Many years ago, I did an internship with the database group at the company where I was working. I still have the printout on installing Oracle, and I remember it being at least 40 pages. There was a lot of voodoo with user accounts and kernel settings.
While I’ve worked with Oracle since, I haven’t been responsible for installing it; things may have become easier. But now, they definitely are easier. From the Amazon Developer Newsletter:
Oracle has produced four publicly-available Amazon EC2 AMIs with pre-installed and configured software for Enterprise, Standard or Express editions. In a matter of minutes, developers can have a fully configured Oracle Database computing environment running on Amazon EC2 that includes the web-based management tool Enterprise Manager Database Control and the web-based rapid development tool Applications Express (APEX).
Indeed Oracle database installation is a grief, and the fact you can use a pre-installed images is a big relief. However, still not all is well with Oracle’s solution:
The do not provide these AMIs on a pay per use model, so you need to buy Oracle licenses, which means even if your amis are not running you still pay for the licenses.
Second the entire database architecture does not fit for the cloud. In which file system will you persist the information, after all databases rely on storage, how will you manage HA with the current database architecture in this environment?
Still a long way to go before Oracle can really be ready for the cloud.