Mythics Blog

Why Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)? - Part 1

Posted on September 25, 2020 by Erik Benner

Tags: Oracle, Cloud Computing, Cloud, Oracle Cloud, OCI, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure

A question I get every day from customers is, "Why should I move to Oracle's Cloud?"

There are a ton of blog posts out there about what cloud is better, faster or cheaper, etc. Yet they all miss the important fact that YOUR use case should be based on your cloud requirements and are unique to your business.  Picking a cloud is not a simple decision, and you can't cover the advantages and disadvantages in a few short talking points.

This blog series will cover the high-level advantages and provide insight and real examples of how OCI can benefit YOUR workloads. I will also cover some insights from my experience supporting customers who run workloads on all of the Cloud Service Providers out there.

Oracle Cloud has many unique advantages over other Cloud Service Providers (CSP). Some of the advantages are technical, some are around price, others are specific performance advantages, data security and then there is availability, specifically data availability. 

So, let's get this started with the overview, going over the Enterprise design and price. Security, availability and performance will be addressed in the next blog in this series.


Enterprise-Grade Design

Yes, Enterprise design is the first thing to think about, if the cloud has a design that leads itself to making the news for huge outages, or losing customer’s data to the dark web, you may want to consider something more robust. You don't run your existing workloads on computers built from parts from the local mega computer store in a data center built in a garage. Why would you do this in the Cloud? Oracle’s Cloud is built on the same hardware that customers run today, built for true Enterprise 24x7x365 secure operations. The same core technology Oracle's Cloud was not built to run just Cloud Native applications, but also legacy applications that are the lifeblood to Mythics customers. Applications like ERP systems, HCM systems, EPM systems, Enterprise identify management systems, and even custom applications can run on OCI with all the performance and availability that you have when you ran the datacenter. Often, when migrating to the cloud, they even run FASTER and experience more uptime!

By design, OCI can overcome many of the limitations that other clouds force on their customers. Need a system with 3 cores? No problem. Oracle offers a shapeless design that enables a customer to build VMs that meet THEIR needs, not the need of the CSP. This eliminates the issue where customers need to pay for more CPU than they really need. Other clouds force you into 2 or 4 CPUs, not 3 or 7. Need 14 cores? No problem, while competing CSPs make you pick between 8 or 16 cores. This offers significant savings, due to you not being forced to over-consume resources.

The cost to run a server is not only the storage, RAM, network, etc. Servers also require an Operating System. With OCI, that is FREE! Not only is the OS free, but it is also an Enterprise Linux grade OS, which is 100% application binary compatible with Red Hat Enterprise Linux, so commercial software is supported. Not only is the OS free, but so are all the bolt-ons that competing vendors charge for like Clustering, Docker, Kubernetes, Kata containers, Gluster storage, system management, and more. All FREE in OCI, and yes, this includes Oracle Java, the world's most popular language. More on Linux in a future post.

Because the OCI architecture is a second-generation design, the Oracle developers (These cloud engineers in many cases were hired away from the first generation CSPs) learned from the mistakes they made building the first-generation cloud companies. This means that they could solve many of the issues experienced by these early cloud companies, eliminating performance bottlenecks, single points of control failure, lax security controls, and, most importantly, a simplified billing model. This means that Oracle has confidence in their cloud, not just in its ability to be online, but also, it's performance. OCI is the only major cloud provider that offers Service Level Agreements for manageability, performance, and availability.


Price vs. Value

Often, the decision for the cloud is based on price, and OCI is a leader in value to the customer. Wait, you say… the CSP sales guy said that his cloud was cheaper because they had a lower cost per minute CPU offering. That may be true, but cheap comes with a cost, and these costs are called overages in cloud lingo.

A common complaint I hear from customers that were early adopters of first-generation clouds is that they are not seeing the savings they were anticipating because of these expenses. To make it worse, many of these same customers have to hire outside companies to explain their cloud bill. There is an entire ecosystem of consulting companies that simply exist to help you understand the CSP invoice. The complexity allows CSPs to hit Overages, causing the customer to spend more than they have planned without being able to track that easily.

Overages are a major source of income for first-generation cloud providers. Amy Hood, the CFO of Microsoft Azure, said, "…Azure consumption overages and pay as you go contracts will drive bookings growth and in-period revenue…" in the 2019 Q2 earnings call.

When evaluating a cloud provider, you need to look at ALL of the costs of the service being provided. Many well-known CSPs charge for EVERY I/O to your storage, which means the more reports you users run, the more expenses you have. Imagine the financial impact when users directly impact your bill because they are using the system to run more reports or analyze more data! Moving data also has unanticipated expenses, and other CSPs charge for the bytes transferred both in and out of the cloud as well as costs to move data within the SAME Region. Simply turning on a technology like Splunk can cause huge unplanned expenses in a first-generation cloud.  Oracle only charges for the data egress from the cloud over the internet. Moving data inside a region is free, as is moving data via a private interconnect that connects your network to OCI.

Some CSPs even charge for customer support. Yes, you get charged to by your CSP to have the ability to call support! Not only are these nickel and dime expenses reducing your savings, but there is also a hidden cost in lost CPU.

Some cloud CPU is NOT what you think it is; a core is not always core. Many CSPs do not even sell you a full core, they market their compute units as virtual CPU, which in most cases is a thread… ½ a core. Not only are you buying less than you think, but due to how the CSPs structure their systems, you do not always even get the ½ of a core you would expect. This is because some services are not selling you a dedicated CPU core, but instead a share of a core, with the ability to burst to more CPU. This means those 4 cores you thought you purchased perform more like 1 dedicated core. This is easily observed in Linux, looking at the steal CPU metric. More on this in a future post.

Cloud pricing can be complicated, but this BLOG can hopefully educate you about the most common pitfalls, helping you achieve the savings promised with the migration to the cloud.

If you are interested in learning more about Oracle Cloud as an option for your agency or organization, the Mythics Oracle Cloud Viability Assessment (CVA) is a great starting point to help us guide and collaborate with you to select the right cloud approach that fits your requirements, budget and unique environment or security needs. Mythics can help architect, securely migrate, and provide ongoing sustainment services to help maximize success.

If you are further along in your Oracle Cloud research and journey, we also have service bundles that can help jump start an Oracle Cloud evaluation, implementation and workload or application migration. 


Mythics - Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Solution Bundles

How do I get started evaluating Oracle Cloud and the find the right fit for me?

How do I easily and cost effectively stand up and configure Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)?

How Do I Scope Out and Migrate My Workload or Application to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI)?

Additional Workload and Application Migration to Oracle Cloud Experience and Expertise:

Oracle Forms and Reports Oracle Primavera Oracle Flexcube Oracle Cloud@Customer
Oracle Hyperion Oracle Application Express (APEX) Oracle Identity Management (IdM) Custom Applications
Disaster Recovery (DRaaS) Amazon Web Services (AWS) Microsoft Azure And more...

Stay tuned for the next blog in this series, covering the highlights for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) Performance and Availability vs other cloud providers.

Erik Benner, Vice President Enterprise Transformation, Mythics


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