The decision to move corporate computing systems to the cloud is a big deal for most companies. Most leaders fear losing control of their systems and that they might lose their digital assets in a sea of digital competitors.
They’re also concerned that their organization might not be prepared to absorb the cost of the new way of doing business. However, some basic facts about how cloud computing works can allay those fears, and one point that will help in understanding the cloud’s regional organizational structure.
Fundamentally, the ‘cloud’ is actually just a cluster of data centers. Together, they house thousands of enterprise-sized computers that manage the digital activities of hundreds of thousands of clients. But their capacity is limited, just as the capacity of an on-premises network is limited. Those limitations affect the function and reliability of the cloud computer the same way they impact the functioning of the on-premises system. To get around this concern and ensure sufficient capacity for all cloud customers, cloud services providers locate their cloud centers in geographical areas – regions – that are physically close to their customers. This regional dissemination of the cloud computing resource reduces the capacity strain on a single data center while facilitating and enhancing its reliability.
Oracle’s Regional Cloud Environment
To serve its global community of customers, Oracle deploys 30 cloud regions worldwide to provide customers located within those regions with all the data center resources they need. There are five regions serving North America; nine in Europe, the Middle East and Africa; three serving Latin America; and eight serving East Asia and the Pacific Islands. Customers aren’t limited to these regions, however; they can also choose a dedicated region based on where they’re doing business. These dedicated cloud services include all of the company’s second-generation programming, including its Autonomous Database service. Companies with a large global footprint might select to base their cloud services in a different region from where they’re headquartered. Note, too, that Oracle recently announced plans to expand from 30 to 44 regions by the end of 2022, adding several sites in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa as well as one in Asia. The expansion underscores the growing respect for the values offered by cloud computing.
Find more information about Oracle cloud services in Datavail’s paper: Everything You Need to Know About Migrating Oracle Instances to Oracle Autonomous Database.
Benefits of Regional Cloud Hosting
As with any ‘location’-based decision, the values offered by regional cloud hosting depend on the values sought by the customer. Some users might want to optimize the lower cost of cloud services that are based close to their home office, while others may be satisfied by the enhanced performance of the local cloud data center. Regardless of the location of the cloud center, however, the fundamental values offered are the same:
- Reduced latencies improve performance. Shorter distances between office machines and cloud servers lessen the time needed to complete the transmission of data from one to the other. Further, within each region, Oracle has also provisioned ‘Fault Domains’ to guard against hardware failure and other access challenges. These systems ensure that customers can always access their cloud-based data and services.
- Compliance assurance ensues when cloud assets are held within regions with specific compliance and governance standards, such as the European Union’s Global Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The GDPR puts parameters around the transmission of European-generated data outside of its borders; data controls built into Oracle’s Europe-based cloud centers automatically assess data transferences to ensure their compliance with this regulation.
- Data storage compliance regulations can also influence the selection of a particular Oracle Cloud region when the company works within a highly regulated industry. For example, the highly competitive global financial sector is monitored by a myriad of international regulators based in countries worldwide. Companies that do business in any one of these countries must comply with its financial regulations; companies doing business in many countries must comply with all those disparate rules. Cloud customers using resources in regionally-based cloud data centers can direct their providers to store, process, and manage their data in the jurisdictions that matter most to their organization.
Business leaders who pause before deciding to move corporate computing assets to the cloud should consider all of its values and drawbacks. Oracle’s regionally based cloud computing strategy offers values they can’t overlook.
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