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Oracle Software Hardware

Oracle Launches 'Private Cloud' Box 82

aesoteric writes "Oracle chief executive Larry Ellison has used the keynote of Oracle OpenWorld to launch the 'Exalogic Elastic Compute Cloud' — an appliance combining server and storage hardware with a pre-tuned web server, hypervisor and other middleware. Introducing the product as 'a honking big cloud in a box,' Ellison shifted from his previous criticism of the terms 'cloud computing' and 'private cloud' by using the exact same terms to sell a physical appliance." Oracle also took the wraps off Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Oracle Linux, which is based on the 2.6.32 Linux kernel.
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Oracle Launches 'Private Cloud' Box

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  • by e065c8515d206cb0e190 ( 1785896 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:17PM (#33639288)
    Linux on their Sun hardware? I though Oracle was supposed to be optimized for Solaris?
    • by mvar ( 1386987 )
      "Unbreakable" wow thats an exaggeration. Nothing is unbreakable, bug free or 100% IBM compatible
    • Oracle has been touting Linux as their preferred platform for some time now. I did expect the Sun acquisition to flip that back, but apparently it hasn't.
  • Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iONiUM ( 530420 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:19PM (#33639320) Journal

    A big cloud in a box? Like, a mainframe? From the 70s/80s?

    I think I misunderstand this whole cloud thing, because to me it just seems like going back to what we had years ago..

    • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Funny)

      by nicolas.kassis ( 875270 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:24PM (#33639394)
      No no no, this is even better, it's a box to which you can add more processors to whenever you want. The only thing that will hold you back is the 90K per core software license to go with it.
    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by qwertphobia ( 825473 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:25PM (#33639406)
      But it's buzzword compliant, that's the hook. Just like virtual desktops (thin clients, dumb terminals?) virtual servers (LPARs?) the list goes on. If it's not reinvented and packaged in a new marketing term it won't make the big boys any money.
      • Re:Huh? (Score:4, Interesting)

        by TooMuchToDo ( 882796 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @03:25PM (#33640408)

        THIS. Want a private "cloud"? []

        Free. API-compliant with EC2 (and somewhat with S3). Deployable on your own hardware.

        • "THIS. Want a private "cloud"? []"

          Does it create for me the OS templates and bootstrapping processes?
          Does it provide configuration management and orchestration?
          Does it provide an operational control panel?
          Does it provide auth and policy definition and enforcement?
          Does it provide a system for multi-tenancy and back-charging?
          Does it provide for proper hardware matching, deployment and management?
          Does it provide monitoring and load evolution?

          A private cloud requieres a bit more than j

          • As with most open source projects, no, not yet. Nor do said tools exist yet with OpenStack (which, luckily, you can shamelessly use without having to pay Rackspace). But there was a point where PostgreSQL wasn't running the .ORG root, and look where we are now. I've seen how money gets wasted on Oracle, Microsoft, etc implementations, at both private companies and the federal government. It'd be nice for money to be used for progress, not Larry Ellison's personal fighter jet toy.

    • by alen ( 225700 )

      except the 21st cloud is magical. need more resources? no need to buy memory or hard drives. it magically creates everything when you provision a new instance

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      I've said the same thing. As far as I can tell, all this "cloud" computing is really just timeshare 2.0. The only major difference is that instead of having 1 big box, you have a bunch of smaller boxes mounted in a cabinet.

      • by hitmark ( 640295 )

        I keep finding myself wondering if "the web" could have been "the terminal" if one had terminals that could open up multiple "tabs" to access various servers like a web browser can today. Maybe one could, if one had a net connection. But at the time i guess it was more a scientific curiosity and most people where playing around with direct dial up to BBS. And unless one had serveral physical lines installed one could only dial a single BBS at a time.

    • Re:Huh? (Score:5, Funny)

      by teknopurge ( 199509 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:42PM (#33639692) Homepage
      Mainframe 2.0. See what I did there? Scared?
      • by youn ( 1516637 )

        Awesome (ok, scaringly awesome since you like to scare ;)

        Quick quick, copyright it, trademark it before Oreilly trademarks it/ copyrights it :)

      • That's very clever... I think you could get that to catch on

    • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      "A big cloud in a box? Like, a mainframe? From the 70s/80s?"

      You're absolutely right. This is vendors abusing technical terms. This is not a "cloud" in any meaningful sense of the word -- it doesn't automatically groaw and shrink capacity to meet your needs. It's not distributed. It's not *anything* that is "cloud".

      Pure marketing drivel, nothing more. I've seen several tech sites complaining about how vendors are trying to sell a "cloud in a box", and how that has nothing to do with the definition of cl

      • (half jokingly) Think of it more literally. You have a cloud... in a box. It's all that flexibility to grow and shrink on demand, within the confines of the box.

        Really though, what I've taken it to mean is a (maybe) smaller, more static version of the same platform. If you need to scale up or down in the future you can buy more cloud-boxes or ship your cloud-box contents off to a "real" cloud provider and sell your box. Packing up and shipping a set of VMDKs from my equipment is a bit easier than conv
    • by imgod2u ( 812837 )

      On a local level, it's pretty much just that -- mainframes with light clients.

      The vision many have for "the cloud" though is that you access it from clients from anywhere, not just your company's intranet. And access from any device would be identical. With wireless internet becoming ubiquitous, this could actually happen.

      • The vision many have for "the cloud" though is that you access it from clients from anywhere, not just your company's intranet.

        So... a web site?

        From my perspective "cloud hosting" just seems to be VPS servers.

        • by bsDaemon ( 87307 )

          The ability to dynamically create clones of your primary VPS set, deploy them and load balance against them is kind of cool though. Not sure I really get the 'cloud' metaphor for it, though.

    • There have been some interesting developments in VMs, automated deployment, managing the systems, network virtualization, etc. that make the whole process much easier. Just read up on Eucalyptus.

      The problem is that Oracle is dedicated to the MS model of breaking open source. Take a look at what they have done to the license for Sun Grid Engine. The previous version was 6.2u5 and was open source. The latest is not, in 6.2u6 they have added the following license terms: "You may evaluate the software
    • A cloud in a box is the new storm in a teacup.

    • by Raenex ( 947668 )

      A big cloud in a box? Like, a mainframe? From the 70s/80s?

      From the YouTube linked in the summary:

      "We've [the industry] redefined cloud computing to include everything that we currently do. [...] We'll make cloud computing announcements, because if orange is the new pink we'll make orange blouses. I'm not going to fight this thing. "

      Contrary from the summary/article, he didn't shift from his previous criticism at all. He did what he said he was going to do.

    • Watch the video in the summary. Larry agrees with you.

  • by mindwhip ( 894744 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:21PM (#33639346)

    Isn't that a tank of water?

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by himself ( 66589 )

      The "Exalogic Elastic Compute Cloud" sounds more like something from "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" to me. Is that how he defeats the Vermicious Knids in the second book?

  • Larry says (Score:3, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:26PM (#33639414)

    "Introducing Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel! It's Unbreakable! ...[cough]... on 32-bit systems."

  • by viking80 ( 697716 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:28PM (#33639464) Journal

    a "private cloud" in a box is kind of an oxymoron. Not that I am a particular fan of marketspeak like "cloud computing". But the idea at least is that you can access computer resources without really knowing where they are, and scale your needs many orders of magnitude without worrying about floor space, air conditioners and lightbulbs.

    • by blair1q ( 305137 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:45PM (#33639736) Journal

      Sure, but sometimes you need privacy and control and ownership.

      Of course, if this is the same Oracle it's always been, you won't get those things, but you will get a hefty bill.

    • by seifried ( 12921 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @02:52PM (#33639872) Homepage
      Uhmm. No. "private cloud" box is NOT a kind of oxymoron (it is in fact one of the 4 defined deployment models). The generally accepted definitions of cloud computing, as defined by NIST (click on "NIST Definition of Cloud Computing v15") define cloud computing as having the following characteristics:

      On-demand self-service. - A consumer can unilaterally provision computing capabilities, such as server time and network storage, as needed automatically without requiring human interaction with each service’s provider.

      Broad network access. - Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, laptops, and PDAs).

      Resource pooling. - The provider’s computing resources are pooled to serve multiple consumers using a multi-tenant model, with different physical and virtual resources dynamically assigned and reassigned according to consumer demand. There is a sense of location independence in that the customer generally has no control or knowledge over the exact location of the provided resources but may be able to specify location at a higher level of abstraction (e.g., country, state, or datacenter). Examples of resources include storage, processing, memory, network bandwidth, and virtual machines.

      Rapid elasticity. - Capabilities can be rapidly and elastically provisioned, in some cases automatically, to quickly scale out and rapidly released to quickly scale in. To the consumer, the capabilities available for provisioning often appear to be unlimited and can be purchased in any quantity at any time.

      Measured Service. - Cloud systems automatically control and optimize resource use by leveraging a metering capability at some level of abstraction appropriate to the type of service (e.g., storage, processing, bandwidth, and active user accounts). Resource usage can be monitored, controlled, and reported providing transparency for both the provider and consumer of the utilized service.

      Then as far as deployment models we have:

      Private cloud. The cloud infrastructure is operated solely for an organization. It may be managed by the organization or a third party and may exist on premise or off premise.

      Community cloud. The cloud infrastructure is shared by several organizations and supports a specific community that has shared concerns (e.g., mission, security requirements, policy, and compliance considerations). It may be managed by the organizations or a third party and may exist on premise or off premise.

      Public cloud. The cloud infrastructure is made available to the general public or a large industry group and is owned by an organization selling cloud services.

      Hybrid cloud. The cloud infrastructure is a composition of two or more clouds (private, community, or public) that remain unique entities but are bound together by standardized or proprietary technology that enables data and application portability (e.g., cloud bursting for load-balancing between clouds).

      • Well, you concentrated on "private cloud". What would you say about "cloud in a box"? Seems to contradict every characteristic from that definition of a computing cloud.
        • Still not sure what the benefit of this is, since it seems against the whole concept of cloud computing, but perhaps it's all about management services of said cloud []:

          The first scenario does have a different twist in that HDS actually manages from afar the local storage within the customer's firewall. We repeat: Hitachi is managing cloud-type storage inside its customers' own arrays.

          The benefit, ostensibly, is that you outsource your IT mechanics and have the internal IT guy(s) do provisioning and maintenanc

      • by viking80 ( 697716 ) on Monday September 20, 2010 @06:47PM (#33642922) Journal

        NIST has not defined "cloud in a box" as a deployment model. The document you copy from It is more of a journalistic storytelling than a standard. NIST defines units of measure and probably verify encryption methods that is part of the internet, but they are no authority on "cloud computing" anymore than WSJ. IEEE has an annual conference on cloud computing, and NIST has not shown up in discussions not as a presenter on any other level than secure transport verification.

      • If defining a cloud requires four pages, typed double spaced, you are doing it wrong.

        -- Tech Marketing Guy.

      • From your criteria, it sounds like botnets have beaten everyone to it by several years.
    • I think we call that a sauna.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      a "private cloud" in a box is kind of an oxymoron. Not that I am a particular fan of marketspeak like "cloud computing". But the idea at least is that you can access computer resources without really knowing where they are, and scale your needs many orders of magnitude without worrying about floor space, air conditioners and lightbulbs.

      I work as an enterprise architect in a company that has a very large IT setup and I know that its exactly terms like "private cloud in a box" that sells to the CIO/CxOs. They are usually oblivious to the effort taken to implement such products on the floor.

    • "Not that I am a particular fan of marketspeak like "cloud computing". But the idea at least is that you can access computer resources without really knowing where they are, and scale your needs many orders of magnitude without worrying about floor space, air conditioners and lightbulbs."

      If that were the case then there couldn't be "cloud providers" or "providers in the cloud" since they, obviously, need to be quite aware of their hardware, growing ability and its limitation (or do you think Amazon's boxes

    • by butlerm ( 3112 )

      A well designed private "cloud" is a couple orders of magnitude faster than anything you can provision from somebody like Amazon. Until Amazon gets around to installing 40 Gbit low latency switches and network adapters that is.

      And even when Amazon does that, a large number of customers will be crippled by the lack of bandwidth between the Amazon cloud and their local operations - relative to what the most inexpensive Ethernet network can provide. Priced any high traffic multigigabit Internet connections la

  • I watched the video linked, and I agreed with him very much. (And I can only recommend to watch it.)
    He speaks about bazzwords and fads and he said the only change he will do is change the wording of their ads. Is there a proof of more substantial changes?

  • I wonder if their kernel is patched against CVE-2010-3081 [] already? Otherwise, so much for that whole unbreakable claim ;)

    • by grub ( 11606 )
      Remember "Unbreakable Oracle" or whatever it was called a few years ago?

      Same shit, different pile.
    • What fool allows local users on their production database systems?

    • "Unbreakable" is really just RHEL with a fairly useful GUI for Xen strapped on along with a big giant phallus to impress CIO types.

      Which makes it no more or less "unbreakable" than anything else out there, including the billions of hosts running everything else that are vulnerable to CVE-2010-308.

    • "I wonder if their kernel is patched against CVE-2010-3081 already?"

      Of course not! Why they should? They already told you it's UNBREAKEABLE, weren't you listening? So no need for any patch.

  • I can hear the song now: "Hey, you, get off of my exalogic elastic compute cloud!"

  • I remember seeing this vid a while ago: []

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Hey girl, I got something real important to give you

    So just sit down, and listen...

  • ORLY? Is this a dare? Someone in Marketing didn't talk to someone in Technology, methinks.

    I'm starting my egg timer now.

  • "But the "secret sauce" of the Exalogic, Ellison said, was the device's 'coherance' software, which syncronises the memory systems"
    The secret sauce is Tangosol's Coherence cache, which Oracle bought a while ago. There's nothing secret about that. Its an in memory cache which is a pain in the ass to set up and tune. And expensive to license. Maybe its already set up and tuned for you in this elastic box? How many boxen can you has playing nicely together? Oracle has a serious problem with scalability. This
  • A 'cloud in a box' it is? Now here we finally have the long sought after proof that magic smoke [] makes these computaboxes work. That mister Ellison must be a smart guy to trap so much of the magic smoke [] in a box - he claims that little box contains a whole whoppin' cloud of the stuff. Don't let it escape [] or your box won't be computin' any longer!

  • I wonder what the storage system is? Just disks in the servers?

    Anytime folks putting together a system fail to mention the storage end of the solution, you can be pretty sure that that much, at least, is done badly.
  • Hey Oracle, you and Larry Ellison can kiss my hairy ass. It will be a cold day in hell before I use any of your products again.

  • Imagine a beowulf cluster of these!
  • I am responsible for directing technology decisions for a large hospital system and Oracle will get no business recommendations from me for any of their technologies. Last week an Oracle rep called and wanted to talk about database directions and I stopped him, mid-sentence, to tell him that I wasn't interested in hearing anything. He asked why. I told him I don't like patent trolls and Oracle's latest salvo at Google over Android and Java was trolling. He was stupified that I wouldn't want to do business w

    • "I am responsible for directing technology decisions for a large hospital system and Oracle will get no business recommendations from me for any of their technologies."

      Don't worry. They'll find the way to fire you and hire one more "sensible to the general interest".

    • While I agree that nobody likes patent trolls, I sure do hope that you didn't put it to the rep like that. It might've been more effective to talk about the fact that abuse of patents to stifle competition results in a lack of innovation in one's own products. You could state that you are concerned about the implications of the patent lawsuits on Oracle's own business strategy, and that you are not convinced they are truly interested in providing innovation to the medical sector--a sector that desperately n
  • I've never seen anything like this. I go to Oracle's website, log in to OTN, and try to download R5U5 x86_64-bit DVD image. My DSL modem craps out it's connection.

    So I reset the modem, and try again. As soon as I try to refresh the Oracle page, the modem craps out.

    This time when the modem recovers I try going to a number of other websites -- SlashDot, New York Times, PostgreSQL. No problems.

    Try the Oracle download again and *POOF*, there goes my modem link again.

    I have no idea how they're doing

  • I call it a PC. My own private cloud computer.
  • This sounds like a plug device with a built in hard drive. The data is stored on your storage media and only the address of the device is out there in the cloud. No one has access to the data unless the know the address.

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