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Oracle News | September 26, 2016

Cloud Roadmap: Hardware Strategy Is First Step in the Right Direction

By: John Soat | Senior Writer

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As more businesses downsize their data center operations in the move to the cloud, how do they get from Point A (the data center) to Point B (the cloud)? There’s no single path, but the right hardware strategy is vital to getting there.

At Oracle OpenWorld 2016, Oracle executives shared best practices and new technology advances that can help companies undertake what, for many, will be a long, gradual transition. Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison has said that on-premises systems will coexist with the cloud for at least 10 years.

In a keynote session on converged infrastructure, Oracle Executive Vice President of Converged Infrastructure Dave Donatelli discussed five ways companies can reduce their dependency on legacy data centers. “We have five different journeys from an infrastructure perspective to the public cloud—to the future,” said Donatelli.

The options are:

  1. From the data center to engineered systems and storage to public cloud. The benefit of this stepping-stone approach is that Oracle’s engineered systems are not only highly optimized for performance and efficiency, but are cloud-ready by design.
  2. From the data center to hybrid cloud to public cloud. In the hybrid model, companies run some IT workloads on premises and some in the cloud. When companies choose the same technologies in both places (as they can with Oracle), it’s like a cloud insurance policy, said Donatelli, because a common architecture makes for a seamless transition.
  3. From the data center to Oracle’s Cloud at Customer to public cloud. Oracle launched its Cloud at Customer program earlier this year with Oracle Public Cloud Machine, which provides the same platform and infrastructure services available in Oracle’s public cloud, at the same price, only this cloud resides at the customer’s own data center, behind the firewall. Oracle is now expanding the program with Exadata Public Cloud Machine and Big Data Public Cloud Machine.
  4. From the data center to private cloud to public cloud. Some companies build do-it-yourself private clouds, but that’s a lot of work. Oracle’s Private Cloud Appliance comes with compute, storage, and networking already integrated.
  5. From the data center directly to public cloud. Oracle’s complete cloud stack—SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS—can handle any workload, so companies can leave their data centers behind when they’re ready to do so.

Donatelli’s cloud roadmap presentation was followed by a joint presentation from John Fowler, Oracle executive vice president of systems, and Juan Loaiza, senior vice president of systems technology, who explained the performance, security, and cost benefits of systems in which software and hardware are engineered to work together.

 “Co-engineering is what happens in the cloud,” said Loaiza. “You get an integrated stack from a cloud vendor, and we've been doing that for a long time.”

Fowler introduced a new version of Oracle’s high-performance database engineered system, Exadata SL. It bundles Oracle’s latest database, networking, and storage technologies, and runs on the SPARC M7 processor, which incorporates security and performance features known as Software in Silicon.

Exadata SL runs Oracle Linux, the same operating system used in Oracle Cloud. “Oracle Linux is what we run our cloud on, it's what we run our development on, it's what we [use to] run all those engineered systems we've been talking about on,” Donatelli said.

Oracle also at OpenWorld introduced the latest version of its flagship database, Oracle Database 12c Release 2. Among many other improvements, the new release automates a challenging programming technique known as sharding, which slices database workloads into pieces and spreads them across servers, promoting reliability and scalability. It is particularly suited to cloud architectures.

Loaiza introduced a new Oracle Database Appliance, the X6-2, priced at $18,000. “The idea of these low-end engineered systems is to bring some of these benefits down to low entry-cost systems, he said.

Another cost-effective engineered system is the SPARC MiniCluster S7-2, which is based on Oracle’s new SPARC S7 processor, a scaled-down sibling of the SPARC M7. The MiniCluster boasts built-in management and security controls that ease operation and upkeep.

John Foley contributed to this article.

Senior Writer

John Soat is senior writer with Oracle's Content Central organization.

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