Oracle talks up new SA data centres

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Andrew Sutherland, SVP business development, technology licence and systems at Oracle EMEA and APAC.
Andrew Sutherland, SVP business development, technology licence and systems at Oracle EMEA and APAC.

Oracle’s new data centres, due to launch in SA later this year, promise to bring unmatched performance, high security and new experiences to local organisations.

This was the word from Andrew Sutherland, SVP business development, technology licence and systems at Oracle EMEA and APAC.

Speaking this week during a media roundtable discussion at Oracle OpenWorld 2020, at the Dubai Trade Centre Arena, where hundreds of delegates gathered, Sutherland discussed Oracle’s plans to establish two data centres in SA before the end of the year.

In September, the US-based enterprise software giant announced plans to build 20 new cloud regions by the end of 2020, for a total of 36 Oracle Cloud Infrastructure regions. These are set to be established in SA, US, Canada, Brazil, UK, European Union (Amsterdam), Japan, Australia, India, South Korea, Singapore, Israel, Chile, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates.

“With the new data centres arriving, South African companies must prepare themselves to take advantage of the opportunities they will bring – significantly improve connectivity speeds and latency issues, provide high-quality data security, response times of up to 10 times faster than competitors, at much lower costs, and trusted security, among other things,” said Sutherland.

“Organisations must get ready now so that when the data centres are established, they could migrate immediately. Oracle is the place to be…. and our customers won’t want to go to competitors because they know they are not being offered the right solutions.”

There is a flurry of activity in the local market as cloud wars intensify, with a number of multinational companies launching data centre facilities, or forging key alliances in a bid to outdo the competition.

In March, Microsoft opened two data centre regions in SA, becoming the first global provider to deliver cloud services from data centres on the continent. In the same month, Huawei rolled out Huawei Cloud, its first availability zone for cloud services in SA, operated from a leased data centre.

Oracle’s rival Amazon Web Services (AWS) is also looking to open data centres in SA this year.

Responding to ITWeb’s questions about the key differentiators of Oracle’s data centre service offerings, Sutherland explained the local cloud region will be the first in SA that is specifically architected to meet the needs of large enterprises, referencing clients MTN and Tiger Brands.

“Our customers are going to benefit immensely from the data centres. With Oracle Cloud Infrastructure; they will get best-in-class security, consistent high performance, simple predictable pricing, and the tools and expertise needed to bring enterprise workloads to cloud quickly and efficiently.

”Large businesses have a huge responsibility in not only looking after their own data but also that of their clients. Companies cannot afford to be having these breaches and disasters every year, which result in disappointments and mistrust from customers. Today, Oracle is the only company delivering a complete and integrated set of cloud services and building intelligence into every layer of the cloud: from cloud infrastructure, to tools for application development and integration, to cloud applications for finance, enterprise resource planning, customer experience and analytics.”

Sutherland declined to disclose the exact data centre inception date or location, adding only that “it will be established somewhere where there is major demand for our services”.

Partnering up

SA’s cloud market was forecast to grow by 29% in 2019 to $637 million, from a base of $494 million in 2018, according to IDC.

While growth is strong across the board, platform-as-a-service is expected to grow the fastest (32%), followed by software-as-a-service (30.9%), with infrastructure-as-a-service (24.6%) ranking third.

Oracle controls nearly half of the global database market, but its cloud platform is small compared to AWS and Azure. Amazon is the largest cloud provider globally, followed by Microsoft's Azure, with Google Cloud trailing behind.

Oracle Cloud has opened 12 regions in the past 15 months and currently operates 16 regions globally – 11 commercial and five governments – a move which the company claims is the fastest expansion by any major cloud provider.

In an unexpected move, in June last year, the enterprise software giant and Microsoft announced an interoperability partnership between Azure and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

While the companies are rivals in the database software and cloud platform markets, the new alliance means enterprise customers using Microsoft and Oracle technology stacks can take advantage of the interoperability and integration, by deploying applications that run across the two public cloud environments.

In September, Oracle announced an expanded partnership with VMware, to help customers leverage the companies' enterprise software and cloud solutions to make the move to the cloud.

“The opening of two cloud regions in SA will be in line with Oracle’s Generation 2 Cloud, which offers customers a compelling array of advanced cloud services. We are keen to have partners and work closely with South African companies; they are welcome to approach us with a good partnership proposal,” concluded Sutherland.

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