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Cloud Bound? Pick a Path That Works for You

Linda Tsan
Senior Manager

If your company is like the majority of enterprises today, it’s running at least one app in the cloud. And chances are you’re planning to use the cloud to support many more processes in the near future. According to a recent IDG survey, the percentage of the total IT environment in the cloud is expected to grow through 2018. Currently, 23% of an organization’s IT environment is in private cloud, and that is anticipated to increase to 28%. There is similar growth for public cloud (15% now to 22%), and hybrid cloud (7% now to 10%).
 
Even at the pace of business today, these figures indicated a pretty mad rush away from on-premises technology. If companies don’t carefully map out their journey to the cloud, getting there could be a bumpy ride, and the destination may not be everything it has the potential to offer.
 
For organizations that have allowed different business units to choose their own cloud solutions, their experience makes a great case for having a big-picture cloud strategy. On average, businesses are running 6 different clouds today—three public and three private. While these individual applications may be meeting short-term needs, they are creating myriad challenges in terms of governance and data integration.
 
As a result, cost savings and efficiencies that might have been anticipated—certainly at the enterprise level—can be negated by the need for extra resources to integrate and support technology stacks that weren’t designed to work together.
 
To ensure beneficial near-term and future adoptions of cloud technology, organizations should make sure they are investing in a durable but flexible infrastructure than can support whatever path they take.
 
Few suppliers are able to provide a complete menu of products and services that enable easy integration of on-premises and cloud strategies. In fact, most vendors are staking a claim as either a public or private cloud provider, but not both.
 
At Oracle, we’re uniquely positioned to support any journey to the cloud, whether it’s a what-if consideration, a new initiative, or the next stage of an on-premises migration. We’ve already covered how with 5 distinct cloud migrations approaches on this blog (ranging from conservative to a fairly aggressive approach), but I’d like to revisit them:

First Things First

Let’s face it, the cloud hasn’t convinced a lot of decision makers that it’s the best place to run a business. In fact, almost one-third of all companies—30%—are strictly on-premises shops, according to IDG.
 
Still, some decision makers worry that near-term necessary investments in on-premises solutions will be wasted if a transition to the cloud turns out to be a good idea. At Oracle, we’re providing companies like these with a “cloud insurance policy” by offering proven on-premises solutions that have a compatible cloud option.
 
For example, the full power of our on-premises Oracle Exadata database platform is now available as a subscription cloud service in your data center, behind your firewall. With Exadata Cloud Machine, Oracle owns, configures, installs, and administrates Exadata for you, under your control.
 
Here’s another important consideration. When on-premises solutions are integrated with matching public and private cloud systems, companies can easily transition processes from one to another. 
 
As more and more enterprises are discovering, some migrations to the cloud don’t work as planned. When on-premises and cloud systems are integrated by design, un-clouding specific processes and the data associated with them is essentially hassle-free.

Optimizing the Private Cloud

One of the most well-worn paths that companies have taken to the cloud is with a private cloud. According to that IDG study, almost 2/3 of companies—62%—are running applications in private clouds to support about 23% of their overall IT environment. Companies anticipate transitioning even more applications to private cloud, upping the average to 28%.
 
Almost half of the companies use the cloud to support email and messaging. But over the next 12 to 36 months, the leading applications that companies plan to move to the cloud are data storage/management and business data/analytics.
 
One of our key partners, Computer Sciences Corporation (CSC), has seen a dramatic shift in customer demand for hosted solutions. Up until the last 2 years, most customers wanted their IT infrastructure to remain on premises, but not anymore.

“In only 2 years they’ve gone from wanting to own everything to owning nothing and not even wanting it in their own data center,” said Mike Revitt, Global Head of Engineered Systems.

By moving operations onto Oracle SuperCluster, CSC now offers a robust cloud solutions for their customers. Watch the video below for more details on CSC's cloud transformation.

 

Oracle delivers private cloud solutions engineered for enterprise applications and databases. They are compatible with Oracle’s on-premises database solutions, which streamlines the migration of data to the private cloud system. The private cloud solutions use the same consolidation and operation model as our public cloud offering—again, making it easy to transfer processes from one system to the other.

The Hybrid Cloud Option

The cost of building and managing an infrastructure for application development and testing can be high. For some organizations, moving these processes to a scalable public cloud can represent a significant savings, in term of both cost and effort.
 
Oracle offers fully-featured PaaS public cloud capabilities that dramatically improve developer productivity, resulting in applications that can be deployed on-premises, in the public cloud, or both. For example, Concordia University, a consortium of operations across the country, is using a combination of private and public cloud infrastructures and on-premises systems to more effectively integrate the various database platforms used by it facilities and help reduce costs. Concordia benefits from having stacks of the Oracle Java Cloud and the Oracle Database Cloud in both the private and public cloud,  using the public cloud stack to complete test and dev processes before bringing them into production in the private cloud. This substantially reduces the risk of going live with flawed processes.
 
Another option is to utilize SuperCluster to create a secure cloud infrastructure for database and applications. It has been designed to compliment Oracle’s public cloud by offering the greatest possible operational simplicity, cloud-oriented user self-management. Elastic configurations allow you to start start and easily scale your cloud as demand grows over time without changing a single line of code. That kind of flexibility and forethought into future needs makes it an ideal choice in a hybrid environment. 

The Much Closer Cloud

About 60% of companies are using public clouds to support, on average, about 15% of their IT environment, according to IDC. For companies that are reticent about making more serious use of the public cloud, Oracle offers technology that brings the cloud model into their data center.
 
The Oracle Cloud Machine, our first Cloud at Customer offering, is a repackaging of the public Oracle Cloud delivered behind the firewall: same functionality, same operational model, and same cost structure. IT organizations get many of the benefits of a public cloud model, without having to overcome concerns associated with using a public cloud.
 
For example, with Cloud at Customer, companies have tight control over data sovereignty and governance concerns. They get full integration with their network security, and the benefit from low latency interaction with their on-premises applications and data.
 
They increase their productivity, reduce costs, and have unprecedented flexibility. Managed by Oracle, companies also get the advantage of single-vendor accountability.
 
Cognizant, a fast-growing business and technology services company, will attest to that.

“As clients require specialized data stores for healthcare, finance, or European data protection, this will give us the space to be able to handle those unique needs,” while providing “the same historic flexibility we had when we had on-prem-based configurations without any of the costs or any of the complexity, because Oracle can provide their world-class support and be able to manage it with us as a partner.” explains Aaron De Los Reyes, Senior Director of Products

The Oracle Public Cloud Machine enabled Cognizant to respond more nimbly to its customers. 

Optimizing Lift-and-Shift

Companies with a pressing need to transition to the cloud, may choose to lift and shift to the cloud, but this path is often fraught with messy and disruptive handovers.
 
At Oracle, we often recommend that companies take an application-by-application approach to ensure a successful—and less disruptive—migration to the cloud. Typically, we work with organizations to select an application that will serve as a proof-of-concept. Once we’ve successfully migrated that application to the cloud, we replicate the process until the project is completed.
 
This application-by-application approach minimizes risk, because we don’t move forward until the previous work is stable and delivering the desired results. And because we work closely with our client’s IT staff every step of the way, they acquire the necessary skills to run their applications in the public cloud.
 
Of course, for companies already running Oracle applications or using our appliances, migrating to the Oracle Public Cloud can be completed affordably and efficiently. Here’s why: The Oracle Public Cloud runs on the same engineered systems technology stack we offer our on-premises customers to deliver integrated SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. Customer favorites like Exadata and SuperCluster power the Oracle public cloud.
 
Because the Oracle Public Cloud and private cloud offerings use the same architecture, tools, and processes, there’s no need to invest in extensive integration or complicated support. As a result, the public cloud appears as a compatible extension of what already runs in the data center.

Future-Proof Your Decisions

Are you mapping out your company’s journey to the cloud? Wondering if the path you’re already on was a good one to take? At Oracle, we can help you chart a cloud course that is aligned with the current business requirements, addresses future needs, and gives you the flexibility to nimbly react to unforeseen obstacles or opportunities.
 
Watch David Donatelli, Executive Vice President of Converged Infrastructure, explain why Oracle is best suited to support an enterprise transition to the cloud, and learn more about 5 paths your organization can take to get there.

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