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Oracle to set up regional cloud center in Jerusalem

Data center will be set up on Bynet Data’s server farm, in an underground facility of thousands of square meters, over four floors, 50 meters below ground

Shoshanna Solomon is The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

Alon Ben Zur, CEO, Bynet Data Communications, left to right, Moshe Leon, Mayor of Jerusalem, and Uzi Navon, Oracle Israel Country Leader (Ezra Levy)
Alon Ben Zur, CEO, Bynet Data Communications, left to right, Moshe Leon, Mayor of Jerusalem, and Uzi Navon, Oracle Israel Country Leader (Ezra Levy)

Tech giant Oracle said Tuesday it will set up a new data center in Jerusalem that will function as a regional cloud provider for Israeli clients.

The data center, which is planned to be functional this year, is part of Oracle’s global plan to set up 38 cloud regions worldwide by the end of 2021. In November, Oracle opened a cloud data center in Dubai.

The data center will be set up together with Bynet Data Communications on its server farm in Jerusalem, spreading across an underground facility of thousands of square meters, over four floors and at a depth of 50 meters (160 feet) below ground level. The center will “be designed with the highest industry standards, and will be one of the most secure in the Middle East,” the company said in a statement.

The center will provide advanced cloud services to companies on the Israeli market from a variety of sectors — the defense industry, government, banks, insurance companies, infrastructure, technology and retail.

“The establishment of the first public cloud in Israel, specifically in Jerusalem, will contribute to the further development of the city’s technology,” said Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Lion in the statement. “This is truly an IT revolution.”

“Many organizations, including government, security and other enterprise organizations that are subject to laws and regulations find it complicated to migrate to a public cloud because the servers are not located in the country in which they operate,” said Eran Feigenbaum, vice president of Product Development, Oracle Cloud Infrastructure. “A cloud region located in Israel provides a solution to this challenge, certainly when it comes to a cloud that was built in the first place to meet the most stringent security requirements.”

US tech giants Amazon and Microsoft are also planning to set up public cloud-based regional data centers in Israel, to provide cloud-based services to government ministries and other public entities in Israel.

The Finance Ministry last January published the first part of a tender for the provision of public-platform-based cloud services to the government ministries and additional governmental units. The cloud-based data center region is meant to give these institutions improved access to servers, storage, databases and application services. Microsoft, Amazon Web Services, Oracle, Google and IBM were all expected to take part in the tender, as they are among the world’s largest suppliers of public cloud services. The names of participants have not been published.

The eventual provider of such cloud services will need to set up an Israel-region data center that “will meet the security, durability and operational continuity requirements” of the nation, according to the ministry. Furthermore, the local infrastructure will have to be “operational completely separately from the public-cloud services provided by the provider in any other region in the world.”

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