SPARC servers and Solaris are key to its single-stack approach, says Oracle. But should customers believe it?
This would have a big impact on reliability and should cut the big proportion (claimed to be 80 percent) of IT budgets that goes on simple maintenance, O’Kelly said. A lot of maintenance issues arise when users are dealing with multiple vendors, and one of them changes one piece. “It’s like painting the Forth Road Bridge,” he said.”Deploying something designed to work together, is better than buying a bag of bits and making them work together.”
Sun hardware – tuned for Oracle, or really open?
Although the hardware and software will be designed to work together, they will still have to be open: “Customers have spent millions and millions on buying bits of the stack, so we have stuck to the principle of complete openess,” he said. “If you go ‘best of breed’ at any point in the stack, I’ll take my chance on the open market.”
Sun’s servers are already the number one choice for running Oracle, O’Kelly said, and other speakers repeated that fact endlessly through the morning. Last year, Oracle already used Sun hardware to make the Sun Oracle Database Machine – also known as Exadata version 2 – which could be seen as the “first generation” of an integrated system, said O’Kelly.
Running data warehousing 500 percent faster than regular hardware, the machine could be further tweaked to go 50 or even 100 times faster than other hardware – “we are only just starting to open the door on innovation,” he said.
Better support and supply?
He damped down concerns from Oracle’s channel partners, some of whom had feared that Oracle’s plan to have direct sales contact with all its major customers might take their business from them. “It is our duty to have a relationship with our customers,” said O’Kelly. We are not trying to cut our partners out – in fact, it is the reverse.”
Oracle Sun will offer better support, he said, because the two companies will not try to pass the buck and avoid blame, when customers have a problem: “Most vendors spend a lot of time trying to prove it is not their fault. We cut that out. If something is wrong, we have to fix it.” He made a promise of “two hour fixes”.
Outside in the coffee break, users took that with a relaxed view. “It’s not going to be that different,” said one. “The two companies were already partners, referring issues to each other’s support people. Now they are in the same company, the same thing will happen – and they may still try to pass blame to the other part of the company.”