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Future-Proofing Your Cloud Journey

Tina Liu
Director, Product Marketing

As the new operational model of choice, cloud is changing how organizations work. It enables you to create new technologies, new applications, and new delivery models. It can help you work smarter and bring products to market faster. And eventually, your organization will rely on the cloud to run its entire operation.

Previously, my colleague Rajesh Sukhramani talked about how streamlining your on-premises IT infrastructure is the perfect first step on an enterprise cloud journey.  This time, I’m looking at how a private cloud model have can help you future-proof your organization’s longer-term move to the cloud, if and when you are ready to do so.

Facing a Broad Choice

OK, so you’re considering a cloud infrastructure, but you’re not sure what type of architecture to choose. There are more technologies, support options and operating models for enterprise private cloud than there is for enterprise public clouds right now. That's a start. But because many private clouds are built with technology from multiple vendors, there are limitations to their interoperability and compatibility with other systems.

So do you choose a private or public cloud? On one hand, private clouds can cost less than public clouds when fully utilized. Your enterprise applications and data stay firmly within the control of your IT team, and they handle predictable enterprise workloads more cost-effectively. Private clouds offer the typical benefits you see with on-premises infrastructure, like simpler compliance, governance, and auditing. And because you can co-locate users and resources, private clouds typically deliver better performance. But like any infrastructure project you directly oversee, it requires time and resources to appropriately plan, acquire, build, integrate and support capital-intensive infrastructure.

On the other hand, public clouds make it easier to consume IT services on-demand. They offer a range of application and data services that can’t easily be replicated within a data center, and they transition you from a time-consuming CAPEX model to a convenient OPEX model. In other words, you simply *use* public clouds—you don’t have to build them. Public clouds are attractive, but shifting completely to it usually entails re-architecting, re-constructing and re-validating an established software portfolio in an entirely new operational environment; a task no IT team is willing to take on easily.

A Small, Yet Significant Step

Let's build on a simple observation here: Many IT organizations have already set up a private cloud to consolidate general-purpose computing needs, but may not have extended this model to their more mission-critical enterprise application portfolio. If you were to examine a random organization's private cloud set up right now, you may likely find that they are better suited for generic workloads vs. their most demanding mission-critical enterprise workloads. Organizations typically reserve that for bare-metal machines. Why? Heavy investment into people, licenses, equipment, expertise, and other overhead associated with running generic database virtualization products are the usual suspects. In any case, what is certain is that most generic private cloud solutions offer no good compatible public cloud options and that kind of incompatibility is a major problem for forward-thinking organizations.

If you and your organization fall on the conservative side, the most straightforward path to the cloud would begin by implementing a private cloud solution and extending it as your comfort level with the cloud grows. This is a safe step forward into the cloud.

Taking a Unique Approach to the Cloud

Oracle's approach is to build a separate private cloud model specifically for enterprise application workloads, like Oracle Database workloads. The idea here is to extend the usual private cloud benefits: pooling, automation, self-service, etc. – to the enterprise application domain. This is something other vendors are ill-equipped to handle. And with Oracle engineered systems, there are compatible public cloud options should they be needed. And because they incorporate hardware and software that are engineered and optimized to work together, they deliver speed, efficiency, simplicity, and security. 

To engineer private clouds that work for extremely demanding, mission-critical enterprise workloads, we typically utilize Exadata or SuperCluster to build a Database-as-a-Service (DBaaS) capability for your database tier. You'll get extreme performance power for Oracle and non-Oracle workloads, plus the cost benefits of consolidation and agility gains from the ability to quickly spin up and spin down databases as needed.

To boost the efficiency of your application and middleware tiers, Exalogic, SuperCluster, or the Oracle Private Cloud Appliance are extremely cost-effective and future-proof solutions. Oracle Private Cloud Appliance specifically is flexible enough to support mixed workloads, including applications running on any Linux, Solaris and Windows OS and even Oracle Database. It is also forward-compatible, meaning that each generation base rack can support future generation compute server nodes, helping to protect customer investments. And it serves as a bridge to the public Oracle Cloud, leveraging the same management tool - Oracle Enterprise Manager - for private and public clouds, and leverages the same underlying technologies; Linux operating system, virtualization, storage and servers. I may be biased, but it does provide you with a fairly straightforward transition to a public cloud if and when you want to make the move.

Making a Big Decision

As you will see, there are quite a few approaches to migrating workloads to the cloud. In the end, you will need to make the choice that is appropriate for your business, users, and customers alike. If you choose to leverage a private cloud, you'll be excited to note that Oracle's public cloud and private cloud both use the same architecture, tools and processes. This means the public cloud can act as an extension to your data center operations. As a result, you can move your applications, data and workloads as and when you need to, without investing in extensive integration or complicated support. 

Best part? Because Oracle runs on both sides, we can ensure 100% compatibility between development and production.  Same standards.  Same products.  Same management. And as you get more comfortable with working in the public cloud, there’s an attractive option to start to run elements of production there as well, right alongside the development environment.

Learn More

To learn more about future-proofing your private cloud infrastructure, we invite you to attend our webcast on Wednesday May 24 at 9AM PST. Oracle Private Cloud Appliance product manager, Krishna Srinivasan, will be on hand to expand on the key considerations you should take into account to ensure your infrastructure is not only agile enough to meet growing workload needs, but is also hybrid and public cloud ready.

And if you're already considering extending your private cloud to hybrid cloud, check out my colleague Anne Plese 's blog post where she discusses hybrid clouds and their part in an organization’s overall cloud journey

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