While Oracle has released a series of additional "engineered systems" since Exadata, it's been reticent to give specifics about how well those have been selling. In contrast, Exadata seems to be driving the bulk of engineered systems business.
Oracle will surely continue releasing newer, faster versions of Exadata, but one has to wonder if Ellison would like to come up with a new system that matches Exadata's success.
Win the cloud platform wars
If Oracle has lagged competitors in any areas, they are PaaS (platform as a service) and IaaS (infrastructure as a service). Only now, after years of development have its offerings in those areas become hardened and generally available in most respects.
Ellison and Oracle are staring at stiff competition from earlier movers in IaaS and PaaS, from Amazon Web Services to Microsoft Azure.
While Ellison and other Oracle executives say the company's IaaS pricing will be competitive with Amazon and others, it could be that Oracle has tempered profit expectations for that segment and views it more as necessary to simply have on the menu.
It's a much different story with Oracle's PaaS, which Ellison pushed hard during his keynote sessions at the recent OpenWorld conference.
Portability and convenience are two selling points, with customers able to move on-premises Java applications to the service with "a push of a button," as Ellison put it.
While touting Oracle's progress, Ellison acknowledged the long road ahead. "We're just getting started," he said.
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