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Interview

One Cloud Strategy

Businesses have many questions about the cloud. Oracle has one complete strategy to answer them.

By Tom Haunert

September/October 2016

The components of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) are easy to list: compute, network, and storage. But businesses evaluating the cloud are interested in more than components. They want to know how cloud components and platforms will work together to support their operations. Oracle Magazine caught up with Deepak Patil, vice president of product development at Oracle, to discuss what organizations need to know about cloud generally, IaaS specifically, and how Oracle cloud platforms work together.

Oracle Magazine: What are businesses today looking for when they’re evaluating cloud offerings?

Patil: When they are making cloud decisions, our customers have questions. Seven big questions come to mind, and I call these the seven questions of the highly curious cloud customer.

The first question they ask: Is the cloud going to help me save money? In 2015 Oracle conducted a survey of 256 different organizations that were charting a path to the public cloud. And about 98 percent of those respondents said that cost-effectiveness was one of the most important criteria to them to move to the cloud.

The second question that customers ask: Is the cloud more reliable than whatever I have on premises? Cloud providers need to assure their customers that the investment they’re making in a software-defined virtualized data center is going to deliver an extremely reliable application and service stack. And cloud providers need to deliver on that promise.

The third question that customers ask: Is the cloud more trustworthy than whatever I have on premises? Security, compliance, governance, transparency, and privacy were the biggest concerns associated with moving to the cloud about four or five years ago. Now they are some of the biggest reasons why people are moving to the cloud.

The fourth question they ask: Is the cloud truly and globally elastic? Cloud service providers need to deliver an elastic perception of infinite, global capacity, and demonstrate that the cloud does empower them to expand their business in multiple parts of the world effortlessly, frictionlessly, and nimbly.

The fifth question that customers ask: Is the cloud open? Software development technologies, languages, frameworks, and platforms are being democratized faster than ever. Businesses need to know if a cloud vendor is going to require platform or language lock-in or if the vendor supports open development.

The sixth question: Will the cloud integrate seamlessly with my on-premises systems? Businesses are going to remain in combined cloud and on-premises ecosystems for some time, and they have requirements and expectations for how these hybrid environments will run.

Oracle is committed to delivering the most open, reliable, scalable, and secure IaaS platform.”

The seventh question they ask: Will the move to cloud be instantly productive? Cloud providers have to demonstrate that they will make their customers instantly more productive with easy lift-and-shift capabilities, a frictionless migration to the cloud, and a core focus on time to value.

Oracle Magazine: What is the state of IaaS today, and what is Oracle’s approach to IaaS?

Patil: Every industry and almost every business in every industry is going through a generational shift, a generational transformation toward the cloud.

For most of these businesses, the intellectual burden and cost of designing and managing servers, data centers, and networks is incredibly prohibitive. Additionally, the challenges that arise from having to support, manage, revise, secure, and optimize the IT environments and supply chains are preventing companies from growing and experimenting—and importantly—from focusing on their core competencies. So our customers are looking to Oracle to provide them with compelling and complete choices of infrastructure offerings, platform capabilities, and higher-level SaaS [software as a service] services in public cloud, hybrid cloud, and private cloud.

Oracle is committed to delivering the most open, reliable, scalable, and secure IaaS platform, and we are doing that with a three-pronged approach. First, we emulate an on-premises data center experience with a completely software-defined virtual data center in the cloud, where companies can experience the same operational control, isolation, security, and predictable performance that they expect from their on-premises data centers. Second, we differentiate the platform with unique capabilities that only Oracle can offer. Third, we deliver unparalleled experience and service to our customers.

Oracle Magazine: How does the Oracle IaaS strategy fit with Oracle’s PaaS [platform as a service] and SaaS strategies?

Patil: Oracle doesn’t have an independent IaaS strategy, an independent PaaS strategy, and an independent SaaS strategy. We look at all of them as part of a cloud platform, and our customers do and will increasingly treat IaaS and PaaS as one thing and use services from both. The power of unified Oracle technology is behind our cloud platform, so the experience of just using pure compute or PaaS that runs on that compute is seamless, frictionless, and immersive. All of our PaaS offerings and all of our SaaS applications and higher-level services are running on our infrastructure platform, and the fundamental experience and the consistency of navigation through our services are seamless. As we build new services, they will be built on our infrastructure platform and presented to our customers as one unified platform that provides everything they need in one place.

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Photography by Bob Adler/Verbatim and Rohan Makhecha/Unsplash