SAN FRANCISCO -- In his keynote speech at Oracle OpenWorld 2015 here on Tuesday, Oracle product development head Thomas Kurian devoted part of his talk to a roundup of new technologies announced since last year's conference, with a focus on cloud services over on-premises products. Kurian then continued that trend by announcing more additions to the Oracle cloud lineup, including a set of infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offerings that finally put the company in the same public cloud realm as Amazon Web Services and other cloud vendors.
The expanded Oracle IaaS portfolio even appropriates the name of the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), the flagship AWS cloud platform. Oracle added a new Elastic Compute Cloud option, giving its IaaS customers two choices: running cloud workloads in a shared compute zone with other users via the new offering, or paying more for a single-tenant setup through the existing Oracle Dedicated Compute Cloud service. The elastic and dedicated cloud approaches both allow users to scale their Oracle cloud environments as needed, Kurian said.
The Oracle Cloud Infrastructure IaaS suite was also augmented with new archive and file storage services, respectively providing long-term data retention and the sharing of file-based data sets between virtual machine instances in the cloud. A software-defined networking service and one that lets cloud users run applications inside Docker containers rounded out the Oracle IaaS additions.
Big data goes to the Oracle cloud
Oracle also expanded its platform as a service (PaaS) portfolio by announcing several new big data management and analytics services, including cloud versions of its Oracle NoSQL Database and its Oracle Big Data Discovery software for analyzing Hadoop data. Other big data additions detailed by Kurian were the Oracle Big Data Preparation Cloud Service, which is powered by the Apache Spark processing engine and can be used to prepare and enrich data before it goes into a data lake, and a data integration service based on Oracle's GoldenGate technology.
The new offerings were folded into an Oracle Cloud Platform for Big Data suite, along with two existing services that enable users to run Hadoop clusters in the cloud and code queries against data in cloud-based Hadoop and NoSQL systems with Oracle's version of SQL. In addition, Kurian introduced an Internet of Things Cloud Service, which lets users take in and analyze data from IoT devices. Another new PaaS product is the Oracle Management Cloud, a set of services for monitoring application performance, analyzing log data and tracking the overall performance of cloud systems.
At the OpenWorld event, Oracle also launched a data visualization cloud service that enables business users to combine data from multiple sources for self-service analysis and visualization. At its simplest level, Kurian said, the visualization service doesn't require anything more than access to a Web browser and a spreadsheet; an end user could load data from the spreadsheet and visualize it in the browser, he added. Further releases this week included a cloud service based on the company's Exadata Database Machine and a cloud version of its Real Application Clusters database clustering technology.
Growth numbers on Oracle cloud services
After a slow start in the cloud, Oracle has made a big push over the past year to build up its assortment of cloud services across the spectrum of IaaS, PaaS and software as a service (SaaS) technologies. "In every area of this suite, we made advances," Kurian said. For example, he noted that since OpenWorld 2014, the company has released more than 180 new SaaS modules. And with the Oracle IaaS and PaaS additions announced this week, he claimed that Oracle now offers "the only full suite of cloud services."
Kurian also invited a wide range of other people up to share the stage with him. Abidali Neemuchwala, group president and chief operating officer at IT services provider and Oracle business partner Wipro Ltd., kicked off the keynote session and set the tone for it with a speech about traditional companies incorporating new ways of doing business in order to stay relevant in a rapidly shifting business world. "We in technology," he said, "are at the cusp of an opportunity to enable our enterprises to transform into this new reality. Enterprises have no choice but to conform or be destroyed."
The IoT also took a front seat as Eva Harström, CIO at Sweden-based construction company Skanska's Nordic operations, talked about the changing roles of technology in business operations. "We're evolving from IT for people in an office to an automated construction site," Harström said. As a result, she added, Skanska is "thinking about who's needed on construction sites. We have database architects involved in building [projects], for one example."
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