Oracle Cloud VMware Solution: Providing Enterprises with a Fast Pass to the Cloud

Original blog posted on Feb 1st, 2021

Oracle Cloud VMware Solution eases enterprise cloud migration. Read the latest blog featuring Clay Magouryk, Executive Vice President of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure to find out why expediting cloud migration is great for business. 

Large companies are always torn between preserving their investments in key information technology and adopting the latest-and-greatest advancements. Oftentimes moving to the latest thing means leaving the old latest thing behind despite  the huge value it continues to provide.

For example, VMware has an estimated 80% market share for on-premises virtualization software, according to IDC[1] while Gartner predicts that within four years, 80% of organizations will have migrated away from their on-premises data centers to the cloud[2].

To expedite the IT evolution to the cloud while preserving companies’ investment in key on-premises technology, Oracle and VMware have teamed up to deliver an ideal cloud platform for enterprise applications and workloads that run in a VMware Software Defined Data Center.

Oracle Cloud VMware Solution enables enterprises to quickly migrate their VMware environments from data center hardware to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure without retooling applications or altering best practices and operational processes. Oracle Cloud VMware Solution delivers an enterprise-grade, production-proven solution for VMware customers looking to save money, increase agility, and boost system performance the cloud while using the VMware technology they know and trust.

We caught up with Clay Magouyrk, Executive Vice President of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, to get his thoughts on the IT requirements of global enterprises and how Oracle leverages more than four decades of experience delivering IT systems that satisfy the most stringent requirements of enterprises, institutions, and agencies — in the cloud.

Q: How did Oracle and VMware start the conversation that led to Oracle developing Oracle Cloud VMware Solution?

A: Oracle and VMware are long-time partners with many joint customers.

Both companies recognized that a significant number of our shared customers depend on our globally scalable and highly available platform to operate applications and systems that underpin their ongoing business. Customers have many Oracle applications, databases, and other workloads operating in on-premises VMware environments that they want to move to the cloud. We needed to deliver a cloud solution that would allow those customers running Oracle + VMware software to seamlessly migrate their on-premises VMware workloads to a public cloud infrastructure with no disruption to business continuity.

We also wanted to ensure that customers would continue to have a native VMware user experience in the cloud and be able to extend their hardened on-premises VMware best practices to it. Finally, we wanted to offer a global cloud native solution that is enterprise ready and cost-effective on a next-generation cloud platform.

To address our mutual customers’ cloud migration needs, Oracle and VMware announced a deep product integration and an enhanced joint support agreement in 2019. This agreement outlined terms for supporting our mutual customers operating Oracle applications and databases in VMware environments. We also jointly announced the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution, which delivers an industry-first, cloud-native VMware experience on Oracle Cloud.

Q: Please tell us about the resulting solution.

A: Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is the only cloud-native, fully customer-controlled and customer-operated VMware solution on the market today. This solution takes the VMware Software Defined Data Center, Cloud Foundation, and makes it available in Oracle Cloud. The Oracle and VMware product integration enables customers to easily bring their existing VMware workloads into the Oracle Cloud without modification and helps ensure flawless migrations. In this way, customers can leverage their existing investments in people, processes, tools, and technology to extend their cloud strategy.

In much the same way, customers operating Oracle applications can now easily operate on VMware in the Oracle Cloud. Additionally, customers can deploy cloud-native services such as HPC, Autonomous Databases, Kubernetes, and other cloud infrastructure services directly from their OCI account running VMware.

Q: What is driving demand for the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution?

A: VMware has been a significant part of customers’ on-premises IT infrastructure. Over many years, customers have hardened their best practices, customized application development, and created IT centers of excellence that rely on VMware’s proven technology. Customers need to be able to leverage these existing, proven investments in VMware and operate in the cloud.

Customers told us that they also wanted more control, as well as fast infrastructure provisioning and access to other cloud services. So, we built a different type of offering.

We designed the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution in collaboration with VMware product and engineering teams to deeply integrate VMware Cloud Foundation elements into the Oracle Cloud stack. The resulting product enables us to deliver a solution that can power up in less than three hours. Our customers can start migrating their on-premises workloads in minutes. This has resonated well with our customers.

Q: How does the solution work?

A: At its core, the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution addresses three customer requirements: security, predictability and control of cloud-based VMware environments.

Security:

• Oracle Cloud VMware Solution can provide a secure environment as it’s based on our second-generation Oracle Cloud. We completely isolate the hardware for each customer. Once Oracle deploys cloud instances to our customers, we don’t have any visibility into the code on their cloud instance. More importantly, we don’t share any of our code on the same cloud instance as our customer. By design, Oracle, or any other tenant on our cloud, will never have access to any other customer’s code as each system is uniquely isolated from each other based on our security-first, zero-trust isolated network architecture.

• There’s a certain amount of security standards that VMware SDDCs have established over the years. With Oracle Cloud VMware Solution, our customers can continue to maintain those well-established security standards.

• Net-net, when you couple VMware’s well-understood security guardrails and Oracle’s industrial-grade security, you have security layers to protect your data and application continuity.

Predictability:

Customers need predictability in time-to-productivity, stability of data sources, technical support, and simplified pricing.

• Time-to-productivity is dependent on systems that map to business needs. One of the reasons VMware is so successful is that it standardized data center operations. This enables IT professionals to rapidly map systems to business needs.  In much the same way, Oracle Cloud VMware Solution allows a customer to  set up a VMware Software Defined Datacenter with three starting nodes in less than three hours and then be able to add a new node in minutes. The Oracle Cloud enables customers to scale their cloud infrastructure up or down based on real-time business needs. This is a global solution, available in every OCI region, including in an on-premises, Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer hardware stack. Customers designed their global presence to suit their needs. We designed our solutions to meet them where they need us.

The Oracle Cloud VMware Solution allows customers to migrate their VMware environments as-is and without any code changes or application refactoring. This is especially important as IT and business leaders have defined and mapped systems together to address business needs.

These systems need to be predictably managed—contracted, expanded, modified, and depreciated to maintain consistency in time-to-productivity. Customers don’t want to disrupt their existing application portfolios as they move to the cloud. We designed our VMware solution to meet that expectation.

• Data is something that Oracle knows a great deal about. The ability to have predictability when managing data in any IT environment is very important. Oracle customers trust our leadership in data management; we underscore that with mutual tech support to our customers. Also, Oracle has a strong opinion of how customers manage data—into and out of cloud-centric databases. We believe our customers shouldn’t incur any punitive and unpredictable effects or costs from moving data among data centers and our cloud regions.

• Technical support for IT operations is a must. Questions sometimes arise when migrating from an on-premises environment to the cloud. Enterprises require accountability from a single point of contact for technical support. Oracle includes full level 1 and level 2 support for our Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. Our relationship with VMware, combined with a deep understanding of vSphere, enables us to offer this deep level of support.

Control of cloud-based VMware environments:

• Simplified pricing and procurement for cost and billing is also important to our customers. IT Managers understand the costs that are mapped to their systems. Oracle is clear about what the costs are when we sell subscriptions to Oracle Cloud VMware Solution to customers. We also have the same costs in every Cloud region. Other cloud providers often vary their prices for certain services across different regions. This adds an unpredictable factor to managing infrastructure. Additionally, Oracle Cloud VMware Solution appears as a single line item in our customer’s cloud invoice. This minimizes the complexity of procuring and managing licenses and cloud utility costs.

Q: What kinds of enterprises will find the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution most compelling?

A: Organizations that have a significant investment in a VMware Software Defined Data Center and a strategy to migrate to the public cloud will find Oracle Cloud VMware Solution most compelling. These organizations will evaluate and determine that Oracle offers the most compelling solution for migrating a VMware Estate to the cloud.

We spoke about security earlier. Security is a paramount concern for enterprise customers. Oracle extends its robust enterprise-grade security into the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution.

Customers and their services partners that require direct control over their entire VMware Estate will enjoy a VMware-native operating experience. The Oracle offering is unlike all other cloud providers. Oracle does not have access to our customer’s root credentials or dictate when our customers need to update or upgrade software.

Additionally, Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is a first-class citizen, Oracle Cloud VMware Solution services are available on day one for all of our commercial, government, and dedicated regions. Enterprises that require global deployment and scale for VMware in the cloud can get it with Oracle.

Q: Are there any data points we can include to highlight how customers responded to the partnership between Oracle and VMware announced last September at Oracle OpenWorld?

A: Since our offering became generally available in August 2020, Oracle has experienced an increase in customer subscriptions to the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. We have customers in telecommunications, supply chain and logistics, financial services, energy services, and retail services that are rapidly expanding their production workloads using Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. Customers, such as Entel, have deployed and expanded their production workloads on Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. A common thread among our customers is the benefits and value of operating full VMware Software Defined Data Centers in the Oracle Cloud with improved performance, availability, and lower costs.

Q: Why in your opinion is there such a significant synergy between Oracle and VMware?

AOracle and VMware share the same values and ethos when it comes to delivering the best technology solutions for our enterprise, institution, and agency customers around the world. We believe in listening to our customers, developing products based on their requests, and constantly improving to deliver solutions that our customers need. Both companies have a strong presence in IT environments where we solve the toughest challenges for our customers. Customers have learned to trust us for our ability to deliver solutions for decades and are counting on us now to extend that into the cloud.

Q: Why is it of crucial importance that the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution be VMware Cloud Verified?

AA primary design principle of the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is to deliver a native VMware experience that includes full control, just like an on-premises data center while maintaining a consistent VMware Software Defined Data Center as a first-class citizen in Oracle Cloud. We need our customers to have confidence that all of their VMware workloads will operate seamlessly and without modification in Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. VMware Cloud Verified is a mark that VMware customers recognize and that Oracle takes seriously.

Fewer than 5% of VMware’s 4,500+ cloud provider partners are VMware Cloud Verified, and even fewer have launched a VMware Cloud Verified service out of the gate. Most take months, if not years to become VMware Cloud Verified. What differentiates Oracle is that Oracle Cloud VMware Solution is a VMware Cloud Verified service at launch because of our close collaboration with VMware. It is now offered in 22 Oracle Cloud regions and will be added to future cloud regions as we expand globally.

Q: Why is it important for enterprises to be able to use the VMware technologies they know and trust in Oracle Cloud Infrastructure?

ACustomers need predictability in time-to-productivity, stability of data sources, and cost-controls. Also, enterprises have made significant investments in their VMware Software Defined Data Centers. It’s critical that these companies and their associated services and integration partners have confidence that their architecture, operational processes, and tools, which were hardened over time, will work without any business disruptions. Enterprises depend heavily on their VMware and Oracle environments.

Q: What are some of the workloads you see enterprises migrating to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure with the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution?

AOur customers use Oracle Cloud VMware Solution for a variety of use cases that include migrating Oracle and custom applications, data center decommissioning, virtual desktop infrastructure, and business continuity/disaster recovery.

Q: Are any use cases in particular driving increased use of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure?

AYes. We see a significant number of enterprise customers and government customers wanting to deploy high-performance solutions globally at predictable costs.

We have had great success with Zoom, for example.

To increase the number of models run in its modeling and visualization software, Altair moved to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and saved 25%. Computational fluid dynamics models now complete in less than 12 hours.

And, YellowDog, a film studio in London that does animation work with artists chose Oracle Cloud for its high-performance computing workloads and can render full animation footage in less than 30 minutes. Additionally, IP Protection was a critical requirement for YellowDog. Oracle Cloud security met their rigorous standard.

Q: Are there any industries where you see the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution gaining the greatest traction?  If so, why?

AOracle announced general availability of the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution in August 2020. In the last six months we’ve signed global customers across the automotive, manufacturing, SaaS, consumer electronics, telecommunications, and real estate sectors. Customers have told us that our global high-availability, user experience, and fixed-cost structure has been a primary driver for adopting Oracle Cloud Infrastructure and Oracle Cloud VMware Solution.

Q: How do you see the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution furthering enterprises’ multi-cloud plans?

AOur customers said that maintaining their investments in VMware and related technology is an ideal business decision. To address this need, Oracle includes Oracle Cloud VMware Solution along with its full infrastructure stack that we call Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer. This is an Exadata machine that a customer can install in its own data center or interconnection center. We simplified the billing so the customer pays a monthly fee just like a cloud subscription. This configuration allows customers to maintain their data in their dedicated region and interoperate into Oracle Cloud.

This is an ideal hybrid-cloud platform for an enterprise VMware environment because Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer operates exactly like Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. VMware workloads operate among any Oracle Cloud region and on-premises, Dedicated Region Cloud@Customer, enabling a secure, predictable, and cost-effective cloud environment.

Q: How important is it that both companies work closely with one another to offer technical support to customers for their Oracle and VMware solutions?

A: Very important, and I would argue critical in most cases. Our forty years in the enterprise computing world has taught us that customers cannot afford to go back and forth between systems vendors for support. They demand accountability with a single point of contact. Oracle and VMware offer an integrated, single source for supporting the Oracle Cloud VMware Solution. Oracle delivers Tier 1 and Tier 2 support for both VMware and Oracle products within Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. Our relationship with VMware, combined with a deep understanding of vSphere, enables us to offer this level of support.

Q: Are there any significant, related announcements coming out of Oracle Live or other events we should also highlight?

AOracle and VMware have similar corporate initiatives and interests for cloud-at-the-edge, high-performance computing, and delivering the best/optimized cloud-based solutions for the most challenging enterprise-scale problems and mission-critical applications. Watch this space as we introduce joint offerings for our mutual customers.

To learn more about how Oracle and VMware are working together, join the Oracle Live: Expanding the Possibilities of Hybrid Cloud event.

Sources:

www.oracle.com/vmware
Webcast Oracle Cloud: The Ideal Enterprise Platform for VMware

Oracle Cloud VMware Solution’s killer advantage

Clay Magouyrk and John Gilmartin at Oracle OpenWorld 2019

VMworld On-Demand Video Library

https://www.vmware.com/solutions/business-critical-apps/oracle-virtualization.html

[1]IDC Report, Worldwide Virtual Machine Software Market Shares, December 2018, IDC #US43408018

[2]Gartner Report, The Data Center Is (Almost) Dead, Contributor: Susan Moore, August 5, 2019

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