Meet the New Infrastructure

Next-generation infrastructure as a service enables better clouds.

By Tom Haunert

September/October 2017

Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings may have started out as a way to replace data center hardware, but next-generation IaaS technology is focused on more than replacing on-premises networking, compute, and storage with cloud services. Today, cloud vendors and businesses are looking at how IaaS can better support IT and better enable the businesses that run infrastructure services. Oracle Magazine caught up with Marc Levy, vice president and architect of software development at Oracle, to talk about the state of IaaS technology and what businesses are looking for in IaaS today.

Oracle Magazine: Just a couple of years ago, IaaS technology was focused on networking, compute, and storage services. What is the state of IaaS today?

Levy: IaaS is evolving, but it still enables customers to build their own virtual networks—their own clouds—on a foundation of networking, compute, and storage technologies. This also describes the first generation of IaaS.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure—Oracle’s IaaS offering—is a sort of rethink of the public cloud. This next-generation technology continues to focus on the key characteristics associated with cloud, including scalability, elasticity, and low-friction provisioning, but it adds a focus on flexibility, performance, governance and control, integration, and more. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure still enables businesses to build their own clouds, but it’s also enabling those businesses to migrate to the cloud in more powerful and flexible ways.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offers higher-performance networking, for example, which allows businesses to provision instances of Oracle Exadata on demand and on their own virtual network. So, they can migrate high-performance database-centered applications essentially as-is.

In addition, PaaS [platform-as-a-service] services leverage the unique capabilities of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. For example, a container service running on a bare metal machine avoids the virtualization overhead penalties associated with first-generation IaaS offerings.

Oracle Magazine: What do businesses look for or demand from IaaS services today?

Levy: Businesses have a variety of requirements for IaaS. For example, some are looking to lift and shift technology out of their data centers and into the cloud. They are also looking to build new cloud-native platforms and applications based on new infrastructure and platform technologies.

Businesses need an easy on-ramp to the cloud that allows them to move their existing on-premises applications and systems.”

Businesses need an easy on-ramp to the cloud that allows them to move their existing on-premises applications and systems largely as-is. This includes an infrastructure capable of delivering the functionality, availability, and performance of the systems they have today in their data centers. But they also want cloud-native capabilities so they can adopt new architectures and development practices. And they want all of this in the same, integrated environment.

When businesses started looking at cloud a couple of years ago, some were looking for a single SaaS [software-as-a-service] application or offsite backup of their data center or storage and compute power for short-term projects or even a lift-and-shift “test.” But they are looking for more now, including a full stack of cloud technology—from IaaS to PaaS to SaaS—from one cloud vendor. Oracle is well equipped to deliver that stack and have that stack serve as a foundation that enables businesses to build, integrate, and optimize whatever they need.

Next Steps

LEARN more about Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Photograph by Ron Wurzer, The Verbatim Agency