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Oracle has a cloud strategy which includes deploying data centers on a market by market basis around the world. So says Oracle President Mark Hurd who was in London this week to espouse the company’s cloud position.

While the company talked about investing for the long term at enterprise scale it is still reticent about saying exactly how much and where it will build out its data center capacity.
Hurd said that he had a budget for data center deployments but that he wouldn’t share it. The manner in which Oracle builds out its cloud infrastructure would be a policy of ‘rolling thunder’ he says.
By that he was saying that Oracle would turn up in a local market and build out by spending capital by geography or industry. To coincide with his visit the company announced in London that it would open a data center for services to the UK Government’s G Cloud. Oracle has taken ‘ring fenced’ space in the Equinix Slough data center for this. The company also has data center in Linlithgow in Scotland and operates another EMEA facility in Amsterdam in Holland.
Hurd said that Oracle had opened data centers in Latin America and Asia and that we could expect to see more of that. Hurd says Oracle’s approach to the cloud is: “helping enterprises extract the value of intellectual property on any delivery architecture be it the Oracle cloud or the private cloud.”

Oracle, he says is building a cloud on its ‘Engineered Systems’ – its ‘Exa’ branded all in one hardware platform which is tuned for different workloads – which it is deploying in standard configurations.

“Anything we do in our cloud, we can do for your private cloud,” he says.
The play here is that Oracle will sell you kit “from disk to application” and it will sell you that on a Capex basis – buy it from us and run it yourself - or an Opex basis – buy it as a service from the Oracle cloud. The third option is a mixture of both.

“We sell close to the customer through our distribution channel and will put our [cloud] capabilities close to the customer,” says Hurd.

If, as Hurd says, that existing evidence is a mark of future action then we can expect to see Oracle continue to take space within third party colocation sites and kit them out with its ‘Engineered’ systems. But exactly where, how many or when remains to be seen.

I ask Hurd if he had or would give figures as a percentage of revenue for data center build out plans and he replied. “Yes and No. Yes I have the figures and no I would not share them,” he says.

“This is a rolling thunder. We’re taking a strategy view. I will take this market by market, by industry and by geography. It will be in rooms that we have around the planet such as in Mexico City.  This is an expensive strategy by execution but we think it is a differentiator. We’ll open up local capabilities and the best indicator of future behaviour is past actions. We’ll show up with capital and put that into the local market.”

Hurd said that Oracle cloud has generated $1bn in subscription revenues.

If the company is rolling out its systems to deliver cloud services it looks like it will be doing so from other people’s data centers. This should be good news for colocation providers.


Comment: If Oracle Cloud is to be a major enterprise cloud services platform we are still awaiting confirmation of the scale of the infrastructure platform underpinning it. Microsoft is on the record as saying it spent $15bn on data centers and that it is building out at a scale not yet seen. Oracle appears to be saying that it will deploy in response to demand. Oracle prides itself on owning the stack: Storage, Processor, Server, OS, Middleware, Database, Applications and saying it can optimise for performance if customers buy its systems end to end. The part of the stack it appears not to want to own is the physical data center. 

To read more about Microsoft's data center scale out plans see the digital edition of Issue 29 of DatacenterDynamics FOCUS Magazine which is out now.