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Oracle is further blurring the lines between public and private cloud infrastructure with the launch of Dedicated Region Cloud at Customer, which can run the company's Autonomous Database, SaaS applications and other software inside an enterprise's data center.
The company has offered Cloud at Customer for a couple of years now in a few flavors, including ones for its Exadata platform and a Big Data version. The systems use a combination of software and hardware to duplicate services running in Oracle's public cloud. Dedicated Regions extends the concept to the full range of Oracle services, including its Fusion SaaS applications and Autonomous Database.
Oracle Cloud at Customer Dedicated Region pricing starts at $500,000 per month, which indicates the offering is aimed at the company's largest customers. Many of these companies have regulatory and data-residency requirements that necessitate on-premises deployments, but they may also want to benefit from the scalability, elasticity and subscription pricing model that public cloud infrastructure offers.
"[It's] an easy way to switch from managing your own infrastructure to getting it as a service with exactly the same compliance and data residency and security as if you did it yourself," said Deepak Mohan, an analyst at IDC.
Cloud at Customer subscriptions include the required hardware, control plane software and a support gateway that ties a customer's implementation to remote Oracle operations staff that handle daily tasks and maintenance in the same way Oracle runs its own data centers, the company said.
Dedicated Regions bear some resemblance to AWS Outposts and Microsoft's Azure Stack, but there are differences. Azure Stack is available as a managed service, but customers can also self-manage the system and buy hardware from multiple vendors. Both Outposts and Azure Stack are also targeting smaller-scale workloads, whereas Dedicated Regions are meant for large, steady-state use cases in heavily regulated industries such as finance and healthcare, Mohan said.
Still, the trend toward expanding public cloud infrastructure outside of actual public cloud data centers is red-hot, he added. "It's exploded in the last year."
Cloud at Customer Dedicated Regions is oriented around Oracle software, but that doesn't mean it amounts to vendor lock-in, according to Steve Daheb, senior vice president of Oracle Cloud. "If you want to run non-Oracle workloads on it, you can absolutely do that," he said.
Autonomous Database goes on-premises
Oracle first introduced Autonomous Database at OpenWorld 2018. Since then, it's been offered in multi-tenant and single-tenant form through Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Now Oracle has added support for Autonomous Database on Exadata Cloud at Customer, either in standalone form or as part of a Dedicated Region.
The system uses machine learning and other techniques to automate tasks otherwise left to database administrators, such as patching, tuning and provisioning. Oracle's Exadata hardware platform can be used to consolidate large fleets of Oracle database instances and provides superior performance over traditional racks, the company said.
In a nod to customers with on-premises legacy software that may be difficult to migrate away from, Oracle has also certified its Siebel, PeopleSoft and JD Edwards applications for CRM, human capital management (HCM) and ERP for Autonomous Database. This should have some appeal among Oracle's installed base, according to Doug Henschen, an analyst at Constellation Research.
"Even if customers are still using on-premises apps, they can now take advantage of some as-a-service automation capabilities through Autonomous Database without having to migrate to a SaaS-based application," Henschen said.