The Oracle Cloud at Customer portfolio now spans all of the major Oracle platform as a service (PaaS) categories. For the first time it also includes the company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings.
This allows enterprises to move workloads to the cloud while keeping their data on premises, said Nirav Mehta, VP of product management at Oracle.
“If you can use it in the Oracle public cloud, you will be able to use it at Cloud at Customer,” Mehta said. “With all these new services, we now have that parity and customers can avail it on prem. This is Oracle Cloud, stretched and extended all the way to our customers’ data centers. Everything is not just similar. It’s identical.”
The company launched its subscription-based cloud offering in March 2016. It’s similar to Microsoft Azure Stack in that it allows enterprises to build a hybrid cloud environment, and write applications that can run on-premises or in the public cloud.
But unlike the Azure Stack, which includes a number of hardware partners, Oracle’s cloud software stack runs on Oracle hardware. Oracle also manages and maintains the infrastructure at its customers’ premises, Mehta said.
“We want customers to experience this just as a public cloud, meaning the cloud providers will take care of all of the underlying hardware, software, operations, and maintenance,” he explained.
In a little over a year, major organizations across six continents and more than 30 countries have started using Oracle’s cloud services, the company said. Customers include AT&T, Bank of America, the city of Las Vegas, and State Bank of India.
Its growing cloud business contributed to one of Oracle’s strongest quarters in years. Last month the company reported total cloud revenues increased 58 percent year-over-year to $1.4 billion in fiscal fourth quarter 2017.
New PaaS, SaaS Offerings
With today’s announcement, customers have access to all of Oracle’s major PaaS categories — including database, application development, analytics, big data, application and data integration, and identity management — in the public cloud and in on-premises data centers.
Customer can now also can run various SaaS applications, including enterprise resource planning, human capital management, customer relationship management, and supply chain management, in their own data centers.
Oracle also announced a new service, called the Big Data Cloud Machine. It’s a subscription-based model for Hadoop, Spark, and analytics tools.
Finally, it upgraded its servers with faster CPUs and NVMe-based flash storage, as well as all-flash block storage. These features better accommodate enterprise workloads, Oracle said.
Oracle’s converged hardware and software, coupled with ongoing support and maintenance, makes its cloud an easy sell to enterprises already using Oracle systems in their data centers, said Forrester analyst Dave Bartoletti.
“The fastest path to success is on dedicated, tested infrastructure that is proven to work with a particular stack,” he said. “And Oracle is taking on all of the management. Plus, the price is consistent, so the way you consume it is still like a cloud.”
Oracle’s infrastructure-as-a-service and PaaS also provides corporations an “easier on-ramp to the cloud,” Bartoletti said. “This makes Oracle follow roughly the same path as Microsoft,” in that the two companies, as well as IBM, offer an on-premises version of their cloud.
It also puts the long-time rivals on the same team when it comes to cloud strategies.
Two competing strategies dominate the cloud market.
Amazon Web Services [AWS] and Google are clearly on team public cloud.
“AWS and Google are all public-cloud focused,” Bartoletti said. “They see the migration from the data center to the public cloud and they make it as easy as possible to move things.”
To this end Google yesterday launched a migration tool. It’s a box — a storage server — that allows customers to transfer large amounts of on-premises data to Google Cloud Platform by mail.
It follows in the footsteps of AWS’ Snowball by-mail data-transfer service.
“Oracle, Microsoft, and IBM have taken a more nuanced approach,” Bartoletti said. “The idea is roughly: do you want the cloud to look like your data center or do you want your data center to look like the cloud?”
Which strategy will win?
“It’s too early to tell,” Bartoletti said. “Customers don’t choose a hybrid cloud. They want a public cloud and they want to modernize their data center at the same time. I think there is room for both of these. There are a huge percentage of enterprises that will find a hybrid cloud that looks like a public cloud attractive. There are I think just as many who say, ‘Do I spend money to modernize my data center or just move my data to the cloud because that’s where it’s going to go eventually?’”