Oracle Cloud at Customer

All the power of the public cloud in your data centre

Private cloud technologies have been instrumental in helping businesses build fully scalable databases. As these platforms age, attention turns to the next evolution; systems must continue to deliver improved performance and ROI, so the next round of investments is crucial.

The fact that your business has been using a private database cloud indicates that your workloads have been deemed too sensitive for public alternatives. This does mean that you have missed out on some of the additional benefits available when using public cloud though.

With Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer, the functionality and feature gap is narrowing. Which means that the next generation of private database cloud can deliver more for less. How much less? Oracle suggests a 47% reduction in the total cost of operations for starters, followed by a 256% return on investment over five years.

Simplified licensing

One of the biggest headaches associated with the private cloud has been licensing. Pooled resources allow for instant scaling according to need and application, but perpetual licenses are a fixed commodity – and you must have enough to cover usage at all times. This means buying additional licenses ‘just in case’ to meet occasional spikes in demand.

With Exadata Cloud at Customer (ExaCC), licenses can be activated and released in line with demand – just like popular public cloud services. Your private cloud database can quickly scale from 2 to 400 cores and back again. You only pay for what you use, when you use it – and you never risk having the wrong number of licenses again.

Reduced management overheads

An in-house private cloud typically relies on a collection of technologies held together by custom scripts and management tools. Although they “work”, there is a lot of manual integration required to keep everything running.

Upgrading to ExaCC dramatically reduces management overheads. As part of the service, Oracle assumes full responsibility for managing infrastructure, reducing the burden on your IT team. Oracle clients report their management processes are 69% more efficient with EXaCC. This approach also ensures you are unaffected by the ongoing cloud skills shortage.

Cloud scale-out

Data storage and processing needs continue to increase year on year, placing an additional burden on the in-house infrastructure. You existing private cloud is still constrained by a finite pool of underlying infrastructure resources.

ExaCC provides optional automated scale-out capabilities, seamlessly linking on-premise private cloud with the hosted public cloud to extend capabilities for specified workloads. This allows you to increase resource usage beyond the constraints of your private database cloud as and when required, also billed on a pay-as-you-use basis.

Enhanced security

One of the key reasons for choosing a private cloud is the degree of control you maintain over applications and data. ExaCC helps to further de-risk the operating environment by bundling Oracle ‘defence in depth’ tools as part of the service.

Security safeguards are built into both hardware and software, with additional encryption included in the database engine. And it’s all a standard part of the ExaCC service.

Just scratching the surface

As public cloud feature sets continue to evolve, there’s no reason why the private cloud has to be left behind. Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer brings many of the very best features to the local data centre – and delivers incredible benefits in the process.

To learn more about ExaCC and how you can generate an ROI on your private cloud investments in as little as six months, please get in touch.

Cybersecurity backup

Improving your cybersecurity protection with cloud-based services

For many businesses, the cloud has become an important aspect of IT-based operations. Many already host infrastructure, applications and data in hosted services, so why not leverage that same power to enhance your cybersecurity protection?

Backup – the ultimate insurance against a cybersecurity breach

Every business operation now relies on data; ensuring access to that information is mission critical. A robust, workable backup regime is similarly vital, providing a way back in the event of an attack.

For many established businesses, backup relies on removable media like LTO tapes or portable hard drives. Each night the media is swapped, and a copy is taken offsite to prevent loss in the event of a localised disaster. Should data be corrupted or deleted, you can recover the information from the relevant media.

Obviously, this regime does work – but it also has limitations. Aside from physical damage to the removable media, criminals are increasingly targeting backup systems as part of their attacks. If they can destroy data in the live system and the backup media, recovery is almost impossible.

Invoking the power of the cloud

As a result, “air-gapped” backup systems are increasingly important. By saving backup information to a completely separate, unconnected system – which is where our cloud security service comes into play.

By exporting to the cloud, you immediately benefit from your backup sets being stored securely offsite. This protects information from loss in a localised event (such as a fire) and prevents physical access by unauthorised third parties. The data centres are also protected by enterprise grade security provisions.

Built on Veeam Cloud Connect technology, there are three key protective aspects to this service:

1. Malware defence

Ransomware and malware have the potential to take a business offline for hours. If backup systems are also infected, that could easily become days or weeks. If the infection is severe, some data may never be fully recovered.

By moving backup copies offsite, you create another layer of physical security that makes it harder for malware to breach.

2. Malicious deletion protection

If hackers break into your systems, they may manually delete data – or they may deploy malware to automate the process. WTL ensures that maliciously deleted data can always be recovered using a virtual recycle bin. Everything that is deleted is moved to this recycle bin – effectively a backup of your backup, just in case.

3. Accidental deletion protection

There is always a risk that data is deleted accidentally; a well-meaning IT tech clears down a ‘temporary’ shared folder, only to discover that there was important business data in there. Or the accounts team applies an annual tax code patch that corrupts their database. Whatever the exact cause, this information needs to be recovered quickly.

Again, the WTL recycle bin comes to the rescue – every deleted file is first copied to a secure, air-gapped area in the cloud. If something goes wrong, you can simply copy the information back from the recycle bin for near-instant data recovery.

Ensuring a copy is always available

The key to effective backups – and disaster recovery – is ensuring you always have at least one copy of your data available at all times. By integrating WTL cloud services into your cybersecurity defences, you have more options available for when the worst does happen.

To discuss your current cybersecurity protection stategy and how WTL can strengthen your data protection and recovery options please get in touch.

Return to work

The return to the office – a personal view

Who knew we’d be continuing the remote working theme, some 15 weeks after the start! We’re all too aware of how time flies, but the relative ease of our transition to the ‘office at home’ environment, has made the best part of this last four months ‘business as usual’ here in WTL.

For some, the move has been seamless, however for others, it’s been fraught with making the best use of a shared space and probably awkward at best! So whilst all of the above is true, I for one will be looking forward to the return date and all the comforts of the office space that comes with its familiar corners nooks and crannies, to strategically place files, folders and documents, knowing they will still be there, a day, a week or a month after, without the annoying search for them, post an anonymous tidy up!!

Heading towards normality seems painfully slow, but missing the office banter, favourite mug, colleagues on tap for a quick response, are just a few of the benefits that will flood back amongst many others and make it all worthwhile sometime soon.

Fingers tightly crossed for there to be no second spike in the pandemic, is what we’re all hoping for and so we massively acknowledge the fantastic effort and bravery, of the key workers across all sectors of the health services, the vital food supply chain industries and related distribution networks that keep our world moving and thriving – we thank you and many more, without reservation.

There are so many pieces of the ‘jigsaw’ to mention every area, suffice to say that each individual, in every business, has an important part to play in some respect! Every person at WTL has another person relying on his or her function to make ends meet. This is no different whether small, medium, large or enterprise, someone will be relying on someone else, for a result to be a success. Keep up your spirits and morale for everyone’s sake, but looking after yourself, your own well-being and mental health is the first priority.