Beware of Public Clouds Bearing Too Many Gifts

B. Shimmin
B. Shimmin

Summary Bullets:

  • Public cloud services break the typical 18 month product revision cycle down into smaller, more rapid releases, a practice that varies widely among vendors in terms of frequency, focus (bugs vs. new features) and flexibility.
  • To avoid heavy deployment, training and support issues stemming from quick revision cycles, customers must demand options typically found in on-premises software.

Last week brought an animated and often heated blow up between Oracle’s Larry Ellison and’s Marc Benioff over the best way to deliver a public cloud offering. The argument, which played out publicly across keynotes given by both men during Oracle’s OpenWorld 2011 conference in San Francisco, centered upon whether or not’s cloud was indeed open and whether or not Oracle’s newly launched Public Cloud platform was in fact a public cloud. Such a public debate can only serve to ultimately make things easier for enterprise IT departments by exposing many of the often overlooked issues associated with cloud-borne software such as partial multitenancy or API-induced data siloing. But to this analyst’s mind, the debate missed what is the biggest hidden ‘gotcha’ – the breakneck speed at which cloud-centric vendors revise their software.

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