Oracle CTO and co-founder Larry Ellison revealed July 8 that his company is now offering its customers a new option that amounts to a virtual private cloud environment, further blurring the differences between next-gen cloud services and conventional on-premises IT systems.
Essentially, this means that Oracle will manage all of its cloud services—including its foundational Autonomous Exadata Database—behind a company’s private firewall, as if it were a conventional on-premises system. Any and all of Oracle’s other applications and databases can be deployed, Ellison said.
Oracle isn’t the first enterprise software and services company to provide this type of platform. SAP, AWS, Microsoft (with Azure Stack) and Google are among those that provide similar solutions, but Oracle’s is probably the most proprietary version available, in that only the Oracle Exadata DB can be used in the solution. This topic was discussed by cloud experts Aug. 11 in the #eWEEKchat entitled “Next-Gen Cloud Services and Delivery” on CrowdChat.net.
Enterprises in highly regulated or highly secure segments—such as government, military, financial, scientific and health care—are the most likely candidates for this type of IT system. These segments have been core to Oracle’s business since it began in 1977.
“The idea is to automate everything,” Ellison told a virtual press briefing via Zoom. “The Autonomous Database tunes itself while it’s running; you never have to do anything to it. There is no human intervention at all—no human aspect to running the database, running the infrastructure or running the data center.
“You get additional capacity when you need it; you pay for it when you use it. As soon as you don’t need it, it’s returned to the cloud and you don’t pay for it.”
Oracle described the computing package, which it has dubbed Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer, as “the industry’s first fully managed cloud region” that brings all of the company’s next-generation cloud services, including Autonomous Database and SaaS applications, to customer data centers. Starting price? A mere $500,000 per month—which may or may not be a bargain for some potential customers.
Same Functionality, Different Service Approach
Using this Dedicated Cloud setup, enterprises get the same set of modern cloud services, APIs, SLAs, pricing and highest levels of security available from Oracle’s public cloud regions in their own data centers, whether local or distributed.
In reality, is this a virtual private cloud—ostensibly within a private data center—that’s being managed from the outside by Oracle?
“That’s kind of how you can think about it,” Steve Dehab, senior vice president for Oracle Cloud, told eWEEK. “People define private cloud in so many different ways, but you’re right—it’s almost a dedicated cloud. I’d probably call it ‘dedicated regions,’ but yeah, it’s the same racks and servers, same core widget unit we support our cloud on. We deploy that on-prem, and you only pay for what you use.
“There is a minimum year [commitment] because there’s still a setup involved. You pay for what you use, and don’t use it when you don’t need to.”
Like Having Oracle’s Data Center Inside Your Firewall
It’s like having a slice of Oracle’s data center running your own enterprise system in virtuality.
The new package includes full management capabilities and access to new features and functions as soon as they become available in Oracle’s public cloud. It provides isolation of customer data, including all API operations, which remain local to customer data centers and provide high levels of security.
“The benefits of the autonomous system are enormous; the cost benefit is that it eliminates human labor, which is your largest cost,” Ellison said. “But that might not be the most important benefit: The most important benefit, I believe, is that it eliminates human error. If human beings aren’t part of the equation, then they can’t make mistakes. There are huge benefits in terms of security and preventing data loss.”
The Dedicated Region Cloud is certified to run Oracle SaaS products that include ERP-Financials, HCM, SCM and CX, making it a completely integrated cloud experience on-premises.
Patrick Moorhead, president and principal analyst at Moor Insights & Strategy, told eWEEK, “The Dedicated Region private cloud is literally a carbon copy of Oracle’s public cloud infrastructure, operating system, database, security, management, app dev and all SaaS apps, but is on-premises and managed by Oracle. I think this value proposition will resonate very well with large, regulated Oracle customers with many rules on data residency.”
[Editor’s note: August is Cloud Services & Delivery month at eWEEK, in which we dedicate about 20% of our content for the month to this topic. This story originally was published on July 8, but we’ve updated it with new information from our most recent #eWEEKchat and thought it relevant enough to run this month.]