Oracle prepares to debut Generation 2 Cloud in SA

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Andrew Sordam, VP for Oracle's Technology Business and MD for Sub-Saharan Africa.
Andrew Sordam, VP for Oracle's Technology Business and MD for Sub-Saharan Africa.

Oracle will debut its Generation 2 Cloud service in SA at the end of the year, in a move the company hopes will see it gain a significant share of the country’s cloud market.

The Generation 2 Cloud service is Oracle’s combination of infrastructure and cloud-based apps, capable of adapting with machine learning and artificial intelligence in real-time.

It is premised on protecting existing on-premisesdata stores, security, mission-critical performance, Oracle’s enterprise expertise, open source technology and interoperable standards.

Speaking this week at Oracle OpenWorld 2020 at the Dubai Trade Centre Arena, Andrew Sordam, VP for Oracle’s Technology Business and MD for Sub-Saharan Africa, noted the introduction of Generation 2 Cloud will be in line with Oracle’s opening of cloud regions in various parts of the globe, including SA, later this year.

“Oracle built the Generation 2 Cloud from the ground up, to help support businesses with better performance, pricing, and ‒ above all else ‒ security.It is designed to help customers with lift and shift of their mission-critical workloads to the data centre environment ‒ not only Oracle workloads but also those of third-parties.

“This service will come to SA and other new data centre regions later this year, to support data centre customers around the world.”

Oracle plans to launch 20 new Oracle Cloud regions by the end of 2020, to attain a total of 36 Oracle Cloud Infrastructure regions.

First announced at Oracle’s OpenWorld 2018 event, the Generation 2 Cloud service provides secure, unified architecture for all applications, from the Oracle Autonomous Database and software-as-a-service applications, to enterprise and cloud native applications.

Explaining what distinguishes Generation 2 from its predecessor, Sordam said Generation 1 clouds place user code and data on the same computers as the cloud control code with shared CPU, memory and storage. This means cloud providers can see customer data, and it enables customer code to access cloud control code, which can lead to breaches and cyber attacks.

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“Generation 2 Cloud, on the other hand, puts customer code, data and resources on a bare metal computer, while cloud control code lives on a separate computer with a different architecture. With this approach, Oracle cannot see customer data, and there is no user access to the cloud control code.”

At the end of last year, the enterprise software giant launched its first Future Ready Lab in Johannesburg, to help local organisations realise the potential of cloud technology, in preparation for the arrival of its data centres.

It plans to add more labs in Cape Town, Mauritius, Botswana and Namibia in future.

Also speaking at this week’s event, Andy Fenselau, global head of Oracle cloud solutions enablement, discussed the characteristics that distinguish Generation 2 Cloud from competitors.

“The reason why such few organisations feel ready and confident to move to the cloud is because the first generation of public cloud offerings – Amazon, Microsoft and Google – were not built for mission-critical workloads. They were built for what I call ‘bottom-up’ workloads.

“According to Gartner, only about 20% to 30% of company workloads have moved to the cloud and that’s why Oracle had to really think about what we needed to do differently to help organisations move these core enterprise applications confidently without compromising their service level agreement.”

If an organisation is still running an enterprise application in a Generation 1 Cloud, it usually costs more to run than it did on-premises, but that's not the case with Generation 2 Cloud.

Oracle has often carried the “late entrant” tag in the cloud market; however, Fenselau said entering the market at a later stage has proved advantageous.

“We’ve all heard about the first mover advantage, but in our case as Oracle we’ve gained a last mover advantage which has enabled us to take advantage of some fundamentally different technologies that were not available when we first developed the Generation 1 Cloud service, such as virtualisation, flash, storage and the fabrics around it, as well as the breakthrough in security and a zero trust approach to active security.”

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