Middle East organisations are ahead of the pack when it comes to embracing cloud computing solutions. The market across the whole of MENA is expected to grow almost 25 per cent by the end of this year, reaching $362m.
The UAE’s cloud market in particular is primed for annual compound growth of 43.7 per cent until 2016, according to a recent report from technology-focused market intelligence firm IDC.
An increasingly significant aspect of this trend will be the advancement of database solutions, long-held as a specialty of the Redwood City, California-based mega firm, Oracle. The 60,000 strong annual gathering in San Francisco has seen a plethora of keynotes, workshops and other break-out gatherings.
AMEinfo spoke to Oracle’s Vice President of Engineered systems, Jean Claude Michaca, about the real business implications in the Middle East.
“Looking at the larger picture of the announcements here at Oracle Open World, it is worth noting that these are ‘breakthrough technologies’, which of course makes sense to the audience here – consisting largely of database administrators – but perhaps doesn’t communicate well beyond that,” explained Michaca.
Attempting to simplify what is taking place with database technology, he claims that the 12C database solution’s ‘in-memory capabilities’ and the emergence of placing database software into silicon processors, is game-changing.
“The combination of these technologies is redefining database management,” he told AMEinfo. “These things together provide the capability to take batch jobs and make them real-time management, which gives a great advantage to our customers.”
Database systems had to previously contend with structured and unstructured data separately. But the speed and efficiency of new solutions means that all data can be processed two-in-one.
“Once you start to understand these three, you need as a customer to rethink your deployment strategy. Why would you put a Ferrari engine into a Lada?” Machado asks rhetorically, poking at firms using Oracle software on HP hardware, as an example.
The server goldmine
Gartner predicts that by 2015 the server market will be $35bn. “Today Oracle’s global number is one billion and we’re seeking two billion by 2015. For the EMEA region, we’re targeting 50 per cent growth, year-on-year, in the coming years,” admits Michaca.
The firm is currently working with Deutsche Bank on a huge transformational project, reducing the size of its data centres from three football fields to what will be ‘no larger than a single penalty area on one soccer pitch’. The associated savings are clear, as are the environmental benefits.
Michaca went on to say that Oracle’s new systems will be giving SAP a ‘hard run for their money’, referring to HANA, another in-memory database system.
“I don’t like it when Exadata or the in-memory options get compared with SAP HANA,” said Oracle co-President Mark Hurd at a press conference today. “I don’t think it’s even comparable. HANA has to be programmed. What we told you about [Sunday] has nothing to do with that. You’re not rewriting anything. I refute the thesis that they’re comparable.”
Both Hurd and CEO Ellison assert that customers can simply ‘flip a switch’ to find their analytics and transactional applications running significantly faster.
More than 80 per cent of companies worldwide now use cloud solutions, according to a recent study by IT Industry Association CompTIA. The global cloud market is expected to grow from $40.7bn in 2011 to $241bn in 2020, according to a recent study by financial advisory firm Deloitte.
Cloud solutions to be showcased in Dubai
Both CompTIA and Deloitte have key speakers presenting at the upcoming Cloud Confex, a relatively recent addition to the Middle East’s foremost technology event, GITEX. The cloud-focussed event has been the region’s largest integrated cloud exhibition and conference for the past four years and takes place October 21 at the Dubai World Trade Centre.
Abdulla Hashim, Etlisalat’s Senior Vice President of ICT Services commented on the importance of the event for the region: “Today enterprises are making investments in technology that provide a long term value for business, in addition to reducing capital expenses. New age technologies like cloud computing create efficiency, better IT management and resources for all departments.”
“Cloud services also combine IT service provisioning capabilities with network connectivity. As a leading operator in the region, we already possess tangible assets of IT and network capabilities, as well as a huge track record of trusted service for small businesses and large corporations’ customer bases.”