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Oracle Cloud brings out some big guns for the Cloud Wars

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When you think of the Cloud Wars, you typically think of the Big 3: AWS, Microsoft, and Google. But while late to the battleground, Oracle’s cloud services are expanding. Oracle Cloud supports over 55 billion transactions each day, but the competition for business is intense. Can it successfully compete with the other cloud giants?

New regions

Continuing to grow its cloud infrastructure, Oracle has brought new regions online over the past year. According to Oracle, it has “doubled the regional presence of its cloud platform in the last 24 months, with 29 regions available globally,” with even more regions expected by mid-2018.

It’s no secret that Oracle is trying to become a leader in the cloud wars, with Deepak Patil, vice president of development for the Oracle Cloud Platform explaining, “This regional expansion underscores our commitment to making the engineering and capital investments required to continue to be a global large-scale cloud platform leader.”

New hybrid Oracle Cloud services

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Oracle Cloud has also recently expanded their customer program so users can run multiple services within their own datacenter. Even though they joined the cloud wars late, they are getting in the game through their hybrid cloud expansion of services. Now, if companies want to store and process data in their own facilities, it can still be possible to have someone else manage it.

This expansion gives customers the possibility for both Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) capabilities, including things like Oracle’s database software or enterprise resource planning (ERP), using their own on-premises datacenters.

According to Nirav Mehta, vice president of product management at Oracle, “This is basically a cloud subscription service in which Oracle owns the hardware and is responsible for managing it inside a customer’s datacenter.”

This service was first introduced in 2016 to cater specifically to established companies with large datacenters or with data that cannot be on the public cloud for one reason or another.

To make this possible, “Oracle installs its hardware and software within the customer’s on-premises datacenter, and then Oracle continues to manage whatever cloud service the customer buys.”

While some people might not see the use in running a cloud software service inside of their own datacenter, it can be helpful to those companies that need to run workloads in their own datacenters but would still prefer that someone else manage them.

Oracle Cloud at Customer

Oracle Cloud at Customer is built for exactly this. If users cannot move data or applications to the public cloud, Oracle provides them with the cloud, but behind their firewall. The location of your data is still under your control, but “Oracle delivers and manages the services based on how you want to operate, and you subscribe only to the infrastructure, platform, and software services you need.”

Oracle Cloud offers numerous different services for things like infrastructure, data management, Big Data and analytics, and more. If the company cannot migrate to the public cloud for security or compliance reasons, this allows them to take the “next step closer to public cloud, without the risks.”

While being considered a “public cloud” even though it’s running inside of a company’s datacenter might be a definition that some would argue, it’s still true that many large corporations want to embrace new technology without fully committing to the public cloud.

Essentially, users can keep full control of their data, securing it behind their corporate firewall, while still having the convenience of the cloud, subscription pricing, and other services offered by Oracle.

Oracle still doesn’t come close to AWS in the cloud wars, but it does have a relationship with many large businesses and growing revenue. While new companies almost certainly won’t build their own infrastructure with all of the cloud computing offerings available now, established companies can greatly benefit from Oracle Cloud at Customer.

In fact, Oracle recently entered into an agreement with AT&T in which AT&T agreed to transfer thousands of its large scale internal databases to Oracle’s Cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) and PaaS.

Additionally, Bank of America also announced that it plans to run enterprise resource planning (ERP) and other financial applications from Oracle Cloud.

Nirav Mehta explained why this offer from Oracle Cloud is so popular, saying, “There is a significant number of customers and workloads that are not able to move to the public cloud for data privacy, data residency and, in some cases, latency concerns.” Because of this, being able to offer the benefits of the cloud in the customer’s own infrastructure is very useful.

This update also makes it more simple for customers that use the hybrid cloud to take advantage of the full public cloud. With the recent changes, “if customers want to move from on-premises to the public cloud, they can do so without worrying about the underlying hardware or moving data to another cloud service provider.”

Some other benefits the recent update includes are more IaaS services that include NVM Express (NVMe) storage support for running Big Data and analytics workloads and all-flash black storage for high I/O traffic.

Also, all major PaaS offerings are now supported in Cloud at Customer, and customers have more support for multiple SaaS applications, such as the ERP products used by Bank of America.

Some people, such as Dave Bartoletti, a principal analyst and Forrester Research, believe that “Oracle’s stuck in that legacy mindset,” hurting themselves in the long run.

However, Mehta hopes that these new services will help Oracle Cloud go beyond their “traditional large enterprise and financial services customer base.” Since announcing this platform, other industries have become interested because the data can stay local.

For example, health-care companies have shown interest, as well as government agencies. In fact, it’s currently being used by the city of Las Vegas. While it’s doubtful that Oracle Cloud can ever catch up to some other fighters in the cloud wars, namely Amazon Web Services, this service has certainly helped them gain more customers.

Photo credit: Oracle