One of the big issues for Oracle users is when to adopt cloud database systems and applications -- or whether to do that at all. And when organizations evaluate Oracle cloud adoption, a key consideration is whether to migrate fully to the vendor's public cloud platform or deploy an Oracle hybrid cloud environment that mixes cloud and on-premises systems.
In a recent webinar hosted by the Independent Oracle Users Group, Mark Van de Wiel, CTO at data integration vendor HVR Software, discussed the pros and cons of both public and hybrid cloud adoption for Oracle users.
On the plus side of the ledger, Van de Wiel said the cloud is elastic, meaning that it's easy to scale Oracle systems up or down as needed. The elasticity can be particularly good for startups and other fast-growing businesses, he noted. In addition, the cloud is typically pay-as-you-go on usage, which is convenient and enables businesses to pay only for the processing resources they require.
The cloud also makes external data sharing easier than it is in many on-premises systems, according to Van de Wiel. He said Oracle and other cloud platform providers offer various options for setting firewall rules, which can be customized to fit a business's needs. Another benefit is that cloud data storage allows end users to access the data in Oracle databases and applications no matter where they are, providing increased flexibility and efficiency in the workplace, he said.
Cloud concerns still weigh users down
For all its benefits, though, people still have valid concerns about cloud usage, Van de Wiel said. For example, cloud systems aren't always budget-friendly. "There is a concern that maybe, over time, resources in the cloud go unutilized, and ... the overall cost can skyrocket," he cautioned.
Losing money instead of saving it is every business's worst cloud nightmare, and the prospect of that makes many organizations wary about Oracle cloud adoption, he said.
Security in the cloud is another issue that Van de Wiel cited as a lingering concern. Although Oracle and other cloud vendors have stepped up their security protections, he said many IT managers still worry that data becomes more vulnerable when it leaves on-premises systems.
Hybrid cloud benefits vs. challenges
Van de Wiel said hybrid cloud deployments are becoming increasingly popular, as they offer the best of both worlds. An Oracle hybrid cloud setup can be especially beneficial for businesses that have what he described as seasonal work cycles. In such cases, he said, systems in the cloud can serve as an "overflow area" for data and processing, eliminating the need to configure on-premises systems to handle temporary peak workloads.
Mark Van de WielCTO, HVR Software
A hybrid cloud can also provide emergency hosting of systems for business continuity and disaster recovery, Van de Wiel said. Such backups for mission-critical Oracle systems are particularly important in areas that are prone to natural disasters, such as earthquakes or floods that could shut down on-premises data centers and damage or even destroy server and storage hardware.
As with the public cloud, users eying hybrid approaches to Oracle cloud adoption have concerns about cloud costs and security measures, Van de Wiel said. He added, though, that a hybrid cloud can aid Oracle users on data privacy and safety while still allowing them to take advantage of the cloud. For example, it offers a way to comply with regulations and policies that require a company to keep certain data on premises or within a specific geographical region.
GDPR and other data privacy regulations are also designed to ensure that sensitive personal data can't be improperly exposed. But available data validation tools can help users identify, correct and prevent errors that could potentially expose data in hybrid cloud environments, Van de Wiel said.