• October 24, 2006
  • By Marshall Lager, founder and managing principal, Third Idea Consulting; contributor, CRM magazine

Partner Day at Oracle OpenWorld

Oracle announced Tuesday at its OpenWorld conference that it has agreed to acquire MetaSolv Software, a provider of service fulfillment operations support systems, for $219.2 million. But for the most part, the 800-pound gorilla of enterprise applications sat back and allowed its many partners to take center stage. The morning keynote session, led by Hector Ruiz, chairman and CEO of AMD, focused on the advance of technology and how partners like AMD were enabling Oracle to serve the needs of its customer legions. Oracle OnDemand was one place where the underlying technology made service possible. Speaking with Juergen Roettler, Oracle's executive vice president of customer services, Ruiz underscored the importance of AMD to Oracle OnDemand. "Our customers want us to drive more functionality at a lower cost; one said, 'Make the impossible happen,'" Roettler said. AMD64 Opteron processors, with their ability to support both 32-bit and 64-bit applications, as well as their dual-core processors, let on-demand data centers handle more transactions with more diverse applications than ever before. "We just passed the 1.7 million end user mark. AMD processors let our users adopt the newest technology without the learning curve usually required," Roettler said. "We have the single largest Linux computing grid in the world." Charles Rozwat, Oracle's executive vice president of server technologies, amplified the importance of partnerships with his discussion of the information explosion. "Better information gives better results," he said, but quoted studies that indicated people were storing about 18 million terabytes of information currently, soaring to 110 million terabytes by 2010. This data, everything from email-to-voice and bioinformatics, is overwhelming our ability to manage. "What do you keep as persistent information?" Scalability is the answer to managing information oversupply, and to Oracle and friends that means grid computing. Again, AMD processors and Dell servers combined with Oracle technology do it all: improving compression to reduce space needs by two thirds, reducing downtime from planned and unplanned outages, raising the level of data security, and so forth. Rozwat mentioned two other developments in this area. Last week's acquisition of data warehouse specialist Sunopsis gives Oracle a system that supports multiple sources, targets, and even database code bases. And he announced the beta of Oracle Database 11g, which is currently testing to be faster than a computer's own file system at reading large volumes of information. The afternoon belonged to Michael Dell, founder and chairman of server and PC maker Dell, who continued to drive home the depth and breadth of the partnership between AMD, Dell, and Oracle. He noted 120,000 Oracle installations on Dell servers, and added that each company makes extensive use of the other's products. Among the Dell announcements were the addition of AMD processors to the PowerEdge family of servers, and Oracle Enterprise Manager coming preloaded on Dell servers. With this combination, Oracle's management tools can also manage server issues like thermal hot spots, software upgrades, policy violations, and SOA services with the same application--a boon for system administrators, database administrators (DBAs) and other IT professionals. "This is BI for sysadmins and DBAs," Dell said. "In the information crisis, we now have the tools to take the challenge and turn it into an opportunity." Related articles: A Killer Replacement: Oracle Pulls the Plug On IBM
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