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Sep 22 2008   1:10PM GMT

Up, up and away: Oracle heads for the clouds

badarrow Barbara Darrow Profile: badarrow

It looks like Oracle is embracing “the cloud.”

At Oracle OpenWorld on Monday, the two Chucks — Oracle president Charles Phillips and executive vice president Chuck Rozwat–said Oracle is making its full Fusion middleware toolset, and its database, available to run on’s  cloud infrastructure.

It appeared, from their on-stage chat, that the tools are now available for building and deploying applications to run in that Amazon EC2 cloud infrastructure. The fact that (and other players) are getting traction from this strategy has caused anxiety among the more traditional software providers. Microsoft Visual Studio developers are still waiting to hear about that company’s development-tool-for-the-cloud strategy expected at this fall’s Professional Developers Conference.

 So, Oracle is joining the land rush (if that’s the right term) in that netherworld known as the cloud. The database-and-apps giant already hosts its own software on its own infrastructure. Now it’s blessing’s foundations as well.

Much of this may be more a pricing/licensing debate rather than a technology discussion. In theory, an Oracle developer will not need to change how he or she develops if the app or database will reside on an on-premise server or a secure server farm hosted at some (or Oracle) location.

Still, it’s an important statement of direction as companies rush for cloud cred.

Direct quote from Rozwat: “We’ve started to make complete our complete Fusion Middleware stack available on the Amazon cloud. This is a way to deploy middleware on the cloud using virtualization and other things Amazon provides.” He was speaking to several thousand Oracle partners and customers gathered in San Francisco’s Moscone Center for the big annual Oracle shindig.

It looks like Oracle will position this infrastructure as a fallback option for customers rather than a replacement to on-premise or other hosted options.

Database 11g for cloud computing will include “new capabilities to support our database on the cloud. You can run an image there literally on EC2 using Web services from Amazon and use it as a backup.”

An update to Oracle 11g database is promised this week. Under the internal and acutely non-poetic name,, the update will include an in-memory database cache option (borrowed from TimesTen, an Oracle acquisition and in-memory database expert.)

This may be the database “revolution” Oracle CEO Larry Ellison has hinted at during the last two company earnings calls. But who knows? Ellison speaks Wednesday and he’s been known to surprise the assembled massed before.

Also promised at the show: Beehive, or the next release of not-so-hot-selling Oracle Collaboration Suite rewritten to be completely “Web 2.0 savvy.” Buzzword check list? Check.

In a flurry of slides, there were other product promises including a new release of the WebLogic Suite, Business Process Management Suite, Oracle WebCenter Suite and the first release of Fusion Middleware 11g including jDeveloper 11g and TopLink 11g.

In July, for these products, some of which came in via the BEA Systems acquisition.The slides and words were flying so stay tuned here for clarifications and updates.

 Ah, Oracle’s started populating its media site with the relevant press releases.

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