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.
At the same time, Oracle is also playing the field with simultaneous bets spread across appliances (now being called “Engineered Systems”) and software-only approaches. The feeling that this is both wise diversity and a hedging strategy was unavoidable. The value propositions of time-to-value, simplicity, and supportability around Exadata systems, a Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance, and Big Data Appliances (BDA) were all well covered.
And big data generally is being welcomed to the Oracle ecosystem with not just the BDA for Hadoop and NoSQL, but the extension of Big Data SQL and management tools to span traditional relational databases and newer technologies together. The design of the Oracle 12c Database In-Memory Option for columnar analytics was again detailed and contrasted with competing NoSQL entrants.
Oracle recognizes that the data management market is expanding, but stoutly believes its legacy of solving difficult challenges and meeting enterprise needs will carry forward to good effect for customers. Said another way, customers should integrate new options, not replace traditional approaches and stay with Oracle as the centerpiece.
Future innovations around optimizing in-memory analytics with processor-level improvements like Database Acceleration Engines (DAX) and on-chip compression are promising additional performance gains, and show useful synergy between software and hardware development strategies.
Not least, the transition to a Mark Hurd era seems well underway as he demonstrated confidence and depth in the business and Larry Ellison enjoyed doing his own onstage product demonstrations as CTO.