Category Archives: PaaS

Oracle sets sights on IaaS market as it reports 49% cloud growth

Oracle CloudOracle has reported its 2016 Q4 results stating growth over the period declined 1% to $10.6 billion, though its cloud business grew 49% to $859 million, reports

2016 has seen Oracle spend almost $2 billion on cloud-specific organizations, as the tech giant continues efforts to transform the Oracle business focus to the burgeoning cloud market. While Oracle could be seen as one of the industry’s elder statesmen, efforts in the M&A market are seemingly paying off as PaaS and SaaS continues to demonstrate healthy growth to compensate for the dwindling legacy business units. The team have also outlined plans to make strides in the IaaS market segment.

Growth in the SaaS and PaaS business has been accelerating in recent years as CEO Safra Catz quoted 20% growth in 2014, 34% in 2015, and now 52% over the course of FY 2016. Q4 gross margin for SaaS and PaaS was 57%, up from 40% during the same period. The progress of the business would appear to be making healthy progress, and Catz does not seem to be content with the current growth levels. The team have ambitions to raise gross margin to 80% in the mid-term, as well as seeing cloud year-on-year revenue growth for Q1 FY 2017 of 75% to 80%.

“For most companies as their business grows, the growth rates go down,” said Catz. “In our case, as the business grows, the growth rates are continuing to increase. Now, as regard to our cloud revenue accounting, we have reviewed it carefully and are completely confident that it is a 100% accurate and if anything slightly conservative.”

Moving forward, CTO Larry Ellison highlighted the team plan on driving rapid expansion of the cloud business. The Oracle team are targeting growth rates which would double that of competitors as its ambition is now to be the first SaaS company to make $10 billion in annual revenue. The team are not only targeting the customer experience markets, but also the Enterprise Resource Management and Human Capital Management segments, where it believes there will be higher growth rates.

“We’re a major player in ERP and HCM,” said Ellison. “We’re almost the only player in supply chain and manufacturing. We’re the number one player in marketing. We’re very competitive. We’re number one – tied for number one in service.”

Secondly, the team will also be aiming to facilitate growth through expanding it IaaS data centre focus, which is currently an ‘also ran’ part of the cloud business. Ellison claims Oracle is in a strong position to grow in this area, having invested heavily second generation data centres, as well the potential for the combination of PaaS and IaaS for the company’s installed base of database customers, helping them move to the cloud.

“And we built, again, the second generation data centre, which we think is highly competitive with anything out there lower cost, better performance, better security, better reliability than any of our competitors, and there’s huge demand for it, and we’re now starting to bring customers into that,” said Ellison. “We think that’s another very important driver to Oracle for overall growth.”

The last few years have seen a considerable transformation in the Oracle business, as it has invested considerably in the development of new technology, as well as acquisitions, seemingly hedging its bets to buy its way into the cloud market. The numbers quoted by Catz and Ellison indicate there has been some traction and the market does seem to be reacting positively to the new Oracle proposition.

In terms of the IaaS market, success in this area will remain to be seen. Although Oracle has the potential to put considerable weight behind any move in this market, it is going to be playing catch up with some noteworthy players, who have cash themselves. Whether Oracle has the ability to catch the likes of AWS, Microsoft Azure and Google, as well as the smaller players in the market, remains to be see, though its success in the SaaS and PaaS markets does show some promise.

Cloud market growing 28% a year and worth $110 billion says study

Money cloudCloud services boomed in 2015 as the barriers to adoption toppled and confidence surged, says a new study. Operators and vendors in the six major cloud services and infrastructure market groups earned $110 billion in the four quarters ending in September 2015, according to new data from Synergy Research Group. This represents an annual growth rate of 28% on average.

The fastest growing sectors, Public Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platforms as a service (PaaS) grew at almost double the average rate, however, with a 51% increase in revenues in the 12 month period. Perhaps surprisingly, the public cloud is still growing at a faster rate than the hybrid cloud, which many pundits have tipped to be the immediate future for enterprise computing as companies hedge their bets between on and off-premise computing models.

The private and hybrid cloud infrastructure service markets grew by 45%. However, spending on infrastructure hardware and software is still higher than spending on cloud services, but the gap is narrowing rapidly. The top six companies in the hybrid cloud sector were identified as Cisco, HP Enterprise (HPE), AWS, Microsoft, IBM and Salesforce.

Even the lowest performing cloud sectors grew by 16%, Synergy reported.

The latest yearly figures, measured in the period from Q4 2014 to Q3 2015, showed that the total spend on infrastructure hardware and software to build cloud services exceeded $60 billion. Of that $60 billion, at least $30 billion was apportioned to private cloud projects. However, spending on public cloud projects, while in the minority, is growing much more rapidly.

The investments in infrastructure by the cloud service providers brought a return, the analyst says, as the figures show it helped them to generate $20 billion in revenues from cloud infrastructure services (IaaS, PaaS, private & hybrid services) and a further $27 billion from SaaS. There was also a return from additional income sources arising out of supporting internet services such as search, social networking, email and e-commerce. A new sector is emerging, as unified communications as a service (UCaaS) began to show healthy growth and, according to Synergy, is showing signs of driving some radical changes in business communications.

Last year the cloud became mainstream and moved beyond the early adopter phase as barriers to adoption fell, according to Synergy Research Group’s Chief Analyst Jeremy Duke. “Cloud technologies are now generating massive revenues and high growth rates that will continue long into the future,” said Synergy Research Group Chief Analyst John Dinsdale.

OVH claims integration of TimeSeries PaaS with Sigfox IoT cloud

France-based ISP turned cloud operator OVH has announced that its TimeSeries platform service is now integrated with the IoT simcloud service provided by IoT specialist Sigfox.

The fine tuning of the two services was announced at the CES 2016 show in Las Vegas, where the two service providers demonstrated showed how the OVH TimeSeries platform as a service (PaaS) can analyse and act on data being fed in from 7,000 sensors connected to the Sigfox IoT.

OVH claimed that machine-learning algorithms within the TimeSeries service can identify patterns and automatically trigger actions in response to the perceived situation. Having started as an ISP in Roubaix, France OVH has evolved to become a cloud service provider in France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Spain, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands, Lithuania, the Czech Republic and Finland.

In November BCN reported how it has launched a public cloud service in the UK with customisable security as protection against cyber attacks becomes a major selling point alongside open systems mobility. It recently expanded its offering into the US and Canada. It currently has 220,000 servers in 17 data centres but claims it will have opened 12 new data centres by 2018.

The new integration means that now companies can use OVH’s PaaS TimeSeries application programming interfaces to retrieve data. This frees companies from having to build and manage their own databases, it claims.

The integration and demo at CES will help companies to understand the entire value chain of the Internet of Things, according to OVH CEO Laurent Allard. “A turn-key system for storing and managing data and hosting business applications makes it much simpler, quicker and cheaper to get running with the IoT,” said Allard.

In other news, Sigfox has also announced a pilot programme with the French postal service company La Poste. The two companies are collaborating to invent a new of online postal.

The Domino programme aims to automate the ordering of parcel pickup and delivery via Sigfox’s IoT network. A regional rollout will start in the first half of 2016.

Autodesk launches $100m PaaS developer programme

Autodesk forge platformCAD software maker Autodesk has put $100m on the table and challenged developers create new cloud friendly design automation systems on its Forge development platform.

In an official statement on its web site Autodesk, famous for its AutoCAD computer aided design (CAD) system, explains that it wants the cloud-based Forge system to catalyse a change in the way products are designed made and used. The Forge scheme was announced at Autodesk University the company’s conference in Las Vegas.

The initiative consists of three major components, a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) offering, a developer programme and a $100 million investment fund.

The Forge Platform is a set of cloud services that span early stage design, engineering, visualization, collaboration, production and operations. It offers open application programming interfaces (APIs) and software development kits (SDKs) for developers wanting to build cloud powered apps and services. The Forge Developer Program provides training, resources and support and will host an inaugural Forge Developer Conference in June 2016. In addition to financial support for companies that quality for the developer fund, Autodesk will give business and technical support.

The logic of the scheme is that industrial production methods used to design, make and use products is changing and new technologies disrupt every aspect of the product lifecycle. This can make production risky, since investments are poured into the creation of a new product line only for the market to be destroyed by some other invention before the manufacturer can launch their products.

Cloud computing, by creating a more flexible fluid economies of design and manufacture, could help make CAD systems adapt to the new market conditions, according to Amar Hanspal, senior VP of Products at Autodesk. “Autodesk is launching Forge to help developers build new businesses in the changing manufacturing landscape,” said Hanspal, “we are inviting innovators to take advantage of Autodesk’s cloud platform to build services that turn today’s disconnected technologies into highly connected, personalised experiences.”

Autodesk itself has evolved as the manufacturing changed. It started by creating computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software, which was used by engineers to create parts on screen before manufacturing them. However, in later years it has evolved into product lifecycle management (PLM) systems and offers services such as simulation and modelling. It has taken on a stronger mobile and cloud focus with offerings such as AutoCAD 360, a mobile companion to AutoCAD that engineers can use to call up blueprints while away from their desks.

SAP to become a Genband reseller as Kandy improves relationship in the cloud

SAP1Texas-based comms software specialist Genband has signed SAP as a global reseller of its comms platform-as-a-service (PaaS) Kandy. Under the terms of the arrangement, Kandy will be repackaged as the SAP Real-Time Communicator Web application by Genband.

The system is designed to help any sized enterprise to improve its workflow by improving its communications processes, making them simpler to use and more effective. This is achieved by making it easier for sales, service and business professionals to adopt the chat, videoconference and collaboration systems that are often under-used in many companies. By improving real time communications between customers and co-workers SAP says its cloud offering will makes its enterprise clients far more effective sales organisations.

SAP claims its Real-Time Communicator creates personalized engagement and helps them stand out from competitors through a superior customer experience. In its capacity as a reseller SAP has integrated Real-Time Communicator into the rest of its portfolio and embedded communications within its business applications, giving them presence, instant messaging, voice and video chat and conferencing. The Real-Time Communicator is integrated natively into SAP Cloud for Customer, and can be integrated with the SAP Hybris Commerce system.

Genband’s executive VP of Strategy and Cloud Services Paul Pluschkell said SAP, as the world’s top cloud player, is the ideal reseller partner to collaborate with. “Integrating with SAP creates a powerful customer experience that empowers customers to work smarter and more efficiently,” said Pluschkell.

The combination creates dramatic improvements in productivity for clients said Nayaki Nayyar, senior VP of Cloud for Customer Engagement at SAP. Managing vital relationships helps make the experience richer, more contextual and highly efficient, said Nayyar. SAP is reselling Genband because it has created an advanced market offering and the only one that could help SAP launch new offerings across its applications. “Genband’s technology performance leadership, global presence and comprehensive product portfolio, all factored into our decision to select this platform,” said Nayyar.

AT&T, Ericsson and Apcera demonstrate NFV in a PaaS environment

Voice and video can work in the most complicated clouds, according to an integration breakthrough demonstrated at the OpenStack summit in Tokyo.

AT&T and Ericsson claim they’ve created an improvement to container technology that makes cloud telco platforms far more secure and yet easier to set up. They jointly presented their invention in proof of concept exercise, along with cloud service provider Apcera.

Container technology, previously used for creating secure environments for text based office and enterprise productivity applications, has been tweaked in order to overcome some of its security limitations, when telecoms is handled in the cloud.

Telco AT&T, equipment maker Ericsson and cloud service provider Apcera described how they came together in order to bring their own perspectives of the multiple levels of the OpenStack hierarchy. The joint problem they faced is that the virtualization of telecoms still has some teething problems that need to be resolved, such as the interaction of various web browsers and video and audio services.

The companies demonstrated how they have tweaked container technology to create a containerised policy driven PaaS that can use the telecoms related Virtualized Network Function (VNF). The resulting telecoms-charged ‘advanced container’ was able to house a Web Communication Gateway (vWCG) that fully integrated with OpenStack.

The proof of concept exercise showed audio and video communications actually worked between multiple Web browsers on the virtualized telephony system.

Never mind the complexity of what’s happening across the comms stack and the cloud, the main thing to take home is that this system works with a few clicks of a mouse, said Magnus Arildsson, Head of IaaS and PaaS at Ericsson. “This is an important step toward fast, secure and policy-integrated deployment of Telco VNFs on micro-services-based containers,” he said.

Ericsson and Apcera accelerated the development of the micro-services-based PaaS environment, said Derek Collison, CEO of Apcera. “This exercise paves the way for cost-effective, efficient deployments and further collaboration with telco operators to integrate carrier-grade requirements with our cloud platform.”

Tibco announces two new cloud integrators

Platform as a ServiceTibco has built two new systems for building cloud services and manage enterprise applications.

BusinessWorks Container Edition is a streamlined version of Tibco flagship product and designed to make installation, upgrades and other operational duties easier with the Pivotal Cloud Foundry. It’s aimed at companies where dealing with regulatory requirements or sensitive data is a major challenge and sets out to provide more flexible workload controls across the entire IT estate, from on-premise IT to hybrid clouds.

Tibco Cloud Integration is an integration Platform-as-a-Service (iPaaS) that will make it easier to create, govern and consuming cloud services, the vendor claims. A tool for managing application programming interfaces (APIs) is designed to make the rolling out of these services smoother, both internally and externally.

The rationale is to make it easier for enterprises to adopt cloud services, according to Tibco CTO Matt Quinn. “Integration is critical to connecting and engaging on multiple channels,” said Quinn,

Cloud Foundry environments are now so simple they can be built in a few minutes with a few commands, claims Tibco. Meanwhile they’ve been re-engineered to run on different systems irrespective of the infrastructure, without the administrators having to surrender any of their control over their IT estate. The simplification of management means that responsibility for cloud environments can be moved in-house, Tibco claims.

“The cloud first approach is really about offering new consumption models for our customers,” said Quinn.

The recent addition of Mashery’s API management system has helped speed up the process of extending the use of cloud, while the new Tibco tools will improve integration with in house system, according Quinn.

Software and platforms as a service driving our growth says Oracle

OracleOracle’s latest quarterly results show the increasing strategic of importance of revenue from cloud software and platforms as a service, according to the vendor. Chairman Larry Ellison also claimed the sales figures show Oracle will soon overtake Salesforce as the top selling cloud operator.

The official figures for Oracle’s fiscal 2016 Q1 period show that total revenues were $8.4 billion, which represent a two per cent fall in US dollars but a seven per cent rise in constant currency. Oracle attributed the fall to the current strength of the US dollar.

However, a clearer pattern emerged in the nature of software sales, when benchmarking all sales in US dollars. While revenues for on premise software were down two per cent (in US dollars) at $6.5 billion, the total cloud revenues were up by 29 per cent at $611 million. The revenue from Cloud software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS) was $451 million, which represents a 34 per cent increase in sales. Cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS) revenues, at $160 million, rose 16 per cent in the same period.

Meanwhile, Oracle’s total hardware revenue figure for the period, $1.1 billion, also indicated a decline, of three per cent. Using the same US dollar benchmark, Oracle’s services revenues for the period more or less stagnated, at $862 million, a rise of one per cent.

Growth is being driven by SaaS and PaaS, according to Oracle CEO Safra Catz. “Cloud subscription contracts almost tripled in the quarter,” said Catz, “as our cloud business scales-up, we plan to double our SaaS and PaaS cloud margins over the next two years. Rapidly growing cloud revenue combined with a doubling of cloud margins will have a huge impact on growth going forward.”

Oracle’s cloud revenue growth rate is being driven by a year-over-year bookings rise of over 150 per cent in Q1, reported Oracle’s other joint CEO Mark Hurd. “Our increasing revenue growth rate is in sharp contrast to our primary cloud competitor’s revenue growth rates, which are on their way down.”

Oracle is still on target to book up to $2.0 billion of new SaaS and PaaS business this fiscal year, claimed executive chairman Larry Ellison. “That means Oracle would sell between 50 per cent more and double the amount of new cloud business that Salesforce plans to sell in their current fiscal year. Oracle is the world’s second largest SaaS and PaaS company, but we are rapidly closing in on number one.”

Cloud Foundry heads to Azure

Microsoft has announced a public preview of Cloud Foundry running on Azure

Microsoft has announced a public preview of Cloud Foundry running on Azure

Microsoft has announced a long awaited public preview of Cloud Foundry for Azure which the company said will help enable its customers with multi-cloud and hybrid cloud deployments.

Microsoft has been talking about adding Cloud Foundry support to Azure for the better part of a year, and earlier this month the company drew one step closer to a beta release by demoing a Cloud Foundry deployment on its public cloud service.

In a blog post explaining the move Ning Kuang, senior program manager for Microsoft Azure said Cloud Foundry can be deployed quickly using an Azure Resource Manager template, or the through open source workload lifecycle manager BOSH.

“Hybrid and Multi-cloud support is one of the key strengths of Cloud Foundry and the Azure [Cloud Provider Interface] enables you to extend your private data to Azure for running Cloud Foundry based applications. In addition, we are working to ensure that Azure CPI will in work in a private cloud environment running on Azure Stack and we will have more on that to come in the near future,” Kuang explained.

“We’re hoping to release the public Beta in a few weeks and will then upstream the code back to the community source tree in a few months prior to GA,” she added.

Cloud Foundry is one of the most popular PaaSs around today so the move to support it may help on-board more devops-types to Microsoft Azure, which is currently one of the fastest growing infrastructure as a service platforms around (at least in terms of revenue).

Dell partners with Pivotal on Cloud Foundry

Dell Services will resell Pivotal CF and advise customers on implementation, app development and migration to different cloud platforms

Dell Services will resell Pivotal CF and advise customers on implementation, app development and migration to different cloud platforms

Dell Services announced a partnership with Pivotal this week that will see the company include Pivotal CF in its digital services portfolio.

The deal will see Dell Services resell Pivotal’s Cloud Foundry distribution as well as advise clients on application development, integration and multi-cloud migration using both Pivotal’s and open source Cloud Foundry.

The companies said the move will help customers enable a DevOps culture within their organisations and speed up application deployment.

“Digital transformation is driving enterprises to develop and deploy applications in an agile manner thereby creating the need for a new generation of application platforms,” Raman Sapra, executive director and global head, Dell Digital Business Services.

“Our collaboration with Pivotal expands our digital services portfolio to include development of next-generation, enterprise-class solutions using a leading platform like Pivotal Cloud Foundry to help customers unlock the power of innovation and fast track their digital transformation journey,” Sapra said.

Scott Aronson, senior vice president, worldwide field operations at Pivotal said: “Pivotal Cloud Foundry is emerging as a fundamental enabler of digital transformation as companies are under increased pressure to leverage software to differentiate their business models. Our partnership with Dell Services, a leading and trusted global services provider, will help our customers accelerate their digital transformation journey.”