Oracle shows up at KubeCon bearing ‘comprehensive cloud native framework’

Oracle shows up at KubeCon bearing ‘comprehensive cloud native framework’

Oracle crashed the party at KubeCon today, promising to free developers from vendor lock-in with what it claims is the “most comprehensive cloud native framework”.

The veteran enterprise software vendor said its Oracle Cloud Native Framework “arms” developers with “a cloud native solution that spans public cloud, on premises and hybrid cloud deployments.”

It said the framework builds on the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) it announced a month and a half ago. At the time, the firm’s founder, Larry Ellison, described OCI – which includes its Container Engine for Kubernetes – as a “second generation cloud” with “Star Wars cyberdefenses” and AI and machine learning-powered monitoring. It also debuted its own CNCF-certified Linux.

Today’s announcement adds cloud native managed services and on-prem software, and marks the official debut of Oracle Functions, the vendor’s Serverless offering, which is based on the Fn Project.

The vendor broke its new announcements into three categories.

Under application development it flagged up Oracle Functions, which it described as “scalable, multi-tenant serverless functions that let users focus on writing code to meet business needs without having to know about any infrastructure concepts. Users only pay when a function is invoked, but pay nothing when the code is not running.”

Vendor lock-in? We’ve heard of it…

Sound familiar. Yes, it’s Oracle’s answer to the likes of Azure Functions and AWS Lambda. It’s worth pointing out that Oracle’s offer is based on the open source Fn Project, which is maintained by a team headed by Chad Arimura, whose previous company Iron.IO was an early pioneer of serverless computing. Arimura and his team were absorbed by the Redwood Shores behemoth, where Arimua is now VP Serverless.

Developers are also tempted with a scalable streaming platform to collect and manage streaming data, which the vendor says will enable applications such as IoT, security and, crucially supply chain. The latter in particular is squarely in Oracle’s heartland of big, really big, enterprise applications.

The second category is provisioning, with the vendor flagging up Resource Manager, a Terraform-based infrastructure-as-code managed service for managing Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

The third category is observability and analysis, with Oracle unveiling services covering monitoring, notification and events services. Monitoring offers pre-defined dashboards, but also an API. Events is described as “an offering to react to changes in the state of OCI resources.” Events can be stored, generate notifications, or trigger Functions – bringing us full circle to its developer offering.

Don Johnson, executive vice president, product development, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure, in a canned statement, described the CNCF as, “A unifying and organizing force in the cloud native Ecosystem and organizations increasingly embracing Multi Cloud And Hybrid cloud models.

He continued, “Developers should have the flexibility to build and deploy their applications anywhere they choose without the threat of cloud vendor lock-in. Oracle is making this a reality.”

That might cause some old hands to look askance, arguing that Oracle’s whole raison d’etre to date has been to lock big customers into its products for as long as possible, extracting every drop of licensing revenue it could along the way.

On the other hand, shifting the vast amount of legacy code that holds together, say, a bank, is no mean feat. Those long-time customers who’ve either not dared or not been able to make the leap themselves may be happy to have Oracle help bridge them into the 21st Century. The trick for Oracle will will be keeping them onside once they’ve made they’ve made the transition.