Oracle Brings On-Premises Software-As-A-Service To Cloud At Customer

Oracle expanded its on-premises cloud offering Wednesday to deliver Software-as-a-Service to customers directly from their own data centers.

Enterprises can now run Oracle's portfolio of business applications -- including ERP, CRM and human capital management -- from behind their own firewall but consume them exactly as they would a cloud service, with monthly billing, support and management, Nirav Mehta, vice president for Oracle Cloud at Customer, told CRN.

In addition to introducing SaaS capabilities, Oracle upgraded infrastructure and platform services for Cloud at Customer, a deployment model introduced more than a year ago to deliver the simplicity of public cloud — the same service level, service interface, buying and support experiences — from a fully managed appliance.

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"As long as you have some data center space, network connectivity, it's good to go. Oracle manages it," Mehta said. "It works just like you'd expect in the public cloud."

Oracle has further bulked up the Cloud at Customer line at lower levels of the stack.

The on-premises Infrastructure-as-a-Service offering now supports a hardware expansion model that's more granular and flexible.

"Customers who start with some minimum capacity can add a single compute node at a time, or a little block storage as they grow, without having to deal with lots of hardware," Mehta said.

Oracle also introduced to those machines all-flash arrays enabling big data and analytics workloads to take advantage of NVMe storage.

The Redwood City, Calif., company simultaneously introduced to the Cloud at Customer portfolio the Big Data Cloud Machine, a production-grade Hadoop and Spark platform.

At the Platform-as-a-Service layer, Oracle has extended Cloud at Customer to support all its platforms: database, application development, analytics, big data, application and data integration, and identity management.

"If you can use it in the public cloud, you can now use it in the Cloud Machine, Cloud at Customer. Same pricing, same SKUs, same contracts," Oracle's Mehta said.

"This is important for the channel because this offering is available to our resellers under the same cloud reseller agreement," he added.

Oracle first unveiled the product line under the branding Oracle Cloud Machine in March 2016. Six months later, at the company's OpenWorld conference, the product -- Big Data or Exadata engineered systems connected to high-speed local networks — was reintroduced as Cloud at Customer.

The portfolio presents a unique option for customers that cannot take full advantage of public cloud, Mehta said.

"Significant portions of the market are not able to easily adopt the public cloud because of data residency regulations or general privacy concerns or wanting cloud applications next to traditional applications already running in their premises without roundtrip latency," Mehta said.

Those obstacles "form kind of a barrier for a good chunk of the market," he said.

Oracle now has sold Cloud at Customer in 35 countries, and has said AT&T and Bank of America are now customers. There's latent demand for on-premises solutions with public cloud simplicity, Mehta told CRN.

John Iuliano, national sales director at Mythics, an exclusive Oracle partner based in Virginia Beach, Va., said the company is starting to see interest ramp for Cloud at Customer, which solves problems for many different types of organizations.

"Across all the different verticals and markets we cover, predominantly public sector, the flexible deployment model helps them enable and adopt a cloud strategy that works best for that specific organization because of data requirements, legal, regulatory mandates," Iuliano told CRN.

The on-premises deployment model "helps those organizations gain the flexibility and benefits of a cloud solution, but behind their firewall with more control of data."

After more than a year on the market, adoption of Cloud at Customer is starting to pick up.

"It did take some education of our customer base as to how exactly the model works, but once they grasp the concept, and the flexibility it can offer them, now we're starting to see that adoption," said Mythics' Iuliano.

The latest upgrades to the portfolio, including the SaaS capabilities, were introduced with input from the channel, he added.

"Oracle has really been listening to the partner community and our feedback as to what customers are asking," Iuliano said.