SAN FRANCISCO: Oracle might be ploughing further into the cloud computing arena with new infrastructure as a service (IaaS), database and private cloud products, but the firm is still playing catch-up with current leaders rather than innovating in the space.
At its OpenWorld show on Sunday, chief executive Larry Ellison took the wraps off its first IaaS offering, to add to its existing platform- and software-as-a-service products.
Oracle’s IaaS is based on the firm’s existing servers, storage, operating system and virtualisation technologies, engineered to work together and running on the firm’s Exadata, Exalogic and Exalytics systems to offer customers raw compute power and data repositories.
The IaaS launch will see Oracle compete directly with Amazon Web Services.
On the database front, Ellison launched Oracle Database 12c, with the ‘c’ standing for cloud. This will act as a multi-tenant container database, and will hold a number of separate pluggable databases, with shared memory.
Oracle has also added to its public cloud offering with a private cloud product, that is exactly the same technology configuration as the public version but runs behind a customer’s firewall.
The cloud announcements are a perfect example of Oracle’s position in the industry as a follower rather than a leader, according to some observers.
A few years back, Ellison loudly dismissed the cloud as a fad, yet fast forward to 2012 and the firm has themed the majority of its OpenWorld sessions and announcements so far around cloud computing. At the show last year, Ellison criticised the multi-tenant approach favoured by vendors such as Salesforce.com, but the firm has just released Database 12c, the “world’s first multi-tenant database”.
Carter Lusher, research fellow at Ovum, said the IaaS announcement is typical of Oracle’s approach to product development. Oracle has gone for pretty much a carbon copy of what Amazon already offers, he noted, and has left Amazon to figure out where all the problems were and solve them first before Oracle entered the IaaS space.
“Oracle’s current cloud strategy is more about giving current customers a logical migration path to make sure it doesn’t lose them, but there’s not a sufficient roadmap or strategy to demonstrate something for potential new customers,” Lusher said.
“Cloud and SaaS are trends that are currently coming to their end of life, and Oracle is only just getting into it now. It needs to get on top of some of the newer trends like BYOD and gamification, to avoid becoming a cash cow like Microsoft.”
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