain Name System
VCN Virtual Cloud Network

 

Privileges

A user account in an OCI tenancy for managing compute and networking components.
A user account in an OAC instance for creating data visualization connections.

Domain Name System

Domain Name System (DNS) provides a worldwide, distributed directory service for translating a fully qualified domain name (FQDN) to its associated numerical IP address.

The default DNS in OCI provides resolution for resource names within the same VCN. Refer here for a post describing various DNS scenarios and the components necessary to resolve resource names outside of your VCN.

The examples here have CMAN in the same VCN as OAC. Thus no DNS or Gateways are required.

Networking Gateways

A networking gateway is required to connect to a CMAN residing outside of OAC's VCN. Refer here for a post describing various gateway scenarios and the components necessary for network traffic between resources in different VCNs.

OAC

An existing OAC instance with PAC enabled with CMAN's domain defined as a data source.

 

Public OAC Initial State

The OAC cluster resides in the Oracle Services Network (OSN) with a public ingress endpoint and PAC private egress endpoints in its VCN.

 

Private OAC Initial State

The OAC has both a private ingress endpoint and PAC private egress endpoints in its VCN.

 

 Deploying Required Components 

Note: The appendix contains a complete list of the commands shown in this post.

The following components are required before installing and validating CMAN.

COMPONENT USE REFERENCE
SUBNET Hosts the CMAN instance Link
COMPUTE INSTANCE Hosts the CMAN application Link
ACCESS RULES Facilitates network traffic between OAC and CMAN Link
PORT RULES Allows network traffic to the CMAN listening port Link

 

The following tables show components both needed and previously deployed (greyed out).

Virtual Cloud Network

This post uses OAC's VCN named VCN1.

VCN CIDR
VCN1 10.10.10.0/23

 

Subnet

Create or use an existing public subnet in the VCN chosen above. This post uses a subnet named APP-Subnet.

VCN SUBNET TYPE CIDR
VCN1 VCN1-APP-SN PRIVATE 10.10.10.64/27
VCN1 VCN1-OAC-SN PRIVATE 10.10.10.0/27

 

CMAN Compute Instance

Create a small Linux instance to initially host CMAN in the APP-Subnet.

VCN SUBNET TYPE FQDN
VCN1 VCN1-APP-SN LINUX 7 yourinstance.vcn1appsn.vcn1vcn.oraclevcn.com

 

Prepare an SSH Alias for CMAN. 

On your client prepare an SSH alias. If you do not have direct access to the CMAN's private IP address create another Linux instance with a public IP to act as a bastion.

 

Access Control

Define egress and ingress rules for network traffic between OAC and CMAN.

SECURITY LIST TYPE CIDR PROTOCOL PORT ATTACHED TO NOTE
VCN1-APP-SL INGRESS 10.0.0.0/27 TCP 1521 VCN1-APP-SN Ingress to CMAN from the OAC SN
VCN1-APP-SL EGRESS 130.35.2.125/32 TCP 443 VCN1-APP-SN Egress to YUM Repository for CMAN install
VCN1-OAC-SL EGRESS 10.0.0.64/27 TCP 1521 VCN1-OAC-SN Egress to CMAN subnet

 

Public OAC Enabled State

 

Private OAC Enabled State

      

 

 Installing and Configuring Connection Manager 

Refer to sections two and three in this post to install and configure CMAN.

 

℘ Validating Connection Manager 

Validating the introductory deployment of CMAN involves starting it and successfully connecting to it from OAC. Start CMAN using the Connection Manager Control Utility

Connect to CMAN

Start CMAN

You see something like:

Connect to OAC

Connect to CMAN from OAC

This section validates that CMAN is listening and that OAC can reach the listener. Saving the connection is not possible yet as we have not yet defined a database.

Click Create then Connection from the OAC home screen. Select Oracle Database as the Connection Type. Complete the dialog as shown in the example below.

Enter any Connection Name as this connection is not saved.
Accept Basic as the Connection Type.
Enter your CMAN FQDN as the Host.
Enter your CMAN Port e.g. 1521
Enter any Service Name
Enter any Username and Password

Click Save.

If OAC can reach the CMAN listener you see:

If OAC is unable to reach the CMAN listener you see:

Click Cancel to close the dialog.

 Connection Flows  

Public Connection Flow

PAC sends the connection request to CMAN. PAC's security rules allow the egress on port 1521 and CMAN's allow the ingress.

 

Private Connection Flow

PAC'S flow is the same for both public and private OAC.

 

 Summary 

This post provided a step-by-step guide for deploying Connection Manager on Linux with a simple starter configuration specifically for Oracle Analytics using Private Access Channel. You are now ready to create a connection to a private data source using Connection Manager.

For other posts relating to analytics and data integration visit http://www.ateam-oracle.com/dayne-carley

 

⁂ Appendix ⁂

Below are scrollable lists of commands used in this post. The client commands may be downloaded here or send them to your clipboard by clicking in the text area and then clicking the copy button.

Below is a scrollable list of all commands run on the CMAN host. The commands may be downloaded here.

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