Oracle Tuesday delivered new services to the Oracle Cloud -- including compute and storage services and a database-as-a-service offering -- and made them available for channel partners to offer customers on a resale or referral basis.
Thomas Kurian, Oracle executive vice president of product development, called the Oracle Cloud and its new services the "single most important project" on which Oracle is working.
"These [services] will change the way you consume our software [and] use our software," Kurian said.
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Oracle Tuesday used its Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco to unveil 10 new cloud services as part of the Oracle Cloud, and said it is providing integrated services across applications, social, platform and infrastructure in the cloud.
The new Oracle Cloud services include providing Oracle database software and WebLogic Java server as services, as well as providing both storage and compute resources as a service.
Oracle also has begun looking at how its solution providers work with the cloud, including giving channel partners the ability to resell Oracle Cloud services or refer potential customers to Oracle.
Oracle earlier in the week told solution providers that, while selling services from the Oracle Cloud will have a channel play, the technology is not available for others to build similar clouds.
Oracle President Mark Hurd said at a channel partner meeting that the Oracle Cloud was not designed for partners to build using Oracle technology.
"It's hard enough for Oracle to do it," Hurd said. "We'd rather partners sell it."
While Oracle has been developing the Oracle Cloud over the past year, this is the first time the company presented it in such detail, said Kent Kellough, western area vice president at Advanced Systems Group, a Denver-based solution provider and Oracle partner.
Kellough said he sees multiple opportunities for Advanced Systems Group to work with the Oracle Cloud.
For startups using Oracle applications, for instance, partners could help them sign up for the Oracle Cloud and then gradually help them move their applications to their own data centers as they grow, he said.
"As they grow, we can help them do the right analysis to see if they need to go on-premise, or move to a hybrid solution," he said. "Or it may be that staying on the cloud is the right solution."
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However, Kellough said, moving sensitive data to the cloud is still not the right choice for most enterprises.
"So if a company wants to maintain control, but for dev-test wants to provision Oracle 12C services, the Oracle Cloud is perfect," he said. They can then move their services back to their own infrastructure for production."
Kellough said that Oracle already has put in place mechanisms to compensate partners who resell the Oracle Cloud to customers or who refer them as potential leads to Oracle. "However, this is still new," he said. "Oracle has not evangelized this to the partner community."
Thomas LaRocca, senior vice president of North America alliances and channels at Oracle, told CRN that Oracle providing referral and resale opportunities to solution providers will be a boon to partners.
"As I look at the market, I think we have the best go-to-channel opportunity of anyone," LaRocca said.
Less than 50 percent of Oracle's channel partners have the competencies needed to resell the Oracle Cloud, but all the company's partners can refer customers to Oracle, LaRocca said.
"They can see an opportunity, call their Oracle rep, and say, 'Here's Customer A, he has an opportunity, I can't resell it, but here they are,' " he said.
For those with the ability to resell Oracle Cloud, Oracle will provide the training needed to gain the proper competencies, LaRocca said.
In fact, partners will be forced by their customers to get the training and competencies needed to work with the cloud, he said. "If not, they will lose account control," he said. "And if they lose control, they lose money. Partners will have to place their bets, not only on the right solution, but on who to partner with. Otherwise, in six to 12 months from now, they will lose account control."
Joel Borellis, group vice president of worldwide alliances and channels at Oracle, said Oracle's cloud business is broken down into three areas: applications, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).
The application side of the cloud was introduced last year, with Oracle giving partners the opportunity to resell or refer the services, Borellis said. With Tuesday's introduction of new PaaS and IaaS components to the Oracle Cloud, Oracle is using the same pattern.
Jeff Barteld, senior director of global channel strategy and operations for worldwide alliances and channels at Oracle, said Oracle is treating how sales go through the channel the same as if they go direct.
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"With direct sales, customers can buy the cloud services for on-premise or by the drink on the cloud," Barteld said. "We're trying to do the same with sales through partners. There's no need for partners to set up a separate selling organization."
Included in the new cloud services introduced Tuesday was Database Cloud, which provides users with a dedicated Oracle 11g or 12c database instance, Kurian said. The instance can be a single-node database, a single-node database with Oracle Data Guard availability and data protection technology, or Oracle RAC clustered nodes, he said.
While customers can run Oracle databases on their own data center infrastructure at a lower cost than in the Oracle Cloud, using the cloud offers advantages, Kurian said.
"With Oracle Database-as-a-Service, we take care of all the management for you," he said.
Oracle also introduced Java Cloud, which provides Oracle WebLogic Server clusters as a service for the deployment of Java applications.
"It's the same WebLogic you run on your premise," Kurian said. "You use all the same tools."
Both the Database Cloud and Java Cloud are available in three levels, Kurian said. At the basic level, customers get pre-configured, automatically installed instances. At the managed level, Oracle includes updates, patches and other management features. The maximum availability level further includes high-availability environments with clustering and RAC integration, and full disaster recovery, he said.
Also new is Storage Cloud, a cloud-based storage offering,, Kurian said. Customers can access the service via a user interface, or via a programmable interface using Java or the REST API. Oracle manages the service with regular backups of the data, and with dual or triple mirroring, he said.
Kurian also introduced Compute Cloud, which allows customers to package an application in a virtual machine and run it in the Oracle Cloud. Customers can choose CPU-heavy, memory-heavy or balanced templates for the service. Customers also can add high-availability features, and attach the Storage Cloud to the virtual machines, he said.
PUBLISHED SEPT. 25, 2013