Oracle Cloud: Skepticism to Future Certainty

A man with a skeptical look on his face. Oracle Cloud Skepticism
Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko

The Oracle Cloud made me a skeptic at first. Later offerings and personal experiences demonstrated the value of it and why it would be a future certainty.

Oracle Cloud – What is this?

I first started noticing an increase in presentations and papers about Oracle’s Cloud in 2016. As I attended more user group events and conferences, more of these topics started to appear. In fact, later in 2016, we even had an Oracle Cloud workshop with the Chicago Oracle Users Group (the workshop focused on DBaaS). This was the first generation of the Oracle Cloud and while exciting, I was very skeptical.

Mr. Skeptic

My skepticism was really two-fold. One, there is uncertainty when you have a product that can do some of the things that you’re responsible for. Wait! I will no longer be installing, patching or upgrading my database? Why are you trying to take my job away. These were some of the things I was thinking about.

Secondly, I work with Oracle E-Business Suite, in the case of DBaaS, this will not work with it. If Oracle is dictating when and where a DBaaS version, patch, etc. is applied then that could break things with my application. As of this writing, Oracle EBS 12.2 is still only certified with the long-supported release of Oracle database 19c. Other 3rd party applications might not be certified with versions of the database as quickly as Oracle would like to upgrade to.

Short Sighted

Plain and simple, I was short-sighted by my thinking. An improvement in how something is done, should typically, be welcomed. Especially, if it frees you from doing mundane or inefficient tasks. Think about roomful of typists drafting letters during World War II. A simple mail merge in Word on a laptop replaces all of that.

You see every version of the Oracle database that I’ve been working on since I started with 7.3.4 has had subsequent release that improved the mundane tasks. Worrying about extents (locally managed tablespaces), managing storage (ASM), etc. The mundane tasks is what we need to eliminate. Although I was afraid of this initially, I realized that I had much greater value in other areas. Such as architecting new and better solutions for my company or getting folks to the data they need in the most efficient manner.

Infrastructure Too!

Additional, I also saw this same type of apprehension from the infrastructure engineer’s side of the house. Why would they want to put their servers, virtual machines, storage, etc in the cloud. Why are you trying to take away my job. At first I agreed with this sentiment.

Ask yourself, how long does it take in your organization to request for a new server or storage? What happens with your aging IT equipment and when it’s time to replace it? How long does it take you and your IT team to replace that hardware? For me, this was always a multi-month project and one SAN upgrade took us the better part of 6+ months. Lot’s of moving parts and being careful not to interrupt the business!

Latest Cloud Offerings

The latest Cloud offerings from Oracle are superior to what I first saw in 2016. The Oracle Cloud with the introduction of the Autonomous database as well the vast improvement on the second-generation IaaS, is really impressive. Not to mention the multitude of SaaS products.

For the last couple of years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with some SaaS products that integrated with Oracle E-Business Suite (Oracle Transportation Management, Oracle Integration Cloud, CX, Commerce,). All worked very well and provided the business with a value add. Not to mention much needed efficiencies.

Additionally, I know of a few colleagues at other companies that are managing Oracle E-Business Suite environments all hosted in the Oracle Cloud with IaaS. All running well and leveraging features and services to do their jobs quicker. I’ll be honest, I’m really experiencing FOMO.

Cloud Future is Certain

The Oracle Cloud is a viable option and alternative to the other cloud vendors. You’ll just have to compare the other services to determine what is right for your company and your goals. Most likely, you’ll find that companies will certainly be using a mix of cloud providers versus having only one. The important thing is that companies will continue moving to the Cloud for value added services and efficiencies. The only certain way forward is to embrace it.

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