Although Oracle's "Cloud" Exalogic announcement has received waves of coverage (see some below) the more interesting innovation for Oracle and Cloud seems to have gone relatively unnoticed.
While Exalogic returned some 500+ news items, according to a Google news search, a concurrent announcement about the "real" Cloud and Amazon and Oracle rather quietly slipped into the background with 10 or so news results. Much of the Exalogic coverage focused on Larry Ellison's attack on Salesforce.com which was a big buzz generator.
Exalogic Elastic Cloud is a great device, but...
There's no doubt about the "Exalogic Elastic Cloud" box being an exciting and powerful device, which contains the control software as well as the hardware components to make a virtualized resource pool (and hence this is extrapolated to "cloud"). In fact Larry Ellison mentioned during Oracle OpenWorld keynote that China runs its entire railway ticketing system on one Exalogic and one could run the entire Facebook web layer on a couple of them.
That's stunning, and hot news if you have this bandwidth demand and if you can afford an Exalogic cabinet loaded with all the software and hardware goodies from Oracle. But the basic fact is that the Exalogic server is a contained set of resources that is purchased, operated, and maintained as part of the enterprise infrastructure - you pay for it in full up-front, and then incur the full cost of ownership.
But what about if you are one of the 98% of enterprises in the world no longer wanting to pay up front for full bandwidth, who want to start small in Cloud, with Oracle, and are also wary of getting stung by some kind of weird disguised "cloud" licensing model which is in reality a full lease commitment, or similar?
It isn't your answer for Cloud
Installing an Exalogic box isn't your answer. But Oracle's enterprise software on the Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud very likely is your answer. It's a clever move, and I think a very significant one.
It brings Oracle truly into a Cloud offer, and it lifts Amazon from being just a Cloud infrastructure provider to being a heavyweight Cloud application platform and applications provider. Oracle has provided templates (Amazon Machine Images) in Amazon's EC2 for its database software since 2008, and has now expanded the number of applications to include:
- Oracle E-Business Suite;
- Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise;
- Oracle's Siebel CRM;
- Oracle Fusion Middleware;
- Oracle Database; and,
- Oracle Linux.
In addition to expanding the software supported on AWS, Oracle has taken the step of "certifying" the software for operation in Amazon. This means that customers can now get support from both Oracle and AWS for those applications. That's a big deal - very smart and attractive to enterprises.
Order now and we'll throw in the steak knives
But not only that, Oracle has also included the steak knives and Oracle customers can also use their existing licenses on Amazon EC2 with no additional licencing fee, or they may acquire new licenses from Oracle. AWS and Oracle will deliver Oracle software on Oracle VM with hard partitioning, in which case, Oracle's standard partitioned processor licensing models apply.
Super-smart move as it's the licensing issues where these migrations often bog down in internal vendor turf wars and bureaucracy and sales resistance.
As John Considine writes at Cloud Switch:
Oracle and Amazon have offered every incentive for enterprises to tip their toe into the Cloud, and support for these key Oracle products in Amazon’s cloud adds credibility to public cloud computing, as it allows enterprises to really use the cloud for their core applications. This is one of the areas that a cloud provider cannot fix, it is up to the software vendors to expand their horizons to embrace the cloud and Oracle is blazing the trail.
Well said, and well done Oracle and Amazon - Oracle really does get Cloud after all!
Caveat: there remains a question of the degree of difficulty in enterprises changing their businesses processes to get to the Cloud model for purchasing IT, and this is something I'll cover in a future post.
What do you think of the potential of the Amazon Oracle Apps Cloud?
Do you think it will encourage a significant number of businesses to test migration?
What else would Amazon Oracle need to do to grow this quickly into a significant business?
Where do Oracle partners and resellers stand to benefit most from this move?