Everything You Need to Know About Oracle CloudWorld
Oracle managed to make room for a slew of very important announcements in a one-day event, Oracle CloudWorld 2018, which took place in New York. This article will not only report on the new capabilities but also discuss their impacts on the "Cloud Wars" which has been becoming fiercer between Amazon, Oracle, Salesforce, Microsoft, and Alibaba.
Oracle Expands Its Autonomous Technology Across its Cloud Platform
Last fall, Oracle rolled out its “latest and greatest database,” called the "autonomous" database, which does not require human intervention either to manage the database or tune the database. At Oracle CloudWorld, the vendor announced the latest advances in Oracle Cloud Platform, expanding that AI-based automation beyond the database to its Platform as a Service (PaaS) cloud offerings in order to enable its cloud platform and developer applications to self-optimize, maintain, update, and patch.
"The future of tomorrow's successful enterprise IT organization is in full end-to-end automation," said Oracle President of Product Development Thomas Kurian. "At Oracle, we are making this a reality. We are weaving autonomous capabilities into the fabric of our cloud to help customers safeguard their systems, drive innovation faster, and deliver the ultimate competitive advantage with smarter real-time decisions."
The autonomous functionality will automatically be available to existing cloud PaaS customers however, on-premise customers will need to move to the cloud platform to utilize it.
In addition to the enhanced suite of autonomous Cloud Platform services following the launch of its ‘self-driving’ database last fall, Oracle is planning to extend these autonomous capabilities across much of its cloud product line. The company stated that multiple autonomous database services would be available in 2018, including Oracle Autonomous Data Warehouse Cloud Service for analytics, Oracle Autonomous Database OLTP for transactional and mixed workloads, and Oracle Autonomous NoSQL Database for fast, massive-scale reads and writes. Each autonomous will be tuned to a specific workload.
To put those additional autonomous capabilities into perspective, here are some use cases:
Self-learning chatbots observing interaction patterns and preferences to automate frequently performed end-user actions freeing up time for higher productivity tasks
Automated caching of API calls to the nearest data center in real time for lowest latency responses based on end-user location
Automated artifact discovery, dependency management, and policy-based dependency updates increasing code quality and developer productivity
Machine learning-driven user and entity behavior analytics to automatically isolate and eliminate suspicious and malicious users
Automated analysis for key findings along with visualization and narration delivering quicker real-time insights
Oracle Digital Assistant
Oracle also introduced a single Oracle Digital Assistant for users to interact across Oracle's SaaS and PaaS services including analytics. Oracle Digital Assistant uses AI to intelligently correlate data and automate user behavior and provides centralized connection for the user to converse across the user's CRM, ERP, HCM, custom applications, and business intelligence data. Oracle Digital Assistant capabilities include:
Integration to speech-based devices like Amazon Echo (Alexa), Apple Siri, Google Home and Speech, Harman Kardon (Cortana), and Microsoft Cortana.
Deep neural net based machine learning algorithms to process the message from the voice-based devices to understand end-user input and take action.
Intelligent routing to the Bot with the knowledge to process the end user input.
Deep insights into user behavior, context, preferences and routines that are used by the Oracle Digital Assistant to self-learn to recommend and automate across all data sets on behalf of the user.
Oracle to Significantly Expand Its Cloud Infrastructure Footprint
Oracle announced its global expansion plans at the event, which include the opening of 12 new datacenter regions and an increase of the breadth and depth of Oracle Cloud services available across Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
The regional expansion of Oracle's cloud footprint will include locations in Asia including China, India, Japan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, and South Korea; Europe including Amsterdam and Switzerland; and North America including two in Canada and two new US locations to support U.S. Department of Defense workloads.
Speaking of global expansion, the Redwood Shores, California- based vendor had announced a multimillion-dollar investment in startup ecosystems support called the residential Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program which provides startups mentoring, research and development resources, practical support, global resources, marketing and sales enablement, migration assistance, cloud credits and discounts along with access to Oracle’s customer and product ecosystems. The program started last year and the first phase of the global expansion included Bristol (UK), Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Paris, São Paulo, Singapore, and Tel Aviv.
At Oracle CloudWorld, the database giant announced the launch of a new residential program in Austin, Texas as well as a virtual-style non-residential program called, Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem, which has evolved from the residential Oracle Startup Cloud Accelerator program, in order to address the emerging demand for the program. A three-time startup leader Reggie Bradford, who sold Vitrue to Oracle for $300 million in 2012, designed the program and said that they received almost 4000 startup applications while they had only the 40 slots available.
The new startup accelerator will be based on the massive campus that Oracle has built on 27 acres on the waterfront of Austin’s Lady Bird Lake located in the Lakeshore Development area. The grand opening of the campus will take place in March. However, Oracle’s accelerator won’t be the first one in the region as Austin has already had a few existing and well-established technology accelerators that include Techstars Austin, Capital Factory, Austin Technology Incubator, Tarmac Texas, MassChallenge Texas and SputnikATX.
The virtual program is aimed at startups, venture capital and private equity portfolio companies, according to Oracle. The program benefits the startups that are relatively larger in size but not so nimble to relocate or share an office. With nearly 50 employees dedicated to the program, Jason Williams, industry veteran and Amazon Web Services alum, will lead the Oracle Scaleup Ecosystem program. Oracle plans to select five to six startups per cohort, with two programs a year.
New Data Management Services Added to Oracle’s EPM Cloud
The Redwood City, California-based company also introduced Oracle Enterprise Data Management Cloud to provide a single platform for easy management of critical enterprise data assets (such as the Chart of Accounts), and improved data integrity and alignment.
"With Oracle Enterprise Data Management Cloud, we are providing a modern platform that streamlines business transformation efforts and enables organizations to maintain data integrity, accuracy and consistency across all their applications – in the cloud and on-premises," said Hari Sankar, group vice president, EPM product management at Oracle.
Here are the key capabilities of Oracle Enterprise Data Management Cloud:
After cloud adoption, enterprises easily and rapidly reconcile their financial data elements from Oracle or third parties.
In the case of mergers and acquisitions, organizations will be able to drive faster business transformation, reorganizations, and restructuring.
Better alignment across first-office, back-office, and other enterprise management applications.
Support enterprise data across business domains including master data, reference data, dimensions, hierarchies, business taxonomies, associated relationships, mappings and attributes across diverse business contexts.
Only Cloud Provider to Offer a Guarantee with its SLA
Oracle expanded its enterprise service level agreements (SLAs) and unveiled the industry's first end-to-end financially backed cloud warranty for Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). With this enhancement, the vendor bills itself as the only cloud infrastructure provider offering guaranteed service levels across performance, manageability, and availability.
What is it exactly that Oracle gives a guarantee for, you may ask? Oracle Cloud Infrastructure guarantees it will deliver more than 90 percent of published performance every day in a given month. If it falls below that level for even as few as 44 minutes a month, customers may claim service credits according to Oracle's terms of service. To compare their new performance SLA with the others available on the market, the vendor claims that even when other cloud resources can be delivering 1 percent of published performance targets, the customer must continue to pay full price for the degraded services.
In addition, Oracle plans to extend these SLAs to all of its Oracle Cloud Platform Autonomous Services including those for the database, application development, mobile and bots, application and data integration, analytics, security, and management.
"Customers expect service level commitments for uptime to mean that their applications are not only available but manageable and performing as expected, regardless of where that application may be located," said Al Gillen, GVP, Software Development and Open Source, IDC. "Unfortunately, many cloud SLAs don't make that broad commitment. Oracle's revised SLAs provide customers the guarantees they need to allow them to run mission-critical enterprise applications in cloud environments with confidence."
Over 50% of All Enterprise Data Will Be Managed Autonomously by 2020
During the opening keynote of Oracle CloudWorld, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd noted that 15% of enterprise data centers closed last year as customers moved workloads to the cloud last year, and he added that roughly 20% of enterprise workloads are now in the cloud. From those data points, Hurd presented two prediction slides; one was a new set of predictions while the other one was a reminder of the past predictions. According to his new predictions, from 2020 to 2025:
More than 50% of all enterprise data will be managed autonomously, and be more secure.
Even highly regulated industries will shift 50% of their production workloads to cloud.
90% of all enterprise applications will feature integrated AI capabilities.
The top ERP vendor in the cloud will own more than half the market.
When it comes to the recap of the previous predictions, by 2025:
80% of production apps will be in the cloud.
Two SaaS Suite providers will have 80% market share.
The number of corporate-owned data centers will have decreased 80%.
80% of IT budgets will be spent on cloud services.
80% of IT budgets will be spent on business innovation and only 20% on system maintenance.
All enterprise data will be stored in the cloud.
100% of application development and testing will be conducted in the cloud.
Enterprise clouds will be the most secure place for IT processing.
The main purpose behind all those new automation features, cloud SLAs, and new data management services is providing simplicity in the most secure manner. To do so, Oracle is not developing standalone AI apps, instead, it injects AI directly into SaaS applications so users could utilize cloud databases without having to understand the underlying processors, network, storage or infrastructure.
Oracle CloudWorld was jam-packed with so many announcements of new features and programs, however, one of the new features that stood out from the event for me was the machine learning-driven user and entity behavior analytics. As it automatically isolates and eliminates suspicious and malicious users, this new feature represents an example of the new security trend of behavior modeling which is emerging because of the rise of the adoption of a range of IoT applications.
Another interesting point from the event was the announcement around Oracle’s global expansion and its expanding accelerator programs. In terms of Oracle’s interest, gaining long-term, fast-growing customers for the cloud unit through the accelerator program is a smart move to achieving the goal of muscling up in the “Cloud Wars.” In terms of the tech industry’s interest, supporting the movement of startup growth outside of Silicon Valley, which was pioneered by AOL co-founder Steve Case, sets a good example for the rest.
Although Oracle was late to that whole cloud battle, with its latest efforts and intense focus on the rapidly growing cloud market dominated by Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp., Oracle’s next quarterly numbers may surge to the point where they meet Wall Street’s expectations for the cloud cash, and ultimately the vendor may even catch up with Amazon. What the other cloud providers do not have is Oracle’s 40-year real-world expertise in database. If the vendor could take advantage of this supremacy to provide a more robust end-to-end solution in the cloud, the landscape of the cloud game still may drastically change.