Oracle CTO Larry Ellison Drills Down on Database and IaaS Capabilities in Second OpenWorld 2016 Keynote

In his second keynote at Oracle OpenWorld 2016, Oracle executive chairman and CTO Larry Ellison highlighted key features of Oracle’s recent product announcements.

“Our whole strategy over the years has been to make your data and workloads portable so you can migrate - so you have a lot of choices in the current generation of computing, and then, when a new generation of computing comes along, you can migrate to that as well,” he said.

While in his first keynote on Sunday night, Ellison identified Amazon for infrastructure and Workday for applications as Oracle’s chief competitors, throughout his presentation on Tuesday he centered Amazon in Oracle’s competitive cross-hairs.

In addition, in this 1-hour address, Ellison continued to expand on hybrid on-premise-and-cloud computing, security, and infrastructure as a service capabilities as areas of focus and differentiation in Oracle’s ongoing strategy, repeating themes from his opening keynote at OpenWorld 2016.

Oracle Database 12c Release 2 “is really a cloud-centric release of our database” featuring multitenancy with the ability to manage 4096 pluggable databases (PDBs) in a single container, the addition of SaaS application containers, elastic scalability capabilities with native sharding for global-scale apps and, enhanced in-memory capabilities, providing the column store on Active Data Guard, with performance that is up to 60x faster than Oracle Database 12.1. “You can have in-memory database and high availability working in concert to give you dramatically better performance.”

Suitable for production departmental workloads, application development, testing, prototyping, analytics and sandboxes, the new Oracle Exadata Express Cloud Service, the new entry level version of the Oracle Database in the cloud, is designed for small and mid-sized databases, providing all the features of the database with all database options “running on the Exadata machine with Exadata performance” with a starting cost of $175 per month. It offers “complete compatibility with what is already in your data center and complete compatibility with all of our different cloud services,” Ellison said.

For customers that must maintain data behind their firewall for regulatory and security reasons, Oracle has added Oracle Cloud at Customer provisioned at the customer’s own data center and managed by Oracle with subscription pricing, to augment the on-premises option of Exadata Database Machine with multitenancy and the public Exadata Cloud Service.

Ellison also spotlighted generation 2 of Oracle’s infrastructure as a service which he said offers advancements in cost, performance, reliability, and in security with 36 cores, 512GB of D-RAM, 28.8TB of SSD storage, and is priced at $5.40 per hour. The new additions to the Oracle Cloud Platform include Oracle Bare Metal Cloud Services, the Oracle Ravello Cloud Service, Oracle Container Cloud Service and enhancements to existing Oracle Cloud services.

According to Ellison, providing data centers that are fault-tolerant, Oracle offers multiple availability domains (ADs) in a region, ultra-low latency and high bandwidth between ADs, and highly available infrastructure for mission-critical workloads. The Oracle Cloud also provides a bare metal server experience with the ability to elastically provision a bare metal server in under 5 minutes with flexibility and portability for existing Exadata Cloud Machine software stacks. “We put these regions all over the world,” said Ellison. “It is very important to keep the data and the data centers close to the users. We do this by building these regions all over the world.”

Highlighting the way the network works in terms of Oracle’s public cloud security, Ellison noted, “We have a control plane that runs the network where the virtualization is really off box. The network and storage virtualization is not software that runs on the server. If you will, it is software that runs on our special network interface adapter card.” This, he said, “makes it very hard for someone to sneak into our network and take control of it because our control plane is not accessible from the public internet. It is isolated. Sometimes, people call this an island network. The only way the public internet gets attached to this network is through an explicit virtual connection to the public internet which we can manage, audit, and control, and we can turn off, which makes our network much more secure. I said it on Sunday and I will say it again: Here at Oracle - and especially given our history - security is job one

“As the world moves to these large public clouds, there are going to be more and more attacks on these clouds, with people trying to deny service and trying to steal data and we have to be continuously vigilant. That means using fancy techniques like machine learning to constantly monitor streams of data to detect anomalies in the data, and stop attacks right as they start, right at the very beginning,” said Ellison.

Oracle, he noted, has security and reliability at many levels, but “this is very, very important - the fact that our control plane is separate from the software on the servers. It gives us much higher security.” 

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