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Ellison pushes Oracle's new cloud platform hard, but questions linger

Chris Kanaracus | Oct. 2, 2014
Oracle chairman Larry Ellison has delivered another dose of hype for the vendor's cloud platform, but many customers may need more convincing before they make the leap.

Oracle chairman Larry Ellison has delivered another dose of hype for the vendor's cloud platform, but many customers may need more convincing before they make the leap.

In many ways, Ellison's talk at the OpenWorld conference on Tuesday was a rehash of a keynote he delivered on Sunday, although he dug deeper into the technical weeds and even conducted a number of live demonstrations of what he called a "brand-new, majorly upgraded" platform.

"We wanted to make it very easy to move existing Oracle databases and existing Oracle applications to the cloud," Ellison said. However, "there had to be a bunch of benefits associated with that. We wanted to be able to move [them], modernize [them], and lower your costs."

Ellison, who recently stepped down as CEO to become executive chairman and CTO, has said repeatedly that customers will be able to move databases and apps to Oracle's cloud "with the push of a button."

On Tuesday, Ellison walked through a few examples that actually required more than a single button press, but not too many. Ellison also had to log into Oracle's cloud service, which gave him an opportunity to deliver a trademark quip.

"I'm logging in as John Smith," he said. "They took away my name. It's been a rough few weeks."

Oracle's Enterprise Manager tool is involved on the back end, but it wasn't clear from Ellison's talk how involved it is to perform the initial setup between a customer's systems and Oracle's cloud.

First, Ellison moved a 12c database containing reams of Wikipedia search data from an on-premises server to Oracle's cloud.

Ellison displayed the Oracle cloud management console as proof to the audience that the database had made the journey successfully.

Next, he quickly moved a Java application to the Oracle cloud and launched it within a minute or so.

"Voila," a smiling Ellison said. "Looks like the same thing."

Finally, Ellison demonstrated an extension for Oracle's HCM (human capital management) application that was built on its cloud.

Customers will save money running their software on Oracle's cloud rather than their own data centers because it's more efficient, according to Ellison. Oracle is committed to matching the likes of Amazon Web Services on pricing for underlying IaaS (infrastructure as a service), Ellison has said.

The level of automation in Oracle's cloud is another benefit, he said. "The human element is removed," he said. "It's faster, cheaper, more reliable and there's no human error."

That said, Oracle's cloud will "gracefully co-exist with your data center," Ellison said. "It all looks like one collection of computers."

Ellison expects that over time, thousands of ISVs, hundreds of thousands of customers, millions of databases and applications will end up on Oracle's cloud. "We're just getting started," he said in concluding.

 

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