Newest Trend: Best of Breed Approach to Managed #OraclEPM Hosted Solutions
During the Oracle ACE Director pre-OpenWorld briefing , Deepak Patil gave us an update on Oracle’s advances in their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings.
Formally with Microsoft on the Azure team, Mr. Patil has extensive experience in providing IaaS solutions. During the session, he shared with us some research he’s conducted on how the hardware industry has changed in the last year.
Some if his interesting statistics:
- Across all hardware vendors, there have been 60M servers shipped in the last 5 years.
- 5 years is the optimal life span of a server
- 6-7% of the servers shipped went to cloud vendor companies
- In general, server shipments increase 9-10% year over year.
- Server shipments to cloud providers increased 35-42% last year.
- In the next 5 years, it is estimated that the majority of servers shipped will be to cloud vendors.
Obviously, more and more companies are moving to managed cloud platforms. Already, 7% of the world’s workloads are in cloud vendors.
In a recent survey, it was found that 87% of organizations are using some sort of SaaS or hosted solution. In that survey, many are or intend to use 1-3 different providers.
This is true. We continuously see companies move away from standardizing on one single vendor to host their entire enterprise. Additionally, companies are realizing that their on-premise datacenters and personnel are not optimal to service all solutions.
The old argument of a “single throat to choke” has lost its value in modern days. The advent of solid VPN encryption technology, faster networks, easier data integration methodologies, and the explosion of different products have moved the industry into a specialized best-of-breed hybrid approach for managed solutions rather than standardizing on a single monolithic hosted platform.
The catalyst for this has been the adoption of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS). PaaS takes IaaS to the next level by being application specific and application aware.
Today, hardware and software are viewed cooperatively together as two equally pieces as an overall solution. As a result, hardware is becoming more software aware, and visa versa. Oracle has developed specific hardware and software designed to work together. It is now widely understood that hardware, as the key enabler for software, should be specifically configured for a particular solution and requires specific resources and skillsets to run, administer, monitor, backup, troubleshoot, etc.
In short, software simply runs better on different kinds of hardware, data centers, and administrative staff. I would not use the same servers/disk/network/team for my Microsoft Exchange system as I would for my Hyperion or BI system. Same thing with transactional systems vs. reporting solutions, ERP vs. CRM, Web servers vs. database servers, and so on.
This gives way to newest trend in managed cloud concepts – Solution-as-a-Service. Companies are realizing that hardware enables software, which, in turn, enables a solution.
Hyperion and BI are no longer department side projects – they are global mission critical sensitive systems. Today’s customers need more than simple hosting solutions. They need managed cloud providers to understand their applications deeper and provide deeper support with rapid response. So when companies consider a third party hosting platform, they choose vendors that outsource the entire solution, not just the infrastructure.
Application agnostic vendors that host everything have no choice to be a mile wide and an inch deep, unable to offer complete solution services, making them little more than providers of electricity and servers. In this case, customers are on the hook for application administration and managing meaningful application level skillsets.
Similarly, the small number of companies left that have strict all on-prem, no-hosting policies either struggle with performance, stability, efficiency, quality of administration/support, and incur massive costs staffing competent resources. These organizations commonly have a pool of IT resources that are foolishly expected to maintain/monitor and support a wide range of very different technologies and products with little success.
Hyperion/BI is a great example. IT admins, in general, are more focused on larger ERPs, data warehouses, customer facing systems, etc and are not versed on the intricacies of financial systems. Which makes sense, as it’s not a full time job…. But that’s a problem when organizations are in the middle of a close and need high-speed rapid support response with knowledgeable experts focused on solving time-sensitive issues.
The solution is to use multiple specialized vendors for hosting solutions. Lets face it, if you are hosting 100 servers, does it really matter if they are divided up between multiple vendors and on-prem? Not anymore. Companies experience many advantages hosting-by-function, hosting-by-skill set, and hosting-by-solution.
High speed secure interconnects today eliminate the latency and security concerns. VPN tunneling make distributed server locations look as one topology, making the location transparent and seamless to the user. Multiple vendors keep prices down by keeping competition high. Many companies pay LESS by using multiple vendors than using one.
For example, a company might choose hosting cloud vendor that specializes in SAP to outsource SAP/Hana as a solution. They may choose an IBM specialized partner for DB2 and Cognos. Each have their own architecture, requirements, and unique skill sets to maintain and administer.
Considerations for a hosted solution provider:
- 24-hour staffed monitoring operations service center
- Level-2 and level-3 application DBAs on staff, awake, working, in the office 24-hours.
- No Level 1 support. Service desk starts with knowledgeable application DBAs and IT technicians immediately looking at issues.
- Clear SLAs on uptime and issue response time
- Compliant in SSAE16 and SOC
- Strong change control methodology, approval process, and auditing.
- Application-aware IT services – backups, log rotation, file system cleanups.
- Application code migration
- On demand unlimited environment cloning, data refreshing
- Application software patching and upgrading
- Assistance with data loading jobs, job monitoring, data integration
- Database Administration
- Artifact, application, and data level backups (not just server backups)
- Long time experience working with all consulting firms and implementers. Familiar and clear working relationships, roles, responsibilities.
- High speed Infrastructure, fast network
- Latest state of the art servers
- All solid state storage
- Data center disaster recovery real-time replication
- Strong security and intrusion detection with frequent 3rd party intrusion and denial of service testing and audit
- Biometric physical security in secured fortified buildings.
Mercury Technology Group meets all of these requirements and then some. For Oracle Application hosting, MTG is the clear choice for full outsourced IT hosting solution as a service.
Mercury Technology Group (MTG) provides managed private hosted cloud solutions specializing in Oracle EPM, BI, EBS and associated products. Better performance, exceptional 24-hour rapid response support, and proprietary capabilities, all for a lower cost of on-prem or leading hosting providers.