Tag Archives: Cloud

Oracle a Top-Three Cloud Provider

In cloud vendor rankings, Oracle is often found somewhere in the pack of “other cloud providers,” way behind Amazon, Microsoft and Google. But on their home turf, the database, Oracle is moving towards its natural leadership position. In the latest Forrester Wave™ for Database-As-A-Service, Oracle is right behind AWS and Microsoft in the Leaders section.

Forrester WaveTM Database-as-a-Service 2Q17

Source: The Forrester Wave™Database-As-A-Service Q2 ’17

Looking at Forrester’s evaluation criteria, it is possible to argue that the position should have been even higher. It is not obvious why Oracle should get a lowly 1.6 score for Architecture, nor why they should only be rated 4.2 again AWS’ perfect 5.0 for security.

Licensing is always part of the decision when discussing Oracle software, and there is a big difference between running Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).

  • With PaaS, the database license is included. This means you don’t buy an expensive database license up front, and can simply terminate your PaaS contract if you don’t need the database anymore.
  • With IaaS,  whether from Oracle or one of the other two approved vendors  (Amazon and Microsoft), you will have to bring your own Oracle license.

For new development using an Oracle database, the flexible licensing means you should use Oracle PaaS if at all possible.

For existing Oracle installations, it might make sense to move from your existing on-premise hardware into the cloud if you are faced with buying new hardware. Note that some features are only available on Oracle’s IaaS cloud – for example, you can’t run Oracle RAC on Amazon or Microsoft.

 

 

Oracle Cloud Strategy Fail

Oracle rose to database dominance by making their software freely available. Anybody can download a $100K+ enterprise edition database and use it for personal learning as long as he likes.

The Oracle Cloud offerings, on the other hand, are strictly limited. You need to provide both a mobile phone number and a credit card number in order to get a miserly 30-day trial. Once you’ve spent your 30 days, you’ve used the one chance you get in this lifetime to learn Oracle’s 50+ cloud offerings.

Reality Distortion Field - Steve Jobs had it...

Contrast this with the approach taken by Amazon: A free tier without time limitation, and a generous 12-month trial for many of the other services. They took a page from Oracle’s playbook, offered free access and became dominant in the cloud space.

Oracle defends their stinginess by saying that it’s too expensive for them to offer free trials. And apparently, they believe they don’t need to offer good trials because their cloud is faster and cheaper.

Unfortunately, the ability of Larry Ellison to distort reality is limited. Oracle has a negligible market share in IaaS and PaaS and since they won’t invest a smidgen of their $60 billion cash hoard in better trials, they are unfortunately likely to remain a bit player in this space.

I’ve used my own phone number and credit card, and my wife’s phone number and credit card, so I’m now out of options for learning more about the Oracle cloud. But I’m learning AWS.

 

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Oracle Stock Rises on Cloud Surprise

Stockbrokers were taken by surprise by Oracle’s Cloud revenue when Oracle announced quarterly results last week, and Oracle stock duly jumped by seven percent. It has fallen back somewhat since but is still up three percent.

ORCL

(source: Yahoo Finance)

Oracle Cloud revenue is up by 63% and now makes up 13% of Oracle’s $9.3 billion quarterly revenue. It is not clear how much of this is the “cloud credits” that is reportedly bundled into renewal and new on-premise deals. It will be interesting to see if customers find a good use for these credits and will buy more once they are used up.

As an ERP and database company, it would make the most sense for Oracle to push their strong SaaS and PaaS offerings. SaaS and PaaS currently make up 85% of Oracle cloud revenue, but they have decided to try to muscle into the already-crowded market for commodity computing services. With $195 million of IaaS revenue, it doesn’t make much sense for Oracle to try to catch up to Amazon’s $3.5 billion.

Oracle PaaS Partner Community Forum 2017

In two weeks, I’m off to Croatia for the Oracle PaaS Partner Community Forum. The agenda covers a lot of the Oracle PaaS cloud services:

  • SOA Cloud Service
  • Integration Cloud Service
  • API Cloud Service
  • Java Cloud Service
  • Application Builder Cloud Service
  • Developer Cloud Service
  • Application Container Cloud Service

I’m looking forward to seeing the latest improvements to the Oracle Cloud services and hearing from my fellow ACE Directors who have actually used them.

This event is free for Oracle partners who are members of one of the EMEA Oracle partner communities. The conference runs from March 27 to March 29 with optional hands-on workshops on March 30 and 31. There might still be spaces left – check the registration page at http://tinyurl.com/paasForum2017.

If you can’t make it to Croatia, and you have a burning question about Oracle PaaS Cloud services, feel free to comment and I’ll try to have your question answered by one of the knowledgeable presenters there.

Why you don’t want to become an Oracle SOA developer

My answer on Quora to a Java developer looking to become an Oracle SOA developer:

You don’t want to become an Oracle SOA developer, for two reasons: SOA and Oracle.

First, Service-Oriented Architecture has over-promised and under-delivered for a decade. The only reason SOA is still around is that many big enterprises has invested millions of dollars and are unwilling to admit that SOA was a mistake. It takes skilled architects, care and attention to realize the benefits SOA promised, and most organizations didn’t have that.

Second, Oracle is focusing on their cloud products, and the future of on-premise SOA is uncertain. All new features are rolled out in cloud services first and then, maybe, eventually, in the on-premise products.

Instead, learn micro service architecture and the associated technologies. Modern application landscapes are too complex for centralized SOA architectures, but micro services can be rolled out and integrated with the speed modern organizations need.

If you want to stay close to the old Oracle SOA world, look at Integration Cloud Service and Process Cloud Service. That’s where exciting development is happening in the Oracle world.

Link to Quora: Path to becoming an Oracle SOA developer. Already hava Java OCA. Whats next?

Why You Want to be Down With Amazon

Part of the supposedly unbreakable Amazon cloud was down, and the world didn’t end.

What did happen was that a swarm of the best operations people in the world rapidly descended on the problem, diagnosed and fixed it. You can be sure the issue had top management attention, because Amazon’s brand, reputation, and business rides on their infrastructure.

With all due respect to your infrastructure and operations team, they are unlikely to have the manpower, specialization, and training that Amazon cloud engineering has. If the same issue had hit your own in-house data center, it would have taken you much longer to find and fix it.

That’s why you want to be in the cloud. As long as you can move to another cloud.

How’s Oracle’s performance, both on financial and strategic parameters?

My answer on Quora to “How is Oracle’s financial and strategic performance?”

Answer by Sten Vesterli:

Stable.

Financially, they have hit pretty close to their targets and their stock has been steady around 40 for the last year. Oracle has been working hard to increase the share of revenue from cloud services, including bundling on-premise deals with a lot of “cloud credits” they can count as cloud revenue. Since they haven’t had significant cloud business until recently, everybody is waiting to see if customers will renew.

Strategically, they are using their massive cash hoard and strong cash flow from existing customers to increase their cloud offerings, both by rolling out new services and by buying cloud providers like NetSuite. In vendor comparisons, Oracle’s cloud offerings are currently way behind the market leaders. But they have a strong commitment and strong financial resources, so they might eventually become a significant cloud player.

How’s Oracle’s performance, both on financial and strategic parameters?

You Urgently Need a Cloud Exit Strategy

Moving your software to a cloud vendor has always been an act of faith. You believe the vendor will honor their promises, fulfil the SLA and stay in business.

That’s why many are choosing the big names like Amazon, Microsoft and Google.

Gartner MQ IaaS Aug 2016
Gartner MQ IaaS Aug 2016

Oracle wants to extend its brand into Cloud computing as well, but they are not even on Gartner’s radar, and with their recent decision to double the cost of running Oracle on Amazon, they are not endearing themselves to customers.

No matter which cloud vendor you choose, make sure that you establish an exit strategy in advance. You need to be able to keep your systems running even if your cloud vendor suddenly folds. That means that you need to establish a procedure to continually transfer data from your cloud to a third part (or back to yourself). Don’t get stuck in the cloud.

Is Cloud a Priority at Oracle?

This is the Oracle Cloud:

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-08-57-29

What do you think happens when you click on “Account Details”? This:

screen-shot-2016-11-10-at-08-55-15

This experience and many others make me wonder if Cloud is truly a priority at Oracle. There is obviously no automated availability testing taking place, and some of my other Oracle Cloud experience has not left me terribly impressed.

This is the company that brought us the gold standard in relational databases, for crying out loud! You can do better, Oracle. Please, please start trying.

Oracle Cloud: Credit Where It’s Due

I’ve had interesting discussions with people inside and outside Oracle after sharing my experience with some of the Cloud trial services.

In the interest of fairness, I want to state that the DB Schema Service seems to be the outlier in poor customer service. Since my last Cloud post, Oracle has improved the service slightly. Instead of terminating it completely without warning, they now send me a mail at 7 pm that my service will disappear in less than a day, and then another one at 3 am saying that it’s now gone. So the inattentive developer will still leave the office at 5 pm happy to be running an Oracle Cloud service, and arrive the next morning to find it gone.

Other Oracle Cloud services are better – for my currently running Application Builder Cloud Service trial, I just got a reasonable warning that it will expire in 9 days.