TMCnet Feature
October 06, 2011

Oracle Public Cloud Announcement Peppered with Criticism for salesforce.com

By Linda Dobel, TMCnet Contributor

 It could be likened to a school-yard dust up between two of the cool guys where one of them boasts, “my dog’s better than your dog,” and follows up with a “nobody’s gonna want to play with you anymore” blow.



Yesterday, Oracle made the announcement at OpenWorld 2011 in San Francisco that it is now a player in the public cloud service space with its Oracle Public Cloud , and in doing so tried to drop its competitors, who, according to CRN, include the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, the Rackspace (News - Alert) Cloud Computing Service and salesforce.com's Force.com service, down a peg or two.

In a quote PC World ran today, Larry Ellison (News - Alert), CEO of Oracle, reportedly said, “Our cloud's a little bit different. It's both platform as a service and applications as a service. The key part is that our cloud is based on industry standards and supports full interoperability with other clouds. Just because you go to the cloud doesn't mean you forget everything about information technology from the past 20 years.”

In saying that Oracle is “a bit different,” he was referring to salesforce.com’s platform, in particular, and with respect to the fact that Oracle’s new Platform as a Service (PaaS) offering stores virtualized data in a single-tenant architecture and the salesforce.com PaaS does so with multi-tenant architecture. As the names imply, with multi-tenant architecture, multiple users share a single application instance, but their data is stored separately. On the other hand, with single-tenant architecture, only one user is supported by one instance of software.

Oracle sees the single-tenant approach as better for security reasons. Ellison reportedly told the audience during his keynote on Wednesday that the multi-tenant architecture model is “a very bad security model,” which he claims is outdated. PC World quoted him as saying, “it was state-of-the-art 15 years ago. This is 2011. All the modern compute clouds use virtualization as part of their security model. You get a separate virtual machine, your data's in a separate database because it's virtualized. They put your data at risk by commingling it with others.”

Also in criticism of the way salesforce.com handles its public cloud business, Ellison said that with Oracle, “you can take any existing Oracle database you have and move it to our cloud,” but with salesforce.com, “You can check in but you can't check out,” paralleling it to “a roach motel.” Furthering the comparison, he said, “It's like an airplane, you fly into the cloud and you never get out. It's not a good thing.”

As Ellison noted, Oracle Public Cloud, which will be offered on a pay for use monthly subscription basis, combines the capabilities of Platform-as-a-Service and Software-as-a-Service. As a result, users will be able to run the applications of Oracle Fusion as well as extensions to Fusion applications and build custom applications on the Oracle Public Cloud.

As part of the announcement, Ellison revealed that Oracle Public Cloud will support a social network that will integrate with other Oracle applications. Jack Clark, writing for ZDNet UK, quoted Ellison as saying, “We realized over the last six years [of developing Fusion applications] the biggest thing that had changed was social networking. We built our own social network and integrated it with all of our applications.”

PC World said of the new social network application, “The system uses many of the familiar aspects of social sites like Facebook (News - Alert), such as information feeds and document sharing.” And ZDNet UK wrote of the social networking application, “Oracle's social network appears to mimic popular features from Google+ and Facebook — it has document sharing, web conferencing and automated suggestions of people to get in touch with, based on corporate activity.” 

Despite Ellison’s biting words for salesforce.com, Ross MacMillan, an analyst at Jefferies was quoted in International Business Times as saying, “Our thesis on Salesforce.com (News - Alert) is unchanged since we continue to view the company as a best-in-class provider of SaaS-based CRM technology and a leading PaaS vendor.”

Chris Kanaracus reported that news had not yet broken of the death of Steve Jobs (News - Alert), whom he said was a “close friend” of Ellison.


Linda Dobel is a TMCnet Contributor. She has been an editor in the contact center space for more than 25 years, and has the distinction of being the founding editor of Customer Inter@ction Solutions (CIS) magazine. To read more of her articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jennifer Russell
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