Beyond AI at CloudWorld

Oracle CloudWorld 2023
(Image Credit: Oracle)

I have been a gearhead forever. I am not talking about a certain affection for the short-block V8 either, though I suspect it all comes from the same root cause. The tech space is a whole gearhead ecosystem, just made for people like you and me.

Last week, I was all over Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) like a junkyard dog. I don’t pretend to understand all of it because there’s so much. Nonetheless, in the quarter-mile race that is the software industry, I have to say that from a standing start, Oracle has done quite well.

CloudWorld is not exactly a coming-out party for OCI — that happened already — but it is an extension of progress on multiple fronts. Today, Oracle can transfer workloads around the world with the ease we’ve come to expect from Netflix. Just consider some of the ways to compute in the OCI world.

One press release says that “in conjunction with Red Hat OpenShift on OCI will be supported for customer-managed installations using certified configurations of Red Hat OpenShift Platform Plus, Red Hat OpenShift Container Platform and Red Hat OpenShift Kubernetes Engine running on OCI Compute virtual machines and bare metal instances.”

Say what?

I think it means that by using Red Hat Linux, you can configure the compute environment that’s right for your business, cost structure, technology needs, and more.

All-Inclusive Oracle Ecosystem

Okay, but it’s not simply Red Hat that you can talk about like this; it’s basically any serious Oracle competitor. It seems the strategy is to work with everything in the marketplace so that there is little reason for customers to leave Oracle for greener pastures. No doubt, some of this ecumenism comes to us because of research and development for the Department of Defense.

Oracle is working with Microsoft and others to deliver management systems that won’t go down in wartime no matter what, so there is an internet-ish feel to some of this. Other prominent tech products involving OCI that Oracle is touting at CloudWorld include Oracle Database@Azure and MySQL HeatWave on AWS. All that comes under the heading of Multi-Cloud.

Hybrid Cloud is available in 60 countries to deliver cloud services on-prem through things like Oracle Exadata Cloud@Customer and Compute Cloud@Customer.

Then there’s Public Cloud operating in 45 cloud regions in 23 countries, which includes things like an EU Sovereign Cloud to help customers address EU data residency and data sovereignty requirements.

Finally, there’s Dedicated Cloud that brings all Oracle Cloud services to private data centers. This seems especially popular in government situations where security needs to be extra tight to thwart sovereign bad actors. You know who I mean.

Maturing Tech Landscape and the AI Shift

It goes on and on, and as I said, I don’t pretend to understand all of it. But my business analysis is that Oracle is doing a reasonable job covering the waterfront and neutralizing its competition, at least at the foundational levels of software.

This strongly suggests that much of the competition over databases and performance is over, having been commoditized away. If you are an Oracle or a Microsoft Azure customer, it doesn’t make much difference.

The competitive field today is in apps as they are remade in the image of AI. That’s what the rest of CloudWorld is about. But it also signals that it might be too expensive for newbies to enter the market today. I think the last significant entrant was AWS, more than a decade and many billions ago.

This means we’ve moved from startups to a mature industry. Nothing wrong with that; in many ways, tech is now so essential that it is assumed. Every industry reaches that point, and it is amazing how quickly that quarter mile went by.

Denis Pombriant

Denis Pombriant is a well-known CRM industry analyst, strategist, writer and speaker. His new book, You Can't Buy Customer Loyalty, But You Can Earn It, is now available on Amazon. His 2015 book, Solve for the Customer, is also available there. Email Denis.

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