SAN FRANCISCO: Oracle has announced the Exalogic Elastic Cloud, a private cloud system comprising hardware and software components designed to enable firms to develop and run their applications more efficiently.
Exalogic, which was announced by Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison during his OpenWorld keynote yesterday, and reported live by V3.co.uk, comprises 30 servers with a total of 360 cores.
The servers are inter-connected via a 40Gbit/s Infiniband network, and the system has all the middleware companies need to develop and run their apps, said Oracle.
Exalogic supports Linux and Solaris operating systems and in many ways is similar to Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud service, in that it allows customers to add extra virtual machines on demand for greater capacity, paying only for what they use.
The Exalogic Elastic Compute Cloud has been designed to run Java applications much faster, Ellison claimed.
It is so powerful that it could process all the traffic from Facebook's 500 million users, handling two million messages per second, he added.
During his keynote announcing Exalogic at the OpenWorld 2010 event, Ellison used the opportunity to have a dig at both Salesforce.com and Red Hat.
Ahead of announcing Exalogic, he explained that Oracle wanted to agree a definition of cloud computing, using the Salesforce and Amazon models as the two existing and very different versions.
Salesforce is purely an application that runs on the internet, Ellison said. It is not virtualised, fault tolerant, secure or elastic, and features hundreds of customers' data co-mingled in the same database, he added.
Amazon, on the other hand, was commended for its approach, as a platform on which firms build applications and for its elastic model allowing customers to add more servers as needed so they only pay for what they use.
"Needless to say, Oracle agrees with Amazon.com on the definition of cloud," Ellison said, adding that the cloud must be virtualised, elastic and include hardware and software.
Salesforce is due to be presenting in San Francisco on Wednesday, so it will be interesting to see how outspoken chief executive Marc Benioff responds to Ellison's charges.
Oracle also unveiled the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel, aimed at offering a more reliable and modern version of enterprise Linux than is currently available from Red Hat.
Ellison claimed that Red Hat relies on Oracle to do the testing for compatibility. "We spend a lot of time fixing bugs in [Red Hat Linux]," he said, adding that even once Oracle has done all this work, Red Hat is still very slow to apply the fixes to its own version and is four years behind the current Linux version.
Although Oracle will maintain Red Hat compatibility for the long term, Ellison urged customers to go with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel.
Laurent Lachal, a senior analyst with Ovum, said that the cloud announcement is not unexpected, given Oracle's long-term philosophy of integrating Sun hardware with its software.
"The Exalogic Elastic Cloud is part of a global trend of infrastructure providers putting together a system that combines network, storage and compute resources," he added.
Lachal argued that Oracle's message on cloud computing has historically been rather muddled, but that the private cloud approach adopted here could well be a winner.
"I'm sure Oracle's very conservative approach will resonate with a lot of people because, while cloud computing started with a big focus on public clouds, much more of the focus is now on private clouds," he said.
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