Oracle Cloud 2.0 Delivers a Complete Cloud Re-Boot

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Oracle unveiled a next generation of its cloud offering, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) at OpenWorld 2017: faster, simpler, more secure and more competitively priced.

The previous generation of the Oracle’s Cloud Offering, is now called “Oracle Cloud Infrastructure-Classic,” also called “OCI-Classic.” If you missed its’ unveiling, here are some of the highlights of Oracle’s cloud re-boot.

Improved geo-redundancy and speed

With the re-architecture, OCI has introduced the concept of regions and availability domains (AD) within a region. Each region features three ADs, with each AD acting as a self-sufficient and fully contained regional data center with no external dependencies. Currently, there are two regions in the US (Arizona and Virginia) and two in Europe (the UK and Germany). Oracle plans to open another 12 regional cloud data centers around the world.

The networking architecture of OCI v2.0 is designed for high performance and low latency (via non-blocking), with intra-regional bandwidth and latency at 1 Tbps and less than one millisecond, respectively, and inter-region connections at up to 100 Gbps and 100 milliseconds. When used with the appropriate replication services, inter-regional failover delivers geo-redundant disaster recovery and failover capabilities. Using the cross-data center load-balancing solutions available, high availability is achieved by splitting the servers across ADs.

Architected for performance

Oracle latest cloud offering, OCI, is not just an upgrade to OCI Classic, it’s a complete rebuild. The OCI solution is a rebuild from scratch, incorporating the experience and lessons learned from OCI Classic. The new network design and layout is at the heart of the redesign, and is critical to the performance and scaling of OCI v2.0. For example:

  • The network design is a multistage recursive CLOS network based delivering a high speed, non-blocking network. Also known as a FAT TREE network;
  • Each host within an AD is connected into the network over 10Gb/s links, with a maximum of two hops between hosts in an AD.

With OCI Oracle has taken the I/O virtualization component out of the software stack and moved that functionality into the network layer. The CLOS network topology allows for scaling out to millions of port connections, without impacting throughput, so you get the same levels of performance regardless of who else is using the data pipe. As a result of the network architecture, the new OCI can deliver network-attached block storage volumes of 60 IOPS per GB, up to a maximum of 25,000 IOPS per volume or 320 Mbps per volume.

OCI leverages the latest compute and NVMe storage within a modern architecture to provide uncompromised performance that is ideal for high I/O and data-intensive workloads. With OCI, organizations can choose bare-metal servers, virtual machines and engineered systems in a single cloud environment. The customer can choose the right model that fits their needs, whether it’s based on performance, isolation, security or cost.

Better cloud control

Cloud sprawl or Shadow IT is often a problem that IT departments have to work through with cloud deployments. IT management doesn’t have a clear picture or mechanism available to understand who is using what cloud resources within the cloud. In other words, IT has no clear way to assign cloud costs to internal cost centers. With the re-architecture of OCI IT departments gain many features and functions to help demystify the Shadow IT problem.

Oracle is addressing this with its concept of cloud compartments. Using compartments, organizations can effectively create sub clouds within the larger, single organizational cloud. The IT department can use the cloud-user security model to manage access and privileges to compartments. OCI also provides granular-level billing and metering details that can be rolled up to the required isolation-level boundaries.

Enhanced security features and governance

OCI now incorporates an identity and access management (IAM) suite into its core cloud offering to provide more security, governance and auditing capabilities. With the IAM suite, administrators can manage users, groups and access privileges. Additionally, OCI now includes the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Audit services, which provide comprehensive visibility into how cloud resources are being used. OCI Audit also supports retrieval of data events over the previous 365 days and subsequent analysis for security, compliance and governance.

OCI supports containers, Virtual Cloud Networks (VCNs) and VPNs. VCN functionality includes the ability to have fully configurable private IP addresses & subnets as well as manage routing rules and firewalls. Moreover, the networking layer includes multiple security layers, such as packet encapsulation, in-flight encryption and, when combined with IPSec VN connectivity, can be used to extend the on-premise data center into the cloud.

Better value for the dollar

OCI Classic was priced on a “pay for what you ask for” model, which often meant that organizations ended up paying for stranded cloud capacity. OCIuses a different pricing model, where organizations now purchase universal cloud credits (UCC) and apply that credit to the cloud capacity they actually use each month. With UCC, organizations have the flexibility to use specific cloud services as needed; for example, using more DBaaS one month, and more IaaS the next month. Charges stop as soon as a resource is decommissioned. Unused capacity results in leftover credit for the next month. The pay-as-you-use pricing model also means that app developers can quickly turn up and turn down cloud capacity for testing or development without being penalized.

Signing up for monthly minimum recurring (MMR) cloud credits unlocks extra discount levels, but the pay-as-you-use model provides an easy mechanism to accommodate specific, periodic and unpredictable infrastructure needs over short terms. MMR cloud credits can cover the standard, persistent IT needs.

In the past, owners of perpetual licenses of oracle products had to swallow the cost of their old licenses and buy new licenses if they wanted to move to the cloud using a PaaS platform. The cost structure of any PaaS solution includes the compute environment, the automation and the licensing entitlement and support. One of the biggest features of the revamped OCI is its “Bring Your Own License” (BYOL) model, which allows organizations to now carry their old licenses over to the cloud without purchasing new licenses (!).

The cost of the cloud component includes the compute environment and automation, with BYOL replacing the recurring license cost. As an example, when using Oracle Database as a service (DBaaS), BYOL allows the database license to move from on-premise to the cloud. Of course, there are specific nuances to this, such as processor licensing to Oracle Compute Unite (OCPU) licensing mapping, ongoing support costs, which products are included in BYOL and so on, but the core idea is to allow organizations to re-use their licenses acquired in the pre-Cloud era.

In summation, the new release of OCI is in many ways a radical rethinking and redesign of Oracle’s cloud solution.

There are a lot more features, capabilities and services available under OCI than what was covered here, and there are more on the roadmap planned for release. The new generation of OCI provides organizations with a compelling, cost-effective, high-performing, stable solution that makes moving to the cloud easier and more attractive than ever before.

If you’re ready to re-boot your cloud strategy, Advizex’s cloud advisory practice can help you evaluate your current cloud options and identify the cost, value and benefits of moving to OCI. We can give your cloud strategy clarity by answering questions like:

  • What can be (and should be) migrated to the cloud?
  • What’s the best cloud platform for a specific application?
  • Which is a better TCO/ROI option: moving to the cloud or upgrading existing hardware?
  • How do we design our cloud solution for maximum financial and operational impact?
  • How do we take advantage of the new availability and security features in OCI?
  • What is the fastest and most cost-effective way to migrate from on-premise IT to cloud-based IT?
  • What can the cloud manage and what does the organization need to manage? ▪