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Oracle fleshes out Cloud@Customer with public cloud services for use in customer datacentres

Oracle has enhanced its Cloud@Customer service with capabilities derived from its recent raft of public cloud datacentres

Oracle has replicated its public cloud datacentre services into the Cloud@Customer service it has been offering since 2016, by which it has offered a managed private cloud service in clients’ own datacentres.

This has been an offer targeted at highly regulated sectors, such as banking and telecoms, where customers are unable or unwilling to move to public cloud. It calls the expanded offer Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer.

In a related move, the supplier has announced the extension of “autonomous database” functionality to its in-memory Exadata appliance running inside the Cloud@Customer programme. Crédit Agricole, Latin American telco Entel and Samsung SDS have publicly welcomed this development.

The supplier has been building public cloud datacentres at the rate of one every 23 days over the past year. Regis Louis, vice-president product strategy, EMEA and JAPAC [Japan and Asia-Pacific] at Oracle, told Computer Weekly they will have built 24 out of 36 by the end of 2020.

Oracle would seem to be upping the ante against its cloud competitors with these linked moves.

“Some customers can’t adopt the public cloud for reasons of regulation in their country or regulation by industry or technical constraints,” said Louis. “So, for those customers who want to adopt cloud but can’t move to a public cloud we are offering a replica of what we are building in our public cloud, the same services have in our OCI [Oracle Cloud Infrastructure] Gen2, as well as software as a service [applications] but in their own datacentres.

“It’s available with the same SLAs [service level agreements] and billing model, fully managed by Oracle in the same way as in our public cloud.”

Fully-managed cloud region

In a statement, the supplier billed the first announcement as a “fully-managed cloud region that brings all of Oracle’s second-generation cloud services, including Autonomous Database and Oracle SaaS applications, to customer datacentres, starting at only $500k a month”. 

Louis said the expertise the supplier has amassed in building out its datacenter construction programme has been important in this most recent Cloud@Customer development.

“It’s the industrialised approach we have to building these datacentre regions that has enabled us to do this. With AWS, their regions are different one to another. And they have limitations in the way they are architected.

“Oracle is unique here. It is the only offer that can provide all the services offered in our public cloud in a customer’s own datacentre. AWS will make a limited subset of their services available in a customer’s datacentre.

“We can do that because we’ve taken an industrialised approach. We were later to it than the others.”

He also said the autonomous database capabilities now available to Exadata Cloud@Customers customers had previously been available only in the public cloud.

He cited the example of Crédit Agricole. “They have already consolidated their financial applications databases on Exadata Cloud@ Customer inside their datacentre. They have reduced their operational cost and they have the business benefit of closing the books faster, and so can review and analyse data better. They are now considering the next level by moving to autonomous.”

Read more about Oracle’s cloud strategy

In the press statement, announcing the fleshing out of Cloud@Customer, the supplier said: “Most enterprises expect to continue to run a portion of their workloads in on-premises datacentres for the foreseeable future. This has resulted in strong demand from customers for a hybrid architecture where the same services, same functionality, and easy portability of applications exists between their public and on-premises cloud environments. But until today, no solution was able to bridge the gap between cloud and on-premises environments.

“Oracle is making all of its cloud services available on-premise so enterprises can use Oracle’s cloud services wherever they need them – in the cloud or on-premise via Cloud@Customer.”

In the same statement, Deepak Mohan, Research Director at IDC said: “With Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer, Oracle delivers a slice of its public cloud experience into customer datacentres, with no changes in pricing or capabilities.

“This represents a new direction for public cloud providers, who have historically offered only limited versions of their services to customer premises.”

Confirming what Oracle’s Louis said, Pierre-Yves Bollard, global head of finance IT, Crédit Agricole Corporate & Investment Bank said: “Moving to Exadata Cloud@Customer has significantly improved our accounting IS performance, which has enabled us to carry out our accounting closing process with much greater agility and to reduce our operational costs.

“The high value provided by the Exadata Cloud@Customer infrastructure has been recognised by all IT and business teams.”

Digital framework

From the Middle East, and in support of the Oracle announcements, HH Sayyid Kamil Fahad Al-Said, chairman of Oman Information Technology and Communications Group (OITCG), an entity owned by State General Reserve Fund (SGRF) of the Government of Oman, said: “to meet the Sultanate’s needs of digital transformation, our centralised, innovatively structured digital framework will support the ownership and management of cloud-ready IT services.

The OITCG’s sustainable, economically sensitive budget and attainable, realistic time-bound goals will guarantee maximum operational performance, flexible scalability and a secure data residency file under the accountable canopy of the Oman Investment Authority.

“Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer enables a variety of use cases, from migrating Oracle ERP and CRM applications to deploying custom developed applications using Oracle Database, as well as implementing digital innovation services (blockchain, artificial intelligence, big data) and high-performance computing, all while following the country regulations regarding data sovereignty.”

In relation to the announcement about autonomous database functionality being extended to the Exadata Cloud@Customer product, Carl Olofson, research vice-president, data management software, IDC said: “This combines the game changing capabilities of the revolutionary Exadata X8M platform with Oracle’s most advanced machine-learning-powered database and its second-generation cloud control plane for a true enterprise-grade database cloud experience on-premise.”

And Helder Branco, head of IT Operations, Entel added: “We have used Exadata systems for the past five years to support many applications across dozens of lines of business, including crucial billing and network management systems.

“By using Exadata, we improved mission-critical Oracle Database performance by up to three times, and reduced our security exposure. We are taking our digital transformations to the next level by moving over 30 databases to Oracle Autonomous Database on Exadata Cloud@Customer and improving their security with its self-securing capabilities.”

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