Oracle Expands Cloud Business With Next-Gen Data Center in Canada

NEWS ANALYSIS: The database and web services giant is putting heavy capital investments into expanding its cloud infrastructure network globally, starting in North America with its Toronto data center. This is what it must do to compete head-on with Google, AWS, Dell EMC, IBM and other international providers.


Oracle is throwing down a lot of dollars for a list of real estate investments in 2019 to enable its aggressive cloud strategy.

The database and cloud services provider on Jan. 17 revealed exclusively to eWEEK the opening of a Toronto data center to support regional customer demand for Oracle’s public cloud, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is an enterprise infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) platform. Companies of various sizes subscribe to it to run enterprise and cloud-native applications with high-end performance and core-to-edge security. Oracle runs both traditional and new-gen workloads on a cloud system that includes compute, storage, networking, database and containers.

The Redwood Shores, Calif.-based IT giant didn’t disclose how much the new facility is going to set it back, but new-gen enterprise data centers—especially ones with high-performance systems that Oracle makes—can easily cost in the eight-figure realm.

Aggressive Data Center Building Schedule

Oracle appears to be on a frenzied schedule to add to its network. By the end of this year, the company said, it plans to open additional regions in Australia, Europe, Japan, South Korea, India, Brazil, the Middle East and the United States—including Virginia, Arizona and Illinois—to support public sector and Department of Defense customers.

This expansion complements an existing edge network consisting of more than 30 global locations and 300-plus sensors, the company said.

Oracle is fighting hard to compete with deeper-entrenched enterprise cloud-service providers such as Google, Microsoft Azure, IBM, Dell EMC Virtustream and Amazon Web Services. The fact that nearly all of Oracle’s customers are large enterprises and institutional science, educational, military and government agencies sets it apart somewhat from, say, AWS, which owns the broadest slice of the cloud-services market at about 32 percent and sells to a much wider range of businesses.

Oracle claims that its next-generation cloud infrastructure offers flexibility in the public cloud, allowing companies to run traditional and cloud-native workloads on the same platform. Within its cloud regions, the company offers a full-scale suite of cloud applications, Oracle Autonomous Database and new services in security, blockchain and artificial intelligence, all running on its enterprise-grade cloud infrastructure.

Putting Data Centers Where Customers Want Them

“We’ve got just over 6,000 people strong working on this cloud platform,” Kyle York, vice president of product strategy for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, told eWEEK. “We had a great coming-out party at [Oracle] OpenWorld. A lot of our keynotes and messaging revolved around our enterprise cloud, explaining that we’re open for business and ready for any and all workloads.

“This announcement [of the new data center in Toronto] is about the demand for both customers and partners to ensure that we put cloud regions in a place where users are demanding it.”

Isn't Oracle filling a strategic “hole,” so to speak, in its cloud network by building a new facility in Toronto?

“It’s not so much about filling a hole, because Oracle already has a large footprint in North America and a couple of big data centers up and running in the U.S., as you know,” York said. “It’s more about customer demand. You’re seeing Oracle put data centers in regions where our customers are located.”

Best Practice: Keep Data Stores, Processing as Close as Possible

Makes sense. It’s a standard rule that enterprises should always keep their data stores, either on premises or in the cloud, as close to their processing plants as possible. Many fewer problems can originate that way.

While cloud adoption has increased, many organizations are still hesitant to make the transition to the cloud due to security concerns and a desire to protect existing investments, York said.

First-generation public cloud offerings were not architected to accommodate traditional application architectures. Oracle’s next-generation cloud infrastructure is built specifically to help organizations of any size run heavy-duty workloads securely while providing security and performance, York said.

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Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...