Last week was an interesting week where I started out in New Hampshire in single digit weather with promise of 2 new snow storms and ended it in Palm Springs, CA where the temperatures were "unseasonably" warm in the 90s. Personally, I’ll take unseasonably warm anytime anywhere. The reason I was in Palm Springs was for an Oracle Cloud Summit. The summit happened to be right in the thick of the BnP Paribas Open – a pro tennis event held at the Indian Wells Tennis Garden that has two large stadiums, a ½ dozen small ones and several dozen courts. Needless to say – about as 180 degrees in every way from freezing, snowy New England.
And speaking of 180 degrees – Oracle has come a long way since their CEO’s 2008 proclamation about the cloud. Take Oracle’s acquisition of assets like Nimbula, which they are leveraging to help them manage and orchestrate cloud resources – public and private.
Let’s look at their strategy for the layers of the stack:
- Services: Elastic compute, elastic storage (object), identity, messaging, and virtualized networking
- Storage services include Java and REST APIs as well as OpenStack SWIFT compatability
- Object store is also used to store backups and archives of files and DBMS (e.g., RMAN and logs)
- Compute allows the customer to choose the size of cpu and memory with HA option
- Single sign on with SAML and OAuth support
- Services for multiple roles – developers, LoB, and IT
- Developers offered database, Java, toolkit, and mobile IDE
- LoB offered collaboration, social, big data, analytics, and BPM
- IT offered application performance monitoring and operational analytics
- Database tools include portability tools for cloning, imports, exports, and migrations
- ERP, HR, CRM, SCM, and social
- All SaaS apps will have access to some form of social, mobile, reporting/analytics, and integration services
- Claim to have the largest SaaS portfolio – and based on their plans, they seem to be working on providing most of portfolio as a SaaS offering over time
- First- and third-party data aggregation tools, and marketplaces – all made available to SaaS applications
What is interesting is that Oracle has also thought of what tools are needed for creating, managing, and moving data. The whole strategy was hybrid in nature. If a customer wants to have Oracle manage the cloud on-premises – no problem. Public? Private? Hybrid? Managed? All set. The layers of the stack include the Oracle Engineered Systems for scale-out private clouds, Nimbula Cloud Director (OpenStack compliant as well) for orchestration, templates, and Oracle Enterprise Manager at the top to handle hybrid planning, provisioning, management, and chargeback.
So what was my takeaway? I’m impressed. Oracle has a great strategy, and amazing hardware and software assets. What impresses me the most: They know how to talk to the lines of business. IT services ain’t all about IT and infrastructure anymore. These folks know business apps across all industries. Bringing all those business apps to cloud as – SaaS or as managed private cloud – is going to make a lot of sense for a lot of businesses. Folding in all the new hot technologies (mobile, social, analytics) makes the Oracle Cloud a formidable competitor – and more importantly, a set of great services for many business owners to take a hard look at. Oh – and they plan to be price competitive and not have the performance issues that others have. My $.02: Try it out – find out if that’s true, what have you got to lose?