Oh, the irony: CloudVelox helps organizations move off Oracle

Oracle's acquisition a few months ago of Ravello was seen as a way to increase its cloud customer base. CloudVelox hopes to dash that.

20151027 oracle cloud on building
Credit: Stephen Lawson

When Oracle acquired Ravello a few months ago, there was general acceptance of the deal as a way for Oracle to help existing and new customers move from traditional infrastructure onto its own cloud offering. After all, Ravello's raison d'etre was to help users create encapsulated applications such that they could more readily be moved from place to place. Many analysts thought the acquisition was a tacit acceptance by Oracle that "this cloud thing" actually has legs.

So it is somewhat ironic to receive a pitch from CloudVelox all about how it helped an organization move OFF Oracle's stack and into the world of Amazon Web Services (AWS).

CloudVelox is a cloud automation and orchestration vendor. Its One Hybrid Cloud (OHC) product supports physical and virtual environments, multiple hypervisor types, as well as NFS and CIFS (Windows). Manageability features include application blueprinting and the ability to deploy an entire application (storage, networking and security) in a single wave.

The company's latest release is intended to further expand enterprise workload coverage. CloudVelox has extended its management and control capabilities as well as infrastructure coverage with the following features:

  • OHC support of filesystems with multi-path devices: Enterprises have typically deployed multipath to increase fault tolerance between their compute and storage systems. CloudVelox, with this new capability, enables enterprises that use filesystems with multipath devices to replicate such complex deployment to AWS for cloud migration, cloud recovery and dev/test use cases.
  • Enhanced granular control of individual servers and synchronization to give customers more options for moving and protecting workloads and managing bandwidth.
  • Expanded enterprise workload coverage supports workloads running SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 11 Service Pack 1.
  • Support for HVM offers enterprise-grade scalability of instance types on AWS. With HVM support, CloudVelox customers can take advantage of high vCPU count and memory for running database class applications.

Anyway, all those interesting technical features are kind of irrelevant if CloudVelox hasn't got product/market fit. So news that at least one organization is using CloudVelox to migrate its business-critical apps from Oracle over to AWS is timely.

Exar Corporation, a global semiconductor manufacturing company, used OHV to move its Oracle stack disaster recovery over to AWS. In doing so, Exar saw improved service-level agreements alongside reduced costs. Exar reports that it substantially increased its development testing productivity by enabling engineers to create labs three times faster and enhanced the reliability of its Oracle supply chain and mission-critical workloads such as Salesforce.

"CloudVelox software helped us quickly complete a very complex, business-critical Oracle deployment on AWS," said Renato Siljeg, vice president of IT at Exar. "The CloudVelox 'full stack' approach gave us the ability to easily tackle very challenging cloud deployment problems that appeared insurmountable with other approaches. And the payoff was virtually immediate."

Digging into the details, Exar was able to reduce its recovery time objectives -- the time it takes to recover after a disaster -- from two days to one hour. In bringing CloudVelox into the fold, Exar was able to overcome serious obstacles, addressing the hardware refresh cycle and other technical complexities such as deployment challenges with its Oracle Linux 32-bit server, which isn't standard and couldn't be easily replicated to directly fit onto the cloud. According to the company, a hardware refresh would have been too costly, and other solutions for moving workloads from physical environments involve compromises, from high costs to high-risk trade-offs, including downtime.

"We were able to significantly increase our Oracle protection while reducing costs thanks to CloudVelox," said Siljeg. "During the short proof of concept process, we also discovered that we could rapidly extend our engineering infrastructure onto the AWS Cloud. Dev/test could quickly accomplish complex simulations and testing in two weeks instead of the two or three months typically required, and that was a big productivity boost for us."

The interesting thing here is whether Ravello, with a similar approach, could have delivered the same outcomes for Exar. If it could have, then the very interesting thing to think about is the business, rather than the technical obstacles to Oracle enabling this for customers itself.

There has been the long-held view by most analysts that legacy vendors such as Oracle find a move to the cloud as an unfortunate event that is toxic to their existing business. Even moving Exar to its own cloud would have been harmful in terms of revenue and margin to Oracle, so it needs to play a game to slow down the process of enabling customers to change as much as possible.

In doing so, of course, it opens the opportunity for vendors like CloudVelox to bypass it and offer customers a easy path off of Oracle and onto a public cloud provider. It's certainly an interesting process to watch.

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