Friday, October 5, 2012

OOW 2012: Recap and observations

I spent an interesting and productive 4 days at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 in San Francisco and would like to share some of the general observations I had. Overall, it was a positive experience and I strongly recommend that all Oracle professionals go to OpenWorld at least once.

Inappropriate inclusion of ‘cloud’ everywhere

Every other presentation had some reference to the cloud, even when it was unnecessary. You can definitely tell that the Oracle product managers and product developers have been forced to dedicate a good portion of their presentations to include some reference on how their product works with the cloud. This reinforced message got old after a while, particularly since it was being forced most of the time.

If Oracle’s aim was to emphasize their cloud offering (which it was), doing so this way was a complete flop.

Oracle Fusion Middleware finally starting to make sense

I still believe that the term “Oracle Fusion Middleware” is misleading and counterproductive. Half the people use it to mean WebLogic Server. The other half use it to refer to their own middleware, be it OBIEE, WebCenter, SOA Suite, OAM, or any of the other one hundred products in the stack.

However, I will admit that the 11g documentation across many of these product lines is drastically improved compared to the 10g versions. Furthermore, the core infrastructure is slowly starting to come together. Upgrading, patching, clustering, cloning, and establishing single sign-on are starting to become more consistent among the various Oracle Fusion Middleware products. From an infrastructure perspective, if you’re comfortable with one of them, the transition to another is easy. It’s not quite there yet, but this is positive movement in the right direction.

Oracle going cheap

No more free sodas or snacks, or even bottled water. If you want some soda, the only option is the $3.75 twenty ounce bottles sold at the conference center. Can I say ripoff?

Oracle Solaris still losing the battle to Oracle Linux

Oracle already knows of all the arguments and debate surrounding Oracle Solaris versus Oracle Linux. However, I’m still not convinced with Oracle’s argument that choosing Linux or Solaris depends on several factors and satisfies different use cases. Let’s face it. Oracle is trying to create a reason to justify the continued development in both when in fact Oracle Solaris is on its way out. Though it will continue to be maintained for quite some time, particularly in support of those huge shops (think government) that are already running Solaris, new customers will always go for Linux.

In the end, an operating system is merely an interface between the application and the hardware. Its ultimate goal is to unlock the power of the hardware to the applications and help them run better. Even though Oracle makes no money off of Oracle Linux, that’s not their intent. Their goal is to use Oracle Linux as a means to continue making money off of selling their hardware and applications.
On a somewhat related note, read about Ksplice. With it, you can patch your Linux kernel with zero downtime and zero reboot. Very impressive.

Oracle Private Cloud actually makes sense

I disagree with this review of the Oracle Private Cloud. Essentially allowing Oracle to bring in the same hardware, software, and virtualization that they use on their public cloud and deploy it internally (and privately) within your own data center makes sense in certain cases. It would appease those organizations that want less dependency on 3rd party cloud vendors and reduces lock-in risk. Organizations that value the privacy of their data, such as banks and military, will likely prefer this route. Furthermore, the Oracle Public Cloud can be used as a DR (Disaster Recovery) for your private cloud. Excellent.

Hands-On Labs a hit or miss

I attended 4 hands-on labs. First one, I had no idea what I was doing, but managed to complete it. Second one, network issues. I had to walk out after 20 minutes due to no progress. Third one, the exercise was way too long and impossible to complete in 1 hour. Last one was actually not bad. Well paced and not too ambitious.

For those not familiar with them, hands-on labs are the equivalent of a 1-hour lab that walks you through a single exercise. Each attendee has their own laptop, VM, and instructions to follow. There are trainers there to address any issues and answer your questions. It’s a great option and it seems Oracle is offering more and more of these each year.

Consistent message across the various Oracle product teams

With the 5000+ Oracle products being offered, there is undoubtedly huge overlap between many of them. It seems, in contrast to previous years, that the product teams are no longer competing with each other but rather are consistent in their message on how each product is positioned differently and has its own ideal use cases.

Larry refuses to pronounce the word ‘IaaS’

SaaS. PaaS. IaaS. Google these terms and you’ll agree that they each have a unique and distinct offering. In his keynote, Larry Ellison explains the differences quite well. He talks about SaaS (pronounced ‘SASS’) and PaaS (pronounced ‘PASS’). But when it comes to IaaS, he kept referring to it as “infrastructure as a service” instead. I can understand why.

For the record, it's pronounced ‘EYE AS’.


Anonymous said...

Any feedback and learning from sessions that you attended and liked?

Ahmed Aboulnaga said...

Just posted something on my favorite sessions:

రామ్ said...

Larry is not technical, we cant expect more than SASS from him. Oracle cloud is not going to work, it is another siebel on demand. Soda price in Oracle, yah!! it is fund for very poor Larry next new jet.

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