04 October 2011

Oracle needs some cloud computing mojo

Oracle’s cloud computing stance has, um, evolved, to say the least, over the past few years. As the company preps for its annualOracle OpenWorld mega-show in San Francisco next week, a question lingers: Is Oracle software and/or hardware cloudworthy?
Expect a lot of cloud talk out of the conference and more on hardware-software bundles a la the company’s ExadataExalogic and new database appliance. But Oracle still has a lot to prove on the cloud front.
Oracle’s cloud problem goes back at least two years, when Oracle CEO Larry Ellison famously mocked cloud computing hype at a Churchill Club event. “What do you think Google runs on? Water vapor?” he asked. “How about databases, and operating systems, and microprocessors and the Internet?”
As colleague Derrick Harris wrote for GigaOM Pro at the time, Ellison showed a lack of understanding of true cloud benefits:
Cloud computing is about far more than simply serving applications via the network. It is, at the least, about pay-per-use billing, process automation, on-demand provisioning of additional resources and increasing efficiency through multi-tenant architectures. Many believe cloud computing is about openness. If it does not increase flexibility and efficiency while decreasing extraneous costs, it is not cloud computing.
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