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Oracle expands UK datacentre footprint with new private and public sector-focused cloud regions

Software giant Oracle is making good on its pledge to expand its global datacentre presence, with two new regions in the UK

Oracle is continuing to flesh out its public sector cloud proposition through the creation of a dedicated datacentre cloud region, spread across two sites, designed to meet the sector’s stringent data security requirements.

The setup is billed by Oracle as a dual-region government cloud, given it consists of two separate datacentre sites in London and Wales for disaster recovery purposes, connected via the software giant’s own network.

The region also adheres to National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) principles regarding the storage of government data classified as being Sensitive and Official Sensitive, Oracle confirmed. The company also stated that the datacentre personnel tasked with managing the systems at these sites will be security cleared UK citizens, as per the NCSC’s requirements.

The region is already up and running, and being used by several public sector organisations to access a wide range of Oracle off-premise services, hosted on Oracle’s second generation cloud infrastructure, confirmed Richard Petley, senior vice-president of Oracle UK and Ireland to Computer Weekly.

“This is actually part of a broader set of activities we are embarking on as a reflection of our commitment to the UK government, which has been deep in the heart of Oracle’s business for many years and something we’re really proud of,” said Petley.

To this point, the opening will markedly expand the amount of dedicated datacentre resources the company has to offer government organisations, as the company has had a UK government cloud region in operation for several years.

“We believe with our Generation Two Cloud we’ll be able to bring some really unique Oracle capabilities – particularly about performance, price and security – for our government customers, and we’re really excited to get to work with all of those customers on how we can best support them as we move forward together.”

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Oracle is a long-standing provider of IT services to the UK government, but the news of the region’s opening is the latest in a series of announcements recently put out by the firm, geared towards securing it a larger slice of the public sector’s cloud spend.

These include the news in September 2020 that the company has succeeded in making it on to the Ministry of Defence’s list of assured public cloud providers that are approved to process and store the defence community’s data.

Furthermore, a year before that, the UK government confirmed it had reinforced its ties with the firm by signing a memorandum of understanding with the company, geared towards making it easier for public sector organisations to access the database giant’s cloud services.

“We’ve got many hundreds of public sector customers and we’re always looking for ways to help them with their transformation, as well as think about investments we can make to support the government with their wider mission – and this is absolutely a reflection of that from Oracle,” said Petley.

New datacentres

The opening of this region also follows on from a public commitment made by Oracle in 2019, regarding its plans to open a new datacentre region every 23 days, in response to the demand it claims to be seeing from enterprises for its cloud services.

In line with this, the company has also announced the opening of its second commercial cloud region – known as the Oracle UK West Cloud Region – in Newport, Wales.

To-date, the company has opened nine cloud regions during the course of 2020, and currently operates 28 regions across the globe, including seven dedicated to the exclusive provision of cloud services to government agencies.

The decision to rely on a datacentre in Wales to underpin its cloud region is also notable, said Oracle, because it marks the first time the firm has invested in building a physical presence in the country.

Lee Waters, Welsh government deputy minister for economy and transport, said: “Wales is a key part of the UK’s digital infrastructure, leading the way in innovation and cyber security, and the perfect place for Oracle to make use of the wealth of expertise and resources we have here. This project will provide a massive boost to the UK’s public sector, ensuring data is held securely and improving the services provided to the public.”

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