Larry Ellison on Cloud Computing

by Jeff V. on September 30, 2008

Say what you want about him, but Larry’s never been one to mince words:

"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."

Of course, Oracle has its cloud-based offerings and will only continue to grow that base and development budget.  Cloud computing, from and end-user perspective, really doesn’t mean too much: cloud or no cloud, what does it matter to the application being served to the user?  You still need some sort of network voodoo, some type of middleware logic to handle data interfaces and messaging, and of course the end-user application and platform OS or browser.  No matter if the infrastructure is on-premise or not, the user still has to interface with the app to accomplish his business goals – whether the app server resides in-house or in the cloud somewhere. 

It’s really a matter of technical semantics more than anything else.  Of course, on the the cost-benefit front, a cloud-based approach is favored by many due to lower support costs and increased portability and access.

I think what Ellison is getting at is the fad-like obsession the tech world has with trends and the hype marketing that surrounds them.  “Cloud computing” is a hair away from being found on cereal boxes, and I think it’s this hype cycle that Larry finds somewhat insane.

(Counterpoint: it’s this very hype that will drive tons of interest in Oracle’s cloud offerings and make Ellison’s numbers continue to glow, but that’s an aside.)

Of course, I find almost all enterprise software marketing almost totally insane, but that’s just me.  It’s all crazy, it’s all 60% gibberish, it’s all buzzword soup.  Why get ruffled now?  Software marketing reform should have happened years ago.  Anyone remember BullFighter?

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