Oracle is set to host its customer relationship management (CRM) on-demand suite as a hosted service from an Australian datacentre. The service will be based in Sydney and managed by HarbourMSP.
According to a spokesperson for HarbourMSP, the company will be ready to host the service by November, 2010. While the company has been working with Oracle for over two-and-a-half years, this deal was only brokered less than two months ago.
The service is aimed at government agencies and enterprises that aren’t allowed to use cloud services based overseas.
Rival cloud-based CRM provider, Salesforce.com, claimed the move meant Oracle was acknowledging cloud computing as the future of enterprise IT.
"Australia is home to some of the most advanced organisations in the world - companies who put a premium on innovation, not infrastructure," Salesforce.com regional vice president, Jeremy Cooper, said in a statement.
But on the issue of keeping data within Australia's geographic borders, Cooper was less enthusiastic about Oracle's latest move.
"It's not about the zip code of your data centre, but the performance, security, and reliability of the platform, and the ability to provide world class applications that don't require companies to pay 22% annual maintenance fees," he claimed.
The move follows comes after Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison, described his definition of cloud computing at the Oracle World conference.
"People use the term to mean very different things. I’ve actually been very frustrated and outspoken," he said, referring obliquely mocking public remarks he has made. Too many existing technologies have been “reborn and rebranded cloud computing," he said.
Two well-known examples of cloud computing represented opposite spectrums, he said.
Services like Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2), similar to Oracle's Exalogic, solution allow users to run applications on top of an virtualised pool of infrastructure that can shift resources in response to demand.
"That’s what really gave rise to the term cloud computing. It’s elastic, it’s virtual, and you only pay for what you use," Ellison said.
In contrast, a company such as on-demand customer relationship management (CRM) vendor Salesforce.com "are really one or two applications on the Internet," he said. "They do have a bit of a platform... for doing little add-ons to their applications."
"Needless to say, Oracle agrees with Amazon.com," Ellison said. Oracle believes cloud-computing “is a platform. ... on which you run standards-based software. … It’s a comprehensive development and execution environment that can run all your applications."
The one twist is that unlike public services like EC2, Exalogic is meant to run behind the firewall.
The more open approach to providing cloud services is a distinct contrast to his previously well-published views against the term’s use.
The Exalogic machine is a high-powered "cloud in a box" that combines hardware, storage and middleware to run any kind of application at vast scale.
IDG's Chris Kanaracus contributed to this article.