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Cloud Native Ecosystem / Software Development

Oracle Touts New AppDev Tools, Distributed Cloud Support

Oracle launched new products and services including one called Alloy that will enable developers to build and deploy applications on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) faster.
Sep 20th, 2023 9:18am by
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LAS VEGAS — Oracle’s AppDev environment for cloud apps and infrastructure isn’t talked about all that often, but it received high-profile attention this week at the company’s CloudWorld conference here at the Venetian Convention and Expo Center.

Oracle vice-president of products and strategy Leo Leung told The New Stack that the company’s new application development capabilities — including a new one called Alloy — will enable developers to build and deploy applications on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) faster, more effectively and with fewer snags than previous iterations of the platform.

“By having these different (OCI) strategies, there are now more opportunities to use the cloud,” Leung said.

Despite the continued growth during the past decade of enterprises switching to applications housed somewhere in a cloud, the vast majority of Oracle’s customers are still building apps for servers in private data centers, Leung said. “IT people are naturally risk-averse. If something works, in general, they don’t want to change it, especially if it’s critical to the operations of a business,” he said. “Once they get it (their IT) to a certain place, I wouldn’t change it either.”

Oracle has to give enterprises like that “enough of a benefit with low enough risk, in most cases” for it to fit into their plans, Leung said. “The more leading-edge, startup-type companies have a different profile,” he said.

Oracle and Generative AI

Oracle is building generative AI capabilities for application development to take advantage of large language models with a high level of security and privacy, CTO and Chairman and co-founder Larry Ellison said Tuesday in a keynote. However, the company made no specific AI announcements this week.

Ellison said that AI is “the most important technology of the 21st century that is going to change everything.” He also said that while AI is still in its early stages of development, it is already having a major impact on the world.

Ellison also discussed the potential for AI to be used to create new jobs and industries. “AI is going to automate many tasks that are currently done by humans, but it will also create new jobs that we can’t even imagine today,” he said.

Java 21 and Cloud Native Development

Here are the key new additions to the OCI dev environment.

  • Java, with an estimated 60 million developers using it frequently, remains a mainstay of development since its introduction at the outset of the internet in 1995. Oracle, which acquired Java’s originator, Sun Microsystems, in 2010, introduced at the conference a new set of capabilities for Java developers, including Java Development Kit 21, GraalOS, OCI Functions powered by GraalOS and Graal Cloud Native 4.0.
  • GraalVM is an alternative Java runtime that works with advanced GraalVM Native Image to enable deployed applications to run as native-machine executables. It enables low latency and fast start capability, reduces memory requirements, and improves efficiency by allowing applications to be suspended and resumed.
  • OCI Functions is powered by GraalOS and is a fully managed, multitenant, highly scalable, on-demand, Functions as a Service platform. It addresses the issue of slow cold starts by running functions as native executables, providing sub-second startup times. It uses GraalVM Native Image to reduce memory usage by up to 50 percent. It also uses out-of-the-box integrations to improve developer productivity.
  • Graal Cloud Native 4.0 is a curated set of open source Micronaut framework modules to help developers take full advantage of cloud services without dependency on proprietary platform APIs. It includes features such as native support for GraalVM Native Image, Kubernetes integration and distributed tracing.

In addition to these new capabilities for Java developers, Oracle is also introducing new features for cloud native deployments, Kubernetes operations and enhanced security.

  • Oracle Cloud Guard Container Governance enables developers to solidify security for Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes (OKE) via predefined policies aligned to Kubernetes Security Posture Management. It simplifies the configuration of containerized workloads deployed on OKE.
  • Oracle’s own version of Serverless Kubernetes enables customers to ensure reliable operations at scale without the complexities of managing, scaling, upgrading, and troubleshooting the underlying Kubernetes node infrastructure.

Oracle recently announced an expanded partnership with Microsoft to make available these dev tools and services via Azure Cloud, giving users another important option. “We think this is a good thing, just because there are so many workloads and mutual customers,” Leung said.

Distributed Cloud News

The latest additions to OCI’s distributed cloud lineup include Oracle Database@Azure and MySQL HeatWave Lakehouse on AWS. As a result, enterprises get more flexibility to deploy cloud services anywhere while addressing a variety of data privacy, data sovereignty and low-latency requirements. They also enable access to more than 100 services designed to run any workload, Leung said.

Oracle also announced the GA of Oracle Alloy, which enables enterprises to build their own private clouds.

“Alloy is a much more niche type of product,” Leung said. “There are only so many companies that want to be cloud providers in their particular spaces, but we think it’s going to be very powerful.”

Now available to be ordered globally, Oracle Alloy is a complete cloud infrastructure platform that enables partners to become cloud providers and offer a full range of cloud services to expand their businesses. Partners control the commercial and customer experience of Oracle Alloy and can customize and extend it to address their specific market needs. Partners can operate Oracle Alloy independently in their own data centers and fully control its operations to better fulfill customer and regulatory requirements.

Oracle revealed that next-generation Ampere A2 Compute Instances (hardware and software chipsets) based on the latest AmpereOne processor will become generally available starting later this year. The two companies also said that all Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications and OCI services — numbering in the hundreds — are now running on Ampere processors.

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