Three Oracle experts weigh in on Oracle Exalogic, the company's "cloud in a box" and middleware appliance.
On whether Exalogic is actually a cloud-in-a-box: “As far the overall package, I think Oracle has a really firm foundation--they have the necessary blocks in place if a customer were going to embark on building a private cloud. While Oracle claims to have a long-term strategy for what I’ll call ‘cloud in a box,’ it’s not there yet, and in my opinion the reason is there are some fundamental pieces missing. They tell you, ‘We provide the APIs and you can do it yourself,’ and I’m like, ‘No, you’re missing the point, the specific fundamentals.' If I define cloud in a box, you have to have all the infrastructure there, you have to have the database backend, the operating system, the storage, the processing, the virtualization layer, for it to be a complete out-of-the-box private cloud offering--and pretty much by definition it must also include a provisioning layer and an accounting and charge back layer, and I haven’t seen it yet. Oracle has said they are working on it, and they’ve said we can expect something along those lines . . . but today, it’s just not there yet.”
On the potential of Exalogic: "I think that Oracle Exadata, Exadata Storage Expansion Rack, and Exalogic will begin creating paradigm shifts in the hardware world. Oracle is applying the speed and agility that won them first the database world, then the applications world, to the hardware world. The Oracle database is capable of storing 8 Exabytes or 8 million Terabytes, but the hardware hasn't kept up with the database. Hardware is starting to accelerate exponentially ever since Oracle bought Sun, and now Exabyte storage is not so far away. Oracle's engineering the database at the hardware level--advantages like Smart Scan, Storage Indexes, and Hybrid Columnar Compression--is putting their cloud performance and compression well beyond other cloud competitors.”
On Exalogic and the cloud: “I’m seeing every customer we work with, everybody I talk to, it’s about the cloud, and what the question comes down to is, ‘Do I want to manage many machines or do I want to manage one single machine? People are understanding consolidation at the database level, using a solution like Exadata to do that, and now that same thought pattern is starting to go into their middleware strategies. And we’re staring to see questions like, ‘How can Exalogic help remove a lot of complexity from our organization?’”
On Exalogic growth: “If you look at how Exadata grew, after a couple years, people are starting to get it, to understand it. I see Exalogic having a similar soft launch as people see how it's positioned into the cloud, then start working with partners and building stories. Exalogic is in the same place Exadata was a couple of years ago in terms of sales maturity -- not in terms of need, I think the need is the same, but it’s more about being able to accept an appliance in terms of approach.”