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On March 29, 2017, Oracle announced its Cloud Converged Storage. This is a significant announcement, as it is the first time, that a major public cloud provider has integrated its cloud services with its own on-premise systems.

Prior to the introduction of Oracle Cloud Converged Storage, customers had to separately acquire storage capacities from a cloud storage provider, an on-premise storage provider, and a gateway or bridge solution to bring the two together—and in some cases pay for the right to move data from on-premises to the public cloud in the form of a cloud access license.It is the gateway portion and the cloud access licenses that adds significant costs to an otherwise cost efficient way to realize a hybrid cloud solution.

Since the solution is co-engineered between the Oracle ZFS storage systems team, and the Oracle Cloud team, the Oracle ZFS Cloud software, which is included in the latest Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance release, enables customers to elastically scale storage capacity beyond what is available on-premise into the Cloud seamlessly.

This solution realizes the idea that the Cloud is just another storage tier without the need to interpose third-party solutions. This not only simplifies the solution, saving capital investment, but also saves on-going operational expenses. Administrators can now create pools of storage that can consist of flash, traditional magnetic rotating hard disk drives, and cloud stores from a single management platform.

While a small number of start-ups brought to market a similar approach to what Oracle is doing, they did so with small-scale cloud gateways, which have minimal capacity and are not high-performance petabyte-scale storage platforms for critical business workloads used by media & entertainment companies, banks, telcos and chip designers. Oracle is the first vendor that owns and sells its own cloud infrastructure and along with an industry leading on-premise solution. For Oracle Database customers, Oracle will always be ahead of its rivals since it has its Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol. The protocol, now in version 2.0 enables automation between the Oracle Database, and the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance. Since the appliance can now manage cloud storage pools, a database administrator (DBA) has the ability to improve productivity, that Oracle claims will  increase by up to 10X.

Neuralytix believes that Oracle will retain leadership in terms of delivering a highly integrated on-premise and on-line storage solution for several quarters. Dell EMC has promised a similar solution, integrating its storage systems with Virtustream. However, Virtustream does not have the breadth of offering that the Oracle Cloud has –which is now generating $1.1B in its most recent quarter and is on an annualized run rate of $5B–and it remains to be seen if Michael Dell is willing to invest the multiple billions required to operate a public cloud at scale. Others will try and challenge Oracle’s solution by partnering with other service providers such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. But so long as the customer is running Oracle Database, it seems a foregone conclusion, that the Oracle Cloud Converged Storage solution will be the most appropriate solution for them.

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