Oracle's Converged Cloud Storage Aims to Knock Out Cloud Gateways

What Oracle has done is directly link its Storage Cloud with its ZFS Storage Appliance. Thus, no gateways or licensing fees are required.

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It's not every day that a company claims to create and thereby "own" a new IT product and service market, but that's what Oracle did March 29. This new IT segment: cloud converged storage.

This isn't about a set of functions being converged into a smaller data center server; it's about being able to converge data stored in an on-premises data center smoothly with public cloud storage--in this case, in Oracle's own storage cloud.

In a lot of enterprise scenarios, this ostensibly simple function isn't all that simple.

"If you look at an on-premises, high-performance storage system from any number of vendors, you have to buy a cloud gateway," Oracle Vice President of Storage and Cloud IaaS Steve Zivanic told eWEEK. "You also have to subscribe to the public cloud. What we've also noticed is that some of these vendors are charging cloud-access licenses just for the right to subscribe to public cloud storage.

Paying for Data Transfers is Part of the Deal

"For example, if you go to Dell EMC Data Domain, if you want to move data from a deduplication appliance to a public cloud, you have to pay them $400 per terabyte--just for the license to move data to the public cloud. So we have customers coming to us saying, 'Why am I paying companies for the right to access the public cloud from my own on-premises infrastructure?'  

"Isn't that kind of like AOL circa 2000, charging for the right access the internet?"

He might have a point there.

What Oracle has done is directly link Oracle Storage Cloud with its ZFS Storage Appliance, Zivanic said. Thus, no gateways or licensing fees are required. Of course, storing all an enterprise's data will incur costs from Oracle's cloud, both in inbound and outbound data-movement rates. The rates are in micro-cents. Go here to see the metered-service price chart.

A little history: The very fast ZFS (zettabyte file system) was developed by a team led by Bryan Cantrell (currently Chief Technology Officer at Joyent) at Sun Microsystems more than 10 years ago. It was designed to replace the standard RAID (redundant array of independent disks) storage systems that were standard equipment at the time.

Putting Data Where It Has the Most Value

Oracle claims that this is the first time a public cloud provider at scale has converged its cloud services with its on-premises, high performance storage systems, thereby enabling enterprises to move data and/or applications to where they have the most value at any given time.

The convergence of the company's storage cloud with the high-performance ZFS Storage Appliances--which already serves as the data backbone of Oracle Public Cloud with more than 1 exabyte of capacity worldwide--gives users flash performance and the agility, simplicity, scaling and pay-as-you-go subscription pricing of the cloud, Zivanic said.

"On-premises storage providers cannot offer this level of convergence and economic benefits because they lack a public cloud, and public cloud providers lack on-premises high-performance storage systems; Oracle is the only company to bring the two together as one co-engineered solution," Zivanic said.

Oracle ZFS Cloud aims to remove the burden on users to manage environments comprised of different security requirements, support teams, industry standards, and skill sets, while delivering end-to-end visibility, diagnostics and support-from on-premises to public cloud.

Cloud Converged Storage Has Many Use Cases

User can deploy Cloud Converged Storage for application storage, backup and recovery, testing, development, active archive storage, snapshot replica storage, Dev Ops with a single API for both on-premises and in the Oracle Storage Cloud, and lift-and-shift workload migration. New-gen applications can use data in on-premises high performance Oracle ZFS Storage Appliances and in the Oracle Storage Cloud without any application changes, Zivanic said.

Enhancements included in the release are:

--Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol 2.0: This is next-generation automation for Oracle Database and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance. It brings new capabilities that increase database performance, decrease manual storage tuning through automation and simplify database storage optimization.

--All-flash storage pools:  These flash storage pools boost performance for any application and are now available and offer scalability from 16TB to 2.4PB of capacity and more than 34GB/second of throughput, regardless of access protocol.

--Cloud-scale data protection: Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance offers data backup, at more than 62TB of data per hour, and data restore, with more than 60TB per hour, performance over Infiniband, Ethernet, and Fibre Channel.

Oracle Cloud offers a complete range of services across SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS. It features nearly 1,000 SaaS applications and 50 enterprise-class PaaS and IaaS services to users in more than 195 countries around the world and supports 55 billion transactions each day.

For more information, go here.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he...