by Abay Radhakrishnan
Oracle’s cloud, with it’s well rounded service availability and the continuing investments made by Oracle, is definitely in the rear view mirror and at a distance from the leading cloud providers AWS, Azure and GCP. However, I believe they have positioned themselves to be the grand slam of the public cloud world.
I attended the recently concluded Oracle OpenWorld 2016 in an effort to understand what’s happening in the world of Oracle and I left overwhelmed by their spread of PaaS (Platform as a Service) and SaaS (Software as a Service) offerings. The central aspect of this year’s annual convention is Oracle Cloud. Though some of the key services have been rolled out over the past two years, the current positioning and adoption by customers seems to be compelling for enterprises to keep a watch on Oracle’s progress and their capabilities when planning and strategising for cloud solutions.
Oracle Cloud services addresses broad offerings and is well-integrated for all the three major areas, IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS and SaaS, while the other cloud providers are focusing more on one or two of these areas. For example, AWS specialises in IaaS and PaaS, while Workday focuses mainly on SaaS offerings.
One of Oracle’s main highlight and differentiator for IaaS & PaaS services is “Cloud at customer,” which is identical to the Oracle public cloud in terms of subscription model, managed services by oracle, but will be hosted in a customer’s data centre behind their firewalls.
These are some of the key use cases driving the PaaS Innovation: migrating to cloud, development-test environments for new and existing applications, application transformation, platform to support and extend SaaS, testing environments, analytics with business data from diversified sources. The focus of the Oracle’s cloud platform is to provide weightage on the portability, standards, development and deployment of applications, multi-channels and DevOps support. Readily available PaaS services are categorised under data management, application development, business analytics, content and process, integration, application/infrastructure management and monitoring.
The following are some of the PaaS offerings that can be compelling for consideration for the enterprises in their solutions.
Oracle DB service: Completely optimised in the OC for the best performance and scalability. Larry Ellison stated that the Oracle DBaaS vs Amazon DBaaS benchmarks performed up to 105X faster for analytics workloads versus AWS Redshift, 35X faster for online transaction processing (OLTP) vs AWS Aurora, 1000+X faster for mixed workloads and Oracle DB on Oracle cloud 24x faster than Oracle DB on AWS. Oracle 11g or 12c is available in four flavours:standard, enterprise, high-performance and extreme performance packages (extreme package includes RAC, In-Memory, and Active data guard).
Database backup service compliments the DB service by providing a reliable and scalable object storage solution with a built-in redundancy three-way mirroring for data protection, compression, encryption using RMAN, end-to-end security, and automatic data expiration.
Exadata Service: Thousands of customer sites hosting Exadata can benefit from the subscription model leveraging the managed service in public cloud or in the Oracle cloud at the customer.
Other readily available data management services includes MySQL, Oracle NoSQL and Big Data Hadoop (& Spark).
Java cloud service: J2EE platform can be easily setup with the required tools to provision the J2EE engine instance (WebLogic 12c), configuration DB instance, and load balancer and clustered environment, automatic backup and recovery features. Besides the provision, it also provides an easy, agile and rapid deployment of applications and ready to use administration tools. The features include a one-click instance cloning and Oracle’s AppToCloud enhanced Lift & Shift capabilities that can help rapid migration.
Developer cloud service: Hosted Team-based development that provides tools to manage tasks, track issues, agile dashboard, code versioning, integrate builds, continuous integration, deployment automation and team collaboration with wiki, project activity streams, and web dashboard.
Big data cloud service: Hadoop platform and Spark is offered as the automated, elastic and high-performance service. The differentiator in this platform is the ease of integration with Oracle database, connectors with other Oracle services, relationship graph, spatial, raster processing, Big Data SQL processing integrating with Exadata, Big data preparation service and oracle applications. Oracle advanced analytics features allows users to develop models using R that run in parallel on Hadoop, and accelerated using Spark and data mining. This service provides real-time analytics that delivers business insights in the areas of product recommendations, churn predictions and fraud alerting.
Integration challenges in a cloud environment are addressed with the number of services to ease the transition of data both between diversified applications and systems in hybrid cloud mode. SOA service provides an integration platform for process orchestration, service virtualisation, 50+ adapters for SaaS and B2B integrations, managed file transfers, integration analytics, deployment portability and automated provisioning and management.
Integration service provides an easy and managed way to integrate with and between Oracle SaaS applications.
Goldengate cloud service extends the Goldengate that is considered to be one of the popular enterprise integration tools facilitating real time data integration, Oracle DB pre-built integration providing solutions for data migration, disaster recovery, high availability, application offloading, data synchronisation and real-time analytics.
Mobile cloud service features tools for mobile application development, connecting any mobile client to backend systems via mobile ready REST APIs and manage/monitor device support to provide a wholesome platform to support enterprise mobility. Oracle JET, Oracle MAF (Mobile Application Framework), OpenJDK 9 mobile project and Oracle MAX (Mobile Application accelerator) are some of the robust and standard ways for building user interfaces in the world of Oracle.
The current PaaS offerings and Oracle’s direction supports any type of application including web apps, mobile apps, enterprise apps, container apps with multi-language support. With support for some of the most popular languages, databases, integration software, application development environments and the ability to get the same technology and standards across public cloud, cloud at customer and on-premises provides the required flexibility and supports hybrid cloud strategy.
Oracle has been reengineering and re-architecting their business application solutions for the cloud and rolled out many SaaS modules and applications, including complete and integrated ERP, HCM and CRM (CX) suites. These SaaS in the Oracle cloud served as web applications are well integrated with mobile, social and analytic capabilities.
SaaS applications are structured as suites and applications within suites. Depending on the suites and applications, pricing can be obtained.
Suites: Customer experience (CX) cloud, Human Capital Management Cloud (HCM) cloud, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) cloud, Supply chain management (SCM) cloud, Enterprise Performance Management (EPM) cloud, Analytics cloud, Social cloud and Data cloud.
Modernisation of applications are evolving along with reengineering of the applications for the cloud. For example, Oracle marketing cloud in the CX cloud launched with the innovative ability for the brands to orchestrate a consistent and personalised experience to consumers at scale transforming the way they interact with consumer marketers across channels.
Oracle EBS can be migrated to cloud and the services division has developed software to migrate to the Oracle ERP schemas.
Oracle cloud also focuses on vertical solutions by providing industry specific SaaS applications. Currently selected Industry solutions services are available for the Financial Services, Communications, Consumer Goods, Manufacturing, Education, Utilities and Hospitality.
Oracle cloud marketplace offers over 300+ PaaS and SaaS solutions by different vendors and enterprises and expected to continuously grow in the future.
There was an overwhelming presence of the attendees using Oracle applications on-premises currently and considering migrating to the SaaS platform. There was also a large contingency of attendees who use Weblogic and Oracle DB and are potentially considering the move to the cloud due to time to value, cost, manageability and upgrade aspects. The discussions on the cost savings and advantages of OpEx compared to CapEx continue to dominate the enterprises driving solutions to the cloud.
Oracle cloud: https://cloud.oracle.com/en_US/home