Oracle's regional VP of Systems highlights company cloud strategy

Hidir Mag discusses the company’s drive for Cloud and the ongoing challenges

Tags: Cloud StorageCloud computingDigitisationOracle Middle EastUnited Arab Emirates
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Oracle's regional VP of Systems highlights company cloud strategy Hidir Mag regional vice president, Systems, MEA, Oracle.
By  Alexander Sophoclis Pieri Published  July 9, 2017

ACN: Can you share some insights on Oracle’s regional strategy for 2017?

Hidir Mag: I think one of the thing is that you see Oracle is very much focused on the cloud transformation of the companies, and we believe that although it is not as fast as North America, still in the Middle East and Africa there is a great interest with Cloud. We will be continuing to lead that transformation.

What we see is there are a couple of different trends going on: SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, as well as the private cloud. Companies are looking at all different options, not just focused on one.

So as Oracle, one of the main things that we are trying to do is we want to address all of these options, where some other companies focus on one.

We see many of our customers now transforming from just having a client server type of infrastructure, to a private cloud infrastructure. From that private cloud, they then move towards a private cloud, public cloud co-existence.

As a strategy, besides addressing all the different other pillars, what we want to make sure is that we are enabling the transformation by standardising on the private clouds and moving the customers to the public cloud over time. That is also part of the Oracle strategy to have both solutions at the same time.

In the region, we are investing in the data centres. There are plans in Turkey and Abu Dhabi, to open data centres.

ACN: In regards to the hybrid cloud model, to what extent has it seen adoption in the region? How does it compare to other Cloud models?

HM: I think that’s the big demand right now, the hybrid cloud. It is what the customers want to do. The question is how they want to do that and how can Oracle help them.

First thing is, we also see more and more Oracle software customers want to run software on Oracle hardware. That is a first step towards that cloud approach, because when Oracle software runs on oracle hardware, it is reduced cost. It runs faster and the license cost is significantly going down. So that’s a cost-reduction element.

It also leads to consolidation and simplification and that helps the customer to think about the next step, which is more about how to then move to public cloud from a simplified model, for example.

The thing is too of course to have a single company for a single point of contact to maintain everything. So if there is a software or database problem, when Oracle runs on Oracle, we are responsible for everything. It gives a much better accelerated response time compared to having multiple vendors involved in the story.

Customers simplifying and consolidating on Oracle as a first step, because what they want to do is reduce cost and improve agility, they want to start using the public cloud. Now the question is how easy it is to use the public cloud, in which ways to start using public cloud? Oracle is one of the unique companies where, even to move a database from private cloud environment to public cloud, it is a matter of seconds.

We are advanced on how to migrate all the workloads, databases, into the public cloud. When it is required, we can even take it back. That even creates the flexibility for the customer to balance their workload capacity requirements and everything, between public cloud and the private cloud. Oracle gives the control centre to do that and I think it is a great advantage moving to the hybrid cloud model.

ACN: What would you highlight as being the ongoing challenges of the Middle East market and what is Oracle doing to tackle those issues?

HM: One of the key things is security. First of all globally, there is a big security threat. We see more data records stolen worldwide, compared to five years ago. It was tens of thousands of records, now it is millions of data records that are attack. Cybercrime is increasing.

On top of that the Middle East is a special area, we see a lot of cybercrime, especially in the last six months. What then happens is our customer come to us and tell us, “yes, we want to reduce cost, have high availability and Cloud, but the number one thing, how do you ensure security?”

One of the things that Oracle did is was it built its own chips — the SPARC processors that has security included.

The data is even encrypted in memory inside the SPARC chip, because we’ve seen one of the areas where this cybercrime is attacking is in memory, rather than the database which is always encrypted. The memory has never been encrypted because it puts 30 - 40% overload to the execution of the processing power.

But one of our biggest research and development successes has everything inside the SPARC chip being encrypted. And there are many other layers of security we also apply. So this is what I see as the major challenge in the Middle East that Oracle is addressing from silicon level up to the application level security.

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