Monday Jun 29, 2015

Oracle Cloud Platform Launch Wrap-Up

Last Monday, Oracle held a live event at its headquarters in Redwood Shores, announcing the addition of 24 new platform and infrastructure services to the Oracle Cloud. The launch event was headlined by none other than Oracle’s Executive Chairman and CTO, Larry Ellison. I was lucky enough to attend in person and thought I’d share some of the highlights of the day.

The day got off to an early start with a full lineup of executive interviews conducted by SiliconANGLE’s John Furrier and streamed live from theCube. Interviewees included a number of Oracle executives, Oracle Cloud Platform customers, and IDC analyst Carl Olofson. I thought the interviews were insightful and I really like John’s conversational interview style.  If you’re interested in hearing different industry perspectives on PaaS, it’s worth checking out the replays of the interviews here.

The live in-person portion of the event went off in front of a packed house in Oracle’s Conference Center. The room was filled with hundreds of customers, partners, and members of the press and analyst communities. For those who weren’t able to attend in person, the entire event was streamed live to a global audience of thousands.  Larry’s presentation provided a quick recap of Oracle’s SaaS business as well as a high-level view of the 24 new platform and infrastructure services being added to Oracle Cloud. Following Larry was Thomas Kurian, President of Product Development, Oracle, who drilled down into more detail on the new services and included some very cool demos of the new Dedicated Compute, Exadata, and Mobile cloud services.  Lastly, Steve Daheb, SVP of PaaS, BI, and EPM Business Groups, hosted a panel discussion with key executives from Avaya, JDSU, Accenture, and Pharmavite who talked about how Oracle Cloud Platform is helping them drive business innovation and technology leadership. The entire event was recorded and each segment is now available to view on-demand. If you don’t have time to watch a replay of the entire event, you can watch this short highlight video of Larry’s keynote.

My key takeaway from Monday’s launch was that Oracle continues to be all-in with respect to the cloud. Oracle is expanding its already broad and integrated cloud platform and has plugged the few remaining gaps with services like Mobile, Integration, and Process. Now, Oracle is starting to differentiate itself by raising the bar with platform services based on engineered systems like Oracle Exadata and Big Data Appliance to enable performance, scale, and reliability never seen before in a public cloud. It’s ambitious and impressive, and based on initial reactions from customers, press, and analysts, it's going to significantly increase the possibilities of PaaS in the enterprise.

For a more comprehensive rundown of Monday’s announcements, check out the press release.  And of course, for more information about the Oracle Cloud Platform itself, just go to http://oracle.com/paas.  

Lastly, if you want to learn more about Oracle Cloud Platform, I encourage you to register for the upcoming live Oracle Cloud Platform webcast series which starts in July.

Friday Feb 06, 2015

Personalized Technology: The New Frontier in Cloud Computing

written by Lisa M. Schwartz @leeza2020

As it is with medicine and learning institutions, we often rely on traditional ways of treating people in large groups so that positive effects can be achieved quickly for the masses. Yet, today, consumers want more. They are asking for the next level in personalization: How can medicines and treatments be tailored so that they work best for “ME”? Or, how does a tailored training course help “ME” to learn faster?

In medicine, a growing number of researchers, healthcare clinicians, and an increasing number of patients are calling for a more personalized approach aimed at preventing disease and tailoring treatment if a disease becomes a reality - often referred to as personalized medicine, genomic medicine or precision medicine.

Even educational institutions use the phrase, “personalized learning”, to refer to tailoring lessons to different students. They point to the myriad of digital devices, software, and learning platforms offering educators an array of options for tailoring lessons to students' preferences.

The Advent of Personalized Cloud Technology Software

And so it goes, in the cloud computing software world.

How can software be personalized in the cloud to work better for “ME”, the individual?

As consumers, most of us don’t mind having recommendations made to us based upon our last purchases, especially if they are relevant and timely to our interests. And similarly, as employees using business software, we want to be able to tailor software, even have insights and recommendations made to us, so we can be more empowered and effective in in our day to day tasks.

And today this phenomenon is only accelerating. Gen Y or Millennials are the largest generation now in the workforce since the baby boomers. Millennials, have taken the lead in seizing all the new platforms of the digital era—the internet, mobile technology, social media—to construct personalized networks. They are “digital natives”—the only generation for which these new technologies are not something they’ve had to adopt. Personalization is something they have come to expect. (1)

Not only Millennials, but most digital users today want to know more, quickly and easily. There is an expectation that business software will allow us to personalize, enabling us get better results for the company and ultimately help us to excel in our positions.

“Treat Everyone the Same” 1St Gen Cloud Apps Providers

Yet, not all cloud software gives the user the flexible personalization they need, due to a “one size fits all software design in the cloud” built by the majority of SaaS software providers. This “one size fits all” design enables the software provider to manage and upgrade all their customers at one time, treating them as a large group. This 1st generation “treat everyone the same design” decreases the provider’s costs. Not only is this practice prevalent in the cloud but is a predominant practice in medical and educational institutions. The result of this “treat everyone the same” is: limited personalization, limited options and limited benefits for the consumer.

Distinctions of Modern 2nd Generation Cloud Apps Providers

However not all cloud providers use this approach in cloud application design. 2nd generation cloud application providers understand that personalization for each customer and each individual is now a requirement. Modern cloud application providers are taking a personalized approach to cloud design and understand that each customer is unique, has unique business processes, has unique data requirements and that all customers do not fit nicely into one group. 2nd generation cloud application providers offer customers’ choice and personalization in cloud software for their business.

Personalizing Beyond the SaaS Application with PaaS

Not only does personalization include the capabilities to make choices within the application but also includes a complete breadth of services available to you if you want to extend beyond your SaaS application with Platform as a Service (PaaS). Perhaps you want create a new application or mashup information into your SaaS application from external data sources. When choosing a cloud applications provider, it is equally important to look very closely at the standards based capabilities within their cloud PaaS platform.


Things to Look for in a Modern Cloud Platform Provider

· Provides a well-known standards based cloud platform to maintain consistent governance and standards across the business

· Allows you to personalize and extend your SaaS cloud applications quickly

· No lock-in with unknown proprietary languages or databases

· Maintains a secure cloud platform that connects easily with SaaS applications and other clouds

· Allows you to move your applications if you choose to another platform

· Provides pre-built services at every layer that will help your business innovate and personalize beyond the SaaS application.

     As we enter into the next frontier of personalized cloud technology, be sure to examine closely the nuances of cloud providers and how  they allow you to personalize your cloud. In this 2nd generation of cloud applications and cloud platforms, it is not an unreasonable for you to expect more choice and personalization in the cloud.

 For find out more about Personalizing SaaS applications and modern standards based cloud platform services, PaaS, watch and share this fun and fact filled video.

          1.  (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/chris-komisarjevsky/millennials-are-defining-_b_5714683.html)

Tuesday Feb 03, 2015

Five best practices for PaaS [Platform as a Service]

In the Fall of 2014, ComputerWorld published a report detailing the results from a survey conducted with 300 IT executives and practitioners worldwide. The questions ranged from type of applications being run on the cloud now and in the future, support for mission-critical apps, the challenges faced from an interoperability perspective, and more. The results highlighted some critical insights from these experts which for certain topics were surprisingly significantly aligned. Calling this phenomena [this alignment] the wisdom of the crowd, we bet that as the industry moves forward with the cloud initiative, IT leaders worldwide are increasingly adopting these practices, driving these to become best practices. Hence our attempt at culling these and putting these within an infographic, so its easily available at a birds eye view level to IT practitioners undertaking their cloud journey right now.

For further details, refer to the the ComputerWorld Survey report here.

Monday Apr 14, 2014

Oracle Announces Storage Cloud and Oracle Database Backup Service

Oracle announced today that the Storage Cloud Service and Database Backup Service are now generally available in the Oracle Cloud. I thought it would be worth discussing the significance of these two new services beyond what's stated in today's press release. But before I do, let me first start with the basics of each service. The Oracle Storage Cloud Service is an IaaS offering that provides a secure, scalable, and reliable object storage solution for easily storing and managing data backups and archives in the cloud. The Oracle Database Backup Service is a PaaS offering that provides a simple, low-cost, and secure cloud-based backup and restore solution for on-premise Oracle Databases.

The launch of the Storage Cloud is significant as it marks the first time the Oracle Cloud, or any public cloud for that matter, offers services in every key layer of the cloud technology stack: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. With Oracle Cloud, you're not forced to build and maintain integrations between multiple public clouds in order to meet the growing needs of your business. While storage itself has become more of a commodity over the years, the importance of security and reliability of storage housing critical business data can never be overstated. The Storage Cloud has features you'd expect from an enterprise-class storage solution like built-in redundancy, access via RESTful web services or Java libraries, and capacity on-demand. That's not to say that other clouds that offer storage services can't or don't offer similar capabilities, but now you have the choice of storing your data in the same cloud that you can depend on to run all of your critical business applications. Wouldn't it be nice to have a single cloud and single cloud service provider to work with for all of your business application and data needs?

Every business performs backups of their critical databases to reduce the risk of data loss. The Database Backup Service provides a simple, low-cost solution that can become part of a multi-tiered database backup and  restore strategy.  From my experience, most IT organizations perform RMAN backups of Oracle Databases to local disk, and usually to the Fast Recovery Area.  However, when it comes to Tier 2 backups, most perform RMAN backups to remote disk. Then for those who are storing data that is infrequently accessed, Tier 3 backups are stored to tape and archived. Now with the Database Backup Service, you can avoid the data center cost and resource requirements associated with buying and deploying additional disk and tape backup systems by moving your Tier 2 or Tier 3 backup and restore solutions to the cloud. One of the advantages not mentioned in the press release is that the Database Backup Service actually stores database backups to the Storage Cloud, which means that all of the security and reliability of triple-mirroring for redundancy and data isolation apply to the Database Backup Service as well.

I hope you take the time to review the details of these two latest additions to the Oracle Cloud service portfolio. If you think you could benefit from either of these new services, sign up for a 30 day free trial and take them for a test drive.

Friday Nov 01, 2013

Oracle Cloud Solutions at Cloud Expo West

Oracle is proud to be the Platinum Sponsor at next week's Cloud Expo West in Santa Clara (Nov 4-7).  This is the third consecutive year that Oracle has been sponsoring Cloud Expo and each year our involvement and presence at the conference has grown. This year, we have a great lineup of sessions which I've listed below. If you’re attending Cloud Expo West, we'd love to have you attend our sessions that will show our thought leadership and leading solutions in the cloud. You should also swing by Booth #130 to see some of our latest cloud offerings firsthand.

Date  Time  Session Title  Track  Room
 Monday, Nov 4  3:00 pm - 3:45 pm Ten Myths of Cloud Computing - General Session All Tracks Ballroom A-H
 Monday, Nov 4  5:10 pm - 5:55 pm Driving Recurring Revenue Streams Through Cloud Billing Cloud Computing and Big Data M1
 Monday, Nov 4  5:10 pm - 5:55 pm An Introduction to Oracle's Cloud Application Marketplace Cloud Bootcamp Great America Room J
 Tuesday, Nov 5  6:25 pm - 7:05 pm Delivering Database as a Service with Oracle Database 12c Deploying the Cloud Great America Room 2
 Wednesday, Nov 6  5:35 pm - 6:20 pm Accelerating Your Journey to Self-Service IT Enterprise Cloud Computing B2
 Thursday, Nov 7  1:35 pm - 2:20 pm Oracle's Strategy for Public Cloud Platform and Infrastructure Services Infrastructure Management | Virtualization M2

At Cloud Expo West, you'll get to learn about and experience the latest in Cloud and Big Data. If you're in Silicon Valley or the Bay Area and don't have a pass to Cloud Expo, no problem. Oracle is giving away FREE VIP Gold Passes! We would love to have you be our VIP guest. Just go to Oracle's Cloud Expo 2013 event registration page and follow the instructions to get your complimentary pass.

Stay tuned to this blog and follow us on Twitter (@OracleCloudZone) during and after Cloud Expo for more of our insight and observations about this year's conference.

Monday Jun 03, 2013

A Cloudy Webcast on the Horizon for Application Developers

I'm sure many of you who follow this blog have heard a lot about Oracle Cloud and may have even been able to attend one of our recent Oracle CloudWorld events. Chances are that you’ve heard a great deal about Oracle Cloud’s application services (SaaS) and the different lines of business (LOBs) that leverage them.  Let’s not forget that Oracle Cloud also offers platform as a service (PaaS) that enable developers to quickly and easily build new applications or custom extensions to Oracle Cloud’s SaaS applications. Oracle Cloud platform services are based on the world’s leading platform, open standards to prevent lock-in, and offer simple subscription pricing.

In our continuing efforts to spread the word to application developers that are keen to move their projects to the cloud, the Oracle Cloud team will be hosting a webcast series called Developing Applications in Oracle's Public Cloud. These LIVE webcasts will begin with quick overviews of our PaaS offerings, then spend most of the time on hands-on demonstrations of common tasks like building a simple app, loading data, and using the integrated tools. The first of two 2-part webcasts will focus on the Oracle Database Cloud Service and will be particularly interesting to developers familiar with Oracle Application Express. The second 2-part webcast is targeted at Java developers and will focus on the Oracle Java Cloud Service. I've listed the webcast series schedule below.

Each webcast will have LIVE Q&A so you’ll have an opportunity to ask the Oracle Cloud Product Managers any questions you have about these services. 

  • Developing Applications with the Oracle Database Cloud Service - Part 1 - June 18, 2013 at 9 a.m. PT
  • Developing Applications with the Oracle Database Cloud Service - Part 2 - June 20, 2013 at 9 a.m. PT
  • Improving Developer Productivity with Oracle Java Cloud Service and Cloud-Based IDE Plug-Ins - June 25, 2013 at 9 a.m. PT
  • Improving Developer Productivity with Oracle Java Cloud Service and Maven - June 27, 2013 at 9 a.m. PT
  • Click here to register for the webcasts today!

    Thursday Oct 18, 2012

    Two Cloudy Observations from Oracle OpenWorld

    Now that the dust has settled from another amazing Oracle OpenWorld, I wanted to reflect back on a couple of key observations I made during the event.

    First, it was pretty clear that Cloud was again a big deal at this year's conference. It was hard to not notice that Oracle continues to be "all-in" with respect to cloud computing. Just to give you an idea of the emphasis on Cloud, there were over 300 Cloud-related sessions at this year's OpenWorld. If you caught some of the demo booths in the Oracle Red Lounge, then you saw some of the great platform, application, and social services that are now part of Oracle Cloud, as well as numerous demos of private cloud products that Oracle offers.

    Second, during Thomas Kurian's keynote presentation on Oracle Cloud, he announced the Preview Availability of a new service called Oracle Developer Cloud Service. This new platform service will provide developers with instant access to environments to better manage the application development lifecycle in the cloud. It provides development project teams access to favorite tools like Hudson, Git, Github, wikis, and tasks to help make innovation faster, more collaborative, and more effective. There's also integration with IDEs like Eclipse, NetBeans, and JDeveloper. If you're a developer, it's an awesome addition to Oracle Cloud's platform services!

    Want more details about Oracle Developer Cloud Service? Click here.

    Tuesday Oct 02, 2012

    Oracle Java Cloud Service - Platform as a Service for Your Java Applications

    Oracle Java Cloud Service is an enterprise grade Platform as a Service for developing, testing, and deploying business applications. For Java developers, Java Cloud Service provides the power, flexibility, and performance of a true Java EE container in the cloud.

    Java Cloud Service delivers one of the key advantages of the Java platform, the ability to “write once, run anywhere”. Because of the standards-based approach, there's no need to worry that applications you build and deploy are forever locked into the Oracle Cloud.  In fact, you can use Java Cloud Service just as you would an on-premise Java EE environment and deploy your Java applications on a Java Cloud Service instance as-is.

    Provisioning of Java Cloud Service instances is self-service and takes only minutes, making access to Java environments both quick and easy. Java Cloud Service instances are also automatically associated with Oracle Database Cloud Service instances, so there's no complex setup involved in order to get a complete application environment up and running.

    If you're attending Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco this week, I'm sure you've seen that there are many sessions covering Oracle Cloud services, including Java Cloud Service. Each session will provide a wealth of information, so I highly recommend you consult your conference schedule and try to check them out. In the meantime, here's a short video about Java Cloud Service. Enjoy!

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