Oracle's Cloud hype set for major escalation

Nearly 100 'Cloud Builder' events are planned globally before year's end, and that doesn't count OpenWorld

Oracle's emphasis on cloud computing isn't going to wane anytime soon. To the contrary, on Thursday the vendor held the first in nearly 100 Cloud Builder Summit events scheduled for locations across the globe between now and December.

Attendees will learn how they can build an "enterprise cloud environment" in just two hours using Oracle's technology, according to the events' website.

The limited information available suggests that the focus will be on private clouds built with products like Oracle's Exadata and Exalogic "engineered systems," as well as its Enterprise Manager 12c software for management and orchestration.

Oracle recently launched a new version of the Elastic Cloud software that runs on top of Exalogic, a high-powered application server, giving it cloud-friendly features including virtualization and a load-balancer.

It's possible that the Cloud Builder events' content will be expanded or shift following announcements made at Oracle's OpenWorld conference, which starts on Sept. 30.

CEO Larry Ellison has compared Oracle's approach to cloud computing as superior, and done in the spirit of Amazon Web Services.

But products such as Exalogic don't necessarily meet that definition of cloud computing, said analyst Frank Scavo, managing partner of IT consulting firm Strativa.

While the machines can handle large, sudden spikes in workloads and also be chained together, they still represent a fixed set of computing power owned by a customer, according to Scavo.

Unlike Amazon, "It's not elastic," he said. "If you can't scale it down and pay less, and you can't scale it up and pay more, it's not a cloud."

In contrast, Oracle's recentlylaunched public cloud, which is powered by Exadata and Exalogic machines and offers the vendor's next-generation Fusion applications, a database and Java PaaS (platform as a service), does behave like a true cloud, in Scavo's view.

Oracle hasn't released public pricing for its cloud services, but has said they will be subject to the subscription and pay-per-use pricing now typical in the cloud.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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