Questions from Oracle Open World (OOW) – I like a challenge and today’s OOW event made me do a lot of thinking. Here are some of the big ideas and announcements Oracle’s discussed. I post this as you might find my questions interesting.
I caught Thomas Kurianâs keynote this morning at Oracle Open World. Thomas outlined a number of advancements in Oracle product development to several thousand attendees.
Thomas showed how Oracle would support âcloudâ computing via the use of efficient and powerful servers, pre-configured with Oracle tools. This machine, Exalogic Elastic Cloud, is in Oracleâs terms, an integrated middleware machine. Oracle executives indicated that a large website, like Facebook, could operate on just two of these machines networked together (up to 8 can be networked currently), with each machine possessing the power of around 100 traditional servers.
That announcement, the presence of these machines at the show and more are convincing proof points that Oracle intends to be a full technology stack player â from computers to applications.
That strategy is totally appropriate for Oracle customers that will continue to have their own data centers, operate their own private clouds and want to find more efficient hardware and systems software to use. Some portion of the IT market will want this capability as not all firms are ready to move major applications to public clouds or entrust key applications to third parties (e.g., Salesforce).
Here though are some questions I had after this talk. If I had these questions, I would guess some of you might too. They are:
– Private clouds may be cheaper, greener and more efficient than the conventional data centers companies operate today. But, are the large scale operations from cloud providers like Google and Amazon even more efficient, more effective and greener still? Doesn’t Google also use Oracle’s database? Oracleâs on the right side of these issues but Iâd like more proof points to find how just how much better Oracle or other providers solutions are.
– Private clouds are not always the same as those offered by third parties, especially third parties selling applications with their cloud capabilities. Usually a private cloud transfers some or all of a companyâs data center capabilities to a provider or moves many data centers into a single cloud provisioned environment. These private clouds can take advantage of scale, virtualization and more to create more efficient processing environments. That consolidation can usually be accomplished without moving to a new platform if certain conditions exist (e.g., the application software licenses permit usage on a virtual environment). When these moves can be timed with a move to a more efficient, less power hungry and more powerful server, then additional economies are possible. Thatâs all goodness. But, this gets academic when a software user decides to utilize application software running on someone elseâs cloud (not theirs) and not caring one bit about the usual data center concerns (e.g., backup, recovery, security). These customers value not only lower cost but also the ability to move IT people out of systems administration activities and into more strategic applications development roles. Itâs this part of the Oracle story I didnât hear today and Iâd like to get more on it.
– I can also see Oracleâs tools and Exalogic technology becoming a hit with BPO (business process outsourcing) providers as it lets them dynamically manage multiple applications for multiple clients on one powerful machine. But, how big is this market anyway?
– The Exalogic machines are big â there were several on display in front of the keynote auditorium area. Itâs impressive that two of these can handle something like Facebook but I wondered whether the typical JD Edwards customer would find this machine overkill? Exalogic positions Oracle well against firms like IBM on the high end of the market but Iâd like to learn how it plays with other Oracle users.
– Thomas stated that Oracle is building âelastic and scalable capabilitiesâ with its cloud offerings. I would like to know if that applies to their software licenses as many software licenses I see have a cost structure that is elastic and scalable as long as costs continue to go up…