It's finally here then...

Oracle joins public cloud frenzy with Oracle Cloud

In typical Oracle pomp and fanfare, the company has finally joined this century by entering the public cloud race with the simply titled - Oracle Cloud.

In Wednesday's announcement from Oracle's Redwood Shores Headquarters, Larry Ellison. with his typical bravado revealed the company's first broad subscription-based cloud offering, tying together a lot of their smaller products into one cloud platform.

The newly rebadged service will feature subscription access to Fusion CRM, the Oracle Social Network, Fusion human capital management, the Oracle Database Service, and importantly for us, the Oracle Java Cloud Service.

Ellison in his presentation went into much more detail regarding what Oracle Cloud actually was than he did in October's announcement, even providing a demo into the social aspects of Fusion - yet we're still not any closer to understanding what Oracle Cloud actually is.

Ellison did however acknowledge that Oracle is moving away from the previously titled 'Project Fusion' after it was dubbed 'Project ConFusion' by a competitor. Perhaps they weren't so far away from the mark.

Effectively this announcement appeared to suggest that Oracle Cloud is out of a prolonged testing phase of seven years and is now readily available for the enterprise, and we don't doubt that Oracle are finally embracing the cloud - you just need to look at the plans for Java EE 7 to see that. But are Oracle too late to the dance?

There were some hardly-veiled swipes at competitors during the presentation, notably Salesforce, and on Larry Ellison's newly created Twitter account (yet another embrace of relevant technology) where he let fly at SAP in his solitary tweet to date:

Ellison admitted that Oracle Cloud bares resemblance to Amazon Web Services through cloud elasticity. Broadly speaking, Oracle Cloud does look like a fully-fledged cloud platform, bringing together services for platform, application, custom infrastructure, and social. Oracle's aggressive acquisitions of Taleo for example, have played a big part.

“Almost seven years of relentless engineering and innovation plus key strategic acquisitions. An investment of billions. We are now announcing the most comprehensive Cloud on the planet Earth,” said the Oracle CEO. “Most cloud vendors only have niche assets. They don’t have platforms to extend. Oracle is the only vendor that offers a complete suite of modern, socially-enabled applications, all based on a standards-based platform.”

With over 100 standards-based, enterprise-grade applications from the Fusion stack already up in the cloud, Oracle is proud to boast that they are ahead of the game - although this might not be true according to the Register. Aside from the gusto, we were left in the dark over pricing and how to configure it, but Oracle seemed more intent on letting everyone know how great their first cloud is.

Ellison was also keen to state that Oracle Cloud is based on their own Exadata database appliances and Exalogic middleware appliances - why bother going somewhere else when you've got tried and tested technologies. Either way, it should provide the robustness that Oracle Cloud needs to deal with so many different arms to the structure.

Aside from the hype, this move by Oracle could be a gamechanger; as much as it has failed to inspire, it will lure its already loyal customerbase and other enterprises not yet fully realising what the cloud actually is. It's a fairly run-of-the-mill announcement covered in gloss, but nonetheless, it's a big move for a company who previously shirked any suggestion of cloud. To get to this point, Oracle's invested a lot of time and man hours to get their public cloud ready - will it live up to expectations?

Chris Mayer

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