Speed and Performance in Oracle's Spotlight This Year

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Other key trends, such as mobility and big data, are also reshaping prospects for Oracle customers, Bhatt continued. “Mobile also makes it possible for one-button automation for provisioning, patching and diagnosing of Oracle Database Appliance, making it easier to fix database issues. These trends also make it possible for Oracle to provide a fully integrated system with software, servers, storage, and networking in a single box capable of supporting a wide variety of home-grown, packaged OLTP and data warehousing applications.”

Oracle’s engineered approach—prepackaged software or appliances that offer solutions that can be dropped into existing environments—also provide advantages for enterprise customers, Bhatt related. “The basic integration of hardware, virtualization, and management software into factory-assembled products has been happening for several years, largely driven by the desire to help the owners and operators of data centers to do more with less cost and risk. Superior engineered system performance and efficiency results in the need for fewer software licenses and instances and higher productivity per licensed user.”

Still, while many welcome Oracle’s latest moves in the database performance space, some feel the mega-vendor is too big and bulky to effectively move with a fast-changing market. “While Oracle has long been a standard for the enterprise, the legacy giant’s name is no longer enough for companies,” said Sid Probstein, CTO of Attivio. “The problem is that Oracle, like other legacy vendors, is too slow to adjust and to deliver on what it promises to companies. Businesses need to be more agile and need results in days, weeks and months, not years. Slow and steady won’t win the IT race. Fast and disruptive will win, and is winning today.”

Oracle needs to walk a fine line between cloud and on-premises worlds, another vendor cautions. Often, enterprises prefer to keep their data and associated tools on-premises. “Many companies have made significant investments in hardware for analytics and they are not going to simply write off these investments,” cautioned Ian Matteson, vice president and general manager of cloud for MicroStrategy. “Nor will they move all of their BI applications into the cloud in one go; it’s too time consuming, costly, and risky. Ideally, these companies want their vendors to offer the same technology in the cloud as they do on-premises so that they can leverage the expertise they have already built in-house.”

Legacy technologies may be holding Oracle back at this point, and many disruptors are taking advantage of these lags, some industry leaders state. Oracle technologies “are poorly suited to fast data or big data management,” says Ryan Betts, CTO of VoltDB. “Recent technological advancements—for example, 12c Database In-Memory and the continued push of engineered solutions—represent useful improvements to legacy applications. However, the technology from startup and open source competitors that is driving fast and big data at scale is strongly differentiated from Oracle’s offerings. Vendors are bringing platforms focused on specific fast-data or big-data opportunities to market that are 100 times more performant on hardware that is one-hundredth the cost of Oracle’s offerings. These new NoSQL and NewSQL platforms offer modern scale-out, virtualization, cloud-friendly deployment, and drastically simpler operational management.”

Embracing new technology and methods is more than an academic concept discussed at conferences—it is a tangible part of everyday business.

While these new breeds of platforms “are not suitable for replacing Oracle in its traditional legacy application stack, the performance-plus-price-plus-cloud deployment model is enabling disruptive innovation and true competitive differentiation,” says Betts. “We are seeing adoption of these big and fast platforms across verticals from young companies—gaming and ad-tech for example—to traditional infrastructure to highly sophisticated data management specialists. Oracle’s offerings simply do not compete in the fast plus big problem space.”

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