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October 21, 2016

Oracle launches Bare Metal Cloud Services

Oracle has set the price point at 20% below the AWS list price.

By James Nunns

Oracle’s latest effort to challenge the cloud market leaders has entered general availability.

The Bare Metal Cloud Service, which Larry Ellison, CTO, Oracle first revealed at the OpenWorld conference, has been described as giving the company a “technological advantage over Amazon.”

The offering, an Infrastructure-as-a-Service product that provides a bare metal cloud, servers that have no Oracle software running on them, runs in a virtualised network environment and will deliver services such as network block storage, object storage, VPN connectivity, and Database-as-a-Service.

Big Red has made the services available in its US-Southwest region, with the company adding more regions in the future.

The region offers “fault-independent Availability Domains,” which is basically three separate data centre facilities.

A bare metal cloud is a public cloud service that is designed to provide flexibility by allowing customers to customise the cloud in order to meet their requirements and troubleshoot applications without virtual machines to worry about.

Oracle has been comparing its latest services against Amazon Web Services.

Oracle has been comparing its latest services against Amazon Web Services.

Although it can provide flexibility, the bare metal cloud can also increase complexity due to the need for the customer to configure the hardware themselves.

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Oracle’s latest cloud service was built by a number of ex AWS, Microsoft, and Google employees such as Deepak Patil. Patil, who is Oracle’s VP of development, joined the company after 15 years at Microsoft, 10 of which were in engineering roles for data centre and cloud.

The Bare Metal Cloud Service uses a Software-Defined Network, the benefit of which is that it becomes extremely scalable. The big perk of this is that it will help Oracle to appeal to the largest enterprise customers and also those that have spikes in consumption to cope with.

Lydia Leong, a Gartner analyst, said in a blog post: Oracle has paid richly to hire an “A” team, so to speak — former long-time senior AWS engineers lead the project, and they’ve recruited heavily from all three hyperscale cloud providers in Seattle (AWS, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform). These are credible product and engineering people who, in my opinion, understand what they need to build and the enormous challenges ahead of them.”

However, despite spending a lot of money, Leong doesn’t think that Oracle’s price-point of 20% below the AWS list price will move the needle in the market in Oracle’s favour.

“Good price-performance is table stakes here. This is not a commodity market; providers compete on their capabilities. This is also not about capital investment to build data centers; Oracle can use colocation until they reach a scale where building makes sense, though since such projects can take years, they’ll need to time that properly,” said Leong.

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