I recently attended Oracle OpenWorld for the first time in several years. The message at this year’s event was clear: Oracle is all in on the cloud. I had heard the message, but I didn’t get the full impact until I arrived at the Moscone Center in San Francisco. All signage at the event contained the word “cloud,” and Oracle issued 18 press releases in conjunction with OpenWorld related to cloud computing. I also found out that Oracle has its own definition of “cloud.”
Oracle now offers cloud services ranging from infrastructure as a service, which competes with Amazon Web Services, to database as a service to big data as a service to analytics as a service. These are in addition to Oracle applications offered in software-as-a-service configurations. Some years ago Larry Ellison expressed public resistance to “cloud computing”, but since then Oracle has been steadily investing in, adopting and now fully embracing it. Oracle’s direction reflects what our benchmark research has been showing for years: Cloud computing is being adopted ever more widely. For example, our Data and Analytics in the Cloud research shows that nearly half (48%) of organizations use cloud-based analytics today and virtually all (99%) expect to use cloud-based analytics eventually. The research also shows that one in four (24%) have the majority of their data in the cloud today and 86 percent expect the majority of their data to be in the cloud eventually.
In the big data and analytics market, Oracle offers the following cloud services:
- Oracle Exadata Cloud Service – massively parallel processing (MPP) SQL database
- Oracle Business Intelligence Cloud Service – business intelligence and visualization
- Oracle Big Data Cloud Service – Cloudera Enterprise (Hadoop) and data integration
- Oracle Data Visualization Cloud Service – self-service data visualization
- Oracle Big Data Preparation Cloud Service – self-service data preparation
- Oracle Big Data Discovery Cloud Service – data science with data preparation and visualization
- Oracle GoldenGate Cloud Service – data replication and streaming data
- Oracle NoSQL Database Cloud Service – key value store.
Oracle has also announced Oracle Essbase Cloud Service for multidimensional analysis and Oracle Big Data SQL Cloud Service for SQL on Hadoop and NoSQL. Oracle’s Big Data Compute Edition will allow organizations to scale Hadoop compute nodes and data nodes independently. All of these are indicated on the Oracle website as “coming soon.”
Faced with such a broad portfolio of big data and analytics capabilities, it may be a challenge for potential customers to understand the portfolio and decide which pieces are required for their organization. Fortunately, services based in the cloud are easier to try since no installation is required and subscription-based licensing doesn’t require long-term commitments to products.
Part of Oracle’s value proposition, based on its long devotion to the old model of on-premises licensing and management, is a mixture of cloud and on-premises deployments, often referred to as hybrid cloud. Oracle’s cloud services are available in three configurations: as a public cloud service subscription; as a managed private cloud service subscription managed by Oracle in the customer’s data center; and licensed as an on-premises deployment managed by the customer. Oracle is betting that this flexibility with be attractive to enterprises as they make their journey to the cloud. Amazon, the key cloud competitor highlighted in Oracle’s keynotes, does not offer on-premises or hybrid configurations. Our research finds that nearly half (47%) [DAC Q24] of organizations support integration of cloud-based data with on-premises data and 38 percent vice versa, suggesting a significant presence of hybrid deployments.
We should note that most of Oracle’s big data and analytic cloud services are not new. In fact, most of Oracle’s portfolio competes with other products that have been on the market for years. Its strength is to excel at making products enterprise-ready. Others may find new and innovative ways to tackle computing challenges, but as these innovations take root in the market, Oracle adopts them, hardens them and makes them available for critical applications. It also adds innovations around the edges, but fundamentally Oracle makes these capabilities industrial-strength for dealing with issues such as security, reliability, manageability and governance – necessities that are often overlooked as new products come to market. If your organization needs to support mission-critical big data and analytics, I recommend you consider Oracle’s offerings. They have the breadth and depth to meet most needs.