Oracle plans cloud strategy
Larry smells money in madness
Exclusive Oracle is cooking up a strategy around the cloud, something chief executive Larry Ellison once referred as "idiocy" - albeit the sort of fashionable idiocy he's willing to buy in to.
Sources close to Oracle have told The Register there's a growing pace of activity inside the database maker - at all levels - on the subject of cloud computing.
Senior Oracle executives are understood to be working on a holistic corporate story that encompasses Oracle's assets in databases, applications, and middleware.
At a lower level, people in Oracle's product units are working individually on projects that would make more of Oracle's applications and middleware available for use in cloud computing. It's understood these include putting Oracle's Siebel and PeopleSoft applications into the cloud.
Oracle declined to comment on its work on cloud computing.
The research and work follows the support for Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) in Oracle's database and WebLogic Server, the application server Oracle bought with BEA Systems for $8.5bn. Oracle's database and application server support 32- and 64-bit systems.
The growing pace of activity comes after chief executive Larry Ellison last year professed confusion over cloud computing - and a willingness to exploit this latest trend in IT.
Rightly, Ellison complained about the industry's lack of restraint in using the term "cloud," noting how Gmail and software-as-a-service have been retrospectively branded as cloud services. He also poured scorn on talk that the cloud would kill off packaged software.
Still, Ellison promised, he wouldn't fight the madness.
"We will make cloud computing announcements, because if orange is the new pink, we'll make orange blouses," Ellison told his company's OpenWorld conference last year. "I'm not going go fight this thing...Maybe we'll do an ad. I don't understand what we'll do different in the light of cloud computing other than change the wording on some of our ads."
Oracle already has many of the component pieces to help organizations build clouds, be they public or private. With the Sun Microsystems' acquisition looming, the only question is whether Oracle becomes a cloud host (given Sun's work on building its own cloud) or sticks to providing Oracle products and services that let others build clouds.
In the latter scenario, Oracle could even find a use for the Sun hardware it's been trying to sell.
The news of Oracle's work on cloud comes as the company launched its latest update to its middleware, which was conspicuously free of any reference to cloud computing.
After more than 20-months, Oracle announced - as expected - an integrated stack of middleware comprising SOA, portal, social networking, identity management products, and development tools centered squarely on a new version of the former BEA's WebLogic.
Oracle Fusion Middleware 11g features WebLogic Suite 11g with support for Oracle's grid technology. That includes GridLink for Oracle's Real Application Clusters, enterprise-wide messaging using the WebLogic Server Java Message Service, and ActiveCache to scale web session and persistence state in Oracle's Coherence.
The Oracle SOA Suite 11g is designed to simplify development of event-based applications, features an integrated business rules engine, and has been certified with Oracle E-Business Suite, Siebel CRM, PeopleSoft Enterprise, and JD Edwards Enterprise One.
Oracle WebCenter Suite 11g features re-usable components that can be plugged into portals and there's a pre-built social-networking platform, while Oracle Identity Management 11g has been updated to provide deeper integration with other Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle said. ®
You can hardly blame Larry for positioning Oracle to take advantage of cloud computing. I worry that as a concept this will polarise IT industry power event further. Amazon and Google are already in that market, and have the fiance and muscle to build clouds. IBM, Microsoft and Oracle are probably also able to do this, but ultimately, because we are me too, when it comes to computer systems, we will probably go with Google and Amazon. With government thinking along the lines of a G-Cloud, potentially one contract to one supplier, I can see the industry loosing more IT companies, who cannot afford to build a cloud environment, or run it as cheaply as Google or Amazon. It will also stifle innovation because, certainly from a public perspective, who are you going to trust with your data and applications, Google, Amazon, Microsoft, maybe IBM, but EDS, CSC, Tata, Accenture, I don't think so, even less likely Steria, Logica, and the lower order IT companies, and start-ups won't have a hope in hell. One glimmer of light is the fact that most people who have SAP and Oracle applications inflicted on them, probably wouldn't by a cloud service from them, given the choice.
There's an interesting debate to be had here, but sadly I think the hype might win as CEOs and Politicians see some kind of low cost nirvana where the technical, security and long term economic issues really don't get a look in.
Sun is well beyond "building its own cloud"
Gavin Clarke writes, "With the Sun Microsystems' acquisition looming, the only question is whether Oracle becomes a cloud host (given Sun's work on building its own cloud) or sticks to providing Oracle products and services that let others build clouds."
Sun has built their own cloud, it is far beyond "work on building", as the author has suggested.
Sun is already providing the ecosystem for others to build cloud business services.
It was nice for the author to remind us that Sun builds clouds for other ISV's to leverage.
The author should have noted that Sun Microsystems also provides the core infrastructure (hardware and software) that other cloud providers are deploying. For example:
I suspect that Oracle is interested and well aware of the Cloud interactions with Sun, since Oracle is trying to purchase Sun!
Personally Speaking, only a mad man would want the Hassle and Attention and Interest :-)
"By that time, there will be a new crop of new CS grads, who, armed with a new diploma and a mind-full of little more than vendor-based training, will be spending their days babbling about cloud computing and sneering at the seasoned pros who laugh at their naiveté." ..... By Anonymous Coward Posted Thursday 2nd July 2009 13:33 GMT
What the laughing seasoned pro has to be aware of, and guard against, is morphing into an Irrelevence and Dinosaur Stardom which effortlessly extraordinarily renders one, Out of the Currency Power Loop. Too many doggedly equate their past experience as being worthy with an unbridled arrogance which really conceals a conceited ignorance which enthusiastic naivete trounces and trumps every time, for it is the Future which holds all the Lead Keys and Novel Triggers.
Your piece appears to mock Larry's efforts to stay Current and Relative to the Industry/Technology/Intellectual Property, which would be rather Odd in the Light of such a Recognised Practised Flexibility for Fitness of Purpose.
And you must surely appreciate how much Cloudy Folk love to have the Virtual Environment in which they Operate Power and Control Systems considered a Hype...... for it allows them an Uncluttered Field in which to Play as they Wish/Please.
I wonder if Larry is interested in being the Richest Man in the World .... with Cloud Control .... for that is what IT Offers if he is Crazy enough?