Oracle OpenWorld Opening Keynote

Disclaimer: I’m attending Oracle OpenWorld courtesy of Oracle.

The keynote began with Scott McNealy reminiscing about Sun technologies, including bringing James Gosling on stage to talk about Java. James joked that he’s never worked for a software company before. To me, this felt more like a eulogy for Sun than a message to rally the troops behind Oracle.

Next came John Fowler to talk about Solaris and Systems. John stated that Sun is now #1 in “all world record key commercial benchmarks”: OLTP, Oracle BI EE, Oracle Hyperion, SAP, PeopleSoft Payroll, Java App Server, Web/Network. He also spent a lot of time talking about the FlashFire server and the new Sun Storage Flash array and the performance and efficiency gains that are coming. This was a much better conversation, probably since they had a product announcement…

Next up, as introduced by Scott, was the “Oracle of Redwood City,” Larry Ellison. He started out with the ad he posted after announcing the acquisition of Oracle in response to how IBM was going after Sun customers. He emphasized how they are going to increase investment into Sun hardware and increase their contributions and investment to MySQL. He then switched into attack mode aiming at IBM and which was faster for OLTP: IBM or Sun. He showed that IBM’s world record TPC-C benchmark with 76 racks of gear against 9 racks of Sun’s latest technology including FlashFire. The results: 25% more throughput for Sun, 16x better response time for Sun. He took a dig at IBM and their power consumption stating that “their microprocessor is known as ‘power’… now we know why.” He then showed a new ad that is going to run that will create a challenge: If they can not run an Oracle database application at least twice as fast on Sun hardware, they will give the challenger ten million dollars. He wrapped it up by inviting IBM to enter. Scott then wrapped the keynote up with some thank you’s and a statement that “the drinks are on Larry.”

In my opinion, this was a rather awkward opening keynote. As I said before, it felt too much like a farewell speech for McNealy, and not a ‘get the crowd excited about the conference’ keynote. I would have rather seen Oracle take the lead and talk positively about Sun, and then give Scott a bit of time to reminisce, rather than the format that was used.

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