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Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Storage: Product Overview and Insight

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Bottom Line:

Oracle is generally seen as a niche player for cloud storage. In general market profile, it runs ahead of IBM, Virtustream and Rackspace, but clearly behind cloud storage market leaders AWS and Azure.

Oracle gets high marks for its full menu of cloud storage features. Enterprise buyers will find a robust offering that serves all of their workload needs.

Oracle's historic strength, of course, is in the database business. So, unsurprisingly, Oracle's OCI Classic offering is suited to users of traditional Oracle databases and applications. In contrast, OCI is more suited to users with cloud-native applications and batch computing requirements that benefit from bare-metal servers. This cloud-native offering is forward looking on Oracle's part.

Oracle offers high performance at a price that's compelling, given overall cloud storage pricing. Still, because the company has historically been so focused on its own platform, the storage service is probably best for those already using Oracle databases and applications.

Company Description:

Oracle is a well-established provider of enterprise IT services across a range of software and hardware products. It began in databases, expanded into enterprise software and now offers a wide range of cloud-based offerings. Customers include Gonzaga University, Allianz, National Grid. Rolls-Royce, and Office Depot.

Service Description:

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) was launched in 2016. It includes block, file, object, and archive storage services. It provides a full range of storage offerings aimed at satisfying the demanding needs of enterprise and software vendor users across systems of record and cloud native workloads.

The offerings are designed to be simple enough to deploy with few tiers of service, and predictable in cost with low rates that include all performance. Its storage utilizes nonvolatile memory express (NVMe) and SSD-based storage to boost performance.

Storage Type:

Block, file, and object.

Locations:

OCI operates storage services in data centers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany.

Differentiator:

Oracle offers the highest performance block storage in the industry with 60 IOPS/GB, and all that performance is included in the low base price. File storage has the same pricing as block storage, which makes this service cost less than comparable offerings from competitors. All storage is SSD backed.

“The sales and technology teams have been outstanding. We've had multiple on-site meetings with prospects and customers, which included Oracle staff, and that has made a significant difference in our speed to market and prospect comfort levels,” said a marketing manager in the transportation industry.

Implementation:

Users deploy services within an easy-to-use console. Object and Archive storage offer ease of use via APIs. Oracle, in short, has worked to make its implementation user friendly.

Data Transfer:

To transfer data to the cloud, users can use the public internet to connect to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Those who need higher bandwidth for large quantities of data can use Oracle Fast Connect for dedicated 1Gbps or 10Gbps links to connect directly or through exchange partners.

Oracle offers a free storage gateway to allow users to use Object storage without complicated conversions of their applications to use object APIs. Finally, a data transfer appliance also allows customers to ship data to Oracle on pre-built systems that eliminate guesswork and make it easy and cheap to send petabyte-scale data to the cloud.

Performance:

Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Compute bare metal instances is shown in testing to have a 2X-5X performance advantage with comparable or lower pricing, compared to similar configurations from Amazon Web Services (AWS) across a range of workloads.

Availability/SLA:

Oracle has an Service Level Agreement that covers availability, manageability and performance, which differentiates from typical SLAs, which cover availability only.

Oracle's availability, for instance, gives different discounts if service levels are breached in the following areas:

  • Block Volumes
  • Object Storage
  • FastConnect (an enhanced connectivity option)

Technical Support:

Oracle offers enterprise-class technical support with all its services at no extra charge. A single point of contact provides customers with rapid response support across Cloud, as well as all Oracle software. Oracle has sales, customer support, technical support, portal and documentation in English.

“Tech support was very responsive. Developer outreach people were excellent. Documentation is decent but a little sparse,” said a software engineer in manufacturing.

Security:

All data is encrypted at rest using frequently rotated keys managed by Oracle. Additional options for customer managed keys and encryption in flight are either available or coming soon.

Storage Management:

Block storage offers fast copy and clone features that allow instantaneous copies of data to be created, named and restored. Object and archive storage use APIs and lifecycle policies to allow for flexible usage and lifecycle tiering.

Markets and Use Cases:

Oracle's OCI Classic offering is suited for users of Oracle databases and applications, while OCI is suited for cloud-native applications and batch computing requirements that benefit from bare-metal servers. Users of existing Oracle products make up the largest percentage of OCI’s customer base. Its cloud platform is also beneficial for organizations that require high performance and low predictable pricing for workloads of all types.

Pricing:

• Pricing for capacity: Block Storage capacity = $0.0425/GB/Mo inclusive of all performance; File Storage capacity = $0.0425/GB/Mo inclusive of all performance; Object Storage Capacity = $0.0255/GB/Mo; Archival Storage Capacity = $0.0026/GB/Mo

• Pricing for data transfer and/or number of requests: Data transfer appliance & storage gateway services are free. For Internet data egress (inbound free), the first 10TB is free, $0.0085 per GB outbound per month. Object storage requests are charged $0.0034 per 10,000 requests per month.

Vendor

Oracle

Locations

U.S., U.K., Germany

Storage Type

File, block, object

Differentiator

Speed of block storage

Performance

60,000 IOPS

Availability

99.99%

Gartner MQ Rating

Niche

Pricing

$0.0255/GB/Mo; Archival $0.0026

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