UP FRONT: From the Publisher
Grounded in Experience
By Jeff Spicer
Taking off from our solid foundation, Oracle flies high with cloud computing and Iron Man.
In a meeting recently, a coworker mentioned that an outside agency had created a guest account so that she could access project data in that agency’s systems. “It’s great,” she said, “because they put everything out there in the cloud.” When asked if the agency was using cloud services on which to run its applications, she didn’t really know. The interesting point to me wasn’t whether my coworker knew the actual workings of the cloud, but rather that the term cloud has garnered enough attention to move into popular vernacular as a stand-in for every concept or technology from utility computing to the internet itself.
Cloud computing—on-demand access to a shared pool of computing resources—holds real potential for not only small and midsize companies, but also for large enterprises, who may use public clouds and build their own private clouds.
Public cloud services have received most of the media attention for the past few years. These outsourced services give businesses a way to create, deploy, and use applications without investing in infrastructure and without having to manage the infrastructure. Public cloud services, while increasingly attractive, still come with a few challenges, however, including data and user security concerns, integration issues, and quality-of-service considerations.
This is where private clouds come in. In a private cloud, a company’s IT department becomes the cloud service provider to other departments or lines of business, offering the same agility and efficiency as public clouds through self-service, elastic scalability, and metered use. However, private clouds provide control for security and regulatory compliance, easier integration with existing applications, and potentially lower costs over the long run.
Many of the technologies that make both public and private clouds possible were developed—and continue to be developed—at Oracle. In this issue of Oracle Magazine , author David Baum examines some of those technologies, including Oracle Grid Computing, Oracle SOA Suite, Oracle Identity Management, Oracle VM, and Oracle WebCenter Suite. Oracle’s acquisition of Sun significantly expands the portfolio, which now includes Sun servers, storage, and the Oracle Solaris operating system, with its built-in virtualization and management capabilities.
Baum shows how companies are using Oracle products to build powerful and flexible public and private clouds while leveraging Oracle technologies to better secure applications and data on the cloud. In addition, he documents areas where these companies are achieving an enviable benefit: cost savings.
Iron Man Takes to the Sky
Oracle is proud to be a technology sponsor of the new Marvel movie Iron Man 2 . Once again, businessman and technology genius Tony Stark, now revealed to be Iron Man, is called upon to save the world—and must also save his business! In this issue of Oracle Magazine, get a revealing behind-the-scenes look at Stark Industries as the company morphs from munitions manufacturer to telecommunications company. Despite its wild successes, outspoken and high-profile leader, and cutting-edge internal technology systems, Stark Industries faces the same business challenges as nearly any global corporation . . . led by a masked superhero!
A New Look
Does something look different about this issue of Oracle Magazine? It should: we’ve updated the magazine to make it more relevant and user friendly. Our redesigned publication has a new masthead and fresher look. We’ve improved internal navigation and added multiple pointers on each page, highlighting relevant Web content, downloads, and podcasts.
In addition, we’ve expanded our technology section to include content on system administration and Java, and we’ve categorized technology content by job role, helping you find relevant content more quickly.
We’ve also added a short MashUp department in the Up Front section of the magazine, offering information on technology trends and gadgets—as well as business notes—in an easy-to-digest format. We hope you benefit from the new design and content. We look forward to your feedback.
Jeff Spicer, Publisher