SAN FRANCISCO—Oracle may be playing a game of semantics with us, but one of its top executives told eWEEK at OpenWorld Sept. 21 that it's now possible to buy instances of the company's public cloud and run them in a private data center.
The new item is called Cloud@Customer, and it was introduced Sept. 21 at OpenWorld. It sounds like a form of hybrid cloud, which contains elements of both on-premises and cloud computing and/or storage. Then again, it also appears to be a made-to-order infrastructure-as-a-service product that the company can spin up as requested by a customer.
It's neither, Oracle Executive Vice President of Converged Infrastructure Dave Donatelli told eWEEK.
"This is a whole new category," Donatelli said. "It's different than a private cloud in a lot of different respects. Customers really like the SaaS model. Why is that? Because the SaaS provider selects all the hardware, all the software, keeps everything up to date and running and is constantly updating and bringing in new feature functions.”
Cloud@Customer May Be Answer for Some Users
"There's a certain class of customers who can't go to the public cloud,” he continued. “Maybe an application can't go there or the whole customer for regulatory or strategic reasons [can't go there], but they still want that same experience. Cloud@Customer is meant to give them that."
Users subscribe to Cloud@Customer, which uses the exact same software as is running in the Oracle public cloud. Oracle provides all the hardware and all the updates. "All you've got to do is use it," Donatelli said.
Cloud@Customer was made available mainly for security reasons, Donatelli said. "Some customers' data must be housed and secured onsite, behind a firewall. That's the real reason," Donatelli said.
This type of product plays well in European countries, regulated industries and with certain governments, he noted.
"In some cases, a customer may say, 'All these other apps are fine for the public cloud, but this one particular app must stay in our data center.'" Donatelli said.
"So what was the conversation before this became available? It was: 'Hey, I want to do public cloud, but I just can't.' Why not? 'Well, we're regulated, my data's gotta stay here.' If we bring the public cloud to you, would you like that? 'Yes!'" he said.
'Equalization' Between SMBs and Large Companies
As Oracle converts more of its applications from server-based to cloud-ready versions, it allows great "equalization between the sophisticated solutions a midmarket company can run as compared to the most sophisticated companies," Donatelli said.
A midmarket company can look and act like a large corporation using these mixed cloud packages.
"For example, on the security side, if you're a midmarket company, you get all the benefit of everything we've learned by managing these that you could never do on your own," Donatelli said. "You would never have staff big enough to do it on your own."
The method by which Oracle determined the pricing on its latest entry-level database appliance was interesting. The company came up with a list price of $18,000.
How did it arrive at that figure?
"We literally went on the Dell EMC website, looked at what it cost to buy a server, looked at what it cost to buy some flash, looked at the cost for networking connection, and we priced it the exact same," Donatelli said. "So you have a choice: You can get all the benefits of an engineered system, where the hardware and software are designed to work together, scale higher and cost less, for the same amount of money as going on a website, buy a bunch of piece parts and putting it together yourself."
Any Workload Can Be Run in IaaS
Finally, Oracle is apparently becoming more democratic when it comes to running workloads. Even though the company's sixth-generation "engineered together" packages originally consisted of only on-premises Oracle hardware, software and middleware, due to the new IaaS capabilities, workloads of any type now can be covered, Donatelli said.
"As companies with legacy systems begin to host some of those workloads in the cloud, since we have our IaaS, which runs on anything that runs on x86 or SPARC (servers), you can transition that to the (Oracle) public cloud," he said.
"Some customers were asking, 'Do you do just Oracle, or Oracle and everything else?' Very clearly, we now do Oracle and everything else. This is relatively new with IaaS."