To Cloud Or Not To Cloud
By Sean Donaldson, CTO, Secure 24
Before we go too much farther, let’s look at what is driving cloud adoption, and more importantly, the different types of cloud environments. Some of the major drivers for cloud adoption are security, agility, conversion of CapEx to OpEx, and fundamentally allowing enterprise IT staff to focus more on how technology can support their business needs, versus supporting the IT infrastructure of the organization. Within Oracle’s cloud portfolio, there are a number of different solutions. The traditional options when considering a cloud model is IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), PaaS (Platform as a Service), and SaaS (Software as a Service). The idea of the Hybrid cloud is generally a mix of these in various ways.
Security has been a top of mind challenge for every organization— protecting the business against breaches, ransomware, and new advanced threats that come with real and tangible financial penalties. The financial impact of a security breach has now made it a boardroom conversation. Security has changed from simply a firewall, some antivirus, and passing the audit checkboxes, to requiring a comprehensive practice spanning people, technology, and process.
Oracle has done very well to make this a priority in its public and private cloud solutions. The company offers SaaS solutions for Governance, Risk and Compliance (GRC), identity management solutions, advanced database security, public cloud encryption and key management, advanced security in silicon in their new SPARC systems, and Oracle has enhanced the Linux kernel in OEL (Oracle Enterprise Linux) to allow zero downtime patching, just to name a few.
Modern CIOs are continuing to focus more on how to support the business around the core aspects that drive revenue, whether it is through modern web presence and applications, or advanced analytics and Big Data, or using IoT to connect thousands of new devices.
Many modern CIOs now view the Cloud ecosystem a bit differently. Each option has pros and cons.
SaaS is a true Software-as-a-Service. No need to worry about licensing, or updating software. Organizations can gain access through a web interface or mobile app.
Oracle has done very well to make this a priority in its public and private cloud solutions
This has seen tremendous success with Oracle in key areas like CRM and HR. Security is generally baked into the solution; even so, the ecosystem still relies on integration with systems housed outside of the SaaS cloud. SaaS options are very much the right tool for the right job — for example, solutions that need small to moderate levels of customization such as CRM, HR, and Email, etc.
Public Cloud – IaaS/PaaS
IaaS / PaaS is Infrastructure or Platform as a Service. This is very much the right tool for the right job, as they are comprised of a service catalog of commodity resources. One is consuming raw ingredients to make something. With IaaS or PaaS, when you order a cake you get, flour, eggs, sugar, and butter. You get the raw ingredients, CPU, memory, disk, database interface, etc. An organization is still responsible for all of the OS management, patching, backups, DR, compliance, audit, and user management as well as, many other tasks. It is very similar in many ways to running these systems in house— you are simply converting the capital outlay to operational. Where this type of environment excels, and Oracle’s cloud is no different, is for applications that are written for web scale.
In a managed cloud, a partner provides people, technology, and process to facilitate everything from security, audit, and GRC through backups, patching and disaster recovery. This is important because unless you are a managed services provider, these tasks are more than likely, not driving innovation or revenue for your business. Reflecting on the goals of increasing security and focusing on how technology can drive more business value, finding the right partner is paramount.
Whether you are running Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, Hyperion, JD Edwards, or any number of other Oracle applications, these are highly critical systems for your business. Downtime is not an option. Their data is highly confidential, whether through a regulatory body such as HIPAA, ITAR, FDA, PCI, or simply employee payroll and personal information. Oracle supports these types of private cloud environments with its Engineered Systems. These are combinations of hardware and software that are specifically designed for running business critical applications. Examples of this are Private Cloud Appliance (PCA), Exadata, Super Cluster, Exalytics, and several others. These enable managed service providers to run these critical Oracle applications on infrastructure that is optimized for running these applications.
In conclusion, the question is not if you move to the cloud, rather, it is how you will pivot to the cloud. Making this transition to an Oracle Cloud solution does not require moving everything into a SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS Oracle cloud. Most likely, this solution will consist of a combination of different cloud solutions.
• Oracle SaaS for applications such as CRM, HR, or GRC.
• Oracle Public cloud for dev/test, modern web applications, or IoT (Internet of Things)
• Managed Cloud running Oracle Engineered Systems for traditional ERP applications and various other systems that are required by the business.
While concluding, it can be said, when seeking a Managed Cloud provider, evaluate the market and ensure that you choose a provider focused on a strategic, collaborative, and long-term partnership.
Secure-24 is a managed cloud services provider, with equal excellence in application hosting and managed IT operations for global businesses. Founded in 2001, the company is headquartered in Southfield, Michigan.