For all the talk about cloud services, be it Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) or even Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), there are always physical servers at the foundation. In many cases with cloud, the concept of a physical server is hidden from view, but in a new offering from Oracle, the machine behind the cloud is now being highlighted.
Oracle this week announced its new Oracle Cloud Machine, which is basically an IaaS offering, providing users with specific configurations of compute power. In a non-trivial sense this is nearly identical to what hosting providers have been calling Virtual Private Servers (VPS) for over a decade.
With a VPS, a customer would get a guaranteed number of CPUs or CPU cores, which is also what is happening with the Oracle Cloud Machine, with a bit of a twist.
Instead of just specifying CPUs, Oracle is marketing what it refers to as OCPU (an Oracle CPU), which is an Oracle-defined unit of CPU power that is intended to be a rough equivalent of a modern Intel Xeon processor.
The top-end Oracle Cloud Machine 1080 is a monster, with a staggering 1080 OCPUs of processing power, backed by 7.5 TB of memory. The mid-level Cloud Machine packs in 576 OCPUs with 4 TB of memory, while the entry-level Cloud Machine provides 288 OCPUs and 2 TB of memory.
What makes the Oracle Cloud Machine very different than a legacy VPS though is the fact that it can be deployed as an on-premises solution. This is what other vendors in the industry today typically refer to as a private cloud, or what VMware just calls virtualization.
Positioning the Oracle Cloud Machine as a Platform for Services
Instead of just delivering raw compute, the Oracle Cloud Machine is being positioned by Oracle as a platform for services, including the Java cloud service, which is a subscription-based service that provides a complete Oracle WebLogic clustered deployment, including load balancing.
There is also an application container cloud service for the Cloud Machine, which is all about enabling organizations to deploy Java and Node.js applications. Of course, Oracle being Oracle, there is also a database cloud service that is available for the Cloud Machine as well.
Oracle's new Cloud Machine effort comes as the company's hardware revenue continue to decline in the face of cloud momentum. For Oracle's third quarter fiscal 2016 financial results, which were reported on March 15, total cloud revenues were up by 43 percent year-over-year, while hardware was down by 13 percent.