Oracle OpenWorld: Larry Ellison Keynote

Full disclosure: I’m attending Oracle OpenWorld courtesy of Oracle.

Larry is now on stage, starting out talking about Linux. Announcing Exadata 2, built in collaboration with Sun. He will then introduce the new product support system that will discover problems in our systems before we do.

Linux: Uptake of Oracle Enterprise Linux has been better than anticipated. Designed to be compatible with RedHat. We then developed our own VM, which is also open source and used by lots and lots of customers. Oracle’s belief is that eventually the VM and the operating system must work exceptionally well together, and must be engineered together. It is extremely useful if the VM has the same management tools as our operating systems. It lowers costs and dramatically improves overall reliability of the system. A survey done by HP asked customers that use Linux for Oracle database, which one do they run. 65% said Oracle Enterprise Linux. 37% said RedHat. 15% said SuSE.

Now on to the Exadata 2 database machine. Exadata 1 was Oracle’s first hardware product, specialized for data warehousing. According to Oracle’s tests, it was 10-50x faster than convention machines running the Oracle database. Larry presented customer quotes to back it up and anecdotally said that Apple (specifically his friend Steve Jobs) had similar results. Exadata 2 is targeted at OLTP and runs twice as fast as Exadata 1. He stated that it is the very first database machine that can do high performance transaction processing. Exadata 1 does random I/O very rapidly, making use of a huge semiconductor memory hierarchy. In a single box, it uses 400GB of DRAM and 5TB of flash cache memory. “Oh, and by the way, it’s completely fault tolerant.” He then said they leverage a custom compression algorithm to store large databases (e.g. 15TB) completely in semiconductor memory. He also said there’s another compression algorithm for queries that could allow a 50TB database to be stored completely in the 5TB of flash cache memory. He then discussed how the Exadata systems perform better than some of the in-memory database systems that are out there. He also mentioned that the system is configured, out-of-the-box. Wrapping up the Exadata 2 discussion, Larry said it is the fastest computer ever built for data warehousing applications. It is the only database computer for OLTP and does it in a cost-effective way, delivering record breaking performance at an attractive cost.

Interruption to the keynote while Arnold Schwarzenegger came on stage and delivered some great lines, the role of technology in his previous job as an action movie actor, and then spent a lot of time touting California’s technology. One good quote from him, “I say today, fear not … The best and brightest are working to solve the challenges of the 21st century.”

Now back to Larry and the new product support system. The slide states one unified support system, unifying My Oracle Support and Enterprise Manager. Larry said they will collect our configurations, hardware and software, upload them from Enterprise Manager into a global configuration database in My Oracle Support. Those databases will allow them to do proactive problem detection and recommend patches before we discover bugs that are in their software or other vendor’s software. Richard Sarwal came on stage to discuss/demo this approach as well as other advances in management technology built into Oracle Enterprise Manager. As someone who is passionate about effective operational management, it was nice to see the continued emphasis on the Oracle Enterprise Manager platform.

Larry then moved on to Fusion applications. He emphasized the role of SOA, BPEL, etc. in the construction of the applications. Version 1 scope includes financial management, human capital management, sales and marketing, supply chain management, project portfolio management, procurement management, and governance, risk, and compliance. He emphasized that it is the first suite of business applications built on standards-based middleware. The use of modular services (SOA) allows for unprecedented configurability by business users. A quote from Larry, “You assemble the components in the order that you want to use them.” He stated that it has a business intelligence driven user interface, leveraging business status (notifications), tasks and worklists, etc. Another quote from Larry, “We tell you what you need to know, what you need to do, and how to do it. If you can’t do it yourself, we tell you who in the organization … you need to collaborate with to get your job done.” At that point, the keynote switched over a demo of the Fusion apps with Steve Miranda and Chris Leone. The user interface of the HR system in particular really stood out to me as a very usable system.

With that, Larry thanked all of us and the keynote was closed.

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