I look for banners across from Moscone West to get a sense of the theme for each Oracle Open World. This year (2012) the headline was “Cloud” with Social, Mobile and Complete being the sub-themes of the event.
Oracle’s definition for these themes at the event was:
- Social – As in a Facebook-like interface for Enterprise. Feeding data from multiple sources into one consolidated UI to provide end-users with all information they need to complete their task. Additionally, it also implies the ability to collaborate in real-time using Web2.0 features.
- Mobile – As in Cross platform and cross device. Enabling the growing BYOD culture in the enterprise.
- Complete – As in Hardware to Storage to Database to Virtualization to Middleware to Applications to Analytics. Everything provided by one vendor (Oracle). This vision includes complete choice in deployment from on-premise to Hosted to SaaS to Hybrid, with the ability to move seamlessly from one to the other.
It was clear from the first key note by Larry Ellison that this Open World was going to be about Oracle’s Cloud. Each key note after that elaborated on different aspects of this new offering. In summary the following announcements were made:
- Oracle announces a Public Cloud offering
- Oracle announces a host of applications on a SaaS basis
- Oracle announces Database 12c
- Oracle announces Exadata X3
Oracle Cloud Platform
Oracle made claim to being the first and only vendor that supports all layers of the cloud. This includes:
- Operating Systems and Virtualization
- PaaS services
- SaaS Applications
Opinion: This is truly unique in the industry and no other software vendor can make this claim. The soup-to-nuts ownership that Oracle claims provides inherent benefits in terms of vendor certified cloud deployments, integrated patching and single vendor contracts.
Oracle‘s Exa*** platform ties into the cloud strategy by providing infrastructure for elastic growth. The “Complete” messaging appears to have lived up to its buzz.
Oracle Public cloud is intended to be a full service platform. However, the current offering is primarily a PaaS offering with DATA Services and JAVA Services being the initial platforms. Infrastructure Services in the form of hosted Databases as well as storage on demand continue to be provided.
Opinion: Entering the cloud business brings Oracle in head-on competition with Amazon. By promoting a PaaS approach along with infrastructure, Oracle aims to provide a value added approach to the cloud. Oracle’s approach is to provide a platform for applications with key enablers, rather than simply providing nuts-and-bolts and letting the customer build from scratch.
Cloud enabled J2EE applications cater to a wide cross-section of the user-base. Implicit data services which seamlessly integrate with the Java services provide a pre-built accelerator to typical J2EE application use cases.
Oracle App Store
In Larry Ellison’s keynote there was passing reference to a future “App Store”. It was advertised that about a 150 Apps are currently available.
Opinion: Reusable “point functionality” (ie: simple functions that are atomic and self contained), and is easily integrated has been a long term vision of SOA. By providing a platform to host such functionality and then monetizing it is a unique approach by Oracle. I do not anticipate this being a 1Million app store, but this approach opens up a new ecosystem and it will be interesting to see how this evolves in the enterprise space.
SaaS + SaaS = Oracle Cloud
Oracle released a number of SaaS based applications. New functionality in the CRM and HR domains were announced. The messaging around SaaS was that it is easier to provide integration across SaaS applications if you are using a single provider (ie: Oracle)
Opinion: Oracle is making a smart bet on the fact that organizations would need multiple SaaS applications to meet their enterprise needs. Having a single vendor and a single underlying platform would make it easier to integrate different SaaS based functionality. Oracle even goes to the other extreme of indicating that the value of SaaS is lost if an enterprise is not able to propagate changes seamlessly across SaaS applications.
The approach is valid, and Oracle clearly has applications and the platform to support a single vendor strategy for SaaS.
Oracle Database 12c – Multitenancy
Oracle announced the next version of the Oracle database, namely: Oracle Database 12c. The primary feature with this version will be multi tenancy within the database.
Opinion: Multitenancy at the data level is fundamentally different from having separate data schemas. This allows for one CONTAINER database to hold multiple datasets which are firewalled from each other. This clearly has benefits in the cloud domain, where this kind of data requirement is ubiquitous.
It also opens up options for enterprises to have a single database to manage while allowing departments to have their own “data areas”. Multitenancy will provide new options for making the database an even greater commodity service, than it already is.
Oracle announces Exadata X3. Key specifications are 4TB of DRAM, 22TB of Flash Memory, 10 times data compression.
Opinion: Let me repeat the specs 4000GB of DRAM, 22000GB of Flash memory. With these kinds of numbers you wonder if there is need for any disk storage. The Exadata X2 was impressive; the numbers of Exadata X3 are mind bending. It would take extraordinary applications to utilize the horsepower provided by this range of hardware.