Oracle opens first of 2 cloud data centres in Israel

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Oracle announce the opening of a regional cloud facility in Jerusalem
Jerusalem mayor Moshe Leon, Oracle Israel Country Manager Eran Feigenbaum, Israel’s Minister of Economy Orna Barbivai and Israel’s Minister of Communications Yoaz Hendel attend an event where Oracle announce the opening of a regional cloud facility, in Jerusalem October 13, 2021. REUTERS/Steven Scheer

October 13, 2021

By Steven Scheer

JERUSALEM (Reuters) – Oracle on Wednesday opened the first of two planned public cloud centres in Israel, which will enable companies and other Israeli customers to keep their data on local servers and not be reliant on other countries.

The data centre, nine floors underground in one of Jerusalem’s technology parks cost an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars, and is designed to operate in the face of potential terror acts.

“This facility … can withstand a rocket direct hit, a missile direct hit, or even a car bomb, and the services will keep running with customers not even knowing that something so horrible has happened,” Eran Feigenbaum, Oracle’s Israel country manager, told Reuters.

The site, which has its own generators in case of power loss, is one of 30 such cloud centres globally. Until now, the closest to Israel was in the United Arab Emirates. Oracle also has a research and development centre in Israel.

Feigenbaum said there will be a second data centre in Israel as part of a plan to open 14 more centres by the end of 2022, which will meet growing demand by Israeli tech firms and serve as a backup to ensure data stays within Israel’s borders.

“This is going to be even more helpful for all the unicorns that we see here and for all the startups that have gone IPO,” he said, expecting Oracle’s competitors to follow suit.

For Israeli companies, having a local cloud could save costs since they would have the ability to rent storage instead of building their own servers or relying on other countries.

“They will not have to move to Silicon Valley or other places. They can do everything from here, with strong backup and short distances,” said Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel.

“It’s good for us to keep our own information inside Israel.”

The new cloud facility comes after Oracle lost a tender earlier this year to Google and Amazon to provide cloud services for the country’s public sector and military — a project known as Nimbus.

(Reporting by Steven Scheer;Editing by Elaine Hardcastle)

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