Oracle Senior VP: Exadata and Exalogic Are Cloud Ready
Oracle Channel Chief Judson Althoff has high hopes for Exadata (a database machine and storage server) and Exalogic (a so-called elastic cloud machine). During an interview with TalkinCloud last week, Althoff proclaimed: “Exadata and Exalogic are the cloud platforms of the future — whether you’re talking about on-premise or off-premise.”
But can Oracle live up to those claims? Althoff, senior VP of worldwide alliances & channels and embedded sales, said Oracle is spending $4.5 billion on research and development to optimize Sun’s hardware with Oracle’s software. At the same time, Althoff is quietly working on a new, long-term ISV (independent software vendor) strategy. The effort calls for Oracle to certify its ISV base around the Exadata and Exalogic stacks, so that third-party software runs optimized on Oracle’s hardware-software solutions. Althoff hinted.
My best guess: Oracle won’t unveil the new ISV effort around Exadata and Exalogic until the Oracle OpenWorld (Oct. 2-6, 2011, San Francisco). “I’m fired up because we have a huge base of ISVs hungry for this message. We think it’s a $1 billion incremental opportunity for us,” Althoff asserted.
Oracle’s SaaS Efforts for ISVs
Meanwhile, Kevin O’Brien, senior director of Oracle’s ISV and SaaS strategy, is quietly working with a range of ISVs that want to promote their applications into the SaaS market.
Instead of hyping Oracle’s cloud and SaaS efforts, O’Brien was understated during a TalkinCloud interview last week. He confirmed that customers and partners continue to test Oracle running in public clouds like Amazon and Rackspace. “From a programmatic standpoint, everything we’ve built with OPN Specialized really works well with those partners.”
OPN Sspecialized is short for Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized — a partner program to solutions providers. So far, roughly 1,000 VARs and solutions providers have earned an Oracle specialization, with more than 2,000 expected to earn specializations by the time Oracle completes its fiscal year in May 2011.
Meanwhile, it sounds like most of the cloud momentum O’Brien is seeing involves ISVs re-writing client-server applications for SaaS. “I think all of the ISVs out there have a SaaS strategy. And there’s a predominance of new market entrants starting out as SaaS providers. Our goal is to execute our plan through the rest of our [fiscal] year. It’s going phenomenally well for us in the SaaS area.
But the story involves more than software and applications. The conversation between Oracle and managed hosting firms is expanding to hardware. “They’re are coming to us to ask about Sun. They see the Oracle strategy of software plus hardware engineered to work together,” O’Brien said.
Still, I’m not completely sold on the Oracle-Sun cloud combination. Within most cloud settings, it sounds like Google, Rackspace and a range of hosting providers deploy thousands of x86 servers running virtualized Linux services. I’m not sure whether Oracle can convince those big cloud service providers that the Oracle-Sun stack is a better alternative for key applications.
Of course, I’m just a blogger. Oracle’s Althoff and O’Brien certainly sounded confident during our meetings last week.