For several years now Oracle and its chief executive Larry Ellison have had a bit of a love-hate relationship with cloud computing. On the one hand, Ellison has been a vocal critic of the hype surrounding cloud computing, saying as recently as a year ago that much of it was “nonsense.”

On the flip side, Oracle has also vowed it would compete aggressively with competitors like, and eventually dominate the on-demand enterprise application market.

At Oracle OpenWorld this week, the software giant moved firmly into the pro-cloud computing camp, announcing a new offering which combines hardware and software to accelerate cloud deployments.

The Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud is being billed as the world’s first integrated middleware machine delivering a cloud application infrastructure. The hardware and software offering incorporates 64-bit x86 processors, an InfiniBand-based I/O fabric and solid state storage, and is engineered for large-scale, mission critical deployments.

Oracle says any of its applications, including Oracle E-Business Suite, Siebel CRM, PeopleSoft Enterprise, and Oracle’s industry specific business applications will run on Exalogic Elastic Cloud, without needing modifications.

In a keynote delivered by Oracle executive vice president Thomas Kurian, the case was made for cloud computing as a way to simplify enterprise infrastructures. “From a systems infrastructure, cloud computing is about getting rid of the sprawl of machines and consolidating to a modern, virtualized, and highly performing data center,” he said.

Oracle, he said, is in the best position to deliver cloud computing environments – from managing systems and identities, to enabling business users to modify applications and improve collaboration.



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