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How to Achieve Public-Cloud Innovation in Your Own Data Center

Linda Tsan
Senior Manager

Today's guest post comes from John Cooper, Vice President of Oracle Solutions Practice at Cognizant.

Organizations are transitioning from traditional IT delivery models to cloud-based models to better serve customers, improve productivity and efficiency, and rapidly scale their businesses. Despite the benefits of public-cloud platforms, concerns over data sovereignty, compliance and privacy have deterred many organizations from accelerating the migration of their workloads to the cloud.

 

Boomeranging IT Deployment Models

In fact, 80% of the 400 IT decision-makers who participated in IDC’s 2018 Cloud and AI Adoption Survey said their organization has migrated either applications or data that were primarily part of a public-cloud environment to an on-premises or private-cloud solution in the last year. The reasons? No. 1 is security, followed by performance and cost control. Often referred to as “reverse migrations,” organizations coming back from public cloud are clearly getting smarter about which workloads belong there and which ones do not.

This is certainly true in highly regulated industries, such as finance, government, and defense, where major concerns around data security and data placement have traditionally meant that data must stay within the organization’s firewall. Other concerns include limited control over assets and operations, Internet-facing APIs, and privacy.

Privacy in particular has taken on greater significance after passage of the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This legislation is intended to safeguard EU citizens by standardizing data privacy laws and mechanisms across industries, regardless of the nature or type of operations. Requirements such as client consent for use of personal data, the right to personal data erasure without outside authorization, and standard protocols in the event of a data breach carry heavy fines if not strictly adhered to.

Even with these challenges, IT leaders are still seeking the types of benefits that public cloud can bring. Foremost among them are technology total cost of ownership (TCO) reduction, integration with DevOps and Agile methodologies, ease of complexity in provisioning and duplication, as well as dynamic scaling horizontally and vertically.

These leaders want to feel confident that moving to the public cloud won’t wipe out their data or leave it vulnerable to hackers, that customization efforts on mission-critical systems such as ERP won’t be adversely affected, and that service level agreements (SLAs) for high-performance and predictability will be met.

Fortunately, Oracle can help organizations take advantage of public-cloud-like innovation in their own data centers with Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer. Exadata Cloud at Customer provides the same database hardware and software platform that Oracle uses in its own public-cloud data centers and puts it into the customer’s data center. Oracle’s integrated technology stack offers wide-ranging benefits that enable organizations to run database cloud services similar to public cloud, while more easily complying with data regulations and governance. Oracle patches, maintains, and updates the Exadata Cloud at Customer infrastructure remotely and brings best-in-market hardware to your data center for periodic refreshes while maintaining a tight leash on your data.

It’s essentially your next step closer to public cloud, but without the risks.

Cognizant works closely with Oracle as a premier partner with our Oracle Cloud Lift offering, which enables enterprises to rapidly obtain value from their Oracle Cloud platform and infrastructure investments. We are an Oracle Cloud Premier Partner in North America, EMEA, APAC, and Latin America.

Our offerings include migrating Oracle and non-Oracle enterprise workloads to Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer and other Oracle Cloud models. Our tested and reliable solution enables clients with application inventory, assessment, code analysis, migration planning and execution, and post migration support. We start with an in-depth inventory of the client’s current enterprise landscape, collecting data that feeds into our cloud assessment tools. The data is key for calculating the appropriate fit among public, hybrid, and private clouds. This process also helps predict the most appropriate model for migrating client’s environment to cloud: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

 

The Benefits of On-Premises Cloud

While public-cloud vendors have built software-defined/automated IT services that are very attractive to developers, it’s important to understand that those technologies are not unique to public cloud. With automated, modernized, and software-defined infrastructure, on-premises cloud solutions are safer, more predictable, and cost-effective. You stay in control of your data and where it’s located, and subscribe only to the infrastructure, platform, and software services you need.

Here are the types of benefits you can expect:

  • Flexibility: Unlike some cloud providers, Oracle gives you access to the underlying infrastructure in both a dedicated or multi-tenanted environment. This provides great flexibility and enables you to implement appropriate foundations for your specific needs.
  • Performance: Choose an appropriate level of cloud performance for your applications, from standard compute to faster, high-end performance.
  • Ease of migration: No need to significantly re-architect your applications or platform when you migrate to on-premises cloud. This is because Oracle’s cloud is specifically engineered to work with Oracle databases, middleware, and applications. If you choose a different cloud provider, it’s more than likely that there will be major re-architecting involved.
  • Security: Implement your own enterprise-grade security in the same manner as on-premises, thanks to the ability to access the underlying infrastructure.
  • Scalability: Scale vertically and horizontally to support large, persistent data workloads.
  • Ease of management: Manage your cloud estate with the same enterprise tooling that most organizations already use for their existing ecosystem.

 

A New Paradigm for Infrastructure Strategy

Having public-cloud-like power in your data center offers a new infrastructure strategy paradigm: Current systems are not disturbed, and organizations can build cloud-native applications or modernize existing ones more rapidly while infrastructure and data reside safely behind the firewall.

For organizations interested in embracing digital transformation, on-premises cloud can be a positive initial step. Your organization will have access to a host of cloud services for data management.

Why make costly missteps in public cloud, risk your data, or both? Constellation Research’s 2018 Next-Gen Computing: The Enterprise Computing Model for the 2020s confirms that Oracle Cloud at Customer offers “the most complete on-premises offering” among leading cloud vendors, with “the ability to move workloads back and forth between cloud and on-premises” as one of its key differentiators.

Cognizant and Oracle work together to help clients implement new operating models, processes, and information systems needed to remain competitive and profitable in today’s digital revolution. If the time to start securely scaling your business is now, then it’s time to take a harder look at Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer and Cognizant’s Oracle Cloud Lift offering.

 

About the Author

John Cooper leads the Oracle Solutions Practice in North America. In a career spanning 29+ years, John has worked extensively in G&A (HR, Finance, IT, Procurement) and Consulting. His areas of specialization include design and implementation of G&A organizations, and processes and technology solution enablers. John has led HR functions and served as the operational head of a multi-line consulting company. He has expertise in the alignment of business and information technology strategies. As the practice lead, John is responsible for delivery of services related to consulting, implementation, upgrade and application management services across the entire Oracle spectrum of products and services.

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