At London's Royal Opera House yesterday Oracle presented their perspective and strategy on cloud computing along with two industry experts, Amazon's CTO, Werner Vogels and Gartner's VP of research, Phil Dawson.
The consensus was that the industry is heading towards a mix of public and private clouds. Although by Werner Vogels' definition, private clouds are not true clouds. True clouds, he argues, allow you to think about resources in an unconstrained manner. Elasticity and pay-as-you-go pricing are central to Vogels' definition. When resources are switched off, you stop paying. If privately owned, a cloud would have fixed capacity (no elasticity) and would always have fixed operation costs - regardless of utilization.
Gartner's definition of cloud computing has evolved between 2008 and late 2009 to include elasticity as a characteristic, and now includes this differentiation between public and private cloud computing:
Public cloud computing [is] a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to external customers using Internet technologies. Private cloud computing is defined as a style of computing in which scalable and elastic IT-enabled capabilities are delivered as a service to internal customers using Internet technologies.
Oracle used concept videos showing Cloud Administrator consoles integrated into Enterprise Manager as a way to demonstrate their vision and strategy in the private cloud. But the company did not disclose any detailed plans for the future to avoid setting timescale and feature expectations. With that said, they did hint that they expected it would take them 3 quarters to get the integration work done.