Oracle customers may be pleased to find out that they can now deploy a number of Oracle software solutions within the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) as fully supported production environments. For existing Oracle users, this collaboration should provide for a fast and simple way to migrate or deploy Oracle applications into Amazon's cloud without hefty upfront hardware costs, and users can leverage Amazon's utility-based pricing model.
Under the new partnership agreement between Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Oracle, a portion of Amazon's cloud infrastructure will be designated to operate on Oracle's virtualization technology. That's an important distinction -- these applications will not be running on Amazon's Xen-based hypervisor like all other application environments currently being served up by Amazon's cloud. Instead, they will run on Oracle VM, a hypervisor technology that is also based on Xen. But because it is also based on Xen, it shouldn't be a major transition for Amazon to offer support for it -- at least not as much as if they were adding VMware ESX or Microsoft Hyper-V into the mix.
According to the partnership announcement, Oracle will support and fully certify the Oracle E-Business Suite, Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise, Oracle's Siebel CRM, Oracle Fusion Middleware, Oracle Database, and Oracle Linux on Amazon EC2.
Oracle said customers could use their existing Oracle licensing on the Amazon EC2 environment at no additional cost, or users could acquire new licenses from Oracle. This all sounds great; however, the announcement wasn't very clear as to what the rules were for reusing existing licenses or under what circumstances a new license might need to be acquired. In the not so recent past, Oracle licensing seemed somewhat draconian when it came to virtualization; while this announcement around licensing does seem welcome, it was also a bit cloudy on the details.