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Oracle puts public cloud behind customer firewalls

Worried about data residency? Oracle can put a server on your premises

Oracle is offering to put a physical part of its public cloud inside customer premises, as a way to ease concerns about putting data in the cloud.

The new Cloud at Customer offering puts a node of the Oracle public cloud inside the company’s private network. This so-called “Cloud Machine” is under Oracle’s control, but the customer is able to set policies so company data is kept on that machine only, and not on the wider public cloud.

Oracle plane

Source: Thinkstock

Oracle-controlled hybrid

Many organizations worry that putting data on the public cloud may break legal requirements for location and management, but this will address these “data sovereignty” concerns, said Oracle president Thomas Kurian.

“We are now the first public cloud vendor to offer organizations the ultimate in choice on where and how they want to run their Oracle cloud,” said Kurian. The inclusion of the word “Oracle” in that claim makes it self-fulfilling, and points to the product’s proprietary nature, making this a solution for those customers who are committed to Oracle’s single-vendor stack. 

The internal server links seamlessly with the rest of the Oracle Cloud, and Oracle suggests customers will use it for disaster recovery, elastic bursting, dev/test, lift-and-shift workload migration, and a single API and scripting toolkit for DevOps.

The price structure will be interesting, but Oracle has assured users this is not a way to force hardware sales: there is no upfront cost for the hardware, and users will pay for the resources they consume, just as with other cloud services. Users get it in increments of a quarter of a rack, and can order more if they need it. 

The service is quite similar to Microsoft’s Azure Stack, launched in 2015, points out Dan Robinson at V3, although the Microsoft hybrid stack is installed on the customer’s own systems and is managed by the customer. Oracle warned that this might lead to inconsistencies with the Azure public cloud, and said users were better off letting one vendor handle the whole thing, V3 reports. 

Oracle says the system allows companies to meet data sovereignty and data residency requirements by keeping customer data inside a company’s data center or within a geographic location. It also allows both Oracle and non-Oracle workloads to move been the data center and the cloud, and keep the same environments and tools.

All this could help some firms comply with specific sector regulations such as PCI-DSS, HIPAA and FedRAMP in the US, Germany’s Federal Data Protection Act, the United Kingdom’s Data Protection Act, and other regulations, Oracle said. 

So far, the service covers infrastructure, including elastic compute, elastic block storage, virtual networking, file storage, messaging, and identity management. Other infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) features are on their way including containers and elastic load balancer, Oracle promised.  

This being Oracle, the company’s database will be central to the service: initially, it supports the Oracle Database Cloud, and this will be followed by Oracle Database as a Service, Exadata for high performance, and other Big Data services including discovery, preparation, Hadoop and Big Data SQL.

Readers' comments (1)

  • They are definitely third, behind IBM and Microsoft.
    IBM has been offering Bluemix Local, managed PasS (Cloud Foundry based) on customer premises and Bluebox Local (OpenStack managed) for sometime.

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