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Wed 18 Sep 2019 09:59 AM

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Larry Ellison: Oracle to launch four Gulf data centres within 15 months

Oracle will launch 20 new Oracle Cloud regions in total by the end of 2020

Larry Ellison: Oracle to launch four Gulf data centres within 15 months
Oracle founder and CTO Ellison

US tech giant Oracle is set to add four more data centres to the Gulf region within the next 15 months, chairman Larry Ellison announced in San Francisco, US, on Monday.

In a show of serious intent for the region, Oracle will open two data centres in the United Arab Emirates and two in Saudi Arabia.

In February, the software company – the second largest in the world by revenue – opened its first data centre in the Middle East in Abu Dhabi to offer cloud storage to customers across the region.

To support its customers around the world, Oracle will launch 20 new Oracle Cloud regions in total by the end of 2020.

In addition to the Middle East, this expansion includes regions in new countries and dual, geographically separated regions in the United States, Canada, Brazil, United Kingdom, European Union, Japan, South Korea, Australia and India.

“OracleCloud has 40,000 customers and we are growing rapidly.

"Within 15 months we will have 36 Oracle regions versus 25 AWS [Amazon Web Services] regions. And this is happening fast,” Oracle founder and CTO Ellison told the annual OpenWorld user conference.

Battle for Middle East cloud

The public cloud services market in the Middle East and North Africa is projected to grow to $1.9 billion (AED 7.97bn) by 2020, double what it was in 2016, according to Statista.

SAP is the current front-runner in the race with three centres in the region in Dubai, Riyadh and Dammam, which house servers for local cloud computing clients.

Comparatively a smaller player, Alibaba Cloud – cloud computing arm of the Chinese e-commerce giant – opened its first regional data centre in Dubai in 2016.

Microsoft brought online its first data centre regions in the Middle East in June this year, opening one each in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. AWS unveiled its first and only data centre in Bahrain in July this year

For regional enterprises, moving their operations to a cloud hosted by a specialised company, such as Oracle or Microsoft, is proving cheaper than creating their own infrastructure of servers, hardware and security networks. It also brings down the overall cost of ownership.

Oracle, which posted revenues of $39.5 billion in 2018, is taking a huge punt on the growth of the cloud globally.

Oracle Cloud has opened 12 regions in the past year and currently operates 16 regions globally—11 commercial and five government—the fastest expansion by any major cloud provider.

Oracle founder Ellison also announced on Monday a major milestone in the company’s autonomous strategy with the availability of Oracle Autonomous Linux – the first autonomous operating environment that eliminates complexity and human error to deliver cost savings, security, and availability for customers.

The CTO also announced Oracle Cloud Free Tier, including new Always Free services for anyone to try the world’s first self-driving database and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure for an unlimited time

“Autonomy is what separates second generation cloud from what came before,” Ellison said.

“We are working towards delivering the world’s first autonomous cloud. It marks a new generation in computer technology.”

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