Infosys last fall became a diamond-level partner of Oracle, the highest level that can be obtained. The company, based in India, has 25,000 Oracle consultants stationed around the world. Recently I had a chance to talk to Ravi Kumar S., the VP and worldwide head of Infosys’ Oracle practice. We started out talking about what the heck Oracle is doing in the cloud, followed by discussions of Fusion Applications and integrated server appliances such as Exadata, Exalogic, and the prospect of future integrated products.
So let’s start with you just talking about what’s happening with Oracle cloud computing.
Certainly Oracle has put their cloud story in two parts: infrastructure of the cloud and applications in the cloud. What they’ve done is taken appliances in the cloud and they are turning that into an infrastructure. They’ve also created and put up various test/dev applications on Amazon EC2. That’s the applications side.
You will probably also see at some time that Oracle will develop a cloud development platform, something similar to Microsoft Azure. There is no doubt in my mind that Oracle owning Java, along with Sun infrastructure and hardware, that they have a great opportunity to build a cloud development platform.
You mentioned applications in the cloud. What about the upcoming Fusion Applications?
The Fusion Applications Suite coming up for GA this year is a very cloud-enabled application. Infosys is a large development partner of Fusion Applications. We have a team working in Oracle Labs. With Fusion Applications, you will get the same functionality with the cloud application that you would get with the offline application.
Oracle is building it from scratch and they know it will take time for Fusion to build momentum in the market. The initial feedback on Fusion is that a lot of early adopters aren’t looking at fully blown Fusion Applications but at bolt-on applications.
To give an example, I have a few customers who have said they don’t want to dislodge E-Business Suite, so they would want Fusion Applications to coexist with their E-Business Suite application. So that’s a great opportunity to try something in the cloud. Existing Oracle applications such as E-Business Suite or Peoplesoft can coexist with Fusion Applications, which could be in the cloud.
Where do Exadata and Exalogic fit in all this?
Well, Exadata is a database appliance and Exalogic is a middleware appliance. There are many different moving parts in the cloud – infrastructure, applications, network bandwidth, security and so on. If you are bundling it all up into an appliance, you’re reducing the moving parts, which makes it better for a cloud deployment.
So if Exadata is a database appliance and Exalogic is a middleware appliance, is there an Oracle application appliance coming soon?
There isn’t any direction I have seen yet, but they have all the moving parts to make one. They have the hardware, the middleware, the database and the application. Logically they could do one. Then the number of parts would go down further.