When you’re driving down the freeway, sometimes you need to step on the gas to accelerate in the moment. When your car responds quickly, it gives you the power you need at just the right time.
In business, as with driving, acceleration can be helpful to navigate the changes in front of you. That’s when, under the hood, better engineering and reserve horsepower are essential.
The cloud infrastructure supporting a SaaS application is the engine that provides the security, scale, and performance for your business applications. It includes the database, operating systems, servers, routers, and firewalls (and more) required to process billions of application transactions every day.
What can cloud infrastructure do to help?
Faster response, better scalability
Not all cloud infrastructure capabilities supporting your SaaS applications are the same across all cloud providers. Many providers do not run or design their own infrastructure or provide their own high-performance servers. In fact, some cloud providers use other infrastructure providers and shift their responsibility for cloud reliability, availability, and security to that secondary provider.
Some are running on an aging cloud infrastructure, built using older commodity hardware. That infrastructure’s architecture may be less responsive and have fewer security capabilities built in.
Many SaaS providers have narrow, capped limits for customers’ use at the infrastructure level so they can prevent other users from consuming the bulk of resources—such as processing time—bringing overall performance down for everyone. These limits can adversely impact the speed and scale of your SaaS application, especially if you are processing many transactions, for example, during a month-end close, or you are processing online ecommerce transactions.
When you click an application function and get a slow (or no) response, it may be because of the infrastructure, the network design, or both.
And because most SaaS infrastructures are early generation multi-tenant, many customers are all sharing the same database. Noisy neighbors can impact performance by chewing up precious database resources, making other users wait for their turn.
As a SaaS end user, you don’t actually see this infrastructure—but you can experience it when it has problems. When you click an application function and get a slow (or no) response, it may be because of the infrastructure, the network design, or both.
In large enterprises, the IT organization can patch hundreds of systems within the infrastructure regularly. They also need to keep up on the latest types of attacks and their associated patches. These are daunting tasks because malicious bots are attacking systems and networks continuously, finding new ways to breach them. The IT team might also have to help remediate problems after a data breach, which is costly and time consuming.
The manual approach to securing database systems and “remediation after the breach” is no longer effective. Today, automation of security with autonomous technology at every layer of the stack is Oracle’s goal and a best practice design.
“The main economic benefit of Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure is its autonomous capability.”
Larry Ellison, Chairman of the Board and Chief Technology Officer, Oracle
As Larry Ellison noted at his 2019 Oracle OpenWorld keynote “The main economic benefit of Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure is its autonomous capability, which eliminates human labor for administrative tasks and thus reduces human error. That capability is particularly important in helping prevent data theft against increasingly sophisticated, automated hacks.”
A cloud infrastructure must be updated by the provider on a regular basis. In an economy where application downtime can seriously impact a business’s bottom line, autonomous capabilities in the infrastructure can be a definite advantage. Automated 24/7 maintenance of cloud infrastructure allows for faster and more efficient patching and updating. It helps reduce downtime from configuration errors and missed patches, so cloud infrastructure has the most recent patches and security is up to date to reflect an ever-changing cybersecurity threat landscape.
With these three important elements in mind, consider the importance of checking under the hood of your SaaS application and examining the cloud infrastructure it runs on. These differences can enable your SaaS-based business to be ready for the latest security threats and to grow as needed.
For a closer look, read how other SaaS applications providers stack up against Oracle’s Gen 2 Cloud Infrastructure and Oracle Software as a Service (Oracle SaaS) application capabilities.
Lisa M. Schwartz is senior director of SaaS applications for Oracle’s Product Marketing Group. Follow her on Twitter at @Leeza2020.