In the last month Oracle, Microsoft and Red Hat almost simulteneously updated the development plans pf its cloud solutions. Despite the fact that the plans of all three companies are related to corporate cloud computing, those ways by means of which companies want to enter the market and foothold on it are completely different. So, I’ve decided to write this post about the difference.
Though, please wait. All three companies have one and the same approach – they try to use their strong side and to represent their way to the cloud in a favorable light. But as the company strengths are quite different, then the “cloud approaches” are not quite similar. Let’s start with Oracle.
The most expected were, perhaps, the news about Oracle Cloud. And though some information has already leaked into the press, many people wanted to hear “the confirmation from the official sources”. And what strong side Oracle has? Of course, corporate software, for the purchase of which Larry Ellison spent about $ 40 billion over the past few years. So, business applications such as ERP, CRM, etc. formed the basis of the “Oracle cloud”.
By focusing on SaaS, Oracle enhances the pressure on its main rival – SAP, as due to Larry Ellison, SAP will create a similar, competing cloud before 2020. And it is in the area of cloud software Oracle and SAP have recently competed sharply – it’s enough to recall such SaaS solutions from the recent Oracle acquisitions such as Taleo (Human Resource Management), RightNow (customer relationship management) and Endeca (data management).
In the same time, Oracle receives the insurance from that the clients will stop paying license fees by moving to usage of the competitors’ cloud software. By the way, Oracle intends to represent cloud services on their own hardware – apparently, this is another opportunity to indirectly spur the hardware-business and to show shareholders that the decline in iron sales is not so bleak.
Strong side of Microsoft you definitely know – this is the vast ecosystem of software companies (remember the famous “Developers, developers!“). Microsoft needs to “drag” exactly them into the cloud and to attach these developers “manually” to their solutions. Respectively, Azure is positioned, first of all, as the PaaS platform.
The successful progress in the strategic plan is the active use of open source projects in Azure, it’s no secret that today clouds prefer to be built on the base of Open Source and not on the proprietary products. As a result, Microsoft doesn’t only make it easier to move applications from the competing clouds but also fills its solutions free with the new functional features.
Azure positioning, first of all as PaaS, is a good way to distract the developers from the fact that Microsoft has its own cloud software and in fact, when using Azure, the independent developers “pour water” on the mill (of their future?) of the competitor.
3) Red Hat
The most simple picture is with Red Hat – company makes only the infrastructure software, it doesn’t posess with its own business-application, that’s why it’s nothing to do on SaaS “field”. Red Hat, of course, has its PaaS – OpenShift, and certainly this is one of the strongest and most promising solutions among PaaS. However, it’s interesting for quite a small group of developers (though now this group of interested persons is growing rapidly) – those who write corporate software. Consequently, Red Hat didn’t yet decided to rely on developers.
Red Hat is well aware of what their clients value and actively using it in their cloud tactics. Red Hat is known for all of its products which have an open source and all its cloud products, obviously, will not only posess with this quality, but will become a key advantage. Of course, the availability of the source code is not the only important thing but also and some other properties (read the definition of the Red Hat open cloud), which is why Red Hat has joined to the community of OpenStack.
The another important advantage of Red Hat software is the choice opportunity. Clients appreciate the fact that they do not seek to impose any software on the contrary, you can use as much options as possible. Red Hat CloudForms is exactly intended for the work with the “mixed”, hybrid IaaS clouds from different vendors.
So, what happens? Oracle has a strong position in the field of application, good prospects as a PaaS platform (of course, as they are the owners of Java) and good ones as IaaS provider (due to the infrastructure Sun solutions). The corporation made the decision to focus on SaaS, and PaaS and IaaS suggestions receive much less attention (it seems Oracle understands that they can not compete on price with the other suppliers IaaS/PaaS).
Microsoft has excellent positions in the PaaS area, they definitely could quickly fill the portfolio of its own SaaS solutions and to represent “IaaS for Windows” at very attractive prices.
Red Hat has a good position in terms of supply of IaaS solutions (due to OpenStack), promising PaaS OpenShift and rotten position in SaaS market. But as each of independent software developer is interested in getting his software work with different clouds, the need of the Red Hat approach is obvious. By the way, similar “plurality” approach of programming languages and frameworks is used in PaaS OpenShift.
Three companies almost simulteneously “updated” its cloud plans but each of the companies approach is “closer” to one of the cloud types – IaaS, PaaS and SaaS. In addition, clouds of these companies vary in “availability” – all is comprehensive in Red Hat as Open Source, Microsoft has proprietary software, and Oracle suggests to use only its own hardware and data center.