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Oracle eyes startups with Singapore cloud region

Oracle is targeting startups and going beyond its enterprise stronghold with its first cloud region in Southeast Asia

Oracle has launched a new cloud region in Singapore to tap the growing demand for public cloud services in the city-state and the ASEAN region.

The move follows the growing momentum around Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which has seen triple-digit growth in running not only Oracle workloads, such as Oracle databases and applications, but also non-Oracle workloads such as VMware, according to Chris Chelliah, senior vice-president for customer strategy, insight and business development at Oracle Asia-Pacific.

Chelliah said the Singapore region will offer the same set of services available at other OCI cloud regions, along with multiple fault domains to meet workload redundancy requirements.

It will also provide access to six new OCI artificial intelligence (AI) services that will give developers out-of-the-box AI models for natural language processing, computer vision and business forecasting.

With the new cloud region, Oracle is eyeing startups, which Chelliah said could benefit from OCI capabilities such as a flat network topology and customer isolation. “If you’re building brand new infrastructure-as-a-service capabilities, you can deliver them better, faster with low-price performance on OCI,” he added.

To drive uptake of OCI among startups, Oracle is offering 100 startups $30,000 each in Oracle Cloud credits over the next two years. It is also providing free OCI training and certifications until 31 March 2022.

Oracle said the free training will help expand Singapore’s IT talent pool and make it easier for businesses to acquire or develop the skilled professionals they need to grow and innovate quickly.

Some startups might be drawn to Oracle’s high-performance autonomous database available on OCI for demanding workloads like e-commerce, but they are also free to stick with open-source databases on OCI.

“We see a lot of the startups with PostgreSQL and MySQL environments that are using a whole bunch of open source frameworks and have exactly the same experience on Oracle Cloud,” Chelliah said.

For enterprises that are currently using Oracle’s Dedicated Region Cloud at Customer in their own datacentres, the Singapore cloud region could offer a public cloud option for development and testing, as well as service evaluations, Chelliah said.

“And because it’s 100% service parity, it is at their discretion if they just want to burst within the dedicated region or cross over to public cloud with no code changes if it makes sense for a particular set of workloads,” he added.

Robert Blackburn, global managing director of Oracle strategic alliance at Equinix, said the launch of Oracle’s Singapore cloud region “reaffirms Singapore’s position as the region’s digital hub, and a strategic location for businesses to connect their digital infrastructure as they establish their presence in the region”.

According to Equinix’s latest Global interconnection index report, Singapore had the largest interconnection forecast for cloud and IT services and hyperscale providers, indicating that more providers will continue to make Singapore their connectivity hub of choice in years to come.

Equinix, along with Singtel, Colt Technology Services and Megaport, is offering dedicated private network connections to OCI in Singapore through the OCI FastConnect service.

“Organisations in ASEAN looking to pivot to a hybrid or multicloud strategy now have greater choice of hyperscale cloud service providers in the region and have the option to deploy their workloads and data securely, effectively, and in close proximity,” Blackburn said.

Singapore has a highly competitive cloud infrastructure market dominated by the top three global hyperscalers, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft and Google.

In recent years, Chinese technology giants Alibaba, Huawei and Tencent have also muscled their way into the market, offering a mix of industry-specific capabilities and low-cost cloud infrastructure options.

Globally, AWS, Microsoft and Google accounted for 63% of the cloud infrastructure services market during the third quarter of 2021, according to Synergy Research Group. Oracle’s market share stood at 2%, behind Alibaba and IBM.

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