It has been an exciting day at Oracle OpenWorld 2011 in San Francisco, which started formally today. The scale of the event is truly amazing. Oracle seems to virtually take over downtown San Francisco, delivering a bonanza to all of the nearby hotels – who have managed to sell out all their rooms, at incredibly high daily room rates.
There are more than 45,000 registered attendees from 117 countries. The exhibition takes up an enormous 300,000 sq ft, with 450 partners exhibiting. I am on the look out for new products to bring back to Australia, which means I am going to have very sore feet by the end of the event.
The conference started with the Oracle Partner Forum. In the Asia Pacific territories (which include Australia), 80% of Oracle’s licence revenue is transacted via business partners. Speaking as an Oracle business partner, I would say that is because customers appreciate the value we deliver, especially in terms of expertise and support.
Oracle used the opportunity to discuss their first channel-specific product – the Oracle Database Appliance. But more about that later.
The first day of sessions was capped off with Oracle CEO Larry Ellison’s opening keynote.
Ellison was in fine form, talking about the secret sauce that makes Oracle’s Database Server Exadata so fast. Built using an entirely parallel architecture – everything from disk through to the database, resulting in 10x faster data movement. In addition to ultra high performance, a 10x reduction in the storage space required is achieved through columnar compression. All together, delivering a 100x reduction in the time needed to process data.
Real customer stories were mentioned, such as Australian Finance Group, who managed an 8 times improvement in performance of their Siebel application.
This extra power and performance can also translate into cost savings. The Commonwealth Bank achieved a 50% reduction in operating cost by moving to Exadata, giving them a 150% ROI. Overall, Oracle announced that they have sold 1,000 Exadatas in the past year – a strong launch for a new enterprise server product.
Exadata and Exalogic are database and application servers respectively. Larry announced the new Sparc T4 based Supercluster, and showed it outperforming IBM’s fastest P7 chip in benchmarks.
Also shown was the Exalytics computer – a parallel in memory Business Intelligence machine that transacts at ‘the speed of thought’. If the product performs as promised, it will calculate sophisticated analysis and reports instantaneously, which will be tremendous for businesses with a lot of data to analyse.
Providing real time access to business analytics could have huge benefits to organisations with call centres, allowing them to give customer service representatives access to instant bill analysis and product recommendations while they are chatting to customers.
I am sure there will be plenty of announcements over the next few days. Hopefully I will also get a chance to see a little more of downtown San Franscisco while I am here.