Oracle Public Cloud Confusion Oracle PCM e1455661453229

Oracle Public Cloud Confusion

I always thought I could address the main differences between private and public cloud. Oracle announced the ‘Oracle Private Cloud Machine’ at Oracle Open World 2015 which runs locally, offering a private cloud for an organization. Then Oracle decided to rename it to ‘Oracle Public Cloud Machine’.

And I think a public cloud has two important aspects: (1) resources are shared by multiple organizations and (2) services are available through a public network.

Does this new name make any sense? Where does this machine fit in? Is Oracle trying to change the definition of ‘public cloud’? They already renamed the ‘Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance’ to ‘Oracle Private Cloud Appliance’. This post is just a short reflection of my land of confusion.

Simon Haslam already published his initial thoughts and speculations about this new machine, and I can also see the reason why Oracle changed the name. But I think Oracle made the term ‘public cloud’ somewhat confusing.
First something about the word ‘Cloud’. When somebody uses the word ‘Cloud’ in an IT-related sentence, I always tend to ask what he or she is means. Public, Private, Hybrid , IaaS, PaaS,… ? Mostly, they are pointing to services in the Public cloud, as in the likes of Amazon, Oracle, Azure and Dropbox.

But what if they point to a private cloud? A local datacenter is easily called a Private Cloud, but … is it really? Let’s have a look at the  Cloud Maturity Models (they really exist, not to be confused with the other CMM – Capability Maturity Model). A private as well as a public cloud will have to measure up to a few conditions. Some of the most import ones are the presence of a ‘service catalog’, a limited list of automated services , and a pay-per-usage model. Sometimes offered in a self-service portal.
A company may decide to level up a private cloud and publish it to the world, turning it into a public cloud.

So, a particular form of cloud computing should be called a public cloud when:
– A company relies on a third party cloud service provider for services.
– These services are being made available through the internet.
– Multiple organizations have access.
– Physical resources are pooled and shared.
And all this is not constrained by the geographical location of the datacenter.

Back to the Oracle products I mentioned before. Do the names meet with the use, intentions and definitions stated before?
A Private Cloud Appliance does indeed has a limited service-catalog (IAAS – VM’s). Even though there’s not a feature-rich pay-per-usage-model offered, you may use the charge-back possibilities of Oracle Enterprise Manager. Only one organization is making use of the IT-software and it’s not available through the internet. All-in-all, this may indeed be called an ‘Oracle Private Cloud’.

An Oracle Public Cloud Machine (formerly known as the Oracle Private Cloud Machine) is an engineered system with Oracle Public Cloud Software on it, AND is managed by a third party, in this case Oracle. But when you’re always the only organization working on it, you should call the environment a Private Cloud. Are you still with me?

You could say that the use of this machine is determative. When only used within your own company you are running a ‘Private Cloud’ on the ‘Oracle Public Cloud Machine’, and when provisioned to the outside world, you are running a ‘Public Cloud’  on the ‘Oracle Public Cloud Machine’. Perhaps  Oracle Cloud Machine is a (however not so catchy) better name? And is it an idea to rename the Oracle Private Cloud Appliance to Oracle Private Cloud Machine on top of this?

I can imagine the discussion at Oracle’s headquarters when making the decisions of renaming the machines. I also understand the reason why they did what they did, and the names reflects the struggle of the marketing-department and they seems sometimes just as confused as me. I also pity the (pre-)sales who have to explain all this confusion.


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