Many companies considered as public cloud providers charge for additional costs beyond just the hourly rate though. Amazon Web Services, for example, in many cases charges customers for ingress and egress of data into its cloud storage system at a per-GB rate.
Oracle isn't alone in cloud-washing: Linthicum says it's "hugely rampant" in the industry, with virtualization providers calling their systems "private clouds." The National Institute for Standards in Technology defined cloud computing as having five characteristics: on demand self-service; broad network access; resource pooling; rapid elasticity or expansion and measured service. Linthicum says many virtualization vendors call their products cloud when virtualization is really just a piece of a private cloud.
As for Oracle, Linthicum says the company is adjusting to the fundamental shift in the pricing model cloud computing brings with it. The on-demand, pay for only what's used pricing in many cases eliminates the lucrative licensing models that Oracle and other tech companies have relied on, he says. "Oracle blew an opportunity to make a more comprehensive and meaningful move into the cloud market," he says and is now "kicking the can down the road when it comes to finding a real IaaS strategy, public or private."
Oracle released a data sheet explaining the service, in which it claims the monthly rate can end up being less expensive for some customers.