The big news out of Oracle’s (ORCL) OpenWorld 2008 Conference this week was the database vendor is committing to the cloud full-bore. Oracle’s new cloud partnerships will include one with Intel (INTC) to collaborate on technology and another with Amazon (AMZN) to run Oracle software on Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2).
Ok, but what exactly is this Cloud business, anyway? Don’t ask Larry Ellison — the Oracle CEO expresses befuddlement. The WSJ has Ellison on the record (“slightly-edited”), and it’s too good not to quote in full:
“The interesting thing about cloud computing is that we’ve redefined cloud computing to include everything that we already do. I can’t think of anything that isn’t cloud computing with all of these announcements. The computer industry is the only industry that is more fashion-driven than women’s fashion. Maybe I’m an idiot, but I have no idea what anyone is talking about. What is it? It’s complete gibberish. It’s insane. When is this idiocy going to stop?
“We’ll make cloud computing announcements. I’m not going to fight this thing. But I don’t understand what we would do differently in the light of cloud computing other than change the wording of some of our ads. That’s my view.”
We agree! “Cloud computing”, of course, means that your company wants to let your customers run your software on computer servers they don’t own, which is kind of a big deal. But Larry is also right in that the term is now the tech buzzword dujour, slapped without thought onto any press release. So what Larry is really saying is: “Ignore our press releases and pay attention to our actual business”. Which we are happy to do.
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