Get to know the member companies and individuals who make up the i2Coalition. i2Coalition Communications Manager Dakota Graves sits down with the leaders of Internet infrastructure companies to discuss their businesses, the Internet infrastructure industry, policy work, and more.
Dakota Graves: Today I am joined by Dave Allen, Vice President of Operations and Strategy at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. In October, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure joined the i2Coalition, so we are very happy to welcome them today.
Dave Allen: Thanks for having me, Dakota. We at Oracle Cloud Infrastructure are very excited to become part of the i2Coalition as there is significant overlap between our respective goals. At Oracle, I lead our Internet intelligence initiative. What that means is we are taking our industry-leading datasets about the performance and security of the global Internet and operationalizing those data sets into our products. Where appropriate we can make these insights freely available to the broader internet community via our Internet Intelligence Map. The same data, analytics, and machine learning also inform our customers’ environments through their instance of Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. As part of that platform, our customers are able to troubleshoot issues with any IP address in their portfolio to understand market performance and assess the Internet performance of cloud providers. We continue to infuse these insights into other Oracle and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure products. The Internet Intelligence initiative aligns with i2Coalition’s stated goal of preserving the Internet’s open character. Additionally, the i2Coalition’s work to make the Internet a safer place for end-users and for businesses to operate is also aligned with our objectives at Oracle.
Dakota: That’s great to hear. We’ll dive deeper into the specifics of the issues that are important to you guys in just a second. How did you come to join Oracle Cloud Infrastructure? I’d like to hear a little bit more about you.
Dave: Absolutely. I was the General Counsel of Dyn, which started as a DNS provider and grew to become a provider of other Internet infrastructure services. It was acquired by Oracle in November of 2016 as a critical component of its cloud infrastructure. At that time my role at the company changed from being the company’s lawyer to leading our Internet intelligence program’s efforts.
Dakota: That’s very interesting. Aside from the Internet intelligence initiative, what other projects is Oracle Cloud Infrastructure working on? I understand you had a successful event recently.
Dave: Yes. We recently had Oracle OpenWorld where we discussed how Oracle is developing a highly secure cloud that is tailored for enterprise customers. In particular, it is for those computing workloads which Oracle has historically run on its proprietary databases. These are the most sensitive workloads that companies run. In our view, these are the workloads which have been, understandably, the slowest to move to the cloud and Internet-facing environments. They’ve been slow to move because they’re the most sophisticated businesses in the world with sensitive information. We think that Oracle is offering the most attractive cloud environment for those computing workloads.
Dakota: It sounds like Oracle has gotten a lot of good feedback on those efforts.
Dave: Yes, there has been validation particularly from our current customers. Those customers have been enthusiastic and receptive to that stated mission. We’ve also received a warm welcome from the analyst community, recently named to the Gartner Infrastructure as a Service Magic Quadrant.
Dakota: That’s great to hear. Aside from the aforementioned initiative, what the other projects do you have currently or coming up?
Dave: As part of the Internet intelligence program we’re looking forward to active partnerships with others in the Internet community. There are a number of tools we are working on that we anticipate distributing in partnership with the Internet Society. That’s important to us as we work to make the Internet safer and to provide our customers with greater visibility into global internet activity.
Dakota: That’s great. We’re also big fans of the Internet Society. We’ve worked with them before. Let’s shift gears and talk about how Oracle Cloud Infrastructure is looking to impact public policy. We’re looking forward to you guys joining our policy working group and adding your voice to our work. What issues are especially important to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure?
Dave: We are the cloud environment for the most mission-critical applications and workloads. That’s a key point that fundamentally differentiates our work. Keeping Internet-facing assets safe from bad actors on the global Internet is paramount to us. Any initiative which makes the global Internet environment safer is appealing to us. In that vein providing encryption for routing security is a specific policy initiative. EGP 38 around making a global Internet routing more secure is another one. We are very involved in the DNS standards community. That’s an important part of our heritage as Dyn. We were also supportive of RPKI adoption at the routing level of the Internet and are committed to working on a solution in that area. We’re certainly open to learning more about what’s important to other similarly situated cloud providers and supporting initiatives that make the Internet a safer place.
Dakota: Absolutely. Maintaining strong encryption and working with Internet governance groups on all aspects of the DNS are both focuses for the i2Coalition.
Dave: In relation to our shared goal of maintaining an open Internet we recently launched an Internet intelligence Map. The map leverages the hundreds of millions of data points that we measure and collect about the performance of the global Internet on a daily basis. It aggregates that information by country so that we can inform our viewers. This is an entirely free tool documenting degradations to Internet connectivity in any country in the world. We provide information from the DNS protocol, from the hundreds of millions of trace routes that run globally, and from our best in class data on the global routing tables or deviations to those routing tables so that viewers can make informed conclusions about the state of global Internet connectivity. As part of that program, we routinely break news about outages or cable cuts or other issues which are impacting the global internet. We do that on our Twitter handle and also on the Internet Intelligence blog.
Dakota: I would imagine that has been seen as a boon to the DNS community.
Dave: Yes, certainly. Our scope is narrow but we speak regularly within the Internet community. I recently spoke at the IGF (Internet Governance Forum) in Paris. We’re also regular participants at RightsCon from Access Now. We’re looking forward to participating in similar engagements with the i2Coalition. We do a have a registrar business that has a relationship with ICANN, but much of the work we’re doing now is broader than that. That’s why we’re working with i2Coalition and other groups like the Internet Society. The Internet Intelligence Initiative and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure outreach to the Internet community, in general, is a big step forward for all of Oracle. When we launched the Internet Intelligence Map the best feedback that we received was from community members on how excited they were that Oracle is doing this. We’re now contributing to open initiatives in a way that is extremely collaborative. This is something that we all are very proud of and differentiates Oracle Cloud Infrastructure’s efforts from the rest of the market.
Dakota: We’re glad to see those efforts and happy to have you onboard. Thank you for taking the time to meet with me today.
Dave: Thank you, Dakota.