By Carol Hildebrand
By now it’s clear that migrating IT workloads to cloud databases can be a good move. Even small, incremental shifts can deliver real payback in terms of provisioning speed, performance, and costs, which helps explain why companies like GE are aggressively moving to the cloud.
But what does “moving to the cloud” look like for a company like yours? From Oracle’s experience, it’s a multistep process that begins with quick-win use cases. These can provide immediate benefits, but just as important, help your company develop expertise in moving workloads to the cloud.
Here are three first-step use cases for Oracle Database Cloud that we see companies using, and that you can try now:
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In a world where 87 percent of enterprises update or release mobile apps every six months or less, speed matters. Oracle constantly hears from IT department leads who can no longer provision new environments fast enough for lines of business that want to test new applications and introduce new functionality. Cloud database services let those companies provision databases in minutes instead days or weeks.
Moving dev-test to the cloud lightens IT’s burden in other ways. Automated backup and maintenance provided by the cloud vendor frees up DBA time, and elastic capacity lets developers easily add more storage or computing power as needed. Developers can then devote more time where the company needs it: to tech innovation. In one recent case, Zamil Industrial Investment Company’s move to Oracle Database Cloud Service freed the equivalent of two full-time IT workers from database maintenance and backups. The company now has two more IT experts to focus on business goals like streamlining business processes or integrating important business applications.
With such clear benefits, Oracle’s leaders are betting that the trend toward dev-test in the cloud will continue. Oracle CEO Mark Hurd predicts that 100 percent of software development-testing will be cloud-based by 2025.
Each release of Oracle Database contains a substantial amount of new technology.
Maria Colgan, master product manager for Oracle Database In-Memory, says the cloud is a low-risk way to try new technology. (0:35)
You can try it out by building an on-premises ‘sandbox’ environment to explore the new software, but that means purchasing a license to software that the company may or may not deploy—essentially pulling the trigger on an investment before you know whether you want it or not.
Using the cloud to build a sandbox exploratory environment obviates the costs and risks involved with an on-premises version, and simultaneously introduces developers to cloud-based database services. For example, Surdell and Partners created a sandbox on Oracle Cloud to learn to use multitenant databases to manage many databases as a single unit.
“This gives organizations the ability to test specific features, such as multitenant or in-memory, by trying them out in the cloud for a month or so,” says Maria Colgan, master product manager for Oracle Database In-Memory.
“A lot of our customers are getting ready to do the migration to Oracle Database 12c,” says Colgan. “By being able to try a pilot project in the cloud, their commitments in terms of time and resources are a lot less, and it gives them faster access to the latest release,” she says. “This ultimately results in faster, more effective deployment across the company.”
A lot of our customers are getting ready to do the migration to Oracle Database 12c. By being able to try a pilot project in the cloud, their commitments in terms of time and resources are a lot less.
—Maria Colgan, master product manager, Oracle Database In-Memory
Moving data to the cloud is “a great opportunity to try out and adopt a new technology like Oracle Database In-Memory by doing it in the cloud,” says Colgan. The benefits of in-memory analytics, she says, center on speed of analysis. “Reports that once took hours and days to run can now run in minutes or seconds.”
This blink-of-an-eye performance is made possible without having to funnel data to a separate database or make any changes to your current business applications. “Without changing one line of code in your applications, you can see what it’s like to be a real-time business,” says Colgan.
With these three quick-win use cases, and many, many others, database as a service is widely regarded as a high-growth sector—with 451 Research expecting the market to reach $1.8 billion by 2016, and an expected enterprise adoption rate of more than 70 percent.