Three Oracle experts weigh in on user interest in cloud computing, implementations such as Oracle CRM on demand, Oracle on the Amazon cloud, and the high cost of entry for Exalogic, Oracle's private cloud machine.
On an IOUG member survey last year: "The survey showed that a large proportion of users are starting to build private clouds, that they have a need to spin up environments quickly and create capacities as they need them. It’s all through virtualization. So is that the cloud? Well, it’s in a company’s ‘little cloud,’ right? I see that kind of virtualization, and it’s now pervasive. Understanding virtualization, how to virtualize your database, virtualize your Web servers … is all part of the toolbox you need today -- and that leads you to the cloud.”
On Oracle’s cloud computing direction: “I think Oracle learned lessons with Exadata that they’ve now brought forward to Exalogic, which is the center of their cloud strategy, and it really is providing Oracle with a great foundation -- good hardware, performance, flexibility. The challenge, too, is that it’s not yet integrated with everything. As each of these tools get built, it takes time until they get integrated into the overall fabric. For instance, the one thing I hear about Exalogic is that you need a different console to manage it than your database. And more integration makes it more valuable.”
On Trex’s use of Rackspace for hosting Oracle applications: "We own the software, and in this case it makes sense, because we can concentrate on the solution and outsource the infrastructure, security and bandwidth.”
On Trex’s use of Oracle CRM On Demand: "In our business model, the ERP solution is accessed primarily by internal personnel. Our field sales force rarely needs to access the transactions in our ERP system, so a web-based cloud solution is phenomenal for them. They can access it from home or on the road, security is built in, we have scalability up and down as we grow. We haven’t really scaled back down, but we’re able to roll out certain pieces and we’re able to add on to it."
I haven’t had to worry about updating security, the help desk, or our infrastructure guys around Oracle CRM On Demand. We can focus on the business solutions, using the IT business solution team to help our sales and marketing leaders focus on growing our sales and leads.”
"The neat thing is that Oracle is giving its customer options. If, for example, we acquired a company tomorrow and suddenly doubled our size, we could transition our CRM solution back in house if needed."
On the high cost of Exalogic: "I’ve seen Oracle’s cloud strategy, and there are a couple of different approaches companies can consider. The whole private cloud, Exadata/Exalogic push, for example, is a compelling product, and I’m certain it’ll benefit organizations that have a lot of high-volume, high-transaction, high-performance environments. My only concern is the price-of-entry point … because at the end of the day, it’s still kind of like a more traditional pricing model, because you buy this big piece of iron that’s highly streamlined, highly efficient and designed to process extreme loads. The definition of ‘cloud’ is more typically based on the pay-for-what-you-consume model, so making a large capital expenditure up-front is why I say it’s a bit ‘anti-cloud.’"
On Oracle’s cloud computing offering through Amazon: “We’re starting to see things like toolsets become available off-premise in the cloud from Oracle, and while they might not follow every checkbox in the definitions for cloud, a lot of Oracle’s software is being presented back as SaaS [Software as a Service] -- so that’s a good thing, too.”