Oracle is offering a host of data center hardware under an infrastructure-as-a-service umbrella that enterprises can install and operate on their own premises, and pay for via a monthly subscription rather than upfront.
Oracle’s IaaS program enables businesses to deploy the vendor’s various hardware offerings—the Exadata Database Machine, Exalogic Elastic Cloud, SPARC SuperCluster, Exalytics In-Memory Machine and Sun ZFS Storage Appliance—in their own data centers. By paying the monthly fee, businesses also get a cost-efficient option for buying these systems, according to Oracle officials.
In addition, through Oracle’s Capacity on Demand solution, businesses will be able to add and substract processing power as needed, and pay only for the compute power that they use.
Oracle, through its PlatinumPlus Services offering, will provide quarterly analysis and advice from Oracle experts in such areas as system performance, security compliance and system available, according to the software giant. Other Oracle services packages available include Premier Support for Systems and Platinum services.
“For the first time, customers can get the unmatched performance, scalability and reliability of Oracle Engineered Systems deployed on premise, behind their firewall, for a monthly fee,” Juan Loaiza, senior vice president of software development for Oracle, said in a statement. “Oracle infrastructure as a service with elastic compute capacity on demand makes it possible for customers to use, and pay for peak processing power only when they need it, and get the highest level of support with the new Oracle PlatinumPlus Services.”
A growing number of tech vendors—from cloud providers such as Amazon and Rackspace to established OEMs such as Hewlett-Packard—offer enterprises IaaS solutions, where businesses can access servers via the Internet and pay only for the compute power they use. In most of those environments, the systems are housed in the tech vendors’ data centers and access by the enterprises remotely.
With their solution, announced Jan. 15, Oracle officials are offering businesses the same cost-efficient model of access to powerful systems that are paid for via a monthly subscription and with compute power that can be dialed up or down based on workload needs. Businesses also have the option of managing the infrastructure themselves or having Oracle manage them through the software company’s Managed Cloud Services offering.
Other vendors also are looking to help enterprises bring cloud services and capabilities behind the firewall while leveraging the cost and management efficiencies inherent in the cloud. Most recently, HP—which earlier in 2012 launched its Converged Cloud collection of hardware and software and various cloud services that can be deployed via a pay-per-use model—in December unveiled its FlexNetwork Utility Advantage Program. Through the program, HP partners offer prepackaged, standards-based HP network solutions that businesses can deploy in their own environments, but which they pay for via a monthly fee.
Oracle entered the hardware competition in 2010 when it bought Sun Microsystems, inheriting among other things that company’s server and storage appliance portfolio. Oracle officials since have focused their efforts on offering bundled systems that offer hardware systems that are tightly integrated with the company’s enterprise software solutions.
The results have been mixed. According to Gartner, in the third quarter of 2012, Oracle ranked as the world’s fourth largest server vendor, based on revenues, with more than $592 million in sales and a 4.7 percent share of the market. However, during the same period in 2011, Oracle saw revenues of more than $763 million and a 5.9 percent share.