At the Wall Street Journal's annual tech conference this week, Oracle (ORCL) CEO Larry Ellison wowed the crowd by teasing the idea that Oracle is about to out-cloud the cloud with its cloudy, cloud-like better-than-a-cloud cloudy cloud offerings. Next week.
But if reporters with a clue about the cloud were listening carefully, what Ellison really offered was bombast.
- Ellison attacked companies that let clients share virtual machines. Who cares where it's running in the cloud - that's an essential part of the architecture.
- Ellison said Oracle's cloud will run exclusively on Oracle hardware. What makes the cloud cost-effective is that it runs on commodity hardware.
- Ellison said Oracle cloud services will exclusively run Oracle software. Open source savings are at the heart of the cloud business model.
Mainly, Ellison displayed his larger-than-life personality and the business media ate it up, because they equate a big personality and big strategies with big success. Sometimes they are. Sometimes they're just narcissism. And sometimes they're just salesmanship.
Ellison spiced his talk with a view toward dethroning IBM in network hardware and high-end servers. Sounds great, but again it has nothing to do with cloud. This is what in poker we call a "tell" - it shows he's really bluffing about all this cloud stuff.
So, yes, Ellison will have updates of his database-based application and he will talk up Oracle as a big cloud player, but investors should know this.
It's only partly cloudy. It's largely a mixture of cloud and smoke -- smog in other words. It's about keeping enterprise customers on-board with a story and hoping they don't find out what real clouds can offer.
And for many it may work, because as much as it costs to buy the Velvet Smog, it may cost more to try and switch vendors.
Disclosure: I have no positions in any stocks mentioned, and no plans to initiate any positions within the next 72 hours.