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Oracle talks up a slew of Amazon-like cloud services

<h2>23. Thomas Kurian</h2>
<h2>23. Thomas Kurian</h2>
<h2>23. Thomas Kurian</h2> David Paul Morris/Bloomberg—Getty Images

Well, we asked Oracle to get specific about cloud infrastructure plans and Tuesday morning it did.

Sort of.

At Oracle (ORCL) OpenWorld 2015, Thomas Kurian, president of product for Oracle, announced a slew of familiar-sounding cloud infrastructure components including elastic compute and dedicated cloud compute options and an archival storage option. Ditto a new Docker container-as-a-service option.

Elastic compute is the notion, popularized by Amazon Web Services starting nearly a decade ago, that a customer can rent computing capability off site by the hour on an as-needed basis instead of buying an entire new server to run those jobs. Cloud storage, in the same mannter, lets a company put reams of data off-site in someone else’s storage hardware, rather than buying a new EMC or NetApp or other hardware to run in house.

Docker containers let developers bundle up their applications so they can be moved around as a compact unit from one set of infrastructure to another. Docker support is now table stakes for cloud providers.

All of these are important check-box items for companies looking to use cloud to augment or replace their own data centers. Amazon(AMZN) Web Services and Microsoft(MSFT) Azure both already offer all these options.

Oracle also promised to make database migration from a company’s data center to the Oracle cloud easy. This is a key thing given that Amazon Web Services would dearly like to poach those enterprise database customers for its own infrastructure.

Kurian last week said that the company has already seen significant traction for its already-announced cloud products, and that 70% of those users are totally new to Oracle, meaning they are not legacy Oracle database/middleware shops. This is important because while Oracle remains mighty in those realms, it has also seen software license sales in these areas declining. And despite all its happy cloud talk, it is way behind Amazon and Microsoft in public cloud infrastructure.

On Monday, Mark Hurd, co-CEO, said Oracle has 20 data centers and has finished building out its infrastructure to offer public cloud services.

A remaining question looms over all these products: When will they actually be available? From the press release: “Oracle is now making this same set of foundational Oracle Cloud infrastructure services—Compute, Storage and Network—available to its customers and partners.”

Update: During his post keynote Q&A, Kurian said several of the announced services including object storage, archiving, file backup, bulk data transfer, Exadata as a service, and the NAS gateway are available now. Cloud data transfer is on for next month, and big data service is due in two weeks.

He also promised an Amazon-like purchase experience, although he did not use those words. Customers wanting to buy Oracle’s cloud middleware and storage stuff can do so now at shop.oracle.com, he said. “We’re adding compute over the next couple of weeks. You can pay for it either with a credit card or an invoice if it’s a corporate customer. You can pay by the hour or by the month and pay by processor or per gigabyte of storage.”

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