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Oracle’s release of a public cloud offering, which has been compared to that of Amazon Web Services, will be ‘very appealing’ to SMEs, according to the chair of the UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) application server & middleware interest group.

Oracle’s release of a public cloud offering, which has been compared to that of Amazon Web Services, will be ‘very appealing’ to SMEs, according to the chair of the UK Oracle User Group (UKOUG) application server & middleware interest group.

Simon Haslam, who is also a principal consultant at Veriton, spoke to Computerworld UK at OpenWorld in San Francisco this week, where he said that there will ‘undoubtedly’ be interest from smaller enterprises in a public cloud that is ‘Oracle recognised’.

Haslam’s comments come shortly after CEO Larry Ellison’s announcement that Oracle will be branching into infrastructure-as-a-service, which will be offered on its highly engineered systems, and will complement its recent release of software-as-a-service and platform-as-a-service.

Haslam said that short term licencing and compute power in the cloud will be very attract for SMEs who need to ramp up test environments for a set period of time.

“I think one of the things that are going to be interesting is how customers take up the Oracle cloud service, especially on test environments,” said Haslam.

“The interesting aspect is that they will have models whereby you can spin up environments, with licence and support built into it. One of the problems that smaller customers face is that their licencing is static. The ability to spin up a test environment on the Oracle cloud that would run for three months and you would only pay for the compute facility and licencing for the period,” he added.

“More flexibility on this side of things will be very appealing and will be a real selling feature.”

However, Haslam believes that SMEs are still very protective of production environments, largely due to regulatory constraints.

He said: “This is an evolution and it is still relatively days. It is no different for the existing cloud providers – if you look at it as a whole, the proportion of test versus production in the cloud is skewed towards test. It’s the natural first step.

“However, there is undoubtedly going to be strong interest in Oracle’s cloud, because there is going to be a different in having a cloud that is Oracle recognised.”

Also at Oracle OpenWorld, a BT boss said that the IT industry is split about whether companies should be looking to commodity-based computing for public cloud offerings or highly engineered systems. Derek Wilson, managing director for Global Platforms, BT Innovate & Design, compared the benefits of Oracle’s highly engineered public cloud to Amazon Web Service’s commodity service.