Oracle fleshes out hybrid cloud and edge computing strategy with Roving Edge Infrastructure devices

Oracle is continuing to build out its hybrid cloud strategy, with the introduction of an edge computing-enabling device for enterprises that need to host workloads in remote locations with limited connectivity.

The Oracle Roving Edge Infrastructure devices are ruggedised, on-premise units containing scalable server nodes that provide users with access to the software giant’s core cloud infrastructure services and applications.

“It enables customers to operate cloud applications and workloads in the field, including machine learning inference, real-time data integration and replication, augmented analytics, and query-intensive data warehouses,” said Oracle in a statement.

Each Oracle Roving Edge Infrastructure unit comes equipped with a 40 Oracle Central Processing Units (CPUs), 512 MB RAM and 61 TB of storage, and can be clustered together into groups of 5 to 15 nodes as required.

Speaking to Computer Weekly, Regis Louis, vice-president of cloud strategy for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) at Oracle, said the emergence of the Roving Edge Infrastructure devices are an acknowledgement by the firm that hybrid cloud comes in many forms for enterprises.

“All global organisations today are going hybrid cloud one way or another, for technical or regulation reasons, but there are different use cases that we are seeing in the industry. One size does not fit all,” he said.

“There are various types of hybrid computing adoption, depending on either the size or granularity of what people want to deploy, depending on where the data is located. And also, depending on the connectivity options that are at their disposal. Our strategy here is to offer various different options to cater to all the different use cases.”

To this point, he said enterprises can opt to have their on-premise workloads hosted exclusively in the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) public cloud, which is live in 29 server farm regions across the globe.

Alternatively, they may want to push the bulk of their workloads out to the public cloud, while retaining certain ones – such as their database deployments – within their own in-house datacentres.

“Now there is another use case where people want to deploy a smaller unit in areas where there is no connectivity. To cater to this type of use cases, [we have the] Roving Edge Infrastructure,” he said.

“The idea is to provide a portable ruggedised device with compute, storage, that can run fully disconnected from the network, and it can be one device. The device can be clustered to five or up to 15 nodes to create a big cluster and can really run anywhere as close as the data production is, and really provide an extension of  our public cloud inside these portable devices.”

The Oracle Roving Edge Infrastructure devices are similar in concept to Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) Outposts offering, which are positioned by the cloud giant as a hybrid cloud-enabling, ready-built datacentre rack containing compute, database, storage and analytics services from Amazon.

Launched in 2018, Outposts are designed to provide enterprises with access to cloud-based functionality within on- premise environments and have workloads that require low-latency access to such resources in able to function.

Comparisons to AWS

In a blog post, announcing the launch of its Roving Edge Infrastructure concept, Oracle was quick to shut down any comparisons between its devices and what AWS has to offer.

“[Amazon’s] architectural bias toward a limited number of hyperscale public cloud regions leads their hybrid cloud services to remain limited in performance, number of services provided, and regional availability,” said the Oracle blog post.

“Their hybrid cloud offerings remain tethered to their public cloud regions, with control planes and data intermingled between the edge and core. Pricing remains complex, with regional dependencies and AWS Outposts requiring customers to specify fixed rack hardware capacity at the time of order.”

Louis also further claimed to Computer Weekly that Oracle’s wider portfolio of hybrid cloud services has the edge over what its competitors have to offer enterprises.  

Particularly where its Oracle Dedicated Region [email protected] offering is concerned, which made its debut in July 2020 and offers enterprises access to a fully-managed versions of Oracle’s second-generation cloud services – including its Autonomous Database capabilities – within their own datacentres.

“We’ve been the first one to come up with this idea of [email protected] Granted, there’s been other offerings from the competition afterwards, [but] we’re still the only vendor having a dedicated region [email protected] offering, [the features] the entire set of our services [and] that’s very unique,” said Louie.

“This is really complementing all these innovations that we have introduced, and frankly they are providing us an edge with some of our competition with, and we have many customer use cases.”

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