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Roger Strukhoff

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No Time for a Petulant Oracle

Is OpenStack's Momentum a Threat?

Oracle was notable for its absence at the recent Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. Previously a headliner, the company may be threatened by the emergence and aggressive marketing of all of the OpenStack folks, if I'm reading between the lines properly.

Oracle is widely reviled - and I don't think that's too strong a word - by open-source vendors and others in the cloud industry for its alleged cloudwashing activities. Who hasn't chortled at the famous clip of Larry Ellison mocking cloud a few years ago, only to watch him subsequently pour his company's old wine into new cloudish bottles?

All kidding aside, this is no time for a petulant Oracle. All of the IT megavendors have made major moves to the cloud. Many of them have done it through OpenStack, including IBM, HP, Cisco, and Dell. Microsoft has gone directly into the hardware business with its Surface tablet as part of its strategy. SAP recently updated its Hana cloud-computing initiative.

Oracle's cloud strategy, for better or worse, does and will have a big influence on the cloud-computing industry. This is the nature of a company that claims a locked-in presence at 98% of Fortune 500 companies. Whether its efforts are cynical, uncloudish, and anathemic to true innovation is a matter that should be available for as much public view as possible.

We are in the early stages of one of the great change cycles in the history of computing, and for one, I'd like to see Oracle competing openly (so to speak) as often as possible. It's a pity I wasn't able to do so while roaming the halls of the Santa Clara Convention Center last week.

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Roger Strukhoff (@IoT2040) is Executive Director of the Tau Institute for Global ICT Research, with offices in Illinois and Manila. He is Conference Chair of @CloudExpo & @ThingsExpo, and Editor of SYS-CON Media's CloudComputing BigData & IoT Journals. He holds a BA from Knox College & conducted MBA studies at CSU-East Bay.