The company will build OpenStack compatibility into its nascent cloud services, including Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud and Oracle Compute Cloud Service; there are also plans to provide OpenStack Object Storage (project name Swift) compatibility for Oracle Storage Cloud Service.
“We are very excited to see the OpenStack eco-system growing,” Mark Collier, chief operating officer of the OpenStack Foundation, wrote in a statement released by Oracle. “We welcome Oracle to the OpenStack community, and look forward to innovative contributions from their many domain experts, as we continue to pursue the vision of a common cloud management platform.”
OpenStack is an open-source Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platform developed as a joint effort by Rackspace and NASA and launched in 2010. Numerous companies have already jumped aboard the OpenStack bandwagon, including Dell, IBM, AT&T, Hewlett-Packard, Red Hat, and Canonical. For these companies, embracing an open-source platform not only allows their various cloud products to interoperate, but helps dig a competitive moat against Amazon, which is widely considered the 800-pound gorilla of the IaaS space (and doesn’t share its codebase).
Oracle integrating OpenStack is an interesting step because it’s not a company that traditionally plays well with others, often preferring to build and market proprietary software as part of its own “stack” rather than worry about whether its products will work with systems created by other technology companies. But Oracle also recognizes that it needs to make some drastic plays in the cloud space if it wants to compete against IBM, SAP, and other giants; over the past few months, for example, the company’s signed deals to cross-sell Microsoft and Salesforce cloud products, almost certainly as a way of bulking up its own online reach.
“Certainly Oracle would prefer that customers build and deploy their own Fusion applications on the Oracle Public Cloud, but the company is wisely acknowledging the market momentum behind AWS and Windows Azure and ensuring Oracle presence where its customers are going,” Forrester analyst James Staten wrote in a June 24 research note after Oracle announced the Microsoft and Salesforce deals. “These moves are also necessary to combat the widespread use of open source alternatives to Oracle’s middleware and database products on these new deployment platforms.”
Embracing OpenStack seems like the next move in Oracle’s ongoing quest to stay relevant in an increasingly cloudy world.