Oracle Corp. is expanding its Oracle Cloud Infrastructure offering today with new compute, networking and storage services and enhanced flexibility to control costs.
The new services automatically optimize resources to match application requirements and provide a simpler price structure.
Oracle has been growing its global presence, with seven more regions launched in the last five months, said Leo Leung, vice president of product management at OCI. Its cloud now spans 37 regions with seven more planned. The message behind today’s announcements is “increased flexibility for just about any workload without adding complexity,” Leung said. “The services are easier to use than in the past and pricing is easier to understand.”
Oracle Compute’s virtual machine offerings now have flexible memory, sub-core burstable CPU and preemptible instances. That enables them to elastically allocate resources so consume only what they need.
“There’s a myth that to take advantage of cloud elasticity you have to rewrite around microservices,” Leung said. “Most customers aren’t going to rewrite 80% of their applications. There’s also a myth that you need to re-platform. We think that’s not necessary in many cases. ” Oracle’s approach is to grow the infrastructure customers choose at the beginning of deployment rather than force them to migrate, he said.
Pay for what you use
Oracle’s compute strategy is to only require customers to pay for the resources they use, Leung said. “If you only need 80 cores, you don’t have to buy 128 elsewhere,” he said. “We let you define exactly the amount of CPU and memory you need and only pay for that.”
New container instances let customers use containers without directly managing the hosting virtual machine or requiring orchestration with the Kubernetes container orchestrator. The cloud automatically provides a secure operating system image, networking and storage. “This is different from Kubernetes, which is more for large applications,” Leung said. “Customers often want just a handful for testing.”
Oracle is also adding dense compute instances based on Advanced Micro Devices Inc. microprocessors with attached NVMe drives for low-latency storage. Servers based on AMD chips are cheaper than those that use Intel Corp. microprocessors and have certain low-latency storage advantages, Leung said.
The instances can be used for database workloads, virtualized direct-attached storage, caching and data warehousing. There are also new AMD-based 32-, 64- and 128-core options designed for high-CPU or high-memory use cases. Oracle said its cloud delivers more than 2.5 times the memory and CPUs per host as competitive offerings.
In the area of networking, basic capabilities such as application firewalls, load balancing and network peering have been streamlined to simplify provisioning and management. In addition, flexible load balancing enables better performance and cost optimization. A content delivery network interconnect establishes direct peering connections with select third-party CDN providers to offer no-cost outbound bandwidth for OCI Object Storage, eliminating one of the most expensive stages of data movement.
The capability is currently available in North America for Cloudflare Inc.’s CDN. The CDN services can be used to deliver digital content from a nearby location in a geographically distributed network. “Usually you’re charged to move to a CDN and again to Cloudflare,” Leung said. “We’ve taken out that middle stage.”
The Flexible Web Application Firewall lets customers define a single WAF policy to protect applications from common exploits and enforce the policy on either the load balancer or the edge. Web Application Acceleration supports caching and compression of web HTTP responses in load balancer.
Oracle’s Network Visualizer lets customers to perform a configuration-based connectivity check and visualize network paths along with information about the virtual network entities in them. The feature is useful in identifying and fixing common virtual network misconfigurations, Oracle said.
OCO Object Storage now offers flexible block volumes with performance-based auto-tuning to enable customers to change the performance characteristics of block storage volumes automatically in response to fluctuating demand. Calling this a unique capability in the market, Oracle said it helps customers meet peak demands automatically reduce storage costs when demand is low.