Oracle is the antithesis of an early adopter company. Most people will remember Oracle founder Larry Ellison's diatribe about cloud from a few years ago. Since then oracle's messaging has changed and Larry loves the cloud, indeed will sell you as much cloud (in a box) as your big fat enterprise IT budget can allow.
But even Oracle realizes that they can't provide all the answers for every customer, and this is where Equinix comes in. Equinix is, of course, the vendor fueling much of the growth of the cloud. Via its global network of data centers, Equinix not only hosts many cloud vendors themselves but sells a high-speed, private connection between those cloud vendors and its customers' own private infrastructure.
This cloud exchange offers a direct connection between public cloud vendors, such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Rackspace, and an organization's private infrastructure. Enterprises get high performance, low latency and highly secure access to these cloud vendors, within the context of their existing infrastructure.
Oracle, that purveyor of all things traditional, is today joining the cloud exchange in six worldwide markets. Delivered from the Equinix Cloud Exchange in Amsterdam, Chicago, London, Singapore, Sydney and Washington, D.C., Oracle customers can connect the Oracle cloud to their own tin. Oracle points out that its own infrastructure (or, at least, its own technology) powers a huge proportion of the biggest SaaS vendors' product --
companies like Salesforce and NetSuite are built on big, fat Oracle databases. But conflating selling some software to a cloud vendor is different from selling public cloud services and there has been little proof, to date, of Oracle's success as a public cloud vendor. Oracle suggests that Oracle products, including Oracle Cloud, are widely used in the enterprise and that, in fact, Oracle’s 400,000 customers include 100 of the Fortune 100, and the company has sold 1,000 ERP systems running in the cloud. None of which is really an "apples with apples" comparison to "real" cloud vendors.
Further muddying the waters, Oracle offers up some other statistics: "Cloud is the fastest growing part of Oracle’s business, and Oracle Cloud continues to show strong adoption, supporting 62 million users and 23 billion transactions each day. Oracle Cloud runs on 30,000 devices and 400 petabytes of storage in 19 data centers around the world." As I said, I remain dubious. That said, a direct connection between anything Oracle and third-party infrastructure providers is generally useful and important, and in joining the Cloud Exchange, Oracle gives real validation to the concept that the future of IT is going to be complex, distributed and heterogeneous. And that's something that Larry Ellison and I can agree upon