Product Review: Oracle Cloud
The Oracle Cloud is one of the best-known public clouds on the market and boasts services in all three service categories – software-as-a-service (SaaS), platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS). Oracle’s offerings also feature a Cloud Marketplace, where more than 250 partners sell their apps and services to Oracle customers. Public clouds are used by 88 percent of enterprises, according to an Oracle brochure, and Oracle is attempting to offer a package that is best-in-class. Oracle certainly has plenty of name recognition, but does their product match up to the hype one would expect? This review attempts to answer that question, taking a look into the Oracle Cloud, seeing what others are saying about it, and finally judging how it matches up against its competitors in the public cloud market.
The company announced its plan for a container cloud service, similar to that offered by Amazon, Microsoft and Google, that will run and manage Docker application containers. Perhaps more importantly, the IaaS cloud is bundled with the SaaS and PaaS platforms, which is not the case for every company; indeed, this is a key differentiator between Oracle’s Cloud and that of other companies.
Since the services offered by the Oracle Cloud span across SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, it makes sense to consider the applications that fall under each category. An in-depth review of each application in Oracle’s Cloud is outside the scope of this review, but a solid overview will be helpful. Within the SaaS realm, Oracle offers multiple suites of applications that are aimed at a wide variety of business needs, from sales and marketing to supply chain management. The specific application suites in the Oracle Cloud are: Customer Experience, Human Capital Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Supply Chain Management, Enterprise Performance Management, Analytics, Social, and Data. These suites highlight different portions of the Oracle Cloud and the combination of all the suites is meant to provide a wide coverage of a business’s cloud computing needs. Oracle features a common deployment platform that will meet industry compliance requirements in financial services and the public sector.
On the PaaS end of things, the Oracle Cloud Platform helps enterprise IT and Independent Software Vendor (ISV) companies quickly build and deploy applications – either their own or Oracle’s. The Oracle Cloud Platform allows for flexible deployment options and easy migration of on-premises applications to or from the cloud. The platform has its own set of features including data management, application development, integration, business analytics, and more. It also makes use of Oracle’s database and application server, both of which are some of the best in the industry. On a related note, Oracle offers a developers community to help companies maximize the capabilities of the Cloud, and particularly the Cloud Platform.
Oracle Cloud also features a set of IaaS services that are designed to provide important features, such as elastic compute and storage, for a business’s infrastructure needs. The infrastructure services are all integrated and additionally are hosted, managed and supported by Oracle. They are meant to be very usable and elastic, as one would expect from a public cloud, yet also feature predictability and granular levels of control. Oracle attempts to achieve these goals through the Bare Metal Cloud Services, which provide the IaaS capabilities that are high-performance and cost-effective.
Competition and Conclusion
The main competitors Oracle faces in the cloud infrastructure market are Amazon (AWS), Microsoft (Azure) and Google (Cloud Platform). For now, these three are still in control of the market, though Oracle certainly has plans to change that. According to a summer 2016 article from Cloud Security Alliance, these three were on top for now, but the IaaS market is expected to grow rapidly, so the race to the top is far from over. Gartner analyst Lydia Leong sees Oracle as being in a great position to grow – given their strong customer base and status as a leading SaaS vendor – but not yet at the same level as Amazon, Microsoft or Google. Leong was quoted as saying the Oracle Cloud IaaS is “a foundation that it looks like they’ll be able to build upon that’s been well executed in a relatively short amount of time.” Although the infrastructure specifically needs continued iteration, Oracle is a well-respected company within the realm of cloud computing. Also, in fairness, Oracle did not launch its IaaS cloud until 2015, nine years after AWS launched the Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
Oracle has plans to keep upgrading its IaaS offering in particular. The company announced its plan for a container cloud service, similar to that offered by Amazon, Microsoft and Google, that will run and manage Docker application containers. Perhaps more importantly, the IaaS cloud is bundled with the SaaS and PaaS platforms, which is not the case for every company; indeed, this is a key differentiator between Oracle’s Cloud and that of other companies. This bundling plays to Oracle’s strength because they are a leader in the SaaS cloud market already. Oracle also has a number of other ways in which they compete favorably against Amazon AWS; these include hybrid cloud support, on-premises cloud service and the ability to easily move workloads back-and-forth between the public cloud and a customer’s data center.
Oracle features multiple subscription options for its Cloud, including a free trial option as well as several pricing levels for a paid subscription. Subscription pricing is featured on a monthly basis, and more details can be found on the Oracle website.
Oracle Cloud Resource Page
Oracle Cloud Video Page
Oracle Cloud Press Release Page