Oracle cloud architecture push spawns new tools, issues for users
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Oracle last week announced the upcoming release of more than two dozen new cloud computing services as part of...
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its Oracle Cloud Platform, with Larry Ellison, the company's CTO and executive chairman, claiming that the additions give Oracle a comprehensive cloud offering.
Later this year, Oracle intends to add the last missing piece -- its manufacturing applications suite. At that point, according to Ellison, Oracle will have all the basic services needed to run business operations in the cloud. But he isn't waiting for that to declare Oracle fully cloud-ready.
"We're now prepared to call our application suite complete, which means that you can now move everything in your data center to the Oracle cloud," Ellison said. He wasn't referring only to shifting Oracle systems into the cloud: "It's not just Oracle technology. It's all necessary [IT components] to move all of your technology to the Oracle cloud."
The new services, which include a cloud-based version of Oracle's Exadata database appliance and a pair of services supporting big data applications in the cloud, encompass what Ellison refers to as the three layers of the cloud -- applications, computing platform and supporting technology infrastructure. To that end, they provide a wide range of functionality across IT domains such as networking, programming, data processing, storage and data management. Oracle has gone for a full stack in the cloud, a strategy Ellison and other executives claim sets it apart from cloud rivals like Amazon Web Services and Salesforce.com.
As on-premises, so in the cloud
Ellison said Oracle's cloud strategy also includes offering the same tools and technologies in the cloud as it does on-premises. As a result, he added, when a company moves a database into the cloud, the same platform services can cross over with it. In addition, Oracle plans to support all popular programming layers in the cloud, including Java, Node.JS and Ruby. "The tool set you're already using is the tool set you'll have in the cloud," Ellison said.
Larry EllisonOracle CTO and executive chairman
According to Ellison, the final big gap in Oracle's cloud offering was a strong set of computing services. The company is looking to remedy that with a new Oracle Compute Service suite that it said lets users deploy any application, including third-party and custom ones, on the Oracle Cloud Platform with predictable performance.
The compute suite also adds shareable NFS-based file storage and cloud data transfer services with bulk import capabilities designed to ingest large amounts of data. The data transfer tools can stream data from on-premises to the cloud and vice versa -- a feat that Ellison claimed as being unique to Oracle.
A new place to go with Exadata
Thomas Kurian, president of Oracle's product development operations, said as part of the announcement that the Exadata appliance now available in the cloud "is the best infrastructure to run Oracle on." Kurian added that it will be easy to move data between on-premises Exadata systems and Exadata Service in the cloud. The cloud version will support both Oracle Database 11g and 12c and have the same functionality, performance and availability as the on-premises machine, he said.
Oracle Big Data Cloud Service and Oracle Big Data SQL Cloud Service are the two new big data services. They provide a platform for running applications based on Hadoop clusters, Spark, the Oracle NoSQL database and Oracle's implementation of the R analytics language. In addition, they extend Oracle's SQL implementation to Hadoop and NoSQL software, allowing for more comprehensive queries across different data stores. For instance, the technology can query a Hadoop system and an on-premises Oracle database simultaneously and express the results in SQL.
Other additions to the Oracle Cloud Platform include an Oracle Mobile Cloud Service designed to make it easier to build applications that work across mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets. It includes a mobile back end as a service (MBaaS) module to help developers rapidly create mobile applications that can be pre-integrated with the MBaaS, which provides security and manages what data is exposed to the mobile applications. Meanwhile, a still-to-be-released Oracle Cloud Application Builder will provide a Web-based module for developing mobile and Web applications -- a tool that Kurian described as being "for business users who want to extend the capabilities of their applications."
In addition, Oracle Storage Cloud Archive Service provides a "deep cloud" archive for infrequently accessed large-scale data. Oracle Integration Cloud Service is designed to simplify integration between cloud and on-premises databases, making it easier to migrate to the cloud or run a hybrid cloud. And Oracle Process Cloud Service provides a zero-code, cloud-based automation platform that enables business users to set up automated workflows and manage business process lifecycles without needing IT help.
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