Cloud Innovation for data-driven business

If becoming a data driven business was easy, every company would do it.

In every business, there are specialists in their field – experts in their business domains – who are passionate about finding the next improvement in their line of business. They know and work their own dataset and know its nuances intimately.

But that finely-honed expertise can only stretch so far. How can businesses provide that level of insight to every employee, in an accessible way?

The truth is that every day, CIOs battle siloed data, stringent data sovereignty requirements limiting agile data analysis and legacy architecture which can make it hard to extend enterprise apps to take advantage of the limitless elasticity of the cloud.

Oracle, the company that has underpinned much of the world’s high performance data analysis, has made a slew of major announcements targeted at breaking down these barriers to help CIOs pivot their organisation toward data-driven transformation.

Major announcements include:

The next generation of Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle’s much anticipated next generation cloud focuses on providing autonomous operation, targeted at eliminating human error and providing maximum security. This follows the success of the Autonomous Database, the first self-tuning, self-repairing, self-patching database. Learn more here

Dedicated Region Cloud at Customer

Oracle is the first cloud provider to provide its full public cloud offering in customers’ data center behind their own firewall. That means literally 100% of Oracle’s public cloud services, including Oracle Autonomous Database and cloud applications, running in a company data center, are fully managed. In comparison, other cloud providers only offer a subset of their capability for installation into customer DCs. Learn more here

Oracle Cloud VMware Solution

For companies with a growing on-premises VMware workload, the struggle of achieving operational efficiency against fixed resources is real. Oracle’s Cloud VMware Solution provides exactly the same VMware experience as on-premises VMware, without rearchitecting applications or retooling operations. Learn more here

Modern Data Warehouse

Oracle Modern Data Warehouse provides an integrated machine learning solution that enables customers’ insights and business intelligence to make business decisions faster. It’s easy to get started and comes with enterprise-grade SLAs. Like Oracle’s other announcements this year, automation is a key focus, eliminating the management complexity, so businesses can focus on simply analysing their data. Learn more here

Inside Next Gen Cloud Infrastructure

‘Cloud 1.0’ provided some attractive features – infinitely elastic resources, the ability to hook into powerful services from cloud providers without having to build and run them yourself and being freed from fixed infrastructure costs.

But as good as those advantages were, ‘Cloud 1.0’ was, in many ways, a one-size-fits-all solution.

As companies move through their cloud migration journey, many face challenges such as meeting local and regional compliance requirements, successfully migrating existing corporate apps into cloud environments and achieving the same level of security and visibility that in-house data centers provide.

Oracle’s second-generation cloud addresses many of the pain points businesses have experienced while also reducing the load on administrators through automation. Oracle explains it like this: “while Cloud Gen 1 was focused on serverless and elastic, Gen 2 is centred on being autonomous and secure.”

This fundamental philosophy follows on from the success Oracle has had with its ground-breaking Autonomous Database – the first self-tuning, self-repairing, self-patching database. (And, incidentally, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure remains the only cloud built to run Autonomous Database.)

Oracle also handles backup automatically for customers and provides Real Application Clusters (RAC) to ensure the highest possible database availability. With RAC, databases are distributed across a pool of servers, so if any server fails, the database continues processing uninterrupted on the other servers.

For companies seeking to lessen their security analysis workload, Oracle’s new Data Safe technology provides automated preventive and detective security controls, designed to reduce the ever-increasing pressure to keep infrastructure safe.

From both a regulatory compliance and business continuity perspective, Oracle Cloud 2.0’s geographically distributed regions in Sydney and Melbourne, make compliance very easy.

Should you need to move data between regions – or out of cloud altogether – for regulatory compliance reasons, Oracle provides everyday low costs for data egress. This is in stark contrast to AWS, which attempts to lock data into their cloud with low ingress but extremely high egress pricing.

Having these regions based in Australia offers companies based here enhanced business continuity, disaster recovery and the ideal jurisdiction to meet compliance requirements –without the latency penalty associated with constantly moving data over long distances to offshore data centres.

Oracle also allows clients maximum billing flexibility through its Universal Credits billing scheme. Customers can quickly switch between pay-as-you-go billing for rapid prototyping and flexibility, to ‘monthly flex’ which provides maximum savings for long term workloads.

As is always the case with Oracle Cloud, price and performance is extremely strong. Compared to AWS, it costs just a quarter as much for outbound bandwidth, while having better than twice the compute price/performance, 44% lower compute costs for HPC and 20x IOPS for half the price.

Saving the best feature for last, though: Oracle Cloud gen 2 Infrastructure can run in customers’ data centers as an absolutely fully featured public cloud region. Learn more here

Dedicated Region Cloud at Customer

Hybrid IT – the strategy being pursued by most companies to split workloads between company and cloud infrastructure – is a nuanced space.

The easiest choice is to tap into cloud in a public data center, but CIOs focused on achieving the best performance from cloud applications are increasingly looking at installing dedicated cloud ‘regions’ into their data centers. This slashes network latency, while preserving the elasticity of cloud.

The trouble – to date – has been that dedicated regions have only offered a subset of capabilities compared to the expanse of the full public cloud from each provider.

That’s all set to change with the introduction of Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud at Customer, which offers literally 100% of Oracle’s public cloud services, including Oracle Autonomous Database and Cloud applications, with all the same SLAs as public cloud, running in customers’ data centers. Oracle calls this a “copy and paste of the whole public cloud into customers’ data centers.”

Dedicated Regions are fully staffed and managed by Oracle. Racks are physically secured and managed by Oracle and Oracle operations personnel work on site to manage the system.

Hosting a Dedicated Region Cloud at Customer in your data center provides major advantages – the ability to reduce the cost of running your data center by scaling resource consumption up and down to meet the needs of your applications and by eliminating many manual infrastructure management and database administration tasks and the ability for customers to physically secure their region and the ability to manage regulatory compliance requirements.

And, of course, having the target cloud environment co-located with company servers means that huge data transfers between the two infrastructures can happen as fast as the Ethernet link is capable.

The performance advantage

The stats prove the huge advantage Oracle has over the other providers. On compute performance, Oracle promises up to 2X better price/performance for your general-purpose and memory-optimised workloads than with similar instances on AWS Outposts. For block storage IOPS, Oracle pumps out up to 20 times the performance of AWS at half the cost.

On compute performance, Oracle promises up to 2X better price/performance for your general-purpose and memory-optimised workloads than with similar instances on AWS Outposts. For block storage IOPS, Oracle pumps out up to 20 times the performance of AWS at half the cost.

Oracle will reduce the cost of running your HPC workloads by up to 30% compared to AWS Outposts and uses local SSDs, twice the memory, RDMA networking, and performance SLAs they don’t offer.

As you would expect from Oracle, which has a deep history in database leadership, the Oracle Autonomous Database on Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer supports up to 7X larger databases and higher performance than Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS) on AWS Outposts.

Meanwhile, Oracle promises to reduce the cost of running your Oracle Databases by up to 90% with the automatic scaling up and down of Autonomous Database resources to meet real-time workload demands and per-second billing. This flows through to a reduction of your database administration costs by up to 80% with Autonomous Database on Cloud at Customer. Learn more here

VMware in the cloud

Oracle has now released its Cloud VMware solution for use worldwide. This is big news for companies with large VMware farms, because only Oracle provides customers with the same experience as on-premises VMware and seamless integration with Oracle’s second-generation cloud infrastructure.

According to Oracle, customers can provision and deploy the full feature set and capabilities of VMware on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure while using the same VMware tools they already know to upgrade, patch, and tune their environment, enabling production use for critical workloads.

VMware has verified the solution, and according to VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger, Oracle’s cloud and database technology is a natural match with VMware. “We’ve seen a lot of customers who are highly committed to the Oracle data offerings, but they’ve run a lot of their stuff on VMware around it. So, [as a customer] if I’ve moved the database to the cloud, I’m going to move all my other stuff to the cloud with it. That’s really the magic of this,” Gelsinger says.

Watch Larry Ellison and VMware’s Pat Gelsinger explain the strategy behind VMware on Oracle cloud

The migration of VMware instances to the cloud is a particular pain point for many companies, because competing VMware cloud environments sometimes do not allow workloads to be migrated without first having to modify the VMware-based applications.

In contrast, Oracle Cloud VMware Solution does allow this, allowing customers to get the scale and flexibility they’re looking for while maintaining continuity with existing VMware-based tools, processes, and policies.

With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution, customers have access to a complete, customer-controlled VMware environment designed to run production enterprise applications without compromise.

In addition to integration with Oracle Autonomous Database and other Oracle Cloud services, the solution provides customers with control over ESXi versions, security tools, and automation services.

Once Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is deployed, customers can use their existing universal credits to put everything on one bill and can deploy it in the same global cloud regions and in the same virtual cloud networks like any other Oracle Cloud service.

How Oracle Cloud VMware Solution compares to AWS, Azure and Google

A key differentiator for Oracle Cloud VMware solution is that it is the only one where customers have full control, and Oracle has no access to the VMware virtual machines. When it comes to security, other vendors still have root access to the VMware virtual machines.

Oracle’s model also gives customers total control of patching and upgrade schedules, based on their processes and proven operational models. Customers that don’t want to upgrade to the latest VMware versions on someone else’s schedule (or be restricted to operating only the most recent version of VMware) get the flexibility of deciding which patches to apply, which hot fixes to use, and which version to upgrade to.

Oracle Cloud VMware Solution lets customers run VMware vSphere versions 6.5 and 6.7, and Oracle makes newer versions available for customers to upgrade to on their terms.

Additionally, as always with Oracle, value is unmatched – virtual machine and bare metal provides more than twice the compute price/performance ratio than competitors and the lowest VMware price per core from a major cloud vendor.

Here's a comparison between Oracle Cloud VMware Solution and other cloud VMware offerings in the market.

Oracle AWS Azure GCP
Features NSX-T, vSphere, vSAN, vCenter, HCX NSX-T, vSphere, vSAN, vCenter, HCX NSX-T, vSphere, vSAN, vCenter, HCX NSX-T, vSphere, vSAN, vCenter, HCX
Security Customer owns root credentials. Oracle doesn't have access to root credentials or metadata. AWS retains root credentials and metadata perpetually. Azure retains root credentials and metadata perpetually. GCP retains root credentials and metadata perpetually.
Billing Consolidated Separate bills from AWS and VMware Unspecified Consolidated
Support Oracle VMware and AWS Third-party support Third-party support
Updates, patches, and upgrades Customer controls when and whether to upgrade. AWS controls and decides. Azure controls and decides. GCP controls and decides.
Availability 19 Oracle Cloud regions, Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer Limited to 17 AWS regions In Preview in 3 Azure regions Limited to 2 GCP regions
Maximum hosts per SDDC 64 16 16 64
SDDC vCenter access Full Administrator access Restricted access Restricted access Restricted access

Learn more here

Modern Data Warehouse

Data may be the new oil, as the headlines say, but unlike oil, it doesn’t get burned in internal combustion engines – it just keeps building up and remains valuable long into the future.

That presents some unique challenges: companies have to deal with ever-increasing data sets, while keeping data manipulation and analysis performance high. As IT challenges go, that’s a classic example of “Cheap, capacious and fast – choose any two”.

Oracle’s new Modern Data Warehouse solution addresses these issues cleverly. It provides a complete, integrated solution including data warehouse, integration, ETL, data lake, data science, and analytics services, built on the elastic infrastructure of Oracle Cloud.

In terms of speed, Oracle runs Modern Data Warehouse on Oracle Autonomous Database, which itself runs on Oracle Exadata. This means Oracle is the only vendor with automated turning, which automatically creates/drops data summaries for analytics, creates/drops columnar vector-processing formats, and automatically parallelises workload to keep queries running fast. The Exadata-engineered system is not the commodity hardware other vendors use. It features the fastest NVMe storage, the fastest RDMA network, and advanced caching algorithms.

Modern Data Warehouse also includes security controls to prevent potentially costly data theft/breaches, including the ability to mask sensitive data, implement and monitor security controls, assess user security and address data security compliance requirements.

It also includes powerful built-in analytics tools including integration with Oracle Analytics Cloud, or can support other business insights tools and services used to build and deploy machine learning models, allowing customers to build their data analytics practice to their tailored specifications. Learn more here

Customer Success Stories

Kingold luxury property developer turns months into days

When Chinese luxury property developer Kingold started branching into other industries like education, property management, services and media, it faced one of the growing pains of rapid expansion: data silos.

Kingold recognised that digital services would be key to its further expansion into lifestyle experiences, requiring that it pull data together from across its businesses, letting its people in marketing, sales, customer service, and other departments explore new ways to connect with customers.

To support its data-driven strategy, Kingold moved its IT architecture from an on-premise data center to Oracle Cloud in 2018.

Now, the IT organisation is managing 50 times more data with at least 70 percent less human capital, while delivering higher flexibility, scalability, and security.

Kingold’s combined use of Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse and Oracle Analytics, running on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, revolutionised how the company approaches data for market intelligence.

“The data coming together has business meaning, and that allows us to first empower our people, and then also meet the goal of enriching our customers’ lives” says Kingold’s CIO, Steven Chang.

Now that the IT organisation is relieved of the burden of database administration, it provides more strategic value by building an advanced analytical platform that organises both internet and company data.

Business users are now able to query pricing and other aspects of new and pre-owned homes in China’s major 17 cities without needing to buy expensive external market reports.

Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse also reduced time to market for a typical data warehouse project from three months to three days, while delivering deeper and more actionable insights.

Processing time for one of Kingold’s mission-critical financial reports was reduced from 12 minutes to just 41 seconds.

Read More

Emersion lowers costs by 40% with Oracle

A cloud-based services firm found it could cut its own database costs more than 40% moving its database to the cloud with Oracle Cloud.

Melbourne-based Emersion Systems is a leading provider of cloud-based customer engagement, payment, provisioning, and subscription billing software, as well as services.

Emersion wanted to free up its own staff to focus more on product development and customer-facing work and less on system administration and maintenance.

The company had already moved most of its internal systems to the cloud and decided to also move the bare metal hosted Oracle Database that underpinned its core cloud software offering, as well as the supporting compute capacity.

Among the benefits Emersion is realising from its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure implementation are increased database resiliency, the ability to expand and contract its database and compute capacity as needed, and increased database performance.

In testing an updated Oracle Database on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, Emersion increased the normal load 3 times and the database performed “three times better” than the company’s hosted production environment at the time, CTO Martin Edge confirms.

“So once we got to that point, it was pretty much a rhetorical question whether we could have confidence in the network,” he says. “We had confidence in the latency. We know we’ve got the right skill base. We know Oracle is going to be good with anything data.”

One key additional benefit of Oracle Cloud is lower costs, as the company no longer needs to overprovision its Oracle Database. Emersion estimates an annual savings of more than 40% using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure rather than a comparable service from Amazon Web Services.

“When it came to operating the Oracle platform, AWS pricing and the support that they put around it are a lot more expensive from what we could see from Oracle,” Edge says.

Read More

iLiveit triples throughput on Oracle

An Australian software vendor, with offices in South Africa and Greece was frustrated with the patchy performance of different cloud provides across world regions. When it moved all workload to Oracle Cloud, it got performance that it initially couldn’t believe.

iLiveIt’s suite of software and services helps enterprises compose and deliver PDFs, data-driven videos, html content, and other forms of “hyper-personalised” customer communications cost effectively and at scale.

However, the company’s biggest technical and business challenge was its inability to deliver consistent performance, pricing, and security, as it used to depend on multiple, sometimes incompatible and unreliable cloud providers across regions. The company, based in Australia with offices in South Africa and Greece, decided it needed to move to a single, robust cloud infrastructure.

iLiveIt estimates that, given Oracle’s approach of assigning the full CPU core instead of virtual CPU instances, it can compose and transmit documents about three times faster using Oracle Cloud Infrastructure than it could using its previous patchwork of cloud infrastructure providers.

“We initially thought that this can’t be right,” CTO Donovan Solms says. “I mean, it’s such a big leap, but we tested and tested and tested it again, and it turned out to be consistent.”

Standardising on a single vendor’s robust infrastructure also has improved security, simplified maintenance, and allowed iLiveIt to calculate predictable pricing models for its customers. And having a single account with one vendor simplified billing and enabled iLiveIt to apply credits worldwide.

In optimising its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure deployment, iLiveIt estimates it will be able to reduce its monthly infrastructure costs by up to 20%. “Just due to knowing when things will be done allows us to stop the workloads much quicker and will save us a lot of money,” Solms says. “We’ll be able to reliably schedule customers’ content to the minute and not be concerned about the peak hours that we’ve been seeing with other clouds. Delivering a personalised and time-sensitive message on time really unlocks a lot of new avenues and services that we can start providing to our customers.”

Read More

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  1. Two Oracle Autonomous Cloud database you can use for free, for an unlimited time, with powerful tools like Oracle Application Express (APEX) and Oracle SQL Developer. And Two Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute VMs; Block, Object, and Archive Storage; Load Balancer and data egress; Monitoring and Notifications
  2. $US300 in credits to try out a wide range of Oracle Cloud services for 30 days.
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Resource Library

Cloud Customer Stories

  • TechTalk: Luxury developer Kingold succeeds with Oracle Autonomous DataWatch the interview

  • TechTalk: Emersion lowers costs 40% with OracleWatch the interview

  • TechTalk: iLiveit triples throughput on Oracle cloudWatch the interview

Oracle Virtual Summits

  • Oracle Virtual Summit: Modern Data WarehouseWatch the video

  • Oracle Dedicated Region Cloud@CustomerWatch the video


  • How Second-Generation Cloud Paves the Way to the ‘Digital First’ Enterprise CIO

  • Oracle and KPMG Cloud Threat Report 2020 KPMG

  • The Rise of Intelligent Automation: Turning Complexity into Profit Harvard Business Review