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IDC Perspective: Oracle's Quest to Become a Dominant Force in Storage


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By Ashish Nadkarni and David Reinsel

Like the precedent set by previous Oracle OpenWorld conferences, the 2013 event was bigger, bolder, and brighter. IDC believes that 2009 was a turning point in Oracle's journey to become a full-service infrastructure provider, and that Oracle's efforts to integrate IP from the Sun Microsystems acquisition, while a long trek in the making, are beginning to show results. This was clear from the 2013 event as Oracle progressed in showing itself less about being a database company and more about providing traditional and next-generation infrastructure services. Oracle made it clear during the 2013 OpenWorld that while it is focused on becoming #1 in "Oracle on Oracle," it also has its sights set on becoming #1 in IT infrastructure, including storage. During meetings with IDC analysts, Oracle's EVP of Systems articulated three key strategies for his team, some of which transcend to other business units of Oracle:

  • First, reinvigorate the Oracle ZFS storage appliances. ZFS is Sun's 128-bit zettabyte file system that was a jewel in Sun's crown. Oracle has not taken its eye off of ZFS as is evident from the new range of ZS series appliances and solutions that were recently launched (and more are on the way). ZFS also forms a crucial underpinning of Oracle's purpose-built "Exa" range of engineered systems (which IDC calls integrated platforms). ZFS is also the standard file system in Solaris, having replaced the older and venerable UFS. Using its "ZS" and "Exa" platforms as ammunition, Oracle has already drawn the battle lines for an extended competitive battle with companies like NetApp, EMC, and others. Oracle's Sr. Director of Storage Product Management made it a point to note how ZFS has scored the top spot in benchmarks, making Oracle's flash-enabled ZS appliances the "fastest storage system on the planet.

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