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  1. #1
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    [EN] Oracle’s Cloud Comes Online

    October 20, 2016

    Oracle on Thursday announced the general availability of its Bare Metal Cloud Services.

    Oracle's pitch is about both performance and cost. The high-scale public cloud offers bare metal compute in a fully virtualized, high performance network environment. It also includes network block storage, object storage, identity and access management, VPN connectivity, and a software-defined Virtual Cloud Network (VCN). With elements of hardware and the cloud in its flexibility, Oracle says it should be a compelling offering for those running high-performance applications or sensitive applications that require isolation and control.

    The offering is available now in a new US-Southwest region and consists of three fault-independent Availability Domains -- three data centers in the Phoenix metropolitan area located within several miles of each other.

    The next region will be US East and will be hosted in Virginia, where the world’s biggest concentration of cloud data centers is, including the largest availability region for Amazon Web Services.

    For now, Oracle is using data center providers to host its cloud infrastructure. The list includes Digital Realty Trust, Equinix, CenturyLink, RagingWire, and CyrusOne. These are the companies that will be enabling global expansion of the new Oracle cloud.

    The bare metal cloud servers, Oracle says, are more than 11 times faster and 20 percent cheaper than the fastest solution offered by the competition. With compute priced by the hour and storage and networking by the month, Oracle makes it easy to understand the costs. Traffic within or between availability domains is free. Outbound bandwidth is only charged after the first 10 terabytes.

    “I am surrounded by several hundred people who came from Amazon, Microsoft, Google,” said Deepak Patil, Oracle’s VP of development, who joined earlier this year after 15 years at Microsoft, where for the last 10 years he worked in senior engineering roles for data center and cloud infrastructure. “We all built very large-scale, global, elastic, highly available cloud platforms for the better part of the last decade.”

    To Patil and his colleagues, joining Oracle was an opportunity to build a cloud platform from scratch, applying lessons they learned while building the other hyper-scale platforms, he told Data Center Knowledge.

    Ellison, Oracle founder and CTO, announced the bare-metal cloud at the company’s OpenWorld conference in San Francisco in September, promising the best price-performance combination in the industry. That advantage comes as a result of the design decisions Patil’s team has made, Patil said.

    “The offer to use that clean slate allowed us to make some really differentiated decisions in how we designed infrastructure; how we designed the network; and how we designed the software platform,” he said.

    One of the most important elements of the platform is the Software-Defined Network, which makes the platform extremely scalable. Patil describes the SDN as “an extremely flat, non-blocking, non-oversubscribed virtual relay network that allows us to scale in a really big way.”

    The SDN, capable of both Layer 2 and Layer 3 networking is a differentiator for Oracle, Lydia Leong, a Gartner analyst who has received a detailed engineering briefing on the solution, wrote in a blog post. “I would say that smart and scalable choices seem to have been made throughout,” she wrote.

    Another big design decision was “off-box” virtualization, which places virtualization in the network instead of on the servers, enabling Oracle to give customers true bare-metal cloud servers, machines that have no pre-installed software. The SDN accesses the servers strictly at Layer 2.

    “What that allows us to do is deliver fairly differentiated governance and security for our customers,” Patil said. “We have no agents on the server. Our servers are not exposed to any hypervisor exploit.”


    http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/a...-comes-online/

  2. #2
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    Oracle’s bandwidth beast: three journeys to the cloud

    Dave Vellante
    Oct 17, 2016

    The battle for the public cloud is intensifying. Choices made by practitioners in the next year will have long-term business consequences. The entrants are well known: AWS, Microsoft, Google, Salesforce, ServiceNow, IBM, Oracle, SAP and a host of others contenders. The benefits to organizations are increased IT economic flexibility and reduced infrastructure constraints.

    In a conversation with Wikibon chief research officer Peter Burris recently, he pointed out that one infrastructure constraint will not go away, and it’s the one set in stone about 13.82 billion years ago when the universe began: the speed of light. Peter explained that nobody’s quite sure why light travels at the same speed in all places and at all times, but it does. And all places, all times includes between the cloud and your data centers, or between your data centers.

    To the edge and back

    Peter emphasized that the speed of light will dictate the final shape of the cloud, which will — not might, will — include edge elements that place processing power close to a problem being processed. Internet of Things cloud solutions, for example, must include edge elements. And the most interesting computing challenges in digital business are more like IoT than OLTP (online transaction processing). No cloud strategy is complete without a clear plan to accommodate edge-like workloads.

    Some cloud vendors can’t support edge requirements. Some can. But if you’re going to establish a long-term plan for running your business in the cloud, know that some relatively un-sexy technology is going to play a major role in your decision.

    At the top of the list is technology that blasts huge volumes of data from place to place. These un-sexy technologies won’t help you with speed of light challenges, but they will help you with volume challenges. For example, the models that will drive machine learning applications likely will be constructed and enhanced at the center, and deployed at the edge. Many of these apps will have to blast sensor data from the edge back to model development so that the learning can take place. Once that’s done, updates to the model will be sent back to the edge, but the amount of data required to update the model usually will be a fraction of the raw data sent from edge to center.

    Managing data movement is going to become a much bigger problem and will consume a lot of architecture design time. We’d like to think the internet makes networking “free,” but that is not the case. Network link costs for intercloud — or intra-hybrid cloud — applications will be substantial.

    One of the vendors that’s betting big on what Wikibon calls “true hybrid cloud” — a cloud strategy that facilitates local and global execution and management under a common cloud regime — is Oracle. One of the unsexy technologies that makes Oracle’s promises feasible is good old ZFS.

    ZFS has been around for years. It’s tried. It’s true. It’s industry-hardened. There are Linux open source varieties out there. It was originally designed for supporting the type of massive data transfers that for years were only encountered in high-performance and scientific computing work, but now are showing up routinely in big data applications. It’s a bandwidth beast.

    ZFS is a file system. It’s not sexy. It’s basic. It gets the job done. And as you think about your cloud future, it’s one of the technologies that won’t excite your execs, but will help you sleep at night.

    Oracle cloud journeys

    At its annual Oracle Openworld customer conference this year, Executive Vice President David Donatelli (pictured above) laid out five so-called cloud journeys – i.e. paths to the Oracle cloud. We met with Donatelli just weeks after he joined Oracle, and we asked him why he chose to reunite with Mark Hurd, former chief executive of Hewlett-Packard and the individual who originally hired Donatelli away from EMC. His answer was cloud. He made the following statement about the competitive landscape: “If you don’t have a public cloud strategy, you’re in big trouble.”

    Donatelli’s point was that, unlike the so-called arms dealers of the industry — i.e. Dell EMC, HPE, Lenovo and the ODMs — Oracle owns its public cloud and can compete directly with the likes of Amazon, Microsoft and Google for cloud share. The arms dealers can sell to public cloud players but can’t offer the higher margin services associated with the public cloud directly to customers.

    (cont)

  3. #3
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    As we’ve pointed out many times, to compete for Infrastructure as a Service in the public cloud, you must have massive scale or some substantial differentiation from the big three public cloud players. Donatelli’s point was that Oracle’s position in database, PaaS and SaaS uniquely positions the company to compete in all layers of the stack, including core infrastructure. It remains to be seen how the recent AWS VMware deal will impact this dynamic.

    Take ZFS as an example. One of the few bright spots in the storage portfolio of Sun Microsystems when Oracle purchased the company was ZFS. Oracle has done an excellent job of evolving its ZFS architecture to create a very competitive NAS product. Recently, Oracle announced the ZS5, a fifth generation system based on the ZFS file system. It’s a mature product that is finding a place with Oracle customers, especially in high bandwidth workload environments.

    ZFS storage is core infrastructure and the ZS5 is a bigger, better, faster version of the previous products in the series. Hundreds of TBs of flash, tons of capacity and super bandwidth to help with brute force constrained apps (like backup and big data). The key for Oracle is the way the system fits into its cloud strategy. Oracle has a “Same:Same” approach meaning the same technology used on-premises is used in the cloud.

    Oracle claims its public cloud uses over 400 petabytes of ZFS Storage Appliances, implying the architecture is proven at scale – (although details of those claims have not been research by Wikibon). With the ability to run the same systems on-prem and in the public cloud, Oracle provides a level of architectural equivalency that differentiates from the arms dealers.

    That said, the arms dealers will attempt to mimic this capability through partnerships– emphasizing choice and openness. Oracle will pooh-pooh this as impossible without deep engineering integration. But the IT industry’s history shows that it’s achievable and sometimes more attractive because it increases customer options — think Wintel and Android — but admittedly sacrifices deep integration (think iPhone v Android).

    Religious debates aside, as we see it, ZFS fits into Donatelli’s Journey slide above within three of the five scenarios:

    Scenario 1. Legacy Data Center → Engineered Systems/Storage → Public Cloud, where current legacy infrastructure is “optimized” (I think that means forklift upgraded in Oracle parlance) to Oracle engineered systems or storage that has affinity to Oracle software and then can be migrated to the cloud over time.

    Scenario 3. Legacy Data Center → Hybrid Cloud → Public Cloud, running between data centers and public clouds, where you install Oracle infrastructure that has database/application knowledge that allows you to run apps on prem or in the cloud.

    Scenario 4: Legacy Data Center → Private Cloud → Public Cloud, where you build a so-called Private Cloud (meaning whatever you want it to be) and if you use Oracle hardware you’ll be able to move to the public cloud over time.

    The key to Oracle’s strategy is homogeneity. It understands that to the extent public and on-prem infrastructure use the same technology and processes, the more efficient and higher performance applications will behave. The four questions customers must ask Oracle are:

    1. How mature are Oracle’s cloud offerings?
    2. Are they truly integrated and is the experience competitive to alternatives?
    3. Is Oracle’s IaaS/Infrastructure pricing really as competitive as Oracle says it is?
    4. Does the business value I receive from going with an all-Oracle solution offset the longer term lock-in risk?


    At Oracle Openworld, Larry Ellison attempted to address some of these questions. He claimed that Oracle Cloud can run analytic queries 100X faster than Amazon Redshift and that AWS is more closed than the IBM Mainframe. He said that Oracle Database, MySQL and NoSQL DB products can all be run on-premises on any server, in the AWS cloud, in the Oracle Cloud and in Microsoft Azure, while AWS Aurora, Redshift and Dynamo DB can only run in AWS, making for a true lock-in scenario. Ellison also pointed out that mainframe software such as MVS, CICS and IMS ran on mainframe clones from Amdahl and Hitachi, whereas AWS has yet to let customers run its software in any other environment.

    Do Ellison’s claims adequately address the above concerns? No, but they give a glimpse as to how Oracle plans to compete in this moving target of cloud.

    There’s little debate that AWS is the “Mother of all Lock-ins” – perhaps even more so than Oracle. But customers are voting with their wallets and AWS is winning – as Oracle has for years, despite its lock-in advantage. In fact the history of the IT industry has recorded many examples of lock-in strategies winning for extended time periods. Indeed, Wikibon research shows that 85 percent of CIOs will choose to endure the risk of lock-in if the solution delivers business value.

    Lock-in or not, winning approaches require investments, innovation, references and maturity. These are the factors that will adequately address the above four questions. Donatelli may prove to be correct in asserting icebergs ahead for those without a public cloud. While we don’t believe the arms dealers are all screwed, if successful, Oracle’s margin model will be significantly more attractive.

    That much is not cloudy.

    http://siliconangle.com/blog/2016/10...-to-the-cloud/

  4. #4
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    Oracle partners with Verizon for cloud services access

    October 11, 2016
    Lightwave Staff

    Oracle and Verizon will pair their respective cloud-related services into a joint offering. The new Verizon Secure Cloud Interconnect for Oracle FastConnect enables enterprises to access Oracle's FastConnect services suite via Verizon's Secure Cloud Interconnect connectivity options.

    The combination offers connectivity to Oracle Cloud data centers in the U.S. and Europe with options for consumption-based bandwidth, pre-provisioned on-demand resources, controlled application performance, and varying classes of service provisioned via Verizon's Dynamic Network Manager. Fast Connect services enable customers to establish a secure high-speed private MPLS connection between their existing IT infrastructure and the cloud compute resources on the Oracle Cloud.

    Verizon says they also will enable customers using Oracle's services to store data in multiple settings, including a traditional IT environment as well as dedicated on or off premises clouds.

    "With Verizon's leading Secure Cloud Interconnect service, Oracle customers can benefit from the latest in networking technology as they continually groom their networks to handle the demands of their business," said Diby Malakar, vice president of product management at Oracle. "We are providing multiple ways for our customers to deploy their applications in the way that makes good business sense via what is arguably one of the industry's most reliable networking platforms."

    The pact with Oracle brings to nine the number of cloud providers Verizon supports via its Secure Cloud Interconnect platform. The others include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, HPE Rapid Connect, IBM Cloud Softlayer, Microsoft ExpressRoute for Office 365, Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute, Microsoft Azure Government, Salesforce, SAP, and Verizon Cloud and Enterprise Cloud Federal Edition.

    http://www.lightwaveonline.com/artic...es-access.html

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