I generally don’t agree with much of what Oracle or Larry himself has to say, however thanks to my friend Hazem, I came across a rather old recording of Larry Ellison speaking to a crowd answering a question about how cloud computing would effect his business… and honestly… I could not have said it any better than he did.
I was asked this same question by a few dozen people over the years (surprisingly by many geeks) while working for datacenter and hosting providers. Some were truly curious, but most were trying to be antagonistic because they somehow had in their head that the coming of “the cloud” would somehow reduce the need for the infrastructure housing all the data. As if there was truly a cloud somewhere all this data was migrating to?My answer, regardless who asked, was always the same:
“So… what does cloud computing actually mean to you? If you’re referring to SaaS or elastic hosting or anything as a service, I’m all for it because even if we get more efficient from a software or hardware layer at delivering compute power to consumers and the enterprise, as the amount of data being digitized continues to expand exponentially it will inevitably call for more hardware, more compute power, more network, more space and more power. This ‘cloud’ you’re talking about, no matter how you slice or dice it, will equate to more infrastructure. As a hosting provider and datacenter provider we are a HOME for this data. Nothing is changing or has changed to this extent… Follow?”
Larry’s whole speech in fact is quotable, so please listen to it, but my favorite line is at the end when he says:
“…I don’t understand what we would do differently in light of ‘cloud computing’ other than change the wording on some of our ads”
Yep… and that’s exactly what Oracle has done… and nearly every other hardware, software, datacenter, hosting and network provider on the planet. Almost nothing Oracle and other infrastructure providers have done over the years is much different than before, yet they’ve all caved to the fad that is the term “cloud computing”. Unfortunately “Cloud” is still the new “Green”, even in 2012.
As I’m out and about these days however, I’m relieved to hear and see more people starting to ask the basic question, “so… what does cloud actually mean to you?” I hope you’re among them. If you’re not, please join us.