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Oracle fleshes out APAC cloud strategy

Enterprise IT giant Oracle is looking to better serve APAC customers with data sovereignty requirements

Oracle is counting on its enterprise-grade cloud services to stand out from the crowded cloud computing market, which is being dominated by global suppliers such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, as well as emerging players such as Alibaba.

According to James Stanbridge, Oracle’s vice-president for infrastructure as a service (IaaS) product management in Emea and Asia-Pacific (APAC) regions, the enterprise IT behemoth is targeting enterprise workloads of APAC companies.

“I’m not showing up with a price list and finding a way for a customer to adopt cloud,” Stanbridge told Computer Weekly, adding that Oracle will support its customers’ cloud strategy and “meet them wherever they are” in their adoption roadmap.

For example, some enterprises may not be able to shift their enterprise workloads to public cloud services due to data security, compliance or latency concerns.

These workloads can continue to be run on-premise through Oracle Cloud Machines that offer the same cost structure and flexibility as the Oracle public cloud, according to Stanbridge.

Some enterprises may also choose to embrace a hybrid cloud model for development and testing to validate the business case of using public and private clouds.

For one thing, enterprises can create developer environments on the Oracle public cloud and spin up and spin down resources when necessary.

With the ability to do things such as load-balancing and creating virtual gateways, Stanbridge acknowledged that development and testing is a low-hanging fruit for enterprises that want to realise the benefits of the cloud.

I’m not showing up with a price list and finding a way for a customer to adopt cloud
James Stanbridge, Oracle

With the Oracle Database Cloud Exadata Service, Oracle is also going after its installed base of enterprises with Exadata database systems that may want to move to a hybrid environment at some point.

“The Exadata cloud service on bare metal is on our roadmap – it gives customers the performance, price, security and governance features of bare metal cloud,” Stanbridge said.

With Oracle’s hardware business closely tied to its cloud strategy, it may come as a surprise that the company is reportedly laying off employees in its hardware division, some of whom are working on the Sparc processor.

Asked about the implications for Oracle’s customers that have invested in the Sparc platform, Stanbridge said: “The support for Sparc processors natively on bare metal cloud is in our roadmap, so you should assume that it is a significant and important platform for us to support.”

Earlier in February 2017, Oracle expanded its suite of cloud services that it will deliver through its Sydney datacentre, which serves as a cloud region for Australian customers with data sovereignty and low-latency requirements. Stanbridge said Oracle is looking to offer similar services for enterprises in the APAC region.

“The cloud used to be about price and performance,” said Stanbridge. “But now, it's about security and the ability to comply with data jurisdictions.”

According to IDC, Amazon Web Services has been leading the Asia-Pacific public cloud services market.

In a research note published in January 2017, the analyst firm noted that regional suppliers such as Telstra, Xero and Alibaba have also been successful in maintaining their leadership and constitute the top 10 public cloud suppliers in the region.

Chris Morris, vice-president of APEJ cloud services at IDC, said: “As predicted in IDC’s 2016 APEJ Cloud FutureScape, the region is increasingly dominated by global cloud service providers [CSPs] as they leverage their scale and cost advantages. Also as predicted, regional CSPs such as Alibaba are expanding their global delivery capabilities.”

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