Saturday, October 15, 2011

Summary of Oracle Openworld 2011

Once I was at Oracle Openworld 2011, it became so engaging between my speaking sessions, Customer Panel, Keynote sessions, IBM (GBS) booth duty, customer meetings and all the "appreciation" events, that I could not find time to update the blog sooner. I was able to Tweet regularly as it is so much easier to do that from a Smartphone as against need for portable PC or Tablet for blogging. So I decided to summarize my impressions of OOW 2011 here.

While Oracle Exadata and Exalogic have been around for some time, it is now clear that Oracle is focusing on an appliance or "engineered" system like approach. While industry cynics say it is Oracle's approach to "lock" the customer into single vendor, really speaking the trend was started by likes of Teradata and Netezza who build machines for specific purposes be it data warehousing or something similar. Greenplum, Vertica, Aster Data, PacAccel are some of the ones to follow and their subsequent acquisitions ( IBM-Netezza, HP-Vertica etc) states that "appliance" like trend is no longer an exclusive club. It is just as fashionable as each large player acquiring a BI company (Oracle-Siebel, IBM-Cognos, SAP -Business Objects).  More recently SAP launching HANA ( in-memory platform for high performance analytics), clearly set the tone for extending these boxes to more specific uses and Oracle Exalytics for in-memory BI and Big Data appliance for extending the enterprise to unstructured data with "not only SQL" or "NoSQL" approach.

If you would like to provide some of your feedback on this topic, please check this site:

With the announcement of so many appliances, some of the other major announcements like:

  • General Availability of Fusion Applications with 200 early adopter customers for parts of Fusion Apps
  • Oracle Public Cloud offering 
  • Oracle Social Network 
  • Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c  
  • and few other ones that I have missed
One software front, upcoming features of OBIEE were discussed. Another important point is that OBIEE and Essbase software versions that will run on Exalytics will be same as on non-Exalytics platform. Only the config switches will be different for options like "visualization at speed of thought."

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Oracle Openworld 2011 - Sunday

The OOW 11 has 45,000 attendees from 117 countries as per Judy Sims at the 5:30 PM keynote. It has 380,000 customers. The Sunday is marked by User Group and SIG event from 9am to 5 PM. The BIWA SIG had 6 sessions in Moscone West 2003 all day long.

The key announcement expected in the keynote from Larry is Exalytics or the BI appliance on the lines of Exadata family. This "appliance" is likely to empower OBIEE for "visualization at speed of thought."  Oracle set the stage for this when OBIEE had support for Times Ten the in-memory engine. Besides, SAP with HANA has set the tome for the need of dedicated hardware for BI at the speeds users "desire."

Chairmen of the Board Jeff Henley is now awarding the Oracle Excellence Awards for 2011. The winners are on the stage now. Deloitte got the middleware partner of the year CapGemini got the applications partner and Accenture the Industry partner. These are the Specialized Partners of the Year 2011.

The stage is now under the influence of the "Giants" the local baseball team.  Larry Baer of Giants is Welcoming Larry Ellison.   Is seems that Larry Ellison is getting a "ring."

Larry is setting the stage with Exadata and Exalogic for Exalytics - the "engineered" system.   Exadata and Exalogic use the Parallel architecture to get 10X speedup for data movement. Seems like this year Larry will continue to talk about IBM in his keynote!

If you move the data from the database in compressed form closer to the processor, then you reduce data access time by 1/10... this is the stage for any in-memory type of appliance ...aka Exalytics.

Pol, BNP Parribas, P&G, Merck and Turkcell are the reference customers for Exadata, in Larry's talk. He says that performance speedup 10X  is no longer a "unbelievable" truth!   Interesting Ferhat from Turkcell was in my Exadata Customer Panel today.  They are the 3rd largest Teclco provider in Europe.  AFG, China obile, Sogeti (CapGemini) and Commonwealth Bank are the OLTP references for Exadata. This is interesting as many people asked in the Customer Panel if Exadata is the right fit for OLTP only environment vs for DW and mixed load environments.

Exadata is Database tier, Exalogic is Middleware tier so the customers who are adopting it are Deutsche Post, Square Two, BNP Paribas, Northern Trust and TravelSky are the early Exalogic customers. Larry says Exalogic adoption is increasing now and customers are able to deploy it in 1 week, and customers are getting 10-50 X performance.  Other customers for packaged applications are Banco de Chile, NII holdings, Suncorp (EBS), PHH Corporation (PeopleSoft and EBS) and Haier are the other Exalogic customers.  In general customers for Oracle EBS and Siebel Application are seeing 3-4X performance improvements for essentially non-Java applications.

Now Larry is talking about SPARC SuperCluster powered by SPARC and Solaris (as against x86 and Linux).  It is a general purpose computer with Solaris 10 and 11 versions.  It has Exadata and Exalogic power. I had tounted the idea of Half Exadata and Half Exalogic boxes,  it seems this box is on those lines but with SPARC footprint. Larry says Oracle is committed to Solaris it has a large install base.
Larry calls is parallel everything architecture.   SPARC SuperCluster uses T4 microprocessor an is 5X faster than T3 processor. Larry claims that it is faster than P7 (PowerPC 7 series) processors.   Larry says P7 is faster for integer arithmetic but T4 is faster for Java - which is what most businesses run. IBM uses P7 for Watson the computer than can think like humans (Jeopardy!). It uses ZFS Storage appliance which now support HCC.   It supports 1.2M IOPS with Exadata Storage cells.

The SUN sets and then SUN rises again!   Larry is proud of the SUN engineering team. Larry implies SUN and SPARC are here to stay.

Now Larry announces Exalytics,  the box has 1 TB DRAM, but supports compression. It has 40 CPU cores Intel Xeon. It has H/W scan rates of 200 Gigabytes per second. It has 40 GBPS Infiniband.

Exalytics comes with BI Foundation Suite, In-memory Analytics and Essbase & Times Ten.  This allows parallel versions of OBIEE, Essbase etc... This allows Essbase to complete with OLAP on Exadata on performance.  Larry mentions that Exalytics box can analyze relational, multi-dimensional as wells as unstructured data in compressed form, from the memory.  Exalytics can work with Exadata to get better query performance and then do the parallel memory scans for speed-of-though interactive analysis. EXALYTICS has heuristic adaptive in-memory cache that decides what gets stored in-memory. It adapts to  change in analytic workload.   Similar queries run again and again can benefit from the adaptive cache. It is self-tuning with human override.   Background process with decide what data to keep in the cache based on analysis of the queries.  Hence, an optimal "datamart" is kept in the memory.  In ideal case, there may be almost no disk / DB access after sufficient data is cached.

The performance of this BI Appliance, was around 1 sec for most queries. Average performance boost is 18X, based on some long running analytic queries.