Oracle rebrands Oracle Cloud, offers few details

Oracle Cloud, first announced last fall, will include more than 100 applications, the company said this week, but the availability date and cost are still up in the air.

Oracle re-announced its public cloud service Wednesday, repeating many of the things the company said at its OpenWorld conference in San Francisco last fall.

Once called the Oracle Public Cloud, the company is now just calling it Oracle Cloud. According to CEO Larry Ellison, the Oracle Cloud will include more than 100 applications, as well as database, Java and social networking products. Frank Scavo, analyst at Monta Vista, Calif., group Constellation Research, said the Oracle Cloud will be attractive to IT shops running everything Oracle. Those with heavily heterogeneous IT environments probably want to look at other cloud providers, he added.

“Oracle Cloud does not support any other vendor’s OS platforms, middleware, databases or applications,” he said. “If an IT organization wants to have a public cloud to support a heterogeneous portfolio, they should look at Amazon Web Services, Rackspace or other IaaS [Infrastructure as a Service] providers that are platform-neutral.”

It is also unclear what will be available when. According to the Oracle Cloud FAQ, the “Oracle Fusion CRM Cloud Service and Oracle Fusion HCM Cloud Service are currently available,” but the “Oracle Database and Oracle Java Cloud Service, and Oracle Social Network are now available under ‘preview availability.’ ”

But anyone registering for access to the Oracle Cloud, sees a webpage saying that Oracle “will be provisioning Java and Database services in batches over the next several months” and that its “Fusion Application services will be made available shortly after that.”

Additionally, Oracle's new vice president of communications, Bob Evans, wrote that Wednesday’s announcement was the “general availability of Oracle Cloud,” which would include not only human capital management and customer relationship management but also enterprise resource planning applications.

Finally, Scavo wrote on his Twitter account later that Thomas Kurian, Oracle vice president of product development, said that Oracle Cloud is in limited availability, only for the sake of sales teams to manage. By the end of September, it should be available for self-service, just as it is on Amazon Web Services.

The Oracle Cloud will be sold as a monthly subscription service, though executives didn’t disclose how much the monthly fee would be, nor did anyone else from Oracle before press time.

During his presentation, Ellison tried to allay common security concerns about putting applications in the cloud, saying that each customer would have dedicated virtual machines for their applications sitting on top of Oracle Exadata and Exalogic server machines.

“We keep your data separate and secure,” he said. “It’s not comingled with your competitors’ data.”

Ellison also spoke extensively on what he called “social relationship management.” He demonstrated what will be available in that space, much of which will be based on Oracle’s acquisition of social marketing company Vitrue, which was announced last month. Oracle also announced Tuesday that it had acquired Collective Intellect, a vendor in the same market.

Mark Clark, president of the Oracle Applications Users Group (OAUG), said recently that many OAUG members have applications in the cloud, but when it comes to the Oracle Cloud, it is still early.

“I think people are still in the investigation stage for the public cloud that was announced last year at OpenWorld,” Clark said in April during the Collaborate Oracle user groups conference. “But we do have a number of members who are currently in planning stages and maybe negotiating for licenses right now.”

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