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Ellison Slams Rivals, Promotes Exalogic Cloud in JavaOne Closing Keynote

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison closed out the first combo Oracle OpenWorld/JavaOne event in San Francisco on Wednesday, and I have to say, it was a vintage performance. He slammed his competitors, as usual, with digs aimed at SAP, IBM, and EMC. But he seemed to relish dissing his chief CRM rival, Salesforce.com, the most, describing the company's multi-tenancy architecture as "a horrible idea" that "commingles everyone's customer list in a single database."

"In the 21st century, the technology we use is called virtualization," he added. "Multi-tenancy is 15 years old."

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff had cracked wise earlier about Oracle's new Exalogic Elastic Cloud, which Ellison unveiled at the show, calling it a "a cloud in a box."

"I have to chuckle a little at the phrase 'cloud in a box,'" Ellison said, "because the CEO of Salesforce.com said 'Larry doesn't get it, cloud doesn't just run on a box.' What does he think Salesforce.com runs on if not on a box? Salesforce.com runs on 1,500 Dell servers, which are boxes!"

The new Exalogic Elastic Cloud is Oracle's integrated hardware and software system designed to run Java and other applications with "extreme performance." It merges several components within a single chassis the size of a refrigerator, and it's designed to be used as the foundation for a cloud application infrastructure. Ellison declared that it would outperform anything his competitors have to offer.

Oracle's own-the-hardware-and-the-software strategy is reminiscent of the practices of Ellison's friend, Steve Jobs, and the exec was quick to give credit where credit was due. "[Jobs has] believed for a long time that if you engineer the hardware and software together, the overall user experience is better than if you just do a part of the solution," he said.

Ellison also delivered an elbow to SAP: "We think it's a mistake for SAP to have its on-premise and SaaS applications be a completely different code base," he said. "We think people will like to do their development on SaaS and migrate to on-premise or maybe take a hybrid approach with SaaS in a particular region and others hosted on our systems."

Ellison also promised a big rollout of Oracle's Fusion Apps, but offered no release specifics. He claimed that it would be the first system to run ERP applications on industry standard Java middleware, and he said that Fusion apps will be installable on-premise or as software as a service (SaaS).

He also told the crowd that Oracle is now building business intelligence (BI) into its applications -- which gave him a chance to thwack Big Blue: "IBM says business intelligence is one of its fastest-growing businesses," Ellison observed, "but we don't think of it as something separate. We think business intelligence should be everywhere."

Posted by John K. Waters on September 24, 2010