Oracle CEO Larry Ellison did not detail the pricing and shipping dates of 10g, nor shed new light on the proposed bid for PeopleSoft during his keynote address at OracleWorld 2003.
'My personal view is that PeopleSoft customers would like to have strongest possible vendor behind the software,' he said in response to a question from a delegate about Oracle's bid for the software vendor.
Ellison said he was optimistic about the bid, which was recently re-extended to October.
Oracle's CEO spent most of his keynote touting the benefits of Oracle's 10g product and the grid computing concept, outlining the cost difference to IBM's on demand offer.
Big iron and mainframe, according to Ellison, present problems of expense, the need for additional capacity and single points of failure. The traditional enterprise system, therefore, consists of big server islands of computation.
Historically, to get greater capacity, enterprises have been forced to purchase large expensive processors, priced somewhere between US$30,000 to US$50,000, he said. Further, the 'biggest Achilles' heel' was that this created a single point of failure -- if the hardware goes down, all the applications go down.
Oracle's alternative is enterprise grid computing, using farms of low-cost two-processor servers and laying Oracle's 10g technology over the top. 10g will allows businesses to use servers they already have, pooling them under one control centre. This means that if one or two processors go down, the rest pick up the slack. 'Typically any failure is completely masked,' he said.
The four main benefits to grid computing with Oracle compared to IBM's on demand computing model, according to Ellison, are: heterogenous applications; easier to increase capability; greater reliability; and low prices for hardware upgrade.
Oracle's 10g can handle any software application, including SAP and PeopleSoft, Ellison said.
'Oracle's 10g software creates the illusion that it is just one big computer that these applications run from,' he said.
'We're introducing the first real alternative in 40 years. And the shocking thing is, if you want to go faster you've got to be willing to spend less,' he said. 'You're going to be getting 10 times the capacity at one-tenth of the price.'
But it is still unclear whether the savings made on hardware are not
overshadowed by spending on database licences. In response to a question from another customer about pricing, which drew loud applause from the crowd, Ellison said Oracle would unveil the licence pricing model next week.
However, Oracle has not unveiled the licence pricing model nor a date for production of grid computing. Ellison said the pricing would come out next week and would ship sometime this year.
It wouldn't be an Ellison keynote without the traditional jab at Microsoft, and attendees were not disappointed. Ellison said he couldn't understand why Microsoft, the 'masters of the small desktop computer', had entered the mainframe market.
'I have a theory. Bill sent a team of people out to IBM to find out what was new. Somehow the Microsoft intelligence held their Yahoo map upside down. Instead of turning left into IBM's research lab, they turned right into IBM's museum and gathered information on IBM's mainframe computers. I don't know how else to explain it,' he said.
Siobhan Chapman travelled to OracleWorld 2003 in San Francisco as a guest of Oracle.
Ellison sticks to Grid
By Siobhan Chapman on Jan 1, 2000 12:00AM