Rozwat talks about cloud, but holds back on Fusion

Chuck Rozwat, Oracle's head of product development, largely deflected questions about hotly anticipated technologies such as Fusion Applications during a Q&A session with reporters at the OpenWorld conference in San Francisco on Tuesday, but did reveal more details of the vendor's plans around cloud computing.

Intel and Oracle announced Tuesday that they are collaborating to "accelerate enterprise readiness of cloud computing." The partnership will focus on three areas: Software performance and power efficiency; improved virtual machine security; and the promotion of standards for porting virtual machine images and provisioning cloud services.

Oracle will likely seek a similar collaboration with Intel's rival, Advanced Micro Devices, Rozwat said.

"When we do announcements with one particular vendor, unless there's some big exclusive tag associated with it, it typically is something we might do with other vendors as well," Rozwat said.

That announcement followed Monday's news that Oracle will make its 11g database, Fusion Middleware and Enterprise Manager products available on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2)

The Amazon deal is also by no means exclusive, Rozwat indicated: "We will be making subsequent announcements for other cloud computing environments."

But Rozwat was less forthcoming regarding other topics, particularly Fusion Applications, which have been dogged by questions of delays.

Oracle has unveiled a handful of Fusion Applications so far, centering on CRM (customer relationship management). Rozwat also classified a recently released enterprise performance management product as a Fusion application.

On Sunday, another company executive said during a panel discussion that Oracle hopes to get the initial Fusion Applications product suite into the hands of early adopters starting in 2009.

But Rozwat refused to reveal any other concrete information about Fusion Applications, and characterized his reticence as standard company practice.

"Across all our products, we talk about general directions but we try to avoid giving very specific features or specific dates," he said. "If you look at all our presentations this week, you really won't see anything too far into the future that starts giving feature lists or product names. ... We're treating Fusion applications no different than any other product in that regard."

Neither would the executive pull the curtain back on Oracle 11g R2, for which Oracle is recruiting beta testers this week. Oracle did deliver a patch set for 11g Release 1 this week, but is not "quite ready to talk about 11g R2 and exactly when that will be available," Rozwat said.

When it does ship, 11g R2 will make it easier to employ and manage grid computing and Oracle's Real Application Clusters (RAC) database-clustering technology, and will include better diagnostic and monitoring tools, Rozwat said.

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