Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is merely an extension of what Oracle already offers behind the scenes, Hurd said. "IaaS is important, but it is being pulled by our success in SaaS and PaaS," he said. "In the end, suites win."
The crux of the infrastructure strategy, officials said, is that wherever the applications are running—on premises, hosted or in the public cloud—the platform is the same and everything is already integrated, which makes switching from on premises to the cloud easier when the time comes.
Oracle vs. AWS: The New Rivalry
With switching to the cloud in mind, Oracle is fixated with Amazon Web Services. In his keynote, Ellison went so far as to say Oracle's real competition going forward is AWS, rather than traditional rivals IBM or SAP. He and Hurd promised that Oracle will compete on price with AWS for infrastructure services.
A lot of that is just talk: Oracle's main task is to retain customers who want to migrate to the cloud and to prevent them from jumping to AWS. The pitch is all things being equal, it's easier to stay with Oracle than make a huge disruptive transition to AWS.
AWS, as opposed to Oracle, had to build from the bottom up, but it is adding more to its platform every day, including services like Aurora that are aimed right smack at Oracle's customers. It seems that the two companies are destined to meet somewhere in the middle. Ellison and Hurd each gave nods to Amazon as best of breed and the market leader for infrastructure services, but they are not conceding anything on the rest of the cloud.
At the end of the day, we come back to the notion of hybrid cloud, which is starting to become a meaningless term. Every vendor has a hybrid enterprise strategy, especially Microsoft, Salesforce, VMware and IBM.
There is more than one path to the future of computing, but the goals are the same, which is a "hybrid," and purging as much IT from the on-premises enterprise as enterprises are comfortable with. It's definitely going to take awhile. As Ellison said, it could go on forever.
Scot Petersen is a technology analyst at Ziff Brothers Investments, a private investment firm. Prior to joining Ziff Brothers, Scot was the editorial director, Business Applications & Architecture, at TechTarget. Before that, he was the director, Editorial Operations, at Ziff Davis Enterprise. While at Ziff Davis Media, he was a writer and editor at eWEEK. No investment advice is offered in his blog. All duties are disclaimed. Scot works for a private investment firm, which may at any time invest in companies whose products are discussed in this blog, and no disclosure of securities transactions will be made.