In Part 1 of this post, I talked about the first two sessions of the day. In this one, I will cover the rest. Don’t worry as there aren’t that many slides in this one. Let’s continue with the slides for a bit and then I’ll give you my two pence as well.

Sessions (continued)

After Kash’s session, it was Abhinav (Abhi) Gupta’s turn. While he did start with a brief introduction of OCI with Ravello, I think an important bit was missing for the bloggers new to Ravello Bloggers day: A bit about HVX i.e. Ravello’s hypervisor which is the secret sauce that makes it all work. I know that because many asked. Fortunately, I was able to help a few with that.

The session was more an update on what has been achieved since the last blogger’s day and what new capabilities have been added.

Ravello - What's New

One other major capability added is the ability to provide IaaS and PaaS integration via VCN Peering. Now you can peer your Ravello based VMware VMs with other OCI VCNs and PaaS services, providing the same high performance, low latency network connectivity between them.

Ravello - VCN Peering

After lunch, there were a few more sessions. Kunal Morparia and Niranjan Mohapatra explained how Enterprise Apps and DevOps works with OCI and also ran some demos. Following that, there was an NDA session as well but as you expect, I can’t tell you what was discussed.

Then there was this very interesting demo from David Owen who is also a fellow vExpert and now works for Oracle. His demo was all about utilizing the well-documented Ravello REST API to trigger various tasks, directly from vRA/vRO

Ravello - API

Quite rightly, there was also mention of the great work Luc Dekens has done for Ravello modules.

Ravello - Modules

His session was followed by demos from a couple of customers, explaining how and why they are making use of OCI and how it was all put together.

In the end, there was an opportunity for bloggers to ask questions and give feedback. There were indeed a few questions that were asked. After that, the day officially ended and our journey towards the restaurant began where we were treated to a lovely dinner.

So, why OCI?

Well if you’re already an Oracle customer then there is an existing relationship. It would make sense to use OCI as the platform for integration with the public cloud as who would you expect to provide better integration with Oracle applications than Oracle itself? I am a firm believer in having a Multi-Cloud environment where you host your applications in a cloud that suits them best. This is because no single cloud environment (be it private or public) meets all demands of a typical enterprise. I also have a feeling that Oracle will try its best to make the deal very attractive to existing customers.  Actually thinking about it, Oracle might use that to attract new customers too.

How about the high performance/low latency network between the core services? That would be highly-beneficial to enterprise applications, especially if there’s no cost disadvantage. I am sure this will be an important factor for enterprises in deciding which cloud to migrate to and I would like Oracle to publish like for like performance comparisons between the various core services.

Another reason could be the simplicity in moving to the public cloud. I am a big advocate of refactoring your application to make it cloud-native as part of the move but there can be cases where a quick move is forced upon you e.g. if a hosting contract is running out or hardware refresh time is fast approaching etc. Provided that refactoring is not forgotten and is tackled as soon as possible later, OCI provides an extremely flexible public cloud environment, removing most of the complexity – typically the most important hurdle in the move to the public cloud. That said, plans to do retrospective refactoring results in technical debt that is rarely paid so I don’t generally recommend it unless strictly required.

Enterprise level SLAs is a very important point to consider too. It wasn’t going to be enough to be just another public cloud provider. Oracle had to produce something different and the differentiating factors for OCI are the focus on performance and manageability. I personally haven’t done a like for like comparison but if the presentations and SLAs are to be believed, OCI promises to give its customers “the best price-performance with full SLAs”. For mission-critical workloads, this is of paramount importance.

Points To Consider

However, there are also other considerations that should also be thought about before making the move to OCI. The first one that comes to mind is the current geographic availability. Oracle has customers across the globe and I am sure they’re prioritizing to become fully-available in all regions but as mentioned in the first post, there are still many regions where OCI is yet to be deployed. This is no easy feat and Oracle has plans to deploy as soon as possible but in the meantime, there will be a wait.

I also queried about heavy focus on existing customers and how does Oracle plan to attract new customers? Oracle acknowledged that current focus is indeed on existing customers but that has more to do with gaining insight into what the existing customers want right now and providing that to start with. In the process, they’re also validating their design choices. They also said that new customers are also coming on board where their requirements can be met with existing and/or upcoming deployments or they benefit with the features that are the differentiators as compared to other cloud services. There are existing new customers and they are also confident that OCI will gain more new customers as the offering matures.

Also, while a lot of saving can be made through quick lift-and-shift capabilities, to enjoy all benefits of running in a public cloud, workloads should be refactored to run in a cloud-native fashion. Currently, not all capabilities are present in OCI to make applications fully cloud-native and it will take time for that to happen.

Final Thoughts

It was only the second Ravello Bloggers Day event but I am glad that it followed the same theme as the first one i.e. a frank and honest discussion took place between the bloggers and Oracle, all in a nice and friendly manner.

There was hard questioning but also enthusiastic participation. Techies love new technology and they had lots to discuss so no wonder, everyone enjoyed the day a lot.

I hope I’ve covered enough to give you a taste of what was discussed on the day and what has been achieved so far. Due to the NDA session, we also know that Oracle is committed to the cause and have new features in the pipeline that we can’t currently talk about.

Hope that OCI does deliver what it has set out to do and we get another major player in this space – the more, the merrier I say!