Oracle Open World…& the new FS1 SAN (with video)

This year’s Oracle Open World (OOW) was – as ever – huge from just about every measurable dimension. While the weather is seemingly always lovely (except at SFO where “flow control” seems to have been the order of the day all September), it is not available to any regular tourists unless they are prepared to pay the stupendous rates that a sold-out city can charge.

Stealing a page from Microsoft when it “got” the Internet (what seems like an eternity ago!) Oracle spent its time at OOW confirming that its flirtation with this cloud thing is a full blown romance! Of course there were a ton of specific product announcements (a very beguiling new SAN product – the FS1 – being of course what caught my eye! More on that below). But this event was also about the occluded front that often accompanies clouds: that occlusion being the change in role for Larry Ellison and the emergence of the Safra-Mark show (lest there be one more “Hurd-ing Katz” jibe….). The change was managed effortlessly with Larry revelling in his “lead techy” role. What were the key takeaways? My colleague Nik Rouda and I already commented in our esg-recap-of-oracle-openworld-2014/index.html" target="_blank">joint blog about Oracle OpenWorld but here’s a bit more depth in one of our ESG on Location video reports….

Topics: Cloud Computing Storage Big Data Data Management & Analytics IT Infrastructure Oracle Open World Hadoop Enterprise Software Mark Peters Data Management Oracle

Informatica and the Challenge of Data Unification

Informatica is clearly a leader in data integration. In fact, a case could be made for Informatica being the leader in data integration. Since superlatives are not typically part of my lexicon, this represents something of an accomplishment on Informatica’s part. Informatica has been around for just over 20 years and is now driving over $1 billion in revenue. Informatica is unique because it’s the only large leading vendor in the data integration space that is a pure-play in integration. This means that Informatica’s future is inexorably tied to how enterprises leverage data. This is a good thing.

When you look at IT, you find that everything is data driven. Solutions and tools differ only by what data they align with and how they put this data to use. The reason we can say this with confidence is that every event is the result of one or more changes in state. As a result, whether we chose to formally recognize these changes in state from a data standpoint, they are responsible for initiating IT activities. For a comprehensive discussion of this topic, see ESG’s market summary report on Decision Analytics: Building the Foundation for Predictive Intelligence and Beyond.

Topics: Cloud Computing MDM Internet of Things Data Management & Analytics Informatica Application Development & Deployment Enterprise Software

ESG Recap of Oracle OpenWorld 2014

This year’s Oracle OpenWorld has reflected some interesting bets on the future of databases, cloud, big data, and analytics, along with many other macro-trends like social, mobile, and Internet of Things (IoT).

Oracle is doubling down on positioning itself as a cloud leader with emphasis on “pluggable” databases that can be easily hosted multi-tenant on-premises or migrated to a public cloud with a single command line. Database-as-a-service or DBaaS is clearly a priority and it’s being complemented by more cloud-oriented middleware and many new SaaS offerings.

Topics: Storage Analytics Big Data Internet of Things Data Management & Analytics IT Infrastructure cloud Oracle OpenWorld IoT Enterprise Software mobile Compute database social Oracle

The Internet of Things (IoT)

I shall be expanding on this theme--the internet of things (IoT) over the next few years, as I find it to be the most interesting thing to happen not only in tech, but potentially in modern society, ever.

Topics: Cloud Computing Analytics End-User Computing Endpoint & Application Virtualization Internet of Things Data Management & Analytics IT Infrastructure IoT Enterprise Software mobile Compute Public Cloud Service

Larry Ellison's Softwar: The War to End All Wars?

Larry Ellison is the last of the accomplished first generation founder/CEOs to step down. Larry and Oracle’s impact in IT has been remarkable and will persist for years to come. Although IBM was responsible for developing the relationship architecture that made relational databases tick (Codd and Date), Larry and Oracle emerged as the most successful vendor of RDBMS products. IBM, Informix, Sybase, and Oracle competed intensely during the 1990s and marketing messages sometimes got personal. Whether or not nature or nurture was the driving force behind Larry is hard to say but the result was that Oracle established market leadership thorough a combination of continuous product innovation and faster cycle times. The impact was that Oracle rose to become the largest RDBMS vendor in the world.

Oracle continues to drive high levels of innovation into its database which has allowed the company to remain differentiated as the relational market matured while simultaneously justifying a price premium for their product. While Oracle has become a company that customers love to hate, data management is so mission critical to every organization that data management products have an incredible stickiness. This combined with the fact that it’s hard to get sacked by recommending Oracle has helped Oracle gain an amazing amount of account control. As Oracle’s database business began throwing off an increasing amount of cash, this has helped Oracle expand into a variety of related markets through internal development and acquisition. However, this expansion has not been easy. Oracle’s efforts to build an application server largely failed resulting in the acquisition of BEA and their market leading product. While this is a story that would be played out repeatedly regarding technology, Oracle marketing must be given significant credit for focusing attention on the positives. Larry’s obsession with being #1 and making sure there was appropriate market awareness around these facts and claims is legendary. But it’s hard to argue with the results.

Topics: Application Development & Deployment Enterprise Software database Oracle rdbms

Hadoop Clusters Made Easy at Alice's Restaurant

A lot of people talk about "democratizing big data" and providing more analytics-based insights to more of the business. This has obvious value, and being data-driven in decision making is a fundamental principle of most initiatives. There are differing approaches to this, however. Some believe the best way to achieve democratization is through pretty dashboards and pictures, and, as Arlo Guthrie once said, they had "twenty seven 8"x10" color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each one, explaining what each one was, to be used as evidence against us." While I love a persuasive data visualization as much as the next guy, well, this only solves part of the problem.

Topics: Analytics Big Data Data Management & Analytics Hadoop Enterprise Software bluedata

Big Data ≠ Competitive Advantage

Most companies undertaking new big data initiatives are doing so with specific business goals in mind. The belief is that a better understanding of their operations, their customers, their research and development will all lead to smarter, timelier decisions, and this will then translate into better results. Done right, this is all true enough, and certainly a worthy pursuit. (Some common mistakes are outlined in my the-discouragement-of-data/index.html" target="_blank">previous blog post about the discouragement of data.)

Topics: Analytics Big Data Data Management & Analytics Enterprise Software

HP Acquires Eucalyptus

HP announced on September 11, 2014 that they had entered into an agreement to acquire Eucalyptus. Eucalyptus is a vendor of private IaaS services. Eucalyptus is a startup with fewer than 100 employees and around $55 million in venture funding. Eucalyptus doesn’t have an application development and deployment (AD&D) play but could certainly provide the foundation for a private PaaS. HP, despite their unusual acquisition of Mercury Interactive back in 2006, is otherwise not in the AD&D business. However, Eucalyptus does put HP a partnership or acquisition away from PaaS, so let’s look at the potential motivation of the deal.

The Eucalyptus acquisition is about helping HP customers gain better leverage from their investments. Eucalyptus is a way to show material value to HP’s installed back of server, storage, and networking customers and show that HP can be forward-looking. This is also a low risk acquisition for HP for two reasons. First the acquisition didn’t cost HP that much (less than $100 million, it is rumored) and second, the Eucalyptus technology will help build out HP’s Helion brand, which will enhance its private IaaS appeal.

Topics: Cloud Computing Private Cloud Infrastructure HP Application Development & Deployment Enterprise Software SaaS IaaS PaaS Public Cloud Service

IBM Covers the Board for Big Data Solutions

IBM STG (the hardware group) will tell you infrastructure matters for big data solutions. This is correct. The capabilities of servers and storage, networks, and clouds will all definitely have a significant impact on a number of characteristics of an analytics environment, including but not limited to performance, scalability, reliability, and cost.

Topics: IBM Analytics Big Data Data Management & Analytics Enterprise Software

The Data Scientist in the Room

This summer I spent a lot of time interviewing the self-proclaimed big data leaders at a wide range of midmarket and enterprise companies. These are the people charged with defining their organizations' big data strategies and new initiatives. First, let me say these are not dummies. No one gets put in the driver's seat for these projects without knowing a lot about technology and business both.

Topics: Analytics Big Data Data Management & Analytics Enterprise Software