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Oracle Applications Now Available In Amazon's EC2 Cloud

Oracle has done an about-face and is now moving key enterprise applications in a pre-configured form to the cloud.

Charles Babcock

December 17, 2010

4 Min Read

Slideshow: Amazon's Case For Enterprise Cloud Computing

Slideshow: Amazon's Case For Enterprise Cloud Computing

Slideshow: Amazon's Case For Enterprise Cloud Computing (click image for larger view and for full slideshow)

Oracle applications are now available to run on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, even though data intensive, enterprise applications relying on frequent, on-premises inputs haven't typically been the first choice of a workload to be sent to run on EC2.

It's also a major step by Oracle toward accepting cloud computing as an alternative to running packaged applications on premises. Given the vigor of previous cloud denouncements by CEO Larry Ellison, it appears that Oracle is trying to turn on a dime and give the cloud its full embrace.

EC2 requires applications be submitted as Amazon Machine Image workloads. Web Services evangelist for Amazon, Jeff Barr, announced in a blog post Thursday that AMI versions of PeopleSoft CRM, JD Edwards Enterprise One, and Oracle's own E-Business Suite 12.1.3 are now available on EC2.

The Oracle database system was previously available to run in EC2 as an Amazon Machine Image. An application specific version of the database appears as a co-workload with many of the applications listed.

Barr first mentioned the possibility of running Oracle applications in a blog Sept. 20, the day after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison addressed the opening of Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco. "Working together with Oracle, we will publish a set of pre-configured AMIs based on Oracle VM templates so that you can be up and running in a matter of minutes, instead of weeks or even months."

The comment points out an advantage of using cloud computing versus on-premises, packaged software. The Amazon AMIs can be pre-configured as a virtual appliance, an application combined with an optimized operating system that's quick and easy to install. Existing Oracle licenses apply, so customers with Oracle already installed on premises appear to have the option of running it instead in the cloud. A FAQ on the new arrangement indicated that Oracle will make an AMI version of each application available to customers, so that it may be customized, then sent to EC2, if the customer chooses.

Slideshow: Amazon's Case For Enterprise Cloud Computing

Slideshow: Amazon's Case For Enterprise Cloud Computing

Slideshow: Amazon's Case For Enterprise Cloud Computing (click image for larger view and for full slideshow)

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.

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About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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