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October 16, 2018
Arm and Intel Partner to Ease IoT Challenges

October 9, 2018
Top Goals and Challenges for AI in Business

October 2, 2018
Are Leather and LTE the Future of PCs?

September 25, 2018
Microsoft and Partners Evolve the Modern Enterprise Desktop

September 18, 2018
AI Application Usage Evolving Rapidly

September 11, 2018
The Many Paths and Parts to 5G

September 4, 2018
Tech Content Needs Regulation

August 28, 2018
Survey: Real World AI Deployments Still Limited

August 21, 2018
Nvidia RTX Announcement Highlights AI Influence on Computer Graphics

August 14, 2018
The Shifting Nature of Technology at Work

August 7, 2018
The Beauty of 4K

July 31, 2018
The Future of End User Computing

July 24, 2018
5G Complexity to Test Standards

July 17, 2018
California Data Privacy Law Highlights Growing Frustration with Tech Industry

July 10, 2018
Dual Geographic Paths to the Tech Future

July 3, 2018
The Changing Relationship Between People and Technology

June 12, 2018
The Business of Business Software

June 5, 2018
Siri Shortcuts Highlights Evolution of Voice-Based Interfaces

May 29, 2018
Virtual Travel and Exploration Apps Are Key to Mainstream VR Adoption

May 22, 2018
The World of AI Is Still Taking Baby Steps

May 15, 2018
Device Independence Becoming Real

May 8, 2018
Bringing Vision to the Edge

May 1, 2018
The Shifting Enterprise Computing Landscape

April 24, 2018
The "Not So" Late, "And Still" Great Desktop PC

April 17, 2018
The Unseen Opportunities of AR and VR

April 10, 2018
The New Security Reality

April 3, 2018
Making AI Real

March 27, 2018
Will IBM Apple Deal Let Watson Replace Siri For Business Apps?

March 20, 2018
Edge Servers Will Redefine the Cloud

March 13, 2018
Is it Too Late for Data Privacy?

March 6, 2018
The Hidden Technology Behind Modern Smartphones

February 27, 2018
The Surprising Highlight of MWC: Audio

February 20, 2018
The Blurring Lines for 5G

February 13, 2018
The Modern State of WiFi

February 6, 2018
Wearables to Benefit from Simplicity

January 30, 2018
Smartphone Market Challenges Raise Major Questions

January 23, 2018
Hardware-Based AI

January 16, 2018
The Tech Industry Needs Functional Safety

January 9, 2018
Will AI Power Too Many Smart Home Devices?

January 2, 2018
Top Tech Predictions for 2018

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TECHnalysis Research Blog

October 23, 2018
Oracle Makes Case as Cloud Computing Provider

By Bob O'Donnell

Sometimes it’s good to be late. That’s the argument we’ve heard from quite a few technology companies that are tardy to a particular market. They claim that their “lateness” isn’t really a detriment, but actually a positive attribute to their offering.

That’s certainly the case that Oracle is making when it comes to their cloud computing product—Oracle Cloud, which ties together Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, or OCI, with their various cloud, database and application platforms. Right now, Oracle is clearly battling it out for number four with IBM and SAP, well behind Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform, regardless of which market research data provider you choose to believe. Of course, with the group creating OCI primarily based in Seattle, it certainly doesn’t hurt (nor is it terribly surprising) that 90-95% of them are alumni from the Amazon AWS or the Microsoft Azure cloud computing group, according to people who are in the Oracle cloud product development group. As a result, several said that they can learn from the missteps of these companies, and develop a more efficient solution.

Even with this 4th­-place position, however, Oracle clearly sees an opportunity to differentiate from the others, based on its core database IP and a focus on high-performance applications. As was pointed out yesterday on the first day of Oracle’s OpenWorld event in San Francisco, there are quite a few companies that are interested in migrating traditional Oracle-based database-focused products onto the cloud. So far, the percentage of traditional Oracle-focused companies that have actually done this seems to be pretty small—perhaps high single digits as a percentage—but it’s clear that much of the hesitation is due to the more conservative approach to technology adoption that many Oracle customers have.

In other words, they may be slow, but that’s really just a reflection of where the real market is. Despite what you may read in the common tech press, the truth is, many companies are much slower at adopting these new technologies than the hype would have you believe, especially in the case of cloud or even AI adoption.

During CTO Larry Ellison’s keynote speech yesterday, he focused on both the performance and cost advantages of Oracle’s cloud-based solution, highlighting benchmarks against AWS that were almost too good to be true, with figures like 80x improvements in performance and 100% reduction in costs. Basically, he promised that anyone who could move data-intensive workloads with high performance requirements—admittedly only a portion of typical cloud workloads—to Oracle’s cloud would see a high-quality return on investment. In addition, he highlighted the company’s technology infrastructure offering, which he argued had both more flexibility and more capability than many of its competitors.

The key message in Ellison’s keynote speech, however, was on security-related issues in the cloud. In fact, he said that Oracle leveraged its late appearance in the market to build a newer, more agile and more secure means of creating a cloud platform. In what he termed Cloud Generation 2.0, he said the company built a separate ring of cloud control computers that lived outside of (and conceptually encircled) the standard cloud computing nodes. In other words, it is a network outside of the core cloud computing network that avoids the challenges of having to intermix the cloud control plane architecture with that of a company’s more proprietary data structure. By doing so, he claimed, the company could avoid the security risks of other challengers’ platforms, which co-mingle the cloud control software with customers’ own data and applications.

Conceptually, it’s an intriguing new architecture that looks at the interactions between customers’ data and the cloud providers’ software in very different ways.  Plus, given the fact that these cloud control computers would not be based on x86 architecture (the company would not say exactly what they would use, but given Arm’s recent efforts in infrastructure, that seems a likely bet), they add a new twist to the security discussion. To be clear, this architecture opens up potential security and management challenges of its own, such as not knowing what’s happening within the enclosed circle of bare metal cloud computing nodes that have no deployment or management software running on them. However, it simultaneously creates a new type of interaction model between customer and data infrastructure provider that has additional potential security benefits.

Ultimately, it boils down to a question of trust. What companies do you trust, not only from a software perspective, but also from a security, data management, and comprehensive point of view. There isn’t an easy answer to these questions, but it's clear that, with its new security-focused cloud architecture, Oracle is providing a very different perspective on how to think about cloud-based computing models.

Here's a link to the column:

Bob O’Donnell is the president and chief analyst of TECHnalysis Research, LLC a market research firm that provides strategic consulting and market research services to the technology industry and professional financial community. You can follow him on Twitter @bobodtech.

Leveraging more than 10 years of award-winning, professional radio experience, TECHnalysis Research participates in a video-based podcast called Everything Technology.
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