Oracle wants to put its public cloud behind your firewall

With Oracle Cloud at Customer, companies get a fully managed service within the data center

Public clouds may promise a world of potential benefits, but for companies grappling with data sovereignty and other issues, the risks can loom large. Hoping to ease such concerns, Oracle launched a product on Thursday that effectively puts its public cloud behind the enterprise firewall.

Called Oracle Cloud at Customer, the new suite lets companies tap the Oracle Cloud as a fully managed service within their data center, giving them full control.

"We bring in a cloud machine, which is basically a replica of our public cloud services, and install it at the customer site," said Amit Zavery, senior vice president for the Oracle Cloud Platform, in an interview on Tuesday. "Customers can get the infrastructure, the database, all the public cloud services, but behind the firewall."

Customers can pick and choose which services they want. Among the options are elastic compute, block storage and other infrastructure services, along with data management, application development and enterprise integration capabilities. The software is fully compatible with the Oracle Cloud, enabling workload portability between on-premises and cloud environments using identical toolsets and APIs, Oracle said. Subscription pricing is the same either way.

Most important for global and highly regulated companies, users can meet legal requirements on issues such as data sovereignty, security and privacy.

"Enterprise cloud customers do retain a strong desire to manage some services in dedicated environments," said Dave Bartoletti, a principal analyst with Forrester, in an email.

Microsoft is developing something similar in the form of Azure Stack, Bartoletti said, and there are multiple flavors of OpenStack-based private clouds from Cisco, Rackspace and others that can be on premises, hosted, or managed.

The more that public cloud providers can make those private clouds act like public clouds, with the same services and developer APIs, "the better they can address enterprise demand for dedicated solutions and also establish new beachheads for public cloud services," he said.

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