Ellison rains on salesforce.com’s cloud parade

The recent shenanigans involving Mark Hurd, Larry Ellison, HP and Oracle had many people licking their lips at the prospect of a showdown at this year’s OpenWorld gig in San Francisco. The feud (you can read more about that in this month’s CBR cover feature), however, was put on the back burner for the event; HP was given pride of place and kicked off the event at Sunday’s keynote.

Ann Livermore, EVP of HP’s Enterprise Business did talk about the relationship between the two, but after teasing us by saying "I want to talk about our relationship with Oracle," proceeded to list a number of facts and figures, such as 140,000 shared customers and one million users supported. What followed from Livermore and Dave Donatelli was an hour-long advert for HP’s products, which I guess is what being a Diamond Sponsor allows you to do.

It was clear that the speech wasn’t going down well; the hall was emptying fast, long before Larry Ellison was due on stage. Members of the audience lucky enough to be able to connect to the wireless network vented their frustration on Twitter and the likes. Here’s a select few (thanks to Zoli Erdos from Enterprise Irregulars for the list):

darylorts: #oow10 never has the bar been set so low before Larry takes the stage. Thanks #hp.
SidVoice: Whoever is managing #socialmedia @hpnews will be bogged down by the negative sentiment about #hp from #oow10
rwang0: Those were the most fake "live" demos I’ve ever seen. I couldn’t tell if they were real. #oow10 #oracle #hp
darylorts: #oow10. 41,000 attendees: 36,236 are currently asleep. Thanks #hp.

The main issue seemed to be that the keynote was essentially a long list of HP products with numerous reminders about how big and great the company is. "I thought keynotes were supposed to talk vision, strategy and innovative new things, guess I was wrong," said @mfauscette on Twitter.

Ellison’s keynote at least presented us with some news. Along with the announcement about its Exalogic Elastic Cloud it also announced new Fusion Apps and a new Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. Ellison began his speech by defining how Oracle defines "cloud" computing. "There are lots of terms for cloud," he said. "Lots of technology that is 10+ years old has been rebranded as cloud."

He then turned his attention to Amazon’s EC2 and salesforce.com, describing them as two ends of the cloud definition – either a platform for building and deploying applications (EC2) or an application delivered over the Internet (salesforce.com). "Needless to say," said Ellison, "we agree with Amazon. It’s a platform for standards-based applications. Salesforce has a weak security model – everyone’s data co-mingles on the same platform and if that goes down, everyone goes down. It is not fault tolerant, it’s not virtual and it’s not elastic."

It was a strange tactic for Ellison to take, given that he has invested in salesforce.com and it runs on Oracle’s database. Salesforce.com boss Marc Benioff is giving a keynote speech on Wednesday morning so it will be interesting to see if he reacts to Ellison’s comments. CBR will be in attendance and will report back with any news.

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