Oracle to launch Melbourne cloud region


Oracle will launch a Melbourne region for its cloud services as part of its push to add 20 new regions to its portfolio by the end of next year.

The company aims to end 2020 with a total of 36 Oracle Cloud infrastructure regions. Currently the company operates 16 Oracle Cloud regions (five of those are dedicated to government).

Oracle last month launched a new Generation 2 Cloud region in Sydney.

The company used its Oracle Openworld conference in San Francisco to detail its in-country dual region strategy, offering customers on-shore options for disaster recovery.

“Enterprise customers worldwide require geographically distributed regions for true business continuity, disaster protection and regional compliance requirements. Multiple availability domains within a region will not address this issue,” said Don Johnson, executive vice president, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.




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NAB adds Google to mix as it continues its multi-cloud push


National Australia Bank’s multi-cloud strategy has expanded to encompass Google, NAB announced today.

The bank said that Google Cloud would join Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services (AWS) in its portfolio of public cloud providers as it looks to migrate some 35 per cent of its applications to the cloud by the end of next year.

NAB’s chief technology and operations officer, Patrick Wright, cited Google’s strengths in data analytics, machine learning and container management as particular drawcards.

“Our customers are asking us to better understand their needs and to meet those expectations far more efficiently than we’ve been able to previously,” Wright said in a statement.

“Investment in data is a critical element of our digital transformation – to be able to use data to develop products and services to improve customer experiences and be able to anticipate their needs.”

In April 2018 the bank announced the launch of NAB Cloud Guild as it sought to build up its in-house cloud expertise. The program initially had a focus on AWS, with the bank using Amazon’s services for its initial foray into using public cloud to store and process its data.

In October 2018, NAB revealed details of its collaboration with Microsoft, including shifting key platforms such as SAP to Azure.

Later in 2018, the bank announced that although it was firmly in the multi-cloud camp, AWS had been selected as its “long term strategic cloud provider”. NAB said in November it believed some its core banking systems would be shifted to AWS by the end of 2019.

The bank revealed earlier this year that in the six months ended 31 March it moved 128 applications on to cloud services, with 198 of its applications now running on cloud infrastructure. NAB has also moved to aggressively shut down legacy applications.

The bank said today that it now had 400 applications in the cloud, with its overall number of applications reduced by 8 per cent.

Wright said today in an interview released by NAB that competitive tension was one of the appealing aspects of the multi-cloud approach. The NAB CTOO said that multi-cloud enabled the bank to shift workloads across platforms and integrate a range of tools and capabilities.

“We’re designing our most critical applications to be portable between cloud partners to avoid concentration risk which is an important regulatory and risk consideration,” Wright said in a statement.

“We also want to tap into the advanced capabilities of the world’s best cloud providers to improve customer experience,” the NAB tech executive said.

“Google’s history of embracing open source technology enhances our ability to orchestrate infrastructure effectively across multi-cloud environments, and their software-based platform, Anthos, is a unique solution that we’ll explore further over time.”

NAB has added GCP training modules to its NAB Cloud and Analytics Guild education program. It said it will also move to integrate GCP capabilities into the NAB Discovery Cloud and Data Hub.

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Tags Cloudcloud computingGooglemicrosoft azureNABAmazon Web Services (AWS)Google Cloud Platform




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New Telstra service facilitates secure B2B data sharing


A new service built by Telstra in partnership with Microsoft allows enterprises to share access to their data with business partners via a secure, permission-based platform.

Telstra is initially focusing on the logistics, water and agricultural sectors for its Data Hub offering. The telco’s group executive, product and technology, Christian von Reventlow, said that 99 per cent of businesses’ data was “simply unused.”

“Tonnes and tonnes of insights are left on the table and don’t get leveraged,” he told a press briefing at Telstra Vantage. In logistics alone, “billions of dollars” of value in Australia could be unlocked through better use of data; globally, the opportunity is in the trillions, he said.

Telstra had the opportunity to “do something in Australia and then scale it globally,” acting as a facilitator for data exchange.

The Telstra Data Hub product owner, Julian Butler, said that the telco had spoken to more than 500 customers over the last two years about their challenges with sharing transactional data with business partners.




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Google eyes second Australian cloud region, is keen to host classified data


Google has continued to build up the capacity of its Sydney cloud region since its mid-2017 launch, but the company is also in throes of planning for a second Australian-based region.

“We continue to bring more and more capacity and more and more capability to our infrastructure as we grow and the demand grows,” said Colin Timm, Google Cloud’s ANZ country director.

The second Australia-based Google Cloud Platform region will be located in another capital city. The cloud provider isn’t yet prepared to publicly announce the city, but Timm told Computerworld “it stands to reason, we need to be close to our customers”.

“Obviously we’re providing for disaster recovery across sovereign data and of course we’re reducing latency at every turn,” the local Google Cloud head said. “Hang that off of Google’s private network that we have, and the subsea cables now around the other end of Australia [the INDIGO cable system] — that presents for a very solid story around our capacity in-country.”

The cloud provider is also interested in making it easier for government agencies to use its services to process classified data.

In December 2018, the Australian Cyber Security Centre announced that 16 Google Cloud Platform services had been certified for use with unclassified but sensitive government data.

Google was added to the Certified Cloud Services List (CCSL), joining the likes of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft, as well as Australian providers such as Macquarie Telecom, Sliced Tech and Vault Systems.

The certified services comprised compute (Compute Engine, App Engine and Kubernetes Engine), storage (Cloud Storage and Persistent Disk), networking (Virtual Private Cloud, Cloud Load Balancing and Cloud DNS), security (Cloud Key Management Service and Cloud IAM), management (Stackdriver), data analytics (Cloud Dataflow, Cloud Dataproc and Cloud Datalab), and databases (Cloud SQL and Cloud Datastore).

“We are working to the next level of certification,” Timm said. “We have policy people landing on shore here; we will be relentless in our pursuit of that.”

Google is intent on building out its base of public sector customers, Timm said.

Microsoft had its certification for hosting data classified as Protected accepted in April 2018, coinciding with the company’s launch of its government-focused Canberra Azure regions. In January 2019, AWS received the green light to host government data classified at the Protected level. Macquarie, Sliced and Vault are also certified for hosting Protecting data.

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Tags governmentCloudcloud computingGoogleGoogle Cloud PlatformCertified Cloud Services List




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Google helps Australian businesses ‘Go Transform’


Google is helping Australian businesses embrace digital transformation through a program that lets enterprises learn from its experience of creating a culture of innovation, according to the company’s local cloud boss.

There are two main pillars to digital transformation according to Colin Timm: Data and culture. And Timm, who in 2017 was appointed Google Cloud’s ANZ country director, says Google is supporting Australian enterprises with both, including through its ‘Go Transform’ program.

At least 70 Fortune 500 companies have participated in Go Transform, according to the company’s global transformation lead, and it’s contributed to US$1.2 billion in revenue generation.

“There’s many, many companies that will turn to us and say, ‘Well we want to just come and spend time with you,’” Timm told Computerworld. “Google is renowned as being a company that has a particular culture that promotes that level of innovation and has achieved many things as a cloud native over the last 20 years.”

Timm said established businesses are asking themselves if they have a culture for transformation: “Are our people thinking beyond the boundaries of the traditional?”




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Pluralsight partners with Google Cloud to provide cloud skills learning


Pluralsight is making heavy investment in the cloud, extending its partnerships with Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure to help customers of its online training platform maintain and develop their cloud computing skills.

The latest partnership with Google Cloud was announced this week during Pluralisight’s annual Live conference in Salt Lake City, and includes the launch of a new Skill IQ assessment for associate cloud engineers on the Google Cloud Platform.

The initiative, known as the Associate Cloud Engineer on GCP, is designed to measure skills in different technical areas such as application development, data services, Kubernetes and more specifically geared towards Google Cloud-specific services.

The tool aims to give technology leaders better visibility into the skillset of their team and build a development strategy to help close any existing skills gap.

Cloud skills are in hot demand as more organisations shift in that direction. Developer portal Stack Overflow reported surging demand for Amazon Web Services (AWS) skills across the UK and Ireland last year, with the popular platform jumping from 12th place to fifth in its skills rankings, gaining a 10.3 percent share of the skills tags found in Stack Overflow’s jobs listings. In fact, AWS skills are the fifth most popular on Pluralsight’s platform, something Google Cloud will no doubt be aspiring towards.

“Our partnership with Pluralsight is interesting on many angles, but when we started to do this with Google Cloud I think there was a very deliberate plan, because there are so many online learning platforms out there,” Rochana Golani, director of learning and enablement at Google Cloud told Computerworld UK at Pluralsight Live.

“While our strategy has been about scale, it was also about really making sure that we’re meeting the needs of the customer, so we wanted to pick a partner that was able to make it easier for the enterprises to actually work with us,” she added.

With over 15 courses already live on Pluralsight, Google Cloud is just starting to provide customers with all the knowledge needed to master the right skills to work with its platform, which boasts over 375 labs, so there is still work to be done.

“Our commitment definitely is long term, we want to keep things refreshed and we want to provide more coverage for all of the various roles and skills out there,” Golani said.




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