Oracle, Microsoft, and Red Hat: Three Paths to the Cloud

Published on July 08, 2012

Oracle, Microsoft, and Red Hat: Three Paths to the Cloud

    Last month, Oracle, Microsoft, and Red Hat almost simultaneously updated their cloud development plans. Despite the fact that the plans of all three companies relate to corporate cloud computing, the ways in which companies want to enter this market and gain a foothold in it are completely different. That's about this difference, I decided to write my post.

    No, wait a moment. All three companies have the same approach - they try to use their strengths and present their path to the cloud in a favorable light. But since the strengths of the companies are completely different, the “cloud approaches” they have are very dissimilar. I'll start, perhaps, with Oracle.

    1) Oracle
    Most likely were the news about Oracle Cloud . And although some information had already leaked to the press earlier, very many wanted to hear “confirmation from official sources”. What is Oracle's strong point? Of course, corporate software, for the purchase of which Larry Ellison has spent about $ 40 billion over the past few years. So, business applications such as ERP, CRM, etc. formed the basis of the "cloud from Oracle."

    By focusing on SaaS, Oracle intensifies the onslaught on its main competitor, SAP, because according to Larry Ellison, SAP will be able to create a similar, competing cloud no earlier than 2020. And it is precisely in the field of cloud software that Oracle and SAP have been sharply competing lately - just recall from recent acquisitions of Oracle such SaaS solutions as Taleo (human resources management), RightNow (customer relationship management) and Endeca (data management).

    At the same time, Oracle receives insurance against the fact that customers will no longer pay royalties, switching to the use of competitors' cloud software. By the way, Oracle is going to provide cloud services on its own hardware - apparently this is another opportunity to at least indirectly spur hardware-businessand show shareholders that the decline in iron sales is not so catastrophic.

    2) Microsoft
    You also certainly know Microsoft's strengths - it is a vast ecosystem of developer companies (remember the famous " Developers, developers! "). Microsoft needs to “drag” them into the cloud and tie the developers with their “hands” to their solutions. Accordingly, Azure is positioned primarily as a PaaS platform.

    Strategically successful move - Active use of open source projects in AzureIt’s no secret that today they prefer to build clouds on the basis of Open Source, and not on proprietary products. As a result, Microsoft not only facilitates the transfer of applications from competing clouds, but also fills its solutions with new functionalities for free.

    Positioning Azure primarily as PaaS is a good way to distract developers from the fact that Microsoft has its own cloud software and, in essence, using Azure, independent developers “pour water” onto the mill of (their future?) Competitor.

    3) Red Hat
    With Red Hat, the simplest picture is that the company only deals with infrastructure software, it does not have its own business applications, therefore, it has nothing to do on the field of SaaS. Red Hat, of course, has its own PaaS - OpenShift, and of course, among PaaS it is one of the most powerful and promising solutions. However, it is interesting to a fairly narrow circle of developers (although now the circle of interested parties is expanding rapidly) - those who write corporate software. Accordingly, they have not yet decided to rely on software developers in Red Hat.

    Red Hat understands exactly what their customers value and actively use it in their cloud tactics. Red Hat is known for the fact that all its products are open source and all cloud products will obviously not only have this quality, but will also become a key advantage. Of course, not only the availability of the source code is important, but also some other properties (read the definition of the Red Hat open cloud ), which is why Red Hat has joined the OpenStack community .

    Another important benefit of Red Hat software is the ability to choose. Customers appreciate the fact that they are not trying to impose any kind of software, but on the contrary, they allow using as many options as possible. Red hat cloudformsIt is designed just to work with "mixed", hybrid IaaS-clouds from various suppliers.

    Some conclusions.
    So what happens? Oracle has a strong position in the field of applications, good prospects as a PaaS platform (if only because they are Java owners) and good as an IaaS provider (thanks to Sun infrastructure solutions). The corporation decided to focus on SaaS, and PaaS and IaaS offers received much less attention (it seems that Oracle understands that they will not be able to compete in price with other IaaS / PaaS providers).

    Microsoft has excellent positions in the PaaS field, they will certainly be able to quickly fill both their own SaaS solutions portfolio and present “IaaS for windows” at very attractive prices.

    Red Hat has a good position in terms of delivering IaaS solutions (thanks to OpenStack), promising PaaS OpenShift and frankly weak positions in the SaaS market. But since every independent software developer is interested in getting their software to work with different clouds, the need for a Red Hat approach is obvious. By the way, PaaS OpenShift uses a similar approach of “plurality” of programming languages ​​and frameworks.

    Three companies almost simultaneously updated their cloud plans, but at the same time each company has an approach “closer” to one of the types of clouds - IaaS, PaaS or SaaS. In addition, the clouds from these companies differ in terms of “accessibility” - Red Hat has everything available as Open Source, Microsoft has proprietary software promoted through hosting providers, but Oracle offers to use only its own hardware and data center.