Oracle has announced the opening of a new data centre in the UK to support the government's G-Cloud initiative, following a similar move by Salesforce.com earlier this month.
Oracle already has a general-purpose data centre in Linlithgow, Scotland, but the new data centre located in the Thames Valley will be ring-fenced specifically to serve the government, which is one of Oracle's biggest clients in the UK.
When it comes on stream in July, the data centre will support the provision of cloud services to the UK government, including services procured via the G-Cloud Framework and CloudStore catalogue, to which Oracle is a supplier.
"We applaud the G-Cloud programme and believe it represents a significant step change in the provision of public sector IT services," said Oracle president Mark Hurd in a statement.
"We are delighted to bring our technology, applications and experience to the initiative and to make significant investments in the new data centre and infrastructure that will be dedicated to the UK Government's G-Cloud initiative."
The data centre will be compliant with the IL3 (Business Impact Level 3) information assurance standard, stipulated as a requirement for the use of cloud services by a number of government departments.
The facility will also be available to a community of independent software vendors (ISVs) - many of whom are UK small businesses - to provide their cloud applications and services to government.
"UK government is trying to encourage lots of start-up companies and SMEs, and we thing by opening the data centre we can enable them to get scalability very quickly," said Oracle UK country manager Dermot O'Kelly.
Speaking to a group of journalists at Oracle CloudWorld in London today, Hurd defended the company's cloud strategy, following disappointing third quarter revenues driven by weak sales of new software licenses and cloud software subscriptions.
"We're now over $1 billion of cloud subscription revenue, so we're the second biggest player in the cloud. We're globalising our capability, and we have a very broad distribution capability," said Hurd.
"We've seen solid growth over the past couple of years in our 'license' business, and at the same time growth in our cloud subscription business. We're agnostic towards the two, we look at it as one ecosystem of intellectual property, and we report them together as one set of revenue."
Oracle's cloud runs on its engineered systems - Exadata, Exalogic and Exalytics. One major differentiator, according to Hurd, is that anything Oracle does in its own public cloud, it will also do for a customer in a private cloud.
He added that Oracle's strategy is to give customers choice, so they can buy by module, they can buy private cloud or on-premise Oracle cloud, and they can mix and match according to region or application set.
"As the cloud evolves and develops, you've got a lot of issues that come up, you've got security concerns, you've got data sovereignty issues, you've got regulatory issues ... so we have to be local in our deployment," said Hurd.
"We do certainly have significant capabilities in the US, but we've opened data centres in many countries now, in Latin America, in Asia, in Europe, and you should expect that to continue as our business continues to scale up."