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….
While I was of course fascinated by the big picture stuff, my myopia always sets in for the storage stuff. The highlight for this year was the long-awaited arrival of a new flagship enterprise SAN product from Oracle – which, as I mentioned above is called the FS1. FS stands for “Flash Storage” (or was it FlagShip!?), which is how it was designed and built; although its ability to use that flash storage (for performance of course) in any percentage mix with HDDs (for bulk inexpensive capacity) plus its plethora of functions means that it could just as easily be called “Flexible SAN”. That flexibility is borne not just from all those standard operational features one has come to expect these days (snaps, thin provisioning, replication, HA etc) but is helped by the data/business-focused abilities Oracle has added: not just sub-LUN auto-tiering, but extended QoS abilities, and secure system partitioning. The overall package looks like it could be attractive to any enterprise user…but of course Oracle sweetens the attraction for its broader-use customers via close integration – and added features – with its own “red stack” products.
The ZS3 has made considerable strides for Oracle in the (mainly) file/NAS world, and this new FS1 has the right stuff to do the same for Oracle’s market share in the (mainly) block/SAN arena. The storage market is fascinating right now – both in and of itself, and also when viewed against the larger industry backdrop of such things as convergence, big data, and clouds; all of which, we now know, Oracle is in love with!