A few weeks ago, Channel Chief Judson Althoff (pictured) predicted Oracle's Exadata and Exalogic platforms would emerge as the cloud platforms of the future. Fast forward to the present, and 32 distribution partners say Exadata database appliance sales are "building at a phenomenal rate," according to a research note from Piper Jaffray. Here's the update.

Oracle's apparent Exadata success arrives amid plenty of industry mud throwing. During the VMware Partner Exchange conference last month, VMware executives positioned Oracle's cloud strategy as old-style, proprietary mainframe computing. And during the recent IBM PartnerWorld conference, IBM positioned Oracle as flashy merger and acquisition specialist that acquired companies past their prime.

Last Laugh?

Somewhere, Oracle Channel Chief Judson Althoff is likely smiling. In recent months, Althoff's team has updated the Oracle PartnerNetwork (OPN) Specialized program to focus on specific solutions, including Exadata and Exalogic. During a January 2011 interview with The VAR Guy, Althoff stated:
The idea, going forward, is to certify an ISV base on the Exadata and Exalogic stack and also work more closely with embedded OEMs. We’re going to give ISVs the power of choice, running optimized on premise or in the cloud. We believe Exadata and Exalogic are the cloud platforms of the future, whether it’s on premise or off premise.
Apparently, distributors got the memo. Exadata could account for 5% of Oracle’s revenue in the next one to two years or $1.7 billion business, predicts Piper Jaffray. Initial transactions have typically involved a quarter-rack purchase, but second-round activity may involve 5 or 10 full racks at a time, Barron's reported.

Heck, even The VAR Guy has to eat some crow here. When Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems, The VAR Guy suspected the deal would drag down Oracle's earnings. Instead, R&D work with Sun seems to be catching on with distributors and large enterprises. Exadata proves that point.

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