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Ellison puts spotlight on Oracle cloud technology, plots IaaS push

Oracle these days finds itself in the midst of a delicate shift from on-premises databases and applications to cloud computing services. Co-founder Larry Ellison, now Oracle's executive chairman and chief technology officer, is moving on several fronts to adapt the company's product portfolio to address the trend in hopes of luring both new and existing users to move systems to the Oracle cloud.

Oracle cloud technology was front and center as Ellison kicked off Oracle OpenWorld 2016 in San Francisco with his usual Sunday evening keynote. In the sometimes rambling speech, Ellison reiterated Oracle's intention to become a stronger player in the infrastructure as a service (Iaas) portion of the cloud market -- and he said a second-generation IaaS offering gives it the IT capabilities needed to do so.

While Ellison acknowledged Amazon Web Services (AWS) as a pioneer in the IaaS business, he vowed that Oracle is now in a position to compete aggressively with AWS on both functionality and price. Amazon's lead in the IaaS market "is over" from a technical standpoint, he claimed.

Ellison also detailed Release 2 of the flagship Oracle Database 12c software, saying the new version will first be made available for use in the cloud ahead of an on-premises distribution. New features coming in Oracle Database 12c Release 2 include sharding, a partitioning technique commonly used in NoSQL databases that Ellison said will improve the system's performance in distributed applications.

In addition, Ellison pointed to a deal to acquire cloud security software startup Palerra Inc., as well as Oracle's Cloud at Customer managed service, which offers a set of hardware and cloud software for deployment in customer data centers. Announced last March, the service enables companies that are blocked from using the public cloud by regulatory hurdles or other issues to bring Oracle cloud technology behind their corporate firewalls.

In this video, recorded on site at Oracle OpenWorld 2016, TechTarget senior news writer Jack Vaughan looks at the highlights of Ellison's opening keynote, with a focus on the cloud aspects of the speech. Watch it to hear more about what Ellison had to say as the conference got underway.

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