The Cloud Made Whole

Oracle completes its cloud platform.

By John Soat

July/August 2015

Building on its momentum in applications, platform, and infrastructure cloud services, Oracle is completing the world’s most comprehensive enterprise cloud portfolio with the announcement of 24 new standards-based platform and infrastructure services. The services demonstrate the company’s cloud expertise in application development, data management, business analytics, integration, mobile, and infrastructure. “We’re now prepared to call our platform and our infrastructure services complete,” Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison told an enthusiastic audience of customers, partners, analysts, and reporters at the company’s headquarters on June 22, 2015.

Ellison emphasized several times during his presentation that Oracle’s cloud technology is “the same exact” technology it sells for on-premises use. That’s important as companies navigate the intersection of internal data center computing and external cloud resources, a hybrid architecture that Ellison called the “coming decade of coexistence between on-premises data processing and cloud data processing.”

The latest services let organizations move all of their applications—not just Oracle applications—from the data center to the cloud and back again.

“One of our strategies is to offer the same technology on premises and in the cloud so you can easily move it—move your applications and your data back and forth with a push of a button,” he explained.

New, Integrated, and Social

Most of the new cloud services are platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offerings under Oracle Cloud Platform. Ellison called PaaS an “incredibly important business for us.” In terms of application development, for example, Oracle now offers, in addition to Java EE, cloud services for Java SE, JRuby, and Node.js. Oracle Mobile Cloud Service is a new back-end engine that enables multi-feature, multiplatform application development and mobile user management. The company is also making its browser-oriented, user-friendly application builder development tool available as a cloud service. Oracle Application Builder Cloud Service supports the easy extension of Oracle software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings through a simple drag-and-drop UI.

We now have a complete suite of services for building applications in cloud. ”–Larry Ellison,
Executive Chairman and CTO, Oracle

In recent years Oracle has supported its customers’ big data projects with on-premises big data technology, and it is now making those offerings available in its cloud. Oracle Big Data Cloud Service employs the Cloudera distribution of Apache Hadoop 2, Apache Spark, and Oracle NoSQL for processing semistructured and unstructured sets of data.

New business analytics services help make big data repositories more productive. Oracle Big Data Preparation Cloud Service enables preprocessing of structured, semistructured, and unstructured data. Oracle Big Data Discovery Cloud Service supports the building and sharing of Hadoop data sets. Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service lets business users quickly analyze data in flat files or spreadsheets, employing only a web browser. Oracle Internet of Things Cloud Service supports data harvesting from any device—from sensors to gateways.

An important set of new cloud services addresses the importance of collaboration and integration in cloud and hybrid IT structures. Oracle Process Cloud Service lets business analysts automate workflows and manage business processes in the cloud. Oracle Integration Cloud Service provides a simple interface for defining integrations between on-premises and cloud applications and moving data between them in real time.

Also, it’s worth noting that when a developer uses Oracle’s cloud application development platform services—the same set of services Oracle’s own developers use—the services automatically incorporate the features most users look for today in their applications. “They have a simple, modern user interface,” Ellison said, adding, “The applications are mobile, the applications are social—because they inherit those characteristics from the underlying platform.”

Elastic and Dedicated

Demonstrating its commitment to infrastructure as a service (IaaS), Oracle introduced new IaaS cloud services that provide both low-cost and high-performance compute resources, networking, and storage.

Customers can subscribe to compute resources in Oracle Cloud in server racks and virtual machines that are both elastic and dedicated, meaning they can be expanded easily and are exclusive to the subscriber. “Our Dedicated Compute Service gives you predictable performance in the cloud,” Ellison said. Also, those dedicated compute resources will run any workload, Oracle-based or not. “I’ll emphasize—any application,” he said.

Oracle also introduced two new storage services. Oracle File Storage Cloud Service lets customers store data in Oracle Cloud and access it from on-premises systems using the familiar NFSv4 network protocol. Oracle Archive Storage Cloud Service stores data on a long-term basis—at a lower cost than competing services—and is protected by encryption, mirroring, and geographical distributions.

A significant addition to the Oracle Cloud, one that straddles the line between infrastructure and platform services, is the final element in the company’s line of database-as-a-service offerings: Oracle Database Cloud Exadata Service. The Oracle Exadata Database Machine is Oracle’s highest-performing database engineered system, a highly tuned, tightly integrated bundle of customized hardware and fully featured database software. Oracle Database Cloud Exadata Service makes that high-performance database capability available in an elastic, cost-effective manner.

Committed to Standards

Oracle Cloud is stable, reliable, and secure, Ellison asserted, currently processing 33 billion transactions a day. And all of Oracle’s cloud offerings demonstrate that the company’s commitment to industry standards is deep and wide, a point Ellison reiterated in his presentation. “Everything we do in all three layers of the cloud is based on standards,” he said.

Ellison pointed to different competitors in IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, and he made it clear that Oracle, unlike its competitors, is a full-service cloud provider, with offerings in all three cloud layers. The company already has outpaced its competitors in SaaS, he pointed out. “We have more applications than any other cloud services provider by a wide margin,” he said. The introduction of more than 24 new cloud platform and infrastructure services validates Oracle’s full-service, multilayer cloud strategy. “With today’s announcement,” he said, “we now have a complete suite of services for building applications in cloud.”

Ellison was particularly bullish on the company’s PaaS lineup. “It will probably be our most important business,” he said. “In fact, it will be our most important business going forward.”

Next Steps

LEARN more about Oracle Cloud Platform
 Oracle Database Cloud Exadata Service

WATCH the Oracle Cloud Platform 2015 launch event
 videos on demand


Photography by Gerrie van der Walt,Unsplash