Tuesday, 23 October 2018 15:15

Second-generation Oracle Cloud 'impenetrable': Ellison

By
Oracle CTO and chairman Larry Ellison Oracle CTO and chairman Larry Ellison

Oracle's second generation cloud features "Star Wars cyber defences with 'impenetrable barriers' and 'autonomous robots'," the company's chief technology officer and chairman Larry Ellison claims.

The state of the art in cloud security was "not good enough – not even close", according to Ellison, so Oracle has developed a new architecture. But "if it was easy to do, someone else would have already done it", he said.

Oracle Cloud Gen 2 represents "a completely new hardware configuration for the cloud" using "dedicated, independent computers to surround the perimeter of our cloud" and each customer's zone. This approach stops malicious customers moving laterally to attack their peers, or to interfere with the control of the infrastructure.

It has two-way implications for security: Oracle can't see its customers' data ("you don't have to trust us"), and customers cannot access the computers controlling Oracle Cloud.

"It's an isolated network they can't get at," said Ellison, "threats can't enter and threats can't spread."

While security was the primary reason for Oracle Cloud Gen 2, the new design also makes it easier to migrate enterprise workloads to the cloud as well as providing superior economics thanks to automation and improved price-performance.

"As we move from one generation to the next... we want to protect your investment in data and applications,' he said.

"It's faster than any other cloud... and we price it very aggressively.

"It's much cheaper than the competitors," he said, "when you move to our cloud, you do save money."

For example, Oracle Cloud Gen 2 is almost 50% faster than AWS for compute, but at one-third the price, he said, as well as being five times faster for block storage at one-thirtieth the price, and providing double the network performance at one-hundredth the cost when moving data out of the cloud.

The combination of BYO licences (using already-purchased on-premises licences in the cloud), self-optimising databases, and true pay-per-use pricing can significantly reduce costs, but "you've got to be willing to pay less, said Ellison, returning to one of his favourite themes.

He presented a series of benchmark tests of Oracle Cloud vs AWS (Redshift or Aurora, as appropriate), with Oracle shown to be faster and cheaper. And when it came to running Oracle Database on Oracle Cloud or AWS, "we're some three times faster and about half the cost", he said.

Oracle Cloud Gen 2 is available immediately as public cloud, and will be available on Cloud@Customer (dedicated fully-managed systems "identical to what we have in our public cloud" but installed on customer premises or co-located at Oracle's data centres) during 2019, with what Ellison described as an easy and free upgrade to Gen 2 Cloud@Customer for Gen 1 customers.

The writer attended Oracle Open World as a guest of the company.

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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.

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