Public Services > Central Government

Oracle expands UK data centre cloud offerings

David Bicknell Published 02 February 2016

Government welcomes announcement of investment at company's UK site as part of plans to offer Platform-as-a-Service functions to build on public sector interest in Cloud First approach

 

Oracle is to expand the cloud services hosted at its Slough data centre in order to begin providing functions such as Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) to public and private sector organisations.

In particular, it has beefed up its PaaS offerings in light of growing interest in the adoption of 'Cloud First' solutions from public sector users being impacted by austerity.

Existing Oracle Cloud users in the public sector include Kent County Council, which replaced its existing applicant-tracking system with Oracle Talent Acquisition Cloud; HM Land Registry, which is using Oracle's RightNow Cloud Service; and at the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency (DVLA), where Oracle worked with the then chief technology officer Iain Patterson who was on secondment from the Government Digital Service (GDS).

The same Iain Patterson, now chief executive of Common Technology Services at GDS, today welcomed Oracle's UK data centre investment, with the site already supporting the cloud strategies of a number of government departments.

"The expansion provides greater capabilities and further choice and meets additional important public sector requirements," said Patterson. "Government is committed to a cloud first policy and significant supplier investments, such as this, support our strategic ambition and will ultimately provide better value and better services to the taxpayer."

Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS) have already separately announced plans to begin providing commercial cloud services from UK-based data centres this year.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said in November that Microsoft Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics CRM Online services would all be delivered from a new data centre region in the UK as part of a wider data centre expansion across Europe.

The announcement was made after Amazon vice president Werner Vogels said the company would be establishing a third EU data centre region, to be based in the UK, by the end of 2016.

Data sovereignty was highlighted as an important factor in both cases, which were announced just a month after a European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruling that invalidated the longstanding 'Safe Harbour' data agreement with the US for transferring information.

With its data centre presently serving an estimated 500 customers, Oracle claims the addition of PaaS to its data centre offerings will allow for rapid development of applications at a lower cost, as well as helping ensure greater agility without compromising overall security.

The company said the investment will allow it to expand the availability of its Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) functions.

Oracle president Thomas Kurian said the expansion of services from its Slough data centre reflected a growing pressure on CIOs to be better able to exploit emerging digital innovations through cloud services.

"We have introduced PaaS capabilities into the UK data centre to ensure Oracle continues to help customers maximize existing technologies and new innovations and allow CIOs to set the agenda for the future of their organisations," he said.

Under the strategy, the company has said it will be able to start offering Oracle's Database Cloud Service, Compute Cloud Service, Big Data Cloud Service and Exadata Cloud Service.

According to Oracle, the expansion of its UK-hosted cloud services will also allow for organisations to access a virtual compute environment to run applications at scale, as well as using the Hadoop open source data storage framework that can be fully integrated with Oracle Database.

The company's Slough site is one of 19 data centres it operates around the world that underpin its Software as a Service (SaaS), PaaS and IaaS offerings. Oracle has also announced its intention to open a new cloud data centre in Abu Dhabi to meet increased demand for high performance cloud computing.

Additional reporting by Neil Merrett

Related articles:

Amazon and Microsoft unveil UK cloud strategies

Cabinet Office disappointed with EU Safe Harbour ruling

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