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Oracle launches Cloud Observability and Management Platform

Oracle's new Cloud Observability and Management Platform seeks to appeal to customers with complex multi-cloud and on-premises environments.

Oracle has launched a monitoring, management and observability platform based on technology it uses to manage its own cloud infrastructure, databases and SaaS applications.

The Oracle Cloud Observability and Management Platform pulls together a suite of services, some of which are new. These include ones for logging, logging analytics, database management, application performance monitoring, Operations Insights and a Service Connector Hub, Oracle said. The platform also rolls in existing Oracle tools for system monitoring, notifications, events and functions, among others.

The platform is going up against a vast array of individual tools, as well as vendors that have rolled together broader portfolios of these types of services.

Oracle's strategy provides a means of coexistence and an opportunity for tools consolidation, while offering a more open approach than the likes of AWS, according to Dan Koloski, vice president of product management.

"Every cloud vendor put out their own console, which in many cases is specific to their own cloud," he said. "We think we can pick up where the pure-play solutions have left off and be more open than the cloud vendors have been."

For example, the platform's logging service uses the broadly used open source Fluentd for data collection, and stores the logs in a format compatible with the Cloud Native Computing Foundation's CloudEvents project, according to a blog post by Clay Magouyrk, executive vice president of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Oracle's accompanying log analytics service incorporates machine learning frameworks that can churn out insights without a data scientist's help, Magouyrk wrote.

The service also features more than 250 data parsers that connect to both Oracle and non-Oracle components and provides the ability to parse logs from on-premises systems, OCI and applications running on other public clouds.

Meanwhile, the Service Connector Hub provides a central place to manage log data and tracking. It can also use functions to help remediate problems and is integrated with PagerDuty, Twilio and other tools for notification purposes.

Oracle could face visibility, credibility challenge with new platform

One potential obstacle in the way of Oracle's new platform is convincing customers and prospects that it's an alternative or replacement for long-established tools from specialized vendors.

Oracle is far behind AWS, Microsoft and Google in cloud market share, at least at the IaaS and PaaS layers, but has seen steady gains in SaaS as it migrates customers from on-premises products. Meanwhile, recent high-profile customer wins such as Zoom have raised the profile of its IaaS and could serve as testaments to its performance and reliability.

In any event, it would be a mistake to view Cloud Observability and Management Platform as a version-one product, as its components have been developed over a period of several years, Koloski said.

"We use these things ourselves to operate our cloud," he said. "We feel pretty good about the sophistication, stability and performance of these services."

On its face, Oracle's new platform appears to be comprehensive, said Bob Laliberte, a senior analyst and practice director at Enterprise Strategy Group. However, "nobody knows about this," he said. "Nobody knows they have it. Their challenge is going to be getting the awareness out there."

What they're talking about doing isn't something you throw in and in five minutes you're using it.
Bob LaliberteAnalyst, Enterprise Strategy Group

Customers should be mindful that deploying the platform will take considerable effort, given how broad it is. "Keep in mind, what they're talking about doing isn't something you throw in and in five minutes you're using it," Laliberte said. "In order to get that single source of truth, it's a fairly sophisticated solution. It will take time for organizations to deploy it."

And Oracle's platform will have to deliver on its promise of a way to consolidate an enterprise's observability and monitoring toolchain. "The reality is that people have 30, 50, even 70 different tools," Laliberte said. "Nobody wants the 51st tool -- they want the one that eliminates numbers 45 through 50."

Oracle's new platform should have appeal to existing customers, particularly ones that use its core database, which remains the market share leader by a healthy margin and is used in untold numbers of bespoke applications that run critical processes in enterprises around the world.

Oracle's newest Autonomous Database is exclusive to OCI, but previous versions also run on AWS, Azure and Google Cloud. The difference is that customers don't have native instrumentation for Oracle's database on the latter three, said Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research. Oracle's new platform provides this instrumentation across all four clouds, as well as on-premises environments.

"How attractive it will be for non-Oracle customers will depend on how fast third-party observability platforms get there, and if other cloud platforms step up their cross-cloud observability," Mueller said.

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