Thursday, September 17, 2009

About Oracle Cloud Computing


  1. Q: What is Cloud Computing?
    A: While there is no universal agreement on a definition of cloud computing, the current Wikipedia definition is the following:

    Cloud computing is a style of computing in which dynamically scalable and often virtualized resources are provided as a service over the Internet. Users need not have knowledge of, expertise in, or control over the technology infrastructure "in the cloud" that supports them.

    The concept incorporates infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) as well as other recent technology trends which have the common theme of reliance on the Internet for satisfying the computing needs of the users.

    Cloud computing is often characterized by:

    • Virtualized computing resources
    • Seemingly limitless capacity/scalability
    • Dynamic provisioning

    • Multi-tenancy
    • Self-service
    • Pay-for-use pricing

  2. Q: What's the difference among SaaS, PaaS and IaaS?
    A: Cloud computing consists of three different kinds of services: SaaS, PaaS and IaaS:
  3. Software as a Service (SaaS) refers to applications delivered as a service to end-users through a browser. Some are commercial SaaS applications delivered by public cloud providers, while others are commercial and custom SaaS applications delivered via an enterprise's private cloud. Oracle is a SaaS provider and offers a growing number of SaaS applications as well as hosted and managed applications. Oracle calls these offerings Oracle On Demand.
  4. Platform as a Service (PaaS) refers to an application development and deployment platform delivered as a service to developers who use the platform to build, deploy and manage SaaS applications. The platform typically includes databases, middleware and development tools, all delivered as a service via the Internet. A virtualized and clustered Grid Computing architecture is often the basis for this infrastructure software. Oracle is a PaaS enabler, not a provider, but Oracle does offer enabling technology to PaaS and SaaS providers to build their own service offerings. Oracle calls this enabling technology the Oracle Platform for SaaS.
  5. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) refers to server, storage, and networking hardware delivered as a service. This infrastructure hardware is typically virtualized using a Grid Computing architecture, so virtualization, clustering and dynamic provisioning software are also included in IaaS. Oracle is not an IaaS provider, but Oracle works with IaaS providers such as Amazon Web Services in order to give enterprises the flexibility to choose to deploy Oracle technology in either their own private cloud or public clouds.
  6. Q: What are public clouds and private clouds?
    A: Oracle believes that enterprises will want to choose between using public cloud providers and building their own private clouds for internal use. A private cloud runs within the firewall of an enterprise and is for the exclusive use of that enterprise. Many enterprises will use both public and private clouds. Certain applications may run on-premise, while other applications may run in public clouds. Even Oracle, which has one of the largest private clouds, also runs some applications in public clouds.

    Both private and public cloud computing provide great computing efficiency, elasticity and availability, thanks to an underlying
    Grid Computing architecture. Public clouds are typically faster and cheaper to get started and simpler to manage, while private clouds provide greater control over security, compliance and quality of service, are easier to integrate with in-house IT, and are potentially lower cost over the long term. Also, public clouds are paid for as OpEx, while private clouds are both CapEx and OpEx. Enterprises will make these trade-offs to determine what mix of private and public cloud computing is right for them.
     
  7. Q: What is Oracle's Cloud Computing strategy?
    A: Oracle has two cloud computing objectives. The first is to ensure that cloud computing is fully enterprise-grade to enable enterprise adoption. Enterprise-grade means high performance, scalability, availability and security, and it means standards to ensure portability, interoperability and no vendor lock-in. The second objective is to support both public and private cloud computing to give customers choice.

    To meet these objectives, Oracle has three strategies:
  8. Offer customers a growing number of applications as SaaS services
  9. Provide enabling technology to other cloud providers
  10. Give customers the choice to deploy Oracle technologies in either private clouds or public clouds
  11. Q: What exactly are Oracle's SaaS offerings?
    A: Oracle offers enterprise-grade SaaS applications and provides enabling technology for public and private cloud computing.

    Today, Oracle offers three SaaS applications:
  12. Oracle CRM On Demand, an easy-to-use subscription-based CRM for sales, service, marketing, and contact-center operations
  13. Oracle Beehive On Demand, a complete range of collaboration services including conferencing, instant messaging, email, calendar, and team workspaces
  14. Oracle Sourcing On Demand, a SaaS solution for organizations to optimize strategic sourcing programs

    These applications are part of Oracle's broader portfolio of Oracle On Demand offerings. They are fully enterprise-grade thanks to the fact they are built on the Oracle Platform for SaaS and run in Oracle's data centers. Oracle intends to offer additional SaaS applications in the future.
     

  15. Q: What is Oracle On Demand?
    A: Oracle's SaaS applications are part of a larger set of services called
    Oracle On Demand. Oracle On Demand includes hosted and managed applications and remote application management services, as well as subscription-based SaaS applications. This means that Oracle can provide customers with a spectrum of deployment options depending on customer preferences.

    Oracle On Demand

      

    Multi-Tenant SaaS

    Single-Tenant SaaS

    Hosted & Managed

    Remote Management

    On-Premise

    Pay-per-use

    Licensed

    OpEx

    CapEx & OpEx

    Off-premise

    On-premise

    Managed by vendor

    Managed by customer

    Vendor scheduled maintenance

    Customer scheduled maintenance

  16.  
  17. Q: How does Oracle offer enabling technology to other cloud providers?
    A: Oracle offers the
    Oracle Platform for SaaS for SaaS and PaaS developers who are creating cloud-based service offerings. The Oracle Platform for SaaS provides a complete, open and integrated suite of infrastructure software – including database, middleware and development tools – for developing enterprise-grade SaaS and PaaS offerings. Oracle Grid Computing is the basis for this infrastructure software.
     
  18. Q: What is the Oracle Platform for SaaS?
    A: The
    Oracle Platform for SaaS is infrastructure software that allows developers to build, deploy and manage SaaS and PaaS offerings that are enterprise grade. It is designed for sophisticated enterprise applications that may run core business processes of an organization. Oracle CRM On Demand, Oracle Beehive On Demand, and Oracle Sourcing on Demand are examples of SaaS applications built on the Oracle Platform for SaaS and running in Oracle's data center. The platform is based on mature, proven technology – the Oracle Database, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Enterprise Manager, and Oracle VM – and are based on Oracle's Grid Computing technology. Over 250 SaaS and PaaS providers have adopted Oracle Platform for SaaS to date.

    A big advantage is that the same Oracle software products can be used for on premise application deployment (private cloud) as well as SaaS development/delivery. That means an enterprise can  more easily integrate existing business processes with new SaaS-based processes while maintaining quality of service. And of course, the Oracle Platform for SaaS has Oracle's scalability, reliability and security, as well as being pre-integrated and standards-based.
     
  19. Q: How does Oracle Platform for SaaS compare with other SaaS platforms?
    A: The
    Oracle Platform for SaaS is the most complete, open and integrated software platform for developing, deploying and managing applications for both public and private clouds. Core components include grid infrastructure, information management infrastructure, and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), as well as a development environment and systems management.

    The Oracle Platform for SaaS is designed for highest performance, availability and scalability since public cloud providers need to provide these at a scale that exceeds even the largest private enterprises. The platform is intended for use by teams of professional programmers. Because of the investment in these applications, it is important that they be based on an open platform that ensures maximum flexibility to re-platform.

    Other platforms are designed for Rapid Application Development (RAD) developers who are building simple departmental or ad hoc business processes. These platforms emphasize rapid, simple application development by non-professional programmers. Because the investment in applications developed for these platforms is considerably less, the platforms trade off portability for simplicity.

    Another difference is the openness of Oracle Platform for SaaS. Platforms like Force.com offer proprietary APIs and lock customers in to running only run in Salesforce.com's data center.
     
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  21. Read the press release
     
  22. Q: How does Oracle give customers the choice of public or private clouds?
    A: Oracle enables enterprises to run Oracle technologies in either private clouds or public clouds like
    Amazon Web Services:
  23. Oracle Database 11g, Oracle Fusion Middleware and Oracle Enterprise Manager are supported in Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)
  24. Customers can use their existing licenses or purchase new licenses for these Oracle products and run them in either their own data centers or in Amazon EC2
  25. Oracle provides a growing set of free Amazon Machine Images (AMI) to make it faster and easier to provision virtual machines on Amazon EC2 with Oracle software fully configured and ready to use within minutes.
  26. Oracle Unbreakable Linux support is also available for Amazon EC2
  27. Oracle Databases can be backed up offsite in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) using Oracle Secure Backup. This is fully integrated with Oracle Enterprise Manager.

    Note that Oracle does not promote, endorse, or resell Amazon Web Service offerings. Oracle strongly recommends that customers take time to fully understand Amazon Web Services offerings before using any of the associated Oracle products and services. Our intent is to expand our current and future cloud offering to other cloud vendors. The decision regarding which platforms we support next and the associated time lines will be primarily based on customer demand.

  28. Q: How does Oracle help customers build and manage their own private clouds?
    A: For enterprises building their own private clouds, Oracle provides the industry's most complete, open and integrated
    Grid Computing stack of virtualized and clustered databases, middleware and storage, including infrastructure and grid management software. Grid Computing provides private clouds with many of the same benefits as public clouds:
  29. High efficiency and utilization
  30. Elastic capacity for pay-as-you-go scale-out
  31. High quality of service (high availability, predictable performance at any scale)
  32. High flexibility/agility (to respond to workload peaks, growth, new application deployments and other technology changes)

    To manage private clouds, Oracle provides Oracle VM and Oracle Enterprise Manager. Oracle VM allows standard Oracle VM Templates (pre-installed and pre-configured software images) to be created and deployed very quickly and easily. Oracle Enterprise Manager allows administrators to dynamically provision and re-provision IT resources on-demand, and monitor and manage the entire grid infrastructure centrally, including managing service levels and the end-user experience.


     

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