Oracle chases AWS with new cloud infrastructure

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Oracle chases AWS with new cloud infrastructure
Oracle's Thomas Kurian

Oracle announced more than a dozen new services to its cloud stack at the OpenWorld conference as its tries to catch up to the hyperscale leaders.

The vendor is advancing its underlying infrastructure while adding new software capabilities across its portfolio of PaaS, SaaS and data applications, Thomas Kurian, Oracle's president of product development, told conference attendees.

Oracle's cloud vision involves building out of advanced data centre infrastructure, then designing highly automated software to support more devices, data and modern workloads.

Kurian, Oracle's product guru, delivered a keynote speech running through several enhanced technological capabilities delivered across the platform: container-tech, serverless compute, artificial intelligence and machine learning, managed blockchain, and internet of things tools to optimise supply chains.

The cloud upgrades start at the infrastructure layer. For its IaaS offering, both virtualised and bare metal, Oracle is introducing what Kurian said have been benchmarked the world's fastest compute processors and world's fastest graphics processors for machine learning workloads.

Oracle's cloud also now offers the industry's fastest block storage for I/O-intensive applications, like databases, and also unparalleled bandwidth with 25GB Ethernet networking directly to the host, he told OpenWorld attendees.

Moving up the stack to the platform-as-a-service layer, the "vision was to eliminate the next barrier to technology adoption for our customers", Kurian said.

In line with that vision, Oracle has developed software that installs, configures, patches and backs up software, as well as implementing disaster recovery, encryption, and performance optimisation. Those capabilities eliminate human errors, enabling software to run predictably, Kurian said.

Oracle's expanding PaaS portfolio incorporates data management and application development services, and integrates with popular DevOps tools like Jenkins, Jira and Terraform, he said.

And Oracle added an API for accessing a fully managed Kubernetes service for orchestrating Docker container clusters.

The introduction of a serverless framework delivers to Oracle customers another increasingly popular cloud-computing methodology pioneered by its cloud rival, Amazon Web Services.

"Write functions and deploy them" without worrying about underlying infrastructure, Kurian said, adding Oracle's serverless compute runs on top of Kubernetes.

Oracle also introduced several software-as-a-service capabilities that deliver cutting-edge products, or beef up existing applications with advanced analytics, data and artificial intelligence.

"We're permeating AI into these applications, to make them more intelligent," Kurian said, "and to do that you also need clean customer data."

A new managed blockchain service plunges Oracle into that rapidly emerging area of technology penetrating financial services companies and other large enterprises. And Kurian showcased several supply chain applications based on IoT technology.

Ultimately to interact with all those new products requires a world-class human interface. Through voice and image recognition, chatbots and automated interfaces, Oracle is making strides across that layer.

"You can speak to the application, you can interact with it with messaging, you can take pictures and we can identify images, compare them with other things, and automate transactions," Kurian said. 

This article originally appeared at

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