Oracle's Product Chief Unleashes Torrent of New Cloud Solutions

Oracle on Tuesday complemented its extensive suite of cloud offerings -- including the 183 new modules and services introduced over the past year -- with about two dozen more features, services and tools to broaden the cloud portfolio.

Thomas Kurian, Oracle's president of product development, divulged to Oracle partners a series of new products that can further expand and complement their cloud practices, from database tools to Infrastructure-as-a-Service capabilities to analytics and business intelligence platforms.

All those solutions are meant to be accessible to anyone with a browser, Kurian told attendees gathered at the Mosconi Center in San Francisco for the Oracle OpenWorld conference.

[Related: Oracle OpenWorld 2015: Intel CEO Talks Transformational Partnership With Oracle]

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Kurian ran through brief synopses of all the new cloud products and demonstrated how a few are intended to solve real business problems.

The keynote started at the lowest layer of the stack, with new Infrastructure-as-a-Service solutions.

At last year's OpenWorld, Oracle unveiled new storage services. This year's announcement addressed the other two main components of the infrastructure layer: elastic compute and networking.

To complement the object storage introduced last year, Oracle has added four related capabilities: archival storage, file and database backup, cloud Network Attached Storage (NAS), and a bulk data transfer service to ease migrations between data centers and the cloud.

The Elastic Compute service allows customers to provision however many computing cores they want and pay for them by the hour, he said.

For customers with more rigorous needs, there's also a dedicated compute option that provisions a single-tenant environment.

Finally, for those seeking the absolute-best computing performance, there's an Engineered Systems IaaS option that provisions an Exadata machine or an Oracle Big Data Appliance as a cloud service.

Kurian went on to unveil the launch of a new container service that allows Docker users to build images on-premise and publish them to a Docker registry, using Mesos or Kubernetes to manage the clusters.

Among the new networking services Oracle is debuting is the capability for corporate networks to connect to the Oracle cloud through the Equinix Cloud Exchange.

Many of the updated capabilities of the Oracle cloud focus on developers.

That includes integration with the Bitnami Application Library, making Bitnami's catalog of more than 200 open-source software stacks available to run on the Oracle Cloud.

Also for developers, Oracle is launching new application development services in the cloud that support multiple languages, a service for developing applications native to mobile devices, and an application builder for non-developers that offers drag-and-drop assembly.

Oracle is also boosting its cloud's analytic chops with big data services. A set of new features allow users to store, manage, query, prepare, enrich, discover and analyze large data sets.

And for professional analysts, a new business analytics service accelerates ETL processing in the cloud.

The enhancements also will enable customers to move Oracle's BI catalog from on-premise systems to the cloud and back, Kurian said.

Complementing that solution, Oracle also introduced a mobile BI tool to do analytics from smartphones.

With a new data visualization cloud service Oracle is launching, business users can visually analyze their data armed with nothing more than a spreadsheet and a browser.

Another new service offers a social interface to help manage documents.

Oracle is also introducing a central identity cloud service, which all the other cloud services connect to for identity management purposes.

Kurian kept the product spree rolling, announcing a new service for data integration and another for IT management that conducts performance monitoring across on-premise infrastructure, Oracle's cloud, as well as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure.

Wrapping up the long procession, without much elaboration, Kurian told OpenWorld attendees that Oracle is launching a new Internet of Things cloud service "that lets you hook up your sensors, collect data, process it" and drive all other business processes with that IoT data, from ERP to manufacturing to customer relationship tools.

Vikram Setia, chief commercial officer at Infomentum, an Oracle partner based in London that specializes in digital transformations, told CRN that the wide range of services Oracle now offers -- from software to platform to infrastructure -- helps partners drive more business.

Infomentum is already taking advantage of that scope, having recently moved a large defense customer from Amazon Web Services to Oracle, delivering them a 40 percent savings in the service costs.

"We see hybrid cloud models to be very useful and popular for customers in the near future, and Oracle's clear migration paths are good for that," Setia told CRN. "Customers can run their legacy systems without interruption and extend them to the cloud for smart solutions."

With the new cloud features, Oracle has taken another step in enabling customers "to adopt a digital platform at a strategic level, but roll out quick services as they go along," he said.