Oracle says new cloud push is on track for 36 regions

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Andrew Sutherland, Oracle.
Andrew Sutherland, Oracle.

At Oracle OpenWorld in London this week the company is pushing for the adoption of its next generation cloud, which it says is unique in the increasingly crowded market. 

Five new Generation 2 Cloud regions have been switched on in February – Australia, Canada, Japan, The Netherlands and Saudi Arabia, bringing the total to 21. The company says it is on track to meet its goal of 36 Gen 2 Cloud regions by the end of the year.

This second-generation technology enables enterprises to deploy their on-premises data centres to the cloud. The South Africa region is due to go live sometime this year, with a broad range of compute, storage, data management and cloud-native services. This will include bare metal instances, Kubernetes, containers, its Exadata data centre optimisation product, as well as its Autonomous Database.

Andrew Sutherland, senior VP of Oracle Systems and Technology Business, EMEA and Asia-Pacific, told ITWeb on Wednesday that he couldn’t share the exact date when the region would be switched on.

The company also announced this week that another interconnect region with Microsoft Azure would be rolled out in Amsterdam, joining the interconnect regions in the Eastern United States, London, and Toronto.

Sutherland told ITWeb while there are hurdles to be overcome for cloud adoption, the increasingly mature market is putting paid to many fears of many organisations.

“I remember being in Johannesburg talking about the cloud, and people saying ‘I’m not putting my data in the cloud with someone else’s. I’m not rubbing shoulders.”

These fears have largely been allayed, not least because Oracle guarantees customers’ data is kept isolated from the other cloud tenants, as well as Oracle staff members.

“It used to be security (fears), but that’s just done a 180 (degree turn),” said Sutherland.

He said regulation remained a concern for some customers, and that was why having a data centre in their locality was an important consideration.

Meanwhile, its Cloud at Customer on-premises product is proving to be very popular in South Africa, he said.

“If the Oracle Cloud is a pizza, it’s a slice of that pizza behind your firewall. It’s very attractive in South Africa for many. And that’s another barrier that’s been overcome.”

Catching up?

Asked if Oracle expansion of regions was an attempt to play catch-up in the increasingly crowded cloud market, Sutherland said it was a question of confidence.

“Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) rewrote cloud architecture. We didn’t bolt on something a bit fancier to old cloud architecture. We took on a whole new team, and we put them in a whole new location: Seattle.”

He says its cloud developers were given a ‘blank sheet of paper’, and produced a cloud that is ‘going unique to us’.

“That’s what we did, and it took some time to get it right. OCI is completely different. Now we’re confident [that it’s ready], and we’re putting the pedal to the metal. This is an architecture that’s going to last for decades, if not generations. We’re extremely confident that it’s differentiated from others. And there’s latent demand. Our customers have ‘played’ with the cloud, and now is the time to start moving serious enterprise workloads.”

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