Oracle CTO Larry Ellison Hits Three Key Themes in OpenWorld 2016 Opening Keynote

Oracle executive chairman and CTO Larry Ellison presented his annual opening keynote at OpenWorld 2016 on Sunday night. Amid announcements of new products and services, his remarks repeatedly returned to three key themes – taking on Amazon in the infrastructure as a service area, the need for greater data security, and the coexistence of cloud and on-premise IT deployments for a long time to come.

On IaaS: “Amazon is going to have serious competition going forward,” Ellison noted, adding that Oracle will move aggressively into infrastructure as a service.

Regarding Security, Ellison’s speculation that the next U.S. president could be determined by one person drew nervous laughter from the OOW audience. How could that happen, Ellison remarked, quickly answering: “email leaks.” Security, as a result, could be the single most important issue the industry faces in cloud migration, he said.

Regarding the balance between cloud and on-premise deployments, Ellison said that organizations are not going to move to the cloud immediately. He noted, as he has done in the past, that there will be both for some time and it will not be feasible for companies to have totally different systems on the cloud and in their own data centers.

Identifying infrastructure as a key area of expansion for its cloud business, said that the IT industry is in the midst of a generational change as computing moves from on-premise to cloud. He compared this shift to other core utility services such as running water and electricity. IT has just caught up to other fundamental services, he observed.

While the world has changed from the point of view of IT consumers, it has also changed from Oracle’s point of view, he said, observing that Oracle’s major competitors today are Amazon for infrastructure and Workday for applications. “It really means that people are moving from buying on premise to buying on the cloud,” he added.

Oracle delivers cloud services at all three tiers – applications, platform, and infrastructure. Oracle will become more aggressive this year in the area of infrastructure as a service, he said, describing it as “the third leg of the stool,” and an area where the company has made “incredible progress” in the last couple of years in improving the quality, reliability, cost, and performance.

In the keynote that highlighted a number of new products and services as well as some that have been announced over the past year, Ellison observed that in the coming years there will be a period of coexistence of on-prem and cloud, in which customers will have data and applications in their own data centers as well as data and applications in the cloud, “and it is very important that those two things coexist gracefully.”

Oracle Cloud@Customer Behind the Customer Firewall

A key part of enabling that coexistence, he said, is Oracle Cloud@Customer. Previously introduced by Thomas Kurian, president of Oracle at Oracle CloudWorld in Washington, DC, Ellison said that Oracle Cloud@Customer provides the identical hardware and software as Oracle Public Cloud but is managed by Oracle and delivered as a service behind the customer firewall, with a subscription pricing model. Oracle Infrastructure Cloud Machine@Customer, Exadata Cloud Machine@Customer, and Big Data Cloud Machine@Customer are the three offerings that will be made available.

“This is a very important part of our platform compatibility, migration, and coexistence story,” said Ellison. “The best way to think about Oracle Cloud@Customer is it’s an extension of our public cloud that sits on your data center floor.”  It enables customers to move from on premise into the public cloud and also have this intermediate stop where they might have all three of these in terms of how they deploy their IT, he said, noting, “You can’t get more compatible than identical.”

The Growth of Oracle IaaS

Ellison also showcased Oracle’s second generation IaaS data centers it is building around the world which feature three completely fault independent Availability Domains, low latency and high bandwidth between ADs, and highly available infrastructure for mission-critical workloads, and stated that “Amazon is going to have serious competition going forward,” he noted.

Oracle Database 12c Release 2 on Cloud First

As part of Oracle’s cloud-first strategy, Ellison said that Oracle Database 12c Release 2, will be available first in the cloud, then on-premise, allowing the company to fix bugs and get the technology to customers faster, and when it goes to on-premise, it will be even more reliable.

Exadata Express Cloud Service

Ellison also announced the Oracle Exadata Express Cloud Service, a full enterprise edition of the Oracle Database with all of the options, running on Exadata in the Oracle Public Cloud. The service is targeted at developers and SMBs, and will start at a price of $175 per month.

Acquisition of Palerra Expands Oracle Identity Cloud Service

Among other announcements in his keynote, Ellison said that Oracle is acquiring Palerra, which extends Oracle Identity Cloud Service with a Cloud Access Security Broker (CASB).

Palerra’s CASB product LORIC protects and assures compliance of applications, workloads and sensitive data stored across cloud services, and offers a combination of visibility into cloud usage, data security, user behavior analytics, and security configuration, with automated incident responses. Customers can respond to cloud security incidents in real-time, protecting sensitive company data and workloads across all of the leading cloud services.

“Security may be the single most important issue that is faced in migrating from on premise data centers to cloud super data centers,” said Ellison, rephrasing an old Ford slogan to “security is job one at Oracle.”

For more on Oracle’s announcements, go to

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