Public cloud services provider Oracle on Monday said it will launch a new cloud region in Serbia, which will make it the first among rivals including Microsoft, Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google and IBM, to offer a hyperscale data center in the Eastern European country.

The new cloud region, which will serve Southeast Europe, will be located at the Jovanovac village region in the proximity of Serbia’s fourth largest city, Kragujevac, Oracle said in a statement.

The Serbian government has plans to develop Kragujevac into an innovation hub, earmarking nearly 56,000 square meters and €120 million (US$130 million) for the entire effort, which is to be carried out in three phases.

The new region will also support the increasing cloud computing demands of private and public sector organizations throughout Serbia, Oracle said.

Oracle will offer over 100 Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI) services and applications, including Oracle Autonomous Database, MySQL HeatWave Database Service, and Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes via the upcoming region.

Other Oracle cloud regions in Europe are located in cities including Paris, Marseille, Frankfurt, Milan, Amsterdam, Madrid, Stockholm, Zurich, London, and Newport. Also, the company runs two government cloud regions in the UK.

Most rival hyperscalers have presence in cities such as London, Frankfurt, Paris, Milan, Zurich, Stockholm and Madrid.

Microsoft is planning to open new regions in Vienna, Copenhagen, Helsinki, Athens, Milan, Warsaw,  and Madrid, the company’s website shows.

Oracle continues to invest in cloud regions

Oracle has continued to invest in expanding its cloud region footprint in an effort to compete with rival hyperscalers including AWS, Microsoft and Google Cloud.

In addition to its existing regions in Europe, Oracle has announced intentions to launch two sovereign cloud regions in the region, located in  Germany and Spain.

Last month, the company announced its intent to open a second region in Singapore to meet demand.

Oracle also has plans to invest about $2.4 billion every quarter for the next few quarters on cloud infrastructure, CEO Safra Catz said during an earnings call for the quarter that ended in November.

In December last year, the company launched a public cloud region in Chicago, its fourth in the US after Virginia, California, and Arizona.

Cloud Computing

The year ahead is likely to be characterised by recessionary pressures in key global economies, increasing borrowing costs, unpredictable supply chains, oil price uncertainty, and volatile demand. 

Regardless of the challenges of the past few years and the hurdles ahead, digital transformation investments in the Middle East, Türkiye, and Africa (META) are set to more than double across the 2021–2026 period, according to the latest forecast from IDC. 

The global technology research, consulting, and events firm says that digital transformation spending in the region will accelerate at a compound annual growth rate of 16% over the five-year period, topping 74 billion USD in 2026 and accounting for 43.2% of all ICT investments made that year.

At the recent IDC Directions event in Dubai, Steven Frantzen, Senior Vice President and Regional Managing Director EMEA at IDC stressed how crucial it is for tech leaders to keep focused on the future and be customer-centric.  “It’s important for every tech leader to think about the near, mid and long-term when it comes to technology. You need to work with your customer by continuing investment in digital transformation, but how do we help our customers?”

“We heard about the global recession, in the Middle East we continue to see economic growth in every sector, but if you are a large market in the USA or Europe, it will also affect your business here.”

Frantzen said many are expecting a recession in the coming year. “According to a survey made by IDC, 75% say yes, so we need to manage the recession for the long term because companies are not cutting spending in technologies, spending on digital technology by organizations will grow at eight times the economy in 2023, establishing a foundation for operational excellence, competitive differentiation and long term growth.”

At the Directions event, it was made clear that the digital and tech investments made by companies during the pandemic to build resilience could be put to test in 2023. This may be seen across key business areas such as customer experience, operations, and financial management, among others. 

According to Jyoti Lalchandani, IDC’s Group Vice President and Regional Managing Director for the META region: “The implementation of further digitalization in critical areas and a more rapid shift to a ‘digital business’ approach will be key to separating the thrivers from the survivors.”

The region is expecting to see digital transformation spending as a share of overall IT spend continue to grow, reaching 43.2% in 2026, up from just 29.4% in 2021.

Digital Transformation

As part of its ongoing strategy to expand its roster of public cloud regions and catch up with larger cloud service providers such as AWS, Microsoft and Google, Oracle has launched a new cloud region in Chicago to cater to enterprises operating out of the US Midwest.

The Chicago region, which will be Oracle’s fourth public cloud region in the US and 41st globally, will primarily cater to manufacturing and financial services firms among other industries operating in that part of the country, said Leo Leung, vice president of products and strategy at Oracle.  

The Midwest region, according to Oracle, is home to more than 60% of all US manufacturing firms and houses the world’s largest financial derivatives exchange.

“This is just going to give them (enterprise customers in the region) the capability of running their workloads closer to their headquarters versus other parts of the country,” Leung said, adding that the demand in the region is fueling the company’s growing bookings for Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

CEO Safra Catz, during an earnings call for its quarter ended November, had said that the company had triple-digit bookings growth across its infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) services for the past two quarters and basis this growth, the company planned to invest $2.4 billion approximately every quarter for the next few quarters.

The new region in Chicago will offer over 100 OCI services and applications, including Oracle Autonomous Database, MySQL Heatwave, OCI Data Science, Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes, and Oracle Analytics, the company said.  

Oracle has three other regions in the US, situated in Ashburn, Virginia; San Jose, California; and Phoenix, Arizona.

Globally, the company has a total of 55 cloud regions including national security regions.

Nine new regions are currently being built, Catz had said during the earnings call, according to a transcript from Motley Fool.

For the quarter ended November, the company’s total revenue grew 25% in constant currency, buoyed by revenue growth from its infrastructure and applications cloud businesses, which grew 59% and 45% respectively, in constant currency.

Cloud Computing, Finance and Accounting Systems, Manufacturing Industry, Technology Industry

Amazon Web Services (AWS) on Tuesday launched its second region in India and said it was committing $4.4 billion (Rs 36,300 crore) to scale it till the end of 2030.

The $4.4 billion investment is a huge increase from the initially announced investment of $2.8 billion for the region in 2020 as the cloud computing firm looks to capitalize on India’s double digit growth in cloud spending.

The new region, which will be based in Hyderabad (designated ap-south-2), will add three availability zones to AWS’ existing infrastructure in the country. AWS already has a region in Mumbai, which was launched in June 2016, and a local zone in New Delhi.

AWS Regions are composed of Availability Zones that place infrastructure in separate and distinct geographic locations.

Local zones, on the other hand, are infrastructure deployment that provides compute, storage and database services to a large population or industry centers.

“We welcome AWS’s commitment to invest approximately INR 36,300 crores in the AWS Region in Hyderabad, which strengthens Telangana’s position as a progressive data center hub in India,” K. T. Rama Rao, minister for information technology at the Government of Telangana said in a statement.

AWS estimates that the investment will see an addition of 48,000 jobs in the region over a broader time frame and add $7.6 billion to India’s gross domestic product by 2030.

The $4.4 billion investment, which includes capital expenditures on the construction of data centers and operational expenses, is expected to be implemented in phases and completed by the end of 2030, AWS said.

“The new AWS Asia Pacific (Hyderabad) Region is part of our long-term commitment to India to invest in cloud infrastructure, provide training to upskill the nation with digital capabilities, create local jobs, and enable a more sustainable future,” said Puneet Chandok, president for Commercial Business at AWS India and South Asia.

With the addition of the second region in India, the total tally of AWS’ regions in Asia Pacific (APAC) now stands at 10 regions. The regions in APAC are based in India, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea and Indonesia.

Globally, the company has a total of 96 availability zones across 30 geographic locations and has plans to launch 15 more availability zones and add five more AWS regions in Australia, Canada, Israel, Thailand, and New Zealand.

Hyderabad turns into a hot spot for data centers

AWS’s launch in the Hyderabad region comes after rivals Oracle and Microsoft have either opened up a data center in the city, or revealed plans to do so.

In 2020, Oracle opened its first data center in Hyderabad—second in the country—after launching the Mumbai data center in 2019. Globally, Oracle has plans to add five new regions.

Similarly, in March, Microsoft had revealed plans to launch a data center in Hyderabad with an investment of over $1.8 billion (Rs 15,000 crores). The company already has three other data centers in India across Mumbai, Pune and Chennai.

Cloud Computing, Data Center