Oracle Cloud – everything you need to know

Why Cloud?

It’s a well-publicised fact that cloud adoption is rising at a speedy rate, but why? Essentially, there are three main reasons customers adopt cloud. Firstly, they are looking at ways of reducing the cost and complexity of their on-premises infrastructure. Secondly they would like to accelerate IT delivery by using the cloud for specific projects and finally, they want to create versatile business models to gain a competition edge or disrupt the market.

We’ve all heard of the main public cloud providers, but Oracle Cloud is gaining popularity amongst enterprise customers for a number of reasons.

Why Oracle Cloud?

Oracle Cloud is a next-generation public cloud architected that has been designed specifically to run enterprise applications and databases. It is as elastic and flexible as the first-generation public clouds, but allows additional control, security, performance and predictability which rival those of an on premises deployment. In fact, alongside public cloud and hybrid cloud deployments, Oracle also offers an option called Oracle Cloud at Customer which allows customers to deploy Oracle cloud as a private cloud behind their own firewall.

Oracle’s native toolset enables developers to build their own next-generation, cloud native and mobile apps in the cloud, and allow them to run traditional enterprise apps alongside cloud native apps. Oracle cloud users can strip right back to the bare metal infrastructure to install the exact operating systems, middleware and databases they need.

The toolset includes migration tools to move existing apps to the cloud without the need to rearchitect the apps, even those that have been customised. With any migration we perform though, skilled consultants from WTL and Oracle are on hand for trickier applications.

High Performance

Customers with high performance computing workloads like crash tests, real time analytics, modelling insurance risks or testing new manufacturing materials can rest easy that Oracle cloud can handle the workloads. It offers powerful CPU options, massive memory capabilities and dense storage capacity.

High bandwidth, low latency networks connect servers to file, block and object storage resources making Oracle ideal for customers who need the highest levels of performance. In fact, it can perform up to 5 million I/O operations per second for the most demanding tasks.

But where could Oracle cloud be used to best effect? For customers looking for a DevTest cloud environment, Oracle cloud allows them to test new app versions, validate security patches and test cloud native architectures and features.

For customers using the cloud for production applications, the single tenant, high performance bare metal servers are ideal for high performance computing and are highly available because of the load balancing, real application clustering and multiple availability domains.

Some customers use Oracle cloud for their backup and DR processes, because of its built-in storage resiliency, availability and security and automated backup features.

Finally, Oracle is ideal for extending a serviceable on premises environment to the cloud, without decommissioning the legacy equipment. On premises infrastructure can be connect to the new cloud infrastructure with a VPN or FastConnect, for seamless movement between the two.

Security

With the use of cloud in enterprise computing comes much concern about security, so this is a key area of concern for Oracle. Users access Oracle cloud resources via Oracle Identity and Access Management technology which allows role-based access controls and granular allocation and auditing features. Access to specific cloud compartments can be granted per person, per project or per group, as needed for additional security.

The whole cloud infrastructure is built with security embedded at every level, and the whole environment is monitored and protected by a 24/7 network operation centre staffed by skilled security professionals.

All great features, but how is it different to first generation cloud vendor solutions? Oracle Cloud moves the virtualisation layer to the physical network, utilising what’s known as off box virtualisation and creating single tenant servers. Customers use a virtual cloud network which is isolated from other customers for added security.

Oracle cloud is not just great for Oracle applications, although of course it IS fully optimised to run Oracle enterprise databases and applications, it is ideal for any business running any mixed workloads, regardless of throughput or security requirements.

Useful Links

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Purpose-Built for the Enterprise

Next-Generation Cloud Delivers Enterprise Scale

Realising the Value of Modernising Your Legacy Infrastructure

Techopedia defines a legacy system as an outdated system, language or application that is used instead of available upgraded systems. The term “legacy” is often used pejoratively, but the reality is that most organisations do have some legacy infrastructure. It can be problematic as it gets older, becoming incompatible with new and emerging apps and technology. When legacy hardware and software is out of support with unpatched security elements it is at greater risk of a cyber-attack. Costs to run legacy systems increase as services become more frequent and more things start to go wrong. Older systems that have bits added here and there become increasingly complex and they invariably take longer to configure and provision to accommodate new services. New services and apps take longer to go live and therefore bring benefits to the users and businesses suffer from being cumbersome, slow and often with insufficient capacity to grow with the business.

Most CIOs understand that they need to modernise their infrastructure if they are going to keep up with the demands of a modern business. Modern apps and workloads need fast, agile, secure and scalable infrastructure to run as efficiently as they are able.

But a modernisation project involves more than just refreshing hardware when it needs an upgrade, it requires serious consideration and planning, with a long-term strategy. A strategy that leads the business towards the cloud. When planning to refresh infrastructure, consider solutions that will meet current needs, either on premise, or in the cloud, but also be flexible enough to adapt to moving other apps and workloads to the cloud, plus a plan for building and developing new apps and services, in the cloud. The cloud is the way for businesses to scale and to provide the power, speed and agility that modern apps demand. Only by speeding up the time to production, reducing IT overheads and automating business processes will businesses be able to compete. By automating as much as possible, staff can focus on high value work and are better placed to give the business a competitive edge.

The journey to the cloud is the most important aspect of any modernisation strategy and in “The Creative CIO’s Agenda: Six Big Bets for Digital Transformation”, KPMG places the journey to the cloud at the top of the list of digital priorities for CIOs, in order for them to both defend against disruption and be disruptors themselves.

Oracle Solaris was developed for the cloud and can accelerate the adoption of workloads in the cloud, with fast and intelligent provisioning, virtualised networking, simplified administration and stringent security features. By upgrading to Oracle Solaris, businesses can be assured of total protection for data and applications, speedy performance and simpler data management. Choosing infrastructure that is designed for the cloud will mean that whether applications and workloads are ready now, or in the future, it is a simple and seamless process.

Read more in the Oracle SPARC Solaris for Dummies guide or help your applications perform at optimal levels by running a WTL enterprise Solaris and Linux healthcheck.

Useful Links

Tech Funnel Article – Top 10 Priorities of CIOs in 2018

The Creative CIOs Agenda – Six Big Bets for Digital Transformation

IT Infrastructure

Getting Your Infrastructure Ready for Cloud?

Businesses everywhere and in every industry are under constant pressure in today’s highly competitive environment to increase productivity, reduce costs, and improve their business processes.

In fact, Gartner’s annual global survey of CIOs at the end of 2017 showed that the CIO role is transitioning from delivery executive to business executive, from controlling cost and engineering processes, to driving revenue and exploiting data, rapidly scaling their digital businesses to keep up. The survey found that growth is the number one CIO priority for 2018, as stated by 26% of CIOs. The use of digitised products and services is expected to drive new forms of revenue, business value and engagement of customers and citizens. The challenge for CIOs is how to grow it to deliver economies of scope and scale and how to optimise their infrastructure in order to meet these demands. In addition, increasing security threats and shrinking budgets are making it more challenging for businesses to achieve its goals.

Legacy infrastructure can hinder application performance and push operational costs up as a result, they aren’t designed to meet the emerging innovations and they can pose a security risk, with upgrades, unsupported systems and gaps in patches.

The cloud is developing at a rapid pace and is going a long way to meeting the demands of the modern business, providing agile, scalable, anywhere digital services that businesses and consumers want and giving organisations the ability to analyse and exploit data for better decision making.

It doesn’t mean that organisations have to shift wholesale to the cloud however, but by modernising infrastructure and moving to Oracle SPARC and Solaris, they can ensure they are cloud-ready, which is notably different to being entirely cloud-based. Oracle SPARC servers use the same technology in the cloud and on-premise, so when the planning has been done and businesses have a clear idea of what applications and workloads would benefit from being moved to the cloud, it is an easier prospect to move them now or in the future, when circumstances change.

Whether on premise or in the cloud, Oracle SPARC servers are incredibly scalable and highly performing, with fast response times and acceleration of analytics and Oracle databases. They’ve been designed to meet the needs of modern businesses today and in the future, if as outlined in LogicMonitor’s Cloud Vision 2020 survey, 83% of enterprise workloads will be in public, private or hybrid cloud environments by 2020.

In addition to meeting performance, scalability and efficiency goals, infrastructure powered by Oracle SPARC servers and Solaris meets head-on the increasing threat of cyber attack with advanced security capabilities, including data encryption and decryption, application memory protection, one step patching and user access features.

Businesses that are modernising and getting cloud-ready, need look no further than Oracle SPARC and Solaris. Further reading is available by downloading the Oracle Solaris for Dummies Guide.

Useful Links

Gartner Survey of CIOs

Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud