Oracle Cloud; what you need to know

Jon Lingard Aug 18, 2016 11:49:05 AM

The Oracle Cloud has been available for a few years now in various shapes and sizes but it’s reached a maturity that is attracting a large number of “traditional” on-premise customers.

So what is the Oracle Cloud?

The term “Cloud” means many different things to many different people. Some say that it’s just another term for outsourcing and hosting of IT systems traditionally deployed on-premise, whilst Oracle promote it as a complete and integrated set of layered technologies and services. Remember this – unless you can control the entire stack from application to disk you cannot provide a true Cloud solution.

What this actually means…

If you’re looking at the “Cloud” for your Oracle workloads, you can be forgiven for thinking that anyone who provides compute and storage resources over the internet is a suitable consideration. After all, this is what the term “Cloud” has been morphed into from “Hosting”. However, what you get with the Oracle Cloud is a pre-built “Platform” of Oracle technology that has already been carved up into different technologies and is ready for you to consume by purchasing Cloud Credits. Of course, Oracle also provide pure infrastructure services (IaaS) and of course they’re pushing to be the #1 enterprise SaaS provider in the world but it’s PaaS that is the real differentiator to Amazon and Azure and where the real value is.

“So what does that mean?!”….

If you’re running Oracle Databases “on-premise” you can run the same Database technology on Oracle’s Cloud at a Datacentre in the UK, mainland Europe, US or Asia.

If you use Weblogic…same thing

If you use Goldengate…same thing

If you’re an Oracle BI customer…same thing

And so on and so on…

These “Platform” services all use the same technology in the Cloud as they do on-premise. Why is that important to you? Because it promotes 3 things;

  1. It’s simpler to move to the Oracle Cloud than any other service provider. Eg Amazon
  2. It’s quicker to stand up these new services because the “building” part is already done for you. The house is already there – you just have to move your stuff in!
  3. It means you’re NOT locked in – think about it. It’s actually quite hard to move away from other cloud providers because they’ve made that environment bespoke to you, which took time and money. Many CIO’s I speak to say “We’re not going though that pain of moving away again”. Ironically, you’re actually more locked in to Amazon than you would be with Oracle’s own platform!

Why should I consider the Oracle Cloud?

For now, most organisations that we’re moving to the Cloud do so on the back of these challenges;

  1. Agility
  2. Cost
  3. New requirements

Real Problem – The reality is that the cost of purchasing perpetual Oracle licenses for your on-premise infrastructure is seen as “expensive”. This perception often stifles innovation and service improvements because you’ve more than likely chosen the minimum number of licenses possible for your budget. Asking for more to “play around with”, no matter how well justified, is almost always blocked. This in turn means that your Oracle investment becomes stale over time because of the “expensive” reputation with your CIO and CFO, which self-perpetuates into an asset considered as “not value for money”.

Real Solution – Database-as-a-Service is a low cost solution ideal for Test/Dev/UAT environments that need to be stood up and shut down at will and with agility. The OPEX cost model that is associated with this means that you’re only paying for services when you actually use them. Once you’ve clicked the “stop” button you’re no longer being charged! This means that there is a huge CAPEX cost saving when comparing against purchasing the equivalent on-premise licenses.

Want to test Database 12c options without impacting your 11g prod environment – Simple

Want to test Goldengate replication features? – Simple

Want to develop an application in a safe environment? – Simple

Want to learn more about Application Express to replace legacy Forms applications – Simple

Want to see the benefit of Partitioning? – Simple

The list goes on…

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Real Problem – Server specs are increasing and improving at a considerable rate. When I first started working with Oracle licenses in 2010 most customers were deploying Oracle on a dual core (quad core at best) Server. Now, the new Broadwell Intel chips being shipped with high end Servers are 22 cores!! This has a huge impact on the cost of Oracle licensing…and let’s not get started on using Vmware to reduce your exposure to the cost of Oracle licensing!

Real Solution – You only need to choose the “shape” (number of cores & memory) that suits your requirement, which maximises CPU utilisation and prevents over-spend. The shape of your DB instance can be scaled up and down at will and be turned on and off as you demand.

Real Problem – You have legacy applications on premise and you want to modernise and improve these apps. You need to reduce risk and the cost of support for these environments and move to an agile deployment method. You might even be looking into mobile apps…

Real Solution – Oracle has all the technology in the Cloud that you need to develop new applications (desktop & mobile) and replace legacy apps. For example, APEX has rapidly become the de facto choice for replacing Oracle Forms applications. APEX is free and is a component of the Oracle Database (on premise and in the Cloud) so you already own it. APEX and Forms share the same DNA – PL/SQL – so this means that you can redevelop your Forms applications into an APEX application in the Oracle Cloud extremely quickly. By using APEX you also open yourself up to using other Cloud services like Mobile, BI and Data Visualizer. You’ll save a fortune in Oracle support fees for both the Database and Forms middleware, you simplify the architecture, remove risk and complexity and produce an application that end-users actually enjoy using!…the latter point being very relevant as more and more “millennials” are in the workplace.

“So how much does this all cost”?

Here comes the hard part!…Because the concept of Cloud is based on agility you don’t need to have the same headroom with CPU, Memory and Storage resources as you would do on premise because you can scale up and down at will. This means that there will be peaks and troughs throughout the year in line with usage, compared to a flat line with on-premise stepping up each time more resources are required. With On-Premise, the gap between the number of cores available and paid for and what is actually been used is essentially waste. With Cloud, the gap between usage and available resource can be a lot smaller and therefore the waste is reduced.

With Oracle offering incredible deals to get new customers into the Cloud I’d say now is the time to arrange a meeting with your Oracle Account Manager to discuss your cloud strategy further. We can even look at your support costs and convert them into Cloud credits to lower your initial cost outlay even further!

“Prove it”

Oracle Cloud Services are available to trial for free for 30 days…get in touch if you want to learn more and setup a no-pressure trial.



Author: Jon Lingard

Job Title: Practice Director

Bio: Jon is a member of the Oracle sales team and works with customers from start-ups, SMEs to large corporations to gain maximum value from their investment in Oracle technology. Jon works with the technical and development teams to shape solutions based on customer demands and develops long lasting customer relationships based on his open and trustworthy approach.