View Slide Deck to Oracle's Keynote at 4th Cloud Expo
Rex Wang Discussed Private, Public, and Hybrid During his Cloud Computing Expo Keynote
By: Roger Strukhoff
Nov. 11, 2009 08:00 AM
Rex Wang, VP of Product Marketing at Oracle took the audience through a tour of the company's offerings during his keynote presentation at the 4th International CloudComputing Expo in Santa Clara Wednesday morning, November 4. He also made the key point that Oracle wants "to offer customers a choice."
This basic, seemingly simple strategy is exactly how Oracle differentiated itself from a pack of competitors in the early days of the relational database wars--offering versions that ran on every available platform at the time, even though many of those platforms were marginal. By assuring customers that Oracle's product would run on anything in the house, customers were assured and Oracle became dominant.
So, today, in a nascent Cloud Computing industry - IDC estimates that Cloud represents 5 perccent of the market today, and will reach 10 percent within four years - Oracle aims to again re-assure its customers that the company will be there whether a customer wants to have a private cloud, a public cloud, or a hybrid.
"This notion of elastic capacity, this seemingly unlimited capacity to scale" is an obvious perceived advantage of Cloud Computing, Wang noted early on. Beyond that, "self-service is an important element, as is pay-per-use, which does not require a lot of capital upfront."
Wang elaborated on that point, noting that pubilc clouds "are much cheaper to get started with; you just pay as you go. (Furthermore), cloud providers purport to have greater economies of scale (then their customers), which is probably valid for small and medium-sized companies." But he wondered how much advantage any provider would have "relative to a large enterprise." That said, he also pointed out that a public cloud is "simpler to manage, so a lot of people are using the cloud and simply bypassing IT, and this is a line-of-business expense rather than a capital expenditure."
Discussing private clouds, Wang said there are "lower total costs, (that is) the tradeoff period is 2 to 3 years. This is the classic buy vs. rent argument. Private clouds also provide greater control (and reassure people) about security, compliance, and an easier integration with on-premise systems."
Wang referred to Oracle's positioning by saying "we've been fairly quiet...but this doesn't mean we don't have an initiative in place." He was no doubt being the good soldier in bringing the good news of Oracle's commitment to Cloud Computing in counterpoint to company CEO Larry Ellison's extremely sarcastic remarks on the topic just a year ago to financial analysts.
The reality is that technology CEOs--least of all flamboyant ones--aren't in the trenches getting things to work for customers, and Wang's nuts-and-bolts presentation was meant to re-assure anyone who was listening that the company will support all types of cloud initiatives. Meanwhile, Ellison updated his remarks a bit at the company's recent OracleWorld in San Francisco, discussing Fusion and how having a single cloud provider (such as Oracle) has its advantages.
As Wang said, "If you are an Oracle licensee, you can run that license in the cloud. if you have an unlimited license, you can run an unlimited amount; you can move your licenses around between on-premise and offsite locations. We can also allow you to get online with Amazon (if you want) in a matter of minutes." Wang made the case that Oracle's flexible approach reflects reality, noting that "companies are moving at different rates of speed, and sometimes a single company is moving at different rates of speed internally," so you might see "certain apps in silos, certain apps that have been virtualized, and some in a self-service environment."
He urged his audience to "imagine going to a company portal and making an IT service request (in which) you might pick a request for a new size virtual machine, new virtual image, get it running in a self-service mode, and have it be automatically provisioned without involving IT."
This is a future that Wang says Oracle can envision and support, whether you call it SaaS, PaaS, IaaS, or some variant of Cloud Computing.
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