Technology: A Cloud Solution to Support all Workloads is a Long Way Off
$ORCL, $AMZN, $MSFT
According to my research the mass transfer of data to the cloud is still in the early stages, as about 95% of all corporate data continues to reside in private IT facilities that companies run for their own use.
The WS-J says that there are signs the shift may be accelerating.
“We are starting to see an interesting momentum shift …We are starting to get into these bigger engagements,” Oracle’s Steve Daheb said in a recent interview.
Mr. Daheb said that Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL) has ramped up its cloud efforts over the last 18 months, adding leadership and rolling out new services.
In March of Y 2016, the company launched Oracle Cloud at Customer, in which companies place an Oracle cloud server within their own data center, helping to address national data sovereignty requirements and other potential impediments to cloud adoption.
Oracle says it is competing at all levels of the cloud, but is farthest along in platform and applications. It competes in the cloud infrastructure market, but is behind Amazon.com Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AMZN) Amazon Web Services and Microsoft’s Azure (NASDAQ:MSFT). Platforms provide an environment for applications and other elements, while infrastructure includes core services such as storage and computing.
Oracle hired Mr. Daheb early in Y 2015 to help drive the software giant’s transition to the cloud. Mr. Daheb, previously CMO (chief marketing officer) at Citrix Systems, is Senior VP for Oracle Cloud. His focus includes infrastructure as a service, platform as a service, mobility, security and analytics.
Mr. Daheb’s role bridges cloud strategy and execution, according to a company spokesman.
The Big Q: Where is Oracle’s cloud business today?
The big A: Mr. Daheb says, “The numbers continue to grow. For the fiscal year, PaaS and SaaS, we ended up at $2.2-B. When you add IaaS to that number the revenues were at approximately $2.85-B. So I think we have really rounded out the offerings with respect to the 3 layers of the cloud. It is project and use-case based, but the mandate is starting to change now.
“6 to 9 months ago, it was like, “yah”, we are sort of evaluating plans for cloud, let us find a way to get there. Less than 10% of the workloads have actually moved to cloud. They are … more commodity compute. We are starting to get into these bigger engagements. Not all workloads are the same. If we have things running on big databases .. and I want to move those to the cloud how do we do that? We are starting to get engaged along those type of deals.”
Security is the big issue, cloud companies are pushing all aspects of it as the cloud appears to be very vulnerable, one expert I spoke to describes it as a sieve or Swiss cheese, easily hackable.
Experts theorize that once cloud migration reaches 30 to 40%, the economics of the private data center will come under pressure, and there will be a swift migration of most remaining corporate data to the cloud.
Mr. Daheb says, “There are economic drivers today for why cloud makes sense … but people are also looking at it holistically. There is a hidden cost with moving today. As I add more storage, as I add compute, as I add service level agreements, all of a sudden, the total cost of ownership isn’t looking as great. We are doing a lot of things to solve that, and actually make it feasible to move these 95% or whatever of workloads that haven’t moved yet for a variety of reasons to the cloud. You take off security as an issue. You have the throughput, the performance, the scale that you need to actually manage these enterprise class databases .. You take those barriers to entry off the table.
You see some cloud in all of these enterprises, but not everyone is all in. There are a lot of things that have to go on with respect to data integration and security. I do not think it is a wholesale shift. There are specific projects. We just see it expanding from there. Again, it is definitely project and use-case based, but the mandate is starting to change now.”
Oracle’s goal is to move and run all workloads better than anybody, but it seems to me that a cloud solution to support all workloads is a long ways off and that customers should have a choice, one that is efficient, less costly and ultimately super secure, aka unhackable.