We should start by saying that Cloud is good. Cloud is fundamental. It’s a simple, but strong idea. In fact, IDC calls cloud the Third Platform, after Mainframe and Client/Server, and they’re right. Cloud should be a key element in every organization’s operations, but, it’s not that straightforward. That’s because if you have concerns about where your data resides, and are uncertain whether it can be sent out into the public cloud, then you have a problem.
That’s because the regulatory environment is tough, and it’s only going to get tougher. So, data residency is a key issue. If security is a big issue for your business, and if latency is also important, then using the public cloud may not be appropriate. Even though the public cloud is flexible, scalable and eminently cost-effective, the problem is that you cannot control where your data resides. That’s important for most organizations, which means it’s an issue that might be a problem. Of course, once they understand how Oracle Cloud manages their data, then there’s every chance organizations will move it to the public cloud.
But, if you need to keep your data on premise, what do you do? It’s what we call the ‘cloud conundrum.’ And you need to look at your options. Last year Oracle announced it had the answer. They launched Cloud@Customer which, they claim, overcomes the security concerns of most enterprises.
It’s a clever idea. In typical Oracle style, the name tells you just about everything you need to know: The customer doesn’t go to the cloud, the cloud comes to the customer. Their press release gets straight to the point: “It’s designed to enable organizations to remove one of the biggest obstacles to cloud adoption – data privacy concerns relating to where the data is stored”
What the solution does is to, effectively, put a copy of the public cloud into a black-box and keep it inside your business. So, you know exactly where the data resides. Simply, it’s right there, where you are. It enables you to make the most of the cloud for your enterprise workloads, but be safe in the knowledge that you’re not going to have security or compliance issues.
It certainly is clever, but it might not be right for every business. We believe it’s important to think through your options, and act with caution. There are pros and cons to Cloud@Customer. If security, latency and data residency are critical issues; then it’s the solution you need. No question about that. But, if they aren’t so important, then it might constrain your full use of the cloud. That’s because the black box is finite. If you want to expand your cloud usage you have to buy another box of cloud.
The point is, the public cloud is more easily scalable, and it’s cheaper. Oracle is going to manage Cloud@Customer the same way as their public cloud offerings. So, there’ll be no difference in the PaaS, IaaS, or SaaS you use. On the positive side, Oracle’s solution allows businesses to mix and match their cloud provision. They can use the public cloud for things like testing and development, then move into Cloud@Customer for final production when the data becomes more critical. Which is a very commonsense approach. It means that Cloud@Customer can be seen as a stepping stone to the public cloud. When thinking of the costs of Cloud@Customer it’s not only about comparing your current costs of hardware and software maintenance, consider the benefits of having the resources required to manage your existing estate as part of the service provided by Oracle.
For us, the bottom line is: if security, latency and data residency are critical think about Cloud@Customer. If not, go public. Though, the best answer is to come and talk to us at Fujitsu, and we’ll look at the whole picture and make whatever suits your needs, work for you. That will allow you to focus on what you do best while we manage the tools to help you achieve your objectives.
Talk to us about Oracle’s Cloud@Customer and we’ll help you solve the cloud conundrum.
By Ian Price (Oracle Propositions Manager, EMEIA) and Ian Leath (Fujitsu Oracle CTO EMEIA).