Oracle expands cloud portfolio; Key themes for cloud in 2021

Oracle has expanded its hybrid cloud portfolio with Oracle Roving Edge Infrastructure, a new offering that brings core infrastructure services to the edge with Roving Edge Devices (REDs), namely ruggedized, portable and scalable server nodes. Using Oracle Roving Edge Infrastructure, organizations can run cloud workloads wherever they need them, even in remote locations. The new service is part of Oracle’s hybrid cloud portfolio.

The devices are effectively a mobile extension of a customer’s Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) environment. REDs can run as a single node or in clusters of five to 15 nodes. The hardware inside a RED device includes 40 CPUs, an Nvidia T4 GPU, 512 GB RAM and 61 TB of storage. The devices start at $160 per node per day.

With a RED device, a customer should be able to run cloud applications and workloads in the field, including machine learning inference, real-time data integration and replication, augmented analytics and query-intensive data warehouses.

A customer can order a RED from the Oracle Cloud console, provision it — adding VMs and object storage from the console — and have it shipped. Even in remote areas where connectivity is an issue, customers can use the RED to connect to local sensors and execute applications.

There are some clear use cases for the RED devices, such as in the oil and gas industry, where organizations may currently be relying on bespoke servers. And Oracle has already signed up the US military as an early customer.

The devices should also facilitate new use cases for cloud applications, Ross Brown, VP for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, said to ZDNet. Customers, he said, “are coming to us with things like 5G-connected applications where processing on local makes a lot of sense. This notion of high-speed data collection and high-speed data capture in a remote metro area, across a city or whatnot, these become good use cases for” the RED.

While Oracle’s cloud infrastructure business still trails far behind Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure and Google, it’s picking up momentum. Oracle landed some major customers in 2020, including Zoom.

The database giant plans to catch up in the cloud in part by engineering hardware purpose-built for enterprise applications to run in the cloud — RED devices are an example of that, Brown said.

Last year, Oracle expanded its hybrid cloud portfolio with Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer — a fully-managed service brings all of Oracle’s public cloud services directly to a customer data center. Its hybrid offerings also include Oracle Exadata Cloud@Customer and Oracle VMware Cloud Solution.

The software company currently has 29 Oracle Cloud regions with plans to have 36 live by the mid-2021.  They no longer talk about Sun Micro or the SPARC microprocessor that was supposed to give them a competitive edge.

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Key themes for 2021 include:

  • The COVID-19 pandemic and the move to remote work and video conferencing are accelerating moves to the cloud. Enterprises increasingly are seeing the cloud as a digital transformation engine as well as a technology that improves business continuity. As work was forced to go remote due to stay-at-home orders, tasks were largely done on cloud infrastructure. Collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams and Google Meet became cogs in the companies’ broader cloud ecosystem. Zoom not only lands subscription revenue, but also runs on cloud providers such as AWS and Oracle.
  • Multicloud is both a selling point and an aspirational goal for enterprises. Companies are well aware of vendor lock-in and want to abstract their applications so they can be moved across clouds. The multicloud theme is being promoted among legacy vendors that have created platforms that can plug into multiple clouds — often with a heavy dose of VMware or Red Hat. (See: Multi-Cloud: Everything you need to know about the biggest trend in cloud computing and Multicloud deployments become go-to strategy as AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud grab wallet share),
  • The game is about data acquisition. The more corporate data that resides in a cloud the more sticky the customer is to the vendor. It’s no secret that cloud computing vendors are pitching enterprises on using their platforms to house data for everything from analytics to personalized experiences.
  • Artificial intelligenceanalyticsIoT, and edge computing will be differentiators among the top cloud service providers — as will serverless and managed services.
  • Every flavor of cloud vendor wants to be a management layer to manage your other clouds. Public cloud vendors such as Google Cloud Platform and AWS have offerings to manage various cloud services. Traditional enterprise vendors such as Dell and HPE do too. Which platform becomes that “single pane of glass” for cloud management will be positioned well.
  • Sales tactics that play to fear, uncertainty, and doubt will be the norm. Right around AWS re:Invent, there appeared to be a mindshare battle in the press as the big three sniped at each other across multiple industriesGoogle Cloud has been hiring executives to sell into industries and has ramped its Anthos hybrid cloud effort to close its AWS and Azure sales gap. (See: What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know)
  • There’s a sales war happening by industry. Cloud providers are going vertical to corner industries. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant report on public cloud providers noted that the “capability gap between hyperscale cloud providers has begun to narrow; however, fierce competition for enterprise workloads extends to secondary markets worldwide.” Indeed, the financials from AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud have all been strong.

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References:

Oracle expands hybrid cloud options with Roving Edge Devices | ZDNet

 

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