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Oracle Expands Global Cloud Footprint As Part Of ‘Ambitious’ Plan

As per the provider's ambitious build-out plan, five new Oracle data centers went online Monday, adding redundant facilities within countries to deliver to international enterprises fail-over capabilities while maintaining data sovereignty.

Oracle's global cloud expansion took a leap forward Monday with the launch of five data centers aimed at delivering redundancy within countries to satisfy the disaster-recovery demands of enterprises hosting mission-critical workloads.

The technology giant, looking to break into the leader board of Infrastructure-as-a-Service providers, flipped the switch enabling international customers to provision cloud resources from new regions in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia; Osaka, Japan; Melbourne, Australia; Montreal, Canada; and Amsterdam in the Netherlands.

The latest Oracle Cloud regions represent the "next step in our ambitious regional expansion" as the provider builds out what it calls its Gen 2 infrastructure with geographic redundancy a differentiating strategy, Andrew Reichman, Oracle's director of product management, said in a blog post.

[Related: Ellison Looks To One-Up AWS With Oracle Cloud Flexibility, Alliances And Geographic Reach]

The new Japanese, Australian, and Canadian facilities are the second Oracle Cloud sites in those countries, and the Dutch facility achieves redundancy in its "jurisdiction" when coupled with an existing region in Frankfurt, Germany. Oracle plans the launch of a second region in Saudi Arabia this year, as well as two in the United Arab Emirates, Reichman said.

Customers are requesting multiple independent sites within their countries to enable fail-over without violating data-residency requirements, he explained.

"Oracle plans to put a minimum of two regions in almost every country where we operate," Reichman said.

The launches come on the heels of 10 new regions Oracle added in the last year. The five latest facilities expand Oracle's Gen 2 infrastructure into 21 regions—with 36 expected to be operational by the end of 2020, Reichman said.

Last September, Oracle said it would open a new region on average every 23 days for 15 months.

In addition to the footprint expansion, Reichman highlighted acceleration of the groundbreaking partnership Oracle struck last summer with Microsoft through which the two hyper-scalers are directly connecting Oracle Cloud and Microsoft Azure sites.

"We currently offer preconfigured, high-bandwidth, low-latency links between Oracle and Microsoft cloud regions in the Eastern United States, London, and Toronto, with more expected to go live soon," he said.

"It’s obvious with this significant investment Oracle’s cloud business is continuing on the right trajectory," Ron Zapar, CEO of Re-Quest, an Oracle Cloud partner based in Naperville, Ill., told CRN.

The continuing investment in physical infrastructure around the globe makes clear Oracle sees "enough demand to expand the capacity and diversity of the data centers that support the cloud business," Zapar said.

Last September at its OpenWorld conference, Oracle said of the 20 new Oracle Cloud sites expected to go online by the end of 2020, 17 would focus on the enterprise market and three on government customers.

With current capital expenditure trends among the largest cloud services providers, Oracle's massive investment is necessary to keep pace with competitors in a rapidly growing market.

A Synergy Research study released in December showed global hyperscale capex spending exceeding $31 billion in the third quarter of 2019—the second-highest quarterly spend in history from those cloud giants.

Amazon, Apple, Google, Facebook and Microsoft were making the largest investments in building, expanding and equipping data centers, according to Synergy's research.

Oracle Executive Chairman and CTO Larry Ellison told OpenWorld attendees his company has fixed its sights on outdoing market leader Amazon Web Services with a cloud that is more flexible, more automated and more distributed across geographic regions—and even more closely integrated with strategic partner VMware.

Oracle's Gen 2 Cloud, compared to what Ellison describes as the current "Gen 1" offerings from AWS and other hyper-scalers, is now truly elastic, he said, with the release of the OCI Next Gen Compute Platform.

"We march toward the ultimate goal of giving you a fully autonomous cloud. Serverless, elastic," Ellison said. "All the benefits of what was promised to you with the Gen 1 cloud."

Oracle is "seeing the impacts of these rapid launches worldwide, especially in the countries where we’ve built our newest regions," Reichman blogged on Monday.

The ten largest companies in Japan all use Oracle Cloud, he claimed.

"The availability of a second region in Osaka will make it easier for customers to deploy critical systems of record in an optimized cloud, without being forced to store their data outside of Japan," Reichman said.

The Middle East is another fast-growing market, he said, where 87 percent of the largest companies use Oracle services, and more than half are Oracle Cloud customers.

The Saudi data centers, and the two coming to the UAE, are Oracle's "first forays into the Gulf with Generation 2 Cloud regions, a part of the world that’s been underserved by other cloud vendors," he said.

Australia has also been a market that's shown significant adoption, with all ten of the top enterprises in that country now Oracle Cloud customers, he said.

A second region is especially useful to Australian companies, Reichman said, as geographic isolation makes them more reliant on having a fail-over site within their national borders.

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