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Oracle reaffirms plan to build massive data center in Korea within this year

‘Amazon Web Service is ‘dead-end for enterprise workload,’ says Andrew Sutherland, Oracle’s senior VP

Global software giant Oracle reaffirmed Tuesday its plan to establish a massive data center in South Korea by the end of this year, as the data management provider seeks to expand its presence in the country’s cloud services market.

During a meeting with reporters in Seoul, Oracle Korea CEO Kim Hyung-rae said the data center would be established as planned within this year. Oracle had announced its plans last year as other global tech companies made forays into Korea’s cloud services market.

If the plan is implemented as scheduled, Oracle will be the third US tech firm to build its own data center in Korea, following Amazon and Microsoft. Amazon set up its data center in 2016 and Microsoft followed suit the next year.

“We are working relentlessly to launch the data center within this year,” Kim said in a press conference at Oracle CloudWorld Seoul 2019. “The data center will boost Korea’s transformation efforts in cloud service.”

Andrew Sutherland, Senior Vice President of Systems & Technology for Oracle Europe, Middle East & Africa & Asia Pacific, says during a press conference in Seoul Tuesday. Yonhap
Andrew Sutherland, Senior Vice President of Systems & Technology for Oracle Europe, Middle East & Africa & Asia Pacific, says during a press conference in Seoul Tuesday. Yonhap

But Kim did not comment on the exact launch date or provide a detailed timeline for its operation. Speculation has emerged that Oracle aims to launch the center in Seoul within the first half of this year.

According to Kim, Korea still lags behind other countries when it comes to transformation efforts in cloud markets due to strict regulations. The government, for instance, had restricted public offices from using private cloud services out of security concerns. That regulation was scrapped last year.

Combined with Oracle’s efforts to advance its “autonomous cloud service” based on artificial intelligence technology, Kim asserted that the data center would help Korea adapt to a tectonic shift in cloud services technology.

“Compared with the US, Europe and Japan, Korea’s transformation efforts in the cloud service market have been a bit slow. It depends upon whether the countries have their own data centers. By launching the center, we are hoping to accelerate Korea’s transformation efforts,” Kim said.

While Oracle has led the enterprise database market, it faces growing competition from other tech giants. Amazon, for example, has mounted a direct challenge with its own database service called Amazon Web Service. 

Over the past few years, Oracle and Amazon have traded barbs over which companies can provide better cloud service to consumers. The feud has at times turned ugly, with senior executives exchanging insults and trash talk.

Oracle’s Senior Vice President of Systems & Technology, Andrew Sutherland, appeared to continue the squabble in a comment he made during the same news event taking place in Seoul.

“Amazon is, frankly, dead-end for enterprise workload,” said Sutherland, who manages Oracle’s operations in Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia-Pacific region. “Many of our customers ... come to Oracle when they wish to see true enterprise capable workload moving to cloud.”

AWS is being widely used by Korean conglomerates satisfied with its price-competitive services. Last year, the country’s retail giant Hyundai Department Store agreed to work with AWS to develop an advanced retail model.