There was no reference to Oracle's Siebel customer relationship management applications being available as AMIs. The FAQ said more Oracle applications will be ready in EC2 at a future date. Siebel in EC2 would give Oracle a more direct way of competing with the fast-growing leader of multi-tenant applications, Salesforce.com. PeopleSoft CRM 9.1 was one of the applications made available.
The Oracle applications that are available require the larger instance sizes offered on EC2, such as High Memory Extra Large, High Memory Double Extra Large, and High Memory Quadruple Extra Large. These instances as an on-demand service start at $.50 per hour for Extra Large, $1 for Double Extra Large, and $2 for Quadruple Extra Large.
They were prepared using OracleVM, Oracle’s own hypervisor, based on its Virtual Iron acquisition and the Xen open source hypervisor. EC2’s AMIs are also based on Xen, so the reformatting required to turn an OVM based application into an AMI was probably minimal. The application AMIs use Oracle Linux as their operating system.
Barr also noted a second advantage. Once Oracle applications are running in the cloud, they can take advantage of the built in infrastructure services, such as AWS Elastic Load Balancing service, its Auto Scaling service, and its CloudWatch monitoring service. AWS adds per hour fees to the instance price for each service.
Oracle applications will also be available at reserved pricing. Reserved pricing requires an upfront down payment for time to be used on EC2, but the hourly charge is lower than on demand pricing.
In another broadening move of its services, Barr announced VM Import, a tool that allows anyone to submit a VMware virtual machine-based workload to EC2. VM Import recognizes ESX hypervisor based virtual machines and prepares them for operation on EC2.