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Oracle Goes Cloud

Ellison claimed the Oracle Public Cloud is different from other public clouds

Larry Ellison, who once famously called cloud computing "water vapor" and "complete gibberish," capitulated this week and announced the coming of an Oracle Public Cloud at Oracle OpenWorld.

Untroubled by any inconsistency, Ellison basically shrugged and said, "Everyone's got a cloud. We need a cloud."

Users are meant to run Oracle's cloud-ified Java-based Fusion Applications and BPEL-based Fusion Middleware, as-is Oracle databases and existing custom-built Java EE apps on a resource-intensive subscription-based Oracle-managed, -hosted and -supported single-tenant infrastructure that Oracle is building out of its own (Xen?) virtualized Sun hardware that will give them instant provisioning and elasticity on-demand.

Customers will be able to decide how big and how powerful their separate if standard virtual machines should be. No shared data stores here and, unlike other models, the VMs, not the apps, will be secure.

The Oracle Cloud is also supposed to be good for test and dev. The widgetry supports multiple Java IDEs, including Oracle JDeveloper, NetBeans and Eclipse.

Ellison claimed the Oracle Public Cloud is different from other public clouds because it's "both a platform-as-a-service and applications-as-a-service." And since it's based on standards like Java, SQL and XML - not to mention, SQL, SOA, Groovy, Web Services et al - users should be able to interoperate with rival clouds such as Amazon as well as move back and forth to their own on-premise data center.

The Fusion Apps Oracle has in mind for users to run initially are Fusion CRM and Fusion Human Capital Management (HCM) integrated with a newfangled Chatter- or Facebook-style Social Network, suggesting that Oracle's targeting Salesforce.com, which it's not compatible with.

Ellison called Salesforce the "roach motel of clouds" - the "ultimate vendor lock-in" - "you can check in, but you can't check out" because of its proprietary APEX programming language. He also condemned it as inelastic and insecure because of its data-commingling multi-tenant architecture that was "state-of-the-art 15 years ago."

Repeating a Salesforce mantra warning of "false clouds," Ellison said, referring to standards, "That is such good advice. I could not have said it better myself."

Note that Salesforce, which Ellison helped get off the ground, is threatening to have $2 billion in revenues this year.

And maybe because he was publicly critical of Larry's keynote, a funny thing happened to Salesforce CEO and sometime drama queen Marc Benioff on the way to his own OpenWorld keyboard, which Saleforce paid a million dollars for.

Oracle moved it into a blind spot Thursday morning at the crack of dawn after a concert Wednesday night featuring Sting and Tom Petty so only party poopers would be up and out early, making the rescheduling tantamount to a cancellation. Oracle lamely claimed the shift was due "overwhelming attendance." So Benioff moved his speech across the street to a restaurant in the St Regis because, as he tweeted, "The show must go on!"

Anyway, Oracle's Social Network includes document sharing, information feeds and web conferencing.

Oracle claims its Public Cloud is the only public cloud to offer customers a "complete range of business applications and technology solutions, avoiding the problems of data and business process fragmentation when customers use multiple silo'd public clouds."

Users will be able to run the same applications on-premise as well as in the cloud and purchase each service independently of the others. All Oracle Public Cloud services have a unified self-service user interface for provisioning, monitoring and managing all services.

It's still unclear when Oracle Public Cloud will go live or what it will cost but it's expected to cost more than Amazon.

Oracle also announced an Exalytics Business Intelligence Machine and a Linux-based Apache Hadoop Big Data Appliance using an Oracle NoSQL Database at OpenWorld.

The Exalytics box, which will run Oracle's Times Ten and Essbase databases, is supposed to analyze quantities of unstructured and structured data stored in its terabyte of main memory at the "speed of thought," instead of pulling it off slower disk drives.

The widgets should compete with HP and its new Autonomy acquisition, but more importantly with IBM and SAP.

See http://cloud.oracle.com.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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