Oracle Corp, recently laid out a major element of its strategy for competing in the fiercely competitive market for cloud computing, launching a new service that it says addresses the security concerns and regulatory obstacles that have discouraged some companies from embracing the cloud.
The service, called Oracle Cloud at Customer, allows companies to place an Oracle cloud server within their own data center, essentially turning one of the basic concepts of cloud computing inside-out, according to Thomas Kurian, president of Oracle product development, who spoke to CIO Journal in an interview. The company is expected to formally announce the product very soon at Oracle CloudWorld, a customer event in Washington, D.C. The setup is a hybrid cloud structure that allows a company to run whatever workloads it chooses on premises or in the Oracle cloud, with a common set of tools, APIs, and experiences. The workloads can shift between the environments. Oracle says it would be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the server, just as it would be for customers of more standard, public cloud services.
Oracle’s own cloud revenue is rising, but so far the total cloud businesses of rivals such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Corp., which in some cases focus on different segments of the market, are larger. Oracle says cloud adoption is in the very early stages, and that it has plenty of time to catch up. Cloud companies from AWS and Microsoft to Oracle itself have customers that have data and sovereignty concerns, but are still willing to use their cloud services. Oracle’s new service is aimed at companies that haven’t been willing so far to make that leap.
Cloud computing allows users to access data, applications, or computing power and storage over the Web, tapping servers owned by a third party and located beyond the customer’s premises. Cloud adoption is in the early stages but growing quickly, thanks to a range of potential economic and operational benefits. But concerns about security, as well as regulations that govern how and where data must be stored, especially for companies in European and other international markets, have limited adoption. For those companies, Oracle is offering the cloud, with a twist. They can access their data over the Web, from a third party’s server, but that third-party server is physically located in the customer’s own data center and behind its security firewall.