“Oracle Management Cloud is a heterogeneous solution”

Prakash Ramamurthy, Senior Vice President, Product Development, Systems & Cloud Management, Oracle

Dataquest interviewed Prakash Ramamurthy, Senior Vice President, Product Development, Systems & Cloud Management, Oracle to know what Oracle Management Cloud is all about and how it will benefit its customers

What made Oracle enter into Management Cloud?
We have been managing the Oracle technology stack for last the 20 years. It helped us do deep diagnostics on Oracle products from database to middleware to help plug issues and gaps. About two and half years ago, we looked at the market place for IT operations management and monitoring solutions. We found that it’s a 17 billion US dollar market growing at 7% CAGR and will cross 20-22 billion USD worldwide in the next 3 years. But the incumbent players were seeing negative growth. The fastest growing vendors in the space were new age cloud based solution providers. They were growing at 50%. So we at Oracle decided that this market is ripe for disruption, for a technology refresh. There is no vendor in the space who has a suite of management services that meets the new requirement of being cloud based and being quick to deploy etc. So that’s why we decided to enter the market.

 As businesses deploy disruptive technology, what are the challenges that they are facing?
In India businesses are rapidly deploying mobile and Cloud based services. As they undergo this transition, managing the change can be challenging as customers have very low tolerance for things going wrong at the front end. For example, if a customer is using an app to call a cab and the app takes time to load, he or she will immediately switch to a competitor app. Similarly, for e-tailors – if the website doesn’t load, nobody stops a purchase but moves on to a different site.

No matter which business you are in, you need to stay ahead of the customer to have visibility to potential problems that may arise. When you detect an issue, you need a solution that will help you rapidly diagnose and trouble shoot. But there existed no end to end tool in the market that gave you a unified view of issues that could emerge with networking, databases, applications. Most companies are adopting the dev ops paradigm. But for this to really succeed there is a need for a mind shift – you need a unified set of tools that the developers and operations people can look at the same time. Traditional players have been providing siloed solutions to the DBA’s and infrastructure team. To address this gap, we launched Oracle Management Cloud at the Oracle OpenWorld in October last year and went live in December. Within a month of going live we had over dozen customers.

What is Oracle Management Cloud?
Oracle Management Cloud is a SaaS based end to end suite of solutions that allows you to do everything from monitoring to analysing logs to meeting compliance needs. It is a heterogeneous solution i.e. we do not care what your application is running on or where it is running on, whether it’s running on Oracle Java Platform or not, whether it’s using Oracle database or not – we can collect the logs. The application can be running on premise in customer’s captive data centre or on our cloud or competitors cloud – our solution is vendor agnostic.

We want to make these solutions available to customers without they having to make any changes at their end to deploy these solutions. As SaaS based model, customers can see rapid value. Within 30 minutes of putting an agent, they can see the results. They do not have to go for long drawn out multi-month deployments. It allows customers to quickly get off and running as bulk of the infrastructure supporting this is running on Cloud. While this is new for us, we are confident of tapping a large chunk of the over 20 billion USD market with our solution in the coming years.

How does this really work?
We have launched 3 services
Oracle Application Performance Monitoring (APM) – It will allow, say an e-commerce platform to know in advance if their web browser is slowing down before the user sends a complaint. This is done by monitoring the experience of every user on the website for e.g. page load time. We can detect if there is delay than the standard time. Sometimes it could be because of coding issues, at other times due to network challenges in an area. Being able to do real time, application performance monitoring allows you to get ahead of your customer before they site a problem. The operations teams can find and fix issues with today’s mobile and web applications rapidly, via deep visibility into application performance from the end user experience, through application server requests, and down to application logs.

Oracle Log Analytics Cloud Service – Usually IT teams spend a lot of time generating logs and then they archive and throw it away. The logs carry business and operations information. It allows you to see patterns. The log analytics tool helps monitor, aggregate, index, and analyzes all log data from on-premise and cloud applications and infrastructure—enabling users to search, explore, and correlate this data to troubleshoot problems faster, derive operational insight and make better decisions.

Oracle IT Analytics Cloud Service – The above two solutions are like the Fitbit for your applications. They collect information 24*7. Oracle IT Analytics Cloud Service provides 360-degree insight into the performance, availability, and capacity of applications and IT investments, enabling executives, analysts, and administrators to make critical decisions about their IT operations. It allows companies to do what if analysis, forecasting for say a marketing campaign that they are going to run. Can the website handle the traffic? Most of the they over provision it or under provision it. This service allows to do BI on IT data. You can correlate campaigns with infrastructure performance.

What we are trying to do is get you more visibility into your applications and help you be more proactive in fixing problems.

 What is the value proposition of Oracle Cloud management system?
Underpinning all Oracle Management Cloud services is a massive big data platform that is completely integrated. This is where we differentiate ourselves from point solutions. Everything goes into one platform, whether it is the data coming from the browser, from mobile app, the log data etc. They come to a unified data platform where they are tagged and correlated to quickly connect the dots and identify the problem. Today enterprises don’t suffer from lack of data, they suffer from lack of insight. The challenge is in fact there is such an overwhelming amount of data that they don’t know what to do with it. We are addressing the challenge by building this unified platform on cloud and provide real time insight.

 Which sectors are you targeting with Cloud management systems?
The solution is vertical agnostic; an agent can be deployed in any application across sectors. We are seeing traction from all sectors – manufacturing, telcos, financial services, logistics etc. A company will deploy it basis their business priority. If there is an application that is highly critical for their top line revenue, businesses will look at deploying it there first.

Are you offering Management Cloud from your own data centres?
Yes, Oracle has 19 datacentres in the world and its growing. What’s interesting about this solution is that it is least sensitive to data residency requirements.

Who is your target audience – mid tier or large enterprise?
Both. Since cost of deployment is very low its appealing to both.

 Is it self-service?
It is self-service but our customers expect a certain quality of support from Oracle and that’s why they come to us. We have specialists who are only focused on Cloud adoption. We can provision and deploy it within 30-60 minutes. They have to only drop an agent in their mid-tier and within the first service, it will start learning. All one needs to do is configure it to send the information to Cloud.

Who are your competitors in this space?
We have point competitors and they are different for APM or IT analytics and others. But no competitor has all the services integrated. There is a huge issue with that because if it is bad enough to integrate products on-premise, it’s a nightmare to do the same if instances are running on three different Cloud services. They will need to buy a fourth Cloud service to integrate all of that and no one has time for that.

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