Contributed by: Jay Bretzmann, IDC Program Director, Security Products
IDC estimates the 2020 public cloud market, in all its forms (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS) will be $280 billion; we project this market will grow at a compound annual rate of 20% through 2024 [i] .Given the size of the prize, cloud vendors have been scrambling to create meaningful differentiation among their offerings and for the most part they've succeeded. Correspondingly, IT organizations tell us they're accelerating their workload movements to the cloud based on lessons learned from the pandemic, and 97% of these organizations are using multi-cloud architectures.
When evaluating a cloud environment, we look to an old saying in the IT industry about project management systems called the “Iron Triangle,” where the desire is to create a solution that's good, fast, and cheap. For today's cloud reality, the Iron Triangle would more appropriately be: good, fast and easy. Easy recognizes that we have a scarcity of IT talent. Saving pennies of hard cost while creating work for scarce IT people results in softer costs that strangle returns on investment. Using IDC's recently completed lab validation study of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), let's consider the selection of OCI from the monocle of ROI impacts on people.
"Autonomy" is one reason why many companies are choosing OCI as a compelling cloud environment. The value of an autonomous database is pretty straightforward — it almost never ever goes down. Consequently, the weekend fire drills trying to troubleshoot database failures become a thing of the past. Calculating the cost of downtime is straightforward when there isn't any to find. That same value proposition has now spread to the operating system platform in the form of Oracle Autonomous Linux—it has almost never gone off-line when being patched. So those costs are gone too. These are big steps in the right direction for helping customers make cloud deployments easier and more rewarding.
What about OCI's tenant "opaqueness" rather than transparency? No one sees into your environment but you, by design. One might think that opaqueness would imply that that cloud administrators are left alone to fend for themselves in managing cloud complexity; however, Oracle delivers help in the form of free services to make your tenants easier to manage. After all, Oracle runs on the same cloud you are on. Instead of observing the environment and providing recommendations on how things could be improved using only machine learning analysis, Oracle Cloud understands its cloud and offers management solutions to help you do things better based on its operational experiences.
Resulting analyses are not limited to just the instance or the database but extend to the data itself. One of the perpetual challenges network administrators and security teams face is discovering where in the cloud all their data exists — sensitive or not. To help its customers, Oracle leveraged an internal development called Data Safe to create a data discovery and masking service that requires no security training to use and can currently detect 129 profiles of data patterns. It further offers a free cloud security posture management service called Oracle Cloud Guard to detect configuration issues and errors featuring a one-click activity to remediate, resolve or dismiss. A do-it-yourself easy button if you will.
At a hardware level, Oracle offers its cloud customers an impervious Root of Trust capability for creating and deleting server assets that will wipe the slate clean even under the firmware layer. It also separates out network processing from the hosted virtual machines preventing bottom of the stack attacks from moving laterally into other tenants. The SmartNIC technology employed provides a side benefit in terms of faster performance. It's the boost enterprise applications need to reduce excess consumption of cloud instances. These measures deliver good (safe) and fast Iron Triangle characteristics.
Oracle Cloud Infrastructure seems to deliver today's cloud-translated Iron Triangle requirements of safe, fast, and people-optimized. IDC believes that's a pretty compelling value proposition in the continuum of cloud service providers, especially if the people impacts affect YOU.
[i] Source: IDC Worldwide Whole Cloud Forecast, October 2020, IDC #US46020420