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Clouds’ Illusions or Reality?


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Still confused about what exactly "cloud computing" is? In a keynote at Oracle OpenWorld, Larry Ellison served up a clear definition when he took a few moments to explain what Oracle means by cloud computing. The term is used by people to mean many different things, he observed, and this prompts questions about whether it is new at all or simply a rebranding. Pointing to two examples of popular offerings that have both been described as cloud computing, Ellison looked at Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) and salesforce.com. It's useful to understand what Oracle means by cloud computing, he said, because "then you will understand when Oracle says, we think this is cloud computing; we think this is not."

Noting that the term "cloud" came into popular existence with the invention and the release of Amazon EC2, Ellison said that Amazon's offering stands in "stark contrast" to salesforce.com because EC2 is not an application at all and is instead a platform upon which you build applications. Amazon EC2 is a platform for building applications and running applications and includes both hardware and software, he said. The software is all standards-based; and the technology is virtualized. "If your virtual machine should fail, no problem - you are running in one virtual environment - you really don't impact any other virtual environment. In other words, faults are isolated." The Amazon EC2 is "elastic" meaning that as you need more computing resources, you get them, and you only pay for what you use, explained Ellison. "Needless to say, Oracle agrees with Amazon.com. Our definition of cloud computing is identical to theirs," he said.

More information about Oracle OpenWorld is available here.

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