Oracle CEO Larry Ellison on Wednesday unveiled a public cloud service that will run its Fusion Applications and others, and while doing so delivered a withering broadside against competitors, with his harshest words for Salesforce.com.
"Our cloud's a little bit different. It's both platform as a service and applications as a service," he said during a keynote address at the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, which was webcast. "The key part is that our cloud is based on industry standards and supports full interoperability with other clouds. Just because you go to the cloud doesn't mean you forget everything about information technology from the past 20 years."
In contrast, Salesforce.com's Force.com platform is the "roach motel" of cloud services, amounting to "the ultimate vendor lock-in" due to its use of custom programming languages like APEX. In contrast, the Oracle Public Cloud uses Java, SQL, XML and other standards, Ellison said.
"You can check in but you can't check out" of Salesforce.com, Ellison said to laughter from the OpenWorld crowd. "It's like an airplane, you fly into the cloud and you never get out. It's not a good thing."
Salesforce.com may have bought Heroku, a cloud application platform that supports Java, but customers shouldn't be fooled, Ellison claimed.
"They say, 'Oh, we just bought Heroku. It runs Java.' [But] it's sort of like a Salesforce.com version of Java that only runs in Heroku. Don't try to move that [Java Enterprise Edition] application to the Salesforce.com cloud. It won't run. If you build something in Heroku you can't move it. It's a derivative of Java."
In contrast, "you can take any existing Oracle database you have and move it to our cloud," Ellison said. "You can just move it across and it runs unchanged. Oh by the way, you can move it back if you want to. You can move it to the Amazon cloud if you want to. You can do development and test on our cloud and go into production in your data center ... and nothing changes."
"Beware of false clouds," Ellison said, referring to a favorite saying of Salesforce.com CEO Marc Benioff. "That is such good advice. I could not have said it better myself."
Ellison even trashed Salesforce.com's and other SaaS (software-as-a-service) providers' use of multitenant architectures, wherein many customers share a single application instance with their data kept separate. The practice cuts down on system overhead as well as allows vendors to roll out patches and upgrades to many customers at once.
But Oracle's cloud eschews that approach for very good reasons, Ellison said. "That's a very bad security model. It's called multitenancy and it was state of the art 15 years ago. This is 2011. All the modern compute clouds use virtualization as part of their security model. You get a separate virtual machine, your data's in a separate database because it's virtualized. They put your data at risk by commingling it with others."
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