Thursday, October 2, 2008

BriefingsDirect Insights analysts examine HP-Oracle Exadata, 'extreme' BI, virtualization and cloud computing news

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Read a full transcript of the discussion.

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Welcome to the latest BriefingsDirect Insights Edition, Vol. 30, a periodic discussion and dissection of software, services, SOA and compute cloud-related news and events, with a panel of IT analysts.

In this episode, recorded Sept. 26, 2008, our experts examine the HP-Oracle announcements at Oracle OpenWorld, cloud computing and "on-premises" clouds, and recent virtualization news from VMware, HP, Red Hat and Citrix.

Please join noted IT industry analysts and experts Joe McKendrick, an independent analyst and ZDNet blogger; Brad Shimmin, principal analyst of Current Analysis; Jim Kobielus, senior analyst at Forrester Research, and Dave Linthicum, independent SOA consultant. Our discussion is hosted and moderated by your's truly.

Here are some excerpts:
Oracle announced the release, in partnership with HP, of a very high-end data warehousing appliance. They may not use the word "appliance," but that's in fact what it is. It's called the HP Oracle Database Machine. It encompasses and includes the Oracle Exadata Storage Server, which is a grid storage level server.

What Oracle and HP have essentially done is take a page from the Netezza book, because that is, of course, the feature of the Netezza performance system. What they did essentially is they also shot across Teradata's bow, because this is Oracle's petabytes-scale, data warehousing-solution platform.

I was shocked, shocked, absolutely simply shocked. This is because historically Oracle has strayed so far away from the appliance market. I am glad to see this happening. ... Now if only they would release parts of their middleware as an appliance, I would be very happy.

Larry Ellison indicated that they seem to have some plans for that. They really resisted details -- but they seem to have some plans to "appliance-ize," if that's the word, more and more the Oracle Fusion Middleware stack.

It almost seems now that Oracle has anointed HP at some level as a preferred hardware supplier on storage, if not also other aspects of hardware. What does that mean for EMC and some of the other storage hardware providers?

I think that all of those relationships will come under strain from this. There is no question about that. I think there are going be a lot of far-ranging ripples from this relationship that will change the way the market functions.

It certainly moves the business intelligence (BI) arena forward. ... Now there is a trend emerging. I am sure Oracle has an eye on this as well. It's toward open source. We are seeing more open source in data warehouses too. This is open source at the warehouse level itself, at the database level itself. [Sun Microsystem's] MySQL for example has been pointing in this direction, PostgreSQL as well. [And there's Ingres.]

Now with Oracle and HP cooperating, why shouldn't we expect Sun to come out with something quite similar, but with MySQL as the database, and their [Sparc/UltraSparc] processing, and their rack, cooling and InfiniBand, and of course, their storage? If Sun does that then IBM will certainly come out with something around DB2.

There is an emphasis on simplifying data warehousing, making data warehousing simple for the masses. Microsoft, love them or hate them, has been doing a lot of work in this area by increasing the simplicity of its data warehouse and making it available at more of a commodity level for the small to medium size business space.

One of the other important outcomes from my point of view this week at Oracle OpenWorld -- was the fact that Oracle, now in conjunction with Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud, has an Oracle cloud -- the existing Amazon cloud can take Oracle database licenses. ... Using tools that Oracle is providing they can move their data to back it up or move databases entirely to be persistent in the cloud, in Amazon's S3 service.

I think that this is one step in the direction that, in essence, we're going back in time a bit, moving back into the time-sharing space. A lot of things are going to be pushed back out into the universe through economy's scale, and also through the value of communities. It just can be a much more cheap and cost effective way of doing it. I think it's going to be a huge push in the next two years.

I think that Oracle is going to have a cloud offering, IBM is going to have a cloud offering, Sun is going to have a cloud offering, and it's going to be the big talk in the big industry over the next two or three years. I think they are just going to get out there and fight it out.

I think you are going to have number of start-ups, too. They are going to have huge cloud offerings as well. They are going to compete with the big guys. ... Quite frankly, I think, maybe the more agile, smaller companies may win that war.

These vendors are basically tripping over themselves and rushing out to the market, way before these private clouds have even established themselves. Yet the vendors are declaring that they have the infrastructure and the approach to do it. It sort of reminds me of a platform, or even operating system, land grab -- that getting there first and establishing some of the effective standards and coming up with industry-common implementations gives them an opportunity to at some level or format create the de facto portability means.

As we go forward, I think that's the destination. If you look at how everything is going, I think everything is going to be pushed up into the cloud. People are basically going to have virtual platforms in the cloud, and that's how they are going to drive it. Just from a cost standpoint, everything we just discussed, the advantages are going to be for those who get there first.

I think that very much like the early adopters of the Web, back in the 1990s, this is going to be the same kind of a land grab, and the same kind of land rush that's going to occur. Ultimately you are going to find 60 percent to 80 percent of the business processes over the next 10 years are going to be outsourced.
Listen to the podcast. Download the podcast. Find it on iTunes/iPod. Learn more. Sponsors: Active Endpoints, Hewlett-Packard.

Read a full transcript of the discussion.

Special offer: Download a free, supported 30-day trial of Active Endpoint's ActiveVOS at www.activevos.com/insight.