Photo Credit: courtesy, Yoaz Hendel via Twitter
Opening of Oracle Center in Jerusalem: Israeli Communications Minister Yoaz Hendel, Jerusalem Mayor Moshe Leon, Oracle Israel country manager Eran Feigenbaum and Oracle CEO Safra Catz.

A new, “highly secure” cloud data center” based in a reinforced underground facility and valued at hundreds of millions of dollars opened this week in Jerusalem, according to an announcement by Oracle, a major US tech firm.

The cloud data center — a first for the country — is located inside a 14,000 square meter (460,000 square feet) bunker situated below five parking levels and a 17-story building in the city’s Har Hotzvim tech hub.

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It extends over four floors at a depth of 50 meters (160 feet) below ground level and is protected against physical attacks, such as missiles strikes like the rocket barrage aimed at Jerusalem this past May, an attack by Iranian-backed Hamas in Gaza, which launched an 11-day mini-war against Israel.

“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 new center will support Israeli organizations with enterprise cloud services that include Oracle Autonomous Database, Oracle Container Engine for Kubernetes and Oracle Fusion Cloud Applications, the Globes business news site reported.

“Companies and government entities need to move to the cloud quickly,” said Oracle CEO Safra Catz, “and Oracle’s new underground cloud region in Jerusalem makes that possible.”

Oracle was the first global cloud vendor to have an operational cloud region in Israel.

All the major US cloud players have announced plans to build Israeli data center regions, but Oracle was the first to announce plans for a local facility and the first to actually open one.

Development on AWS and Google facilities are ongoing, though Google’s development in Moshav Bnei Zion is facing opposition from locals, according to the Data Center Dynamics site. Microsoft has faced delays to its planned data center.

The company also revealed plans for a second underground cloud data center in Israel, to form part of the company’s dual-region strategy, as well as to ensure all customers’ data remains within Israel.

“Oracle’s plans to open a second cloud region is demonstrative of our continued commitment to the State of Israel,” Feigenbaum added, noting that the second cloud region will expand the company’s ability to serve more customers and improve disaster recovery.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.
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