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Section 02 – Middleware
Craig Hampson, Fusion5 Australia General Manager recently attended the APAC Oracle Fusion Middleware Top Partners Club in Shanghai, China on behalf of Fusion5. On his return trip, Craig diarised some of his ﬁndings on the latest announcement from Oracle – The Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud.
n a recent long haul ﬂight from Sydney to the Oracle partner middleware event in Shanghai, China, I culled the usual boredom of monotonous travel by trawling through the oﬀers of in ﬂight entertainment. I came across the recent Hollywood blockbuster “Iron Man 2” and, after ensuring there was nothing else less mind numbing, took to watching this Marvel Comics based sequel to – yes, you have guessed it – “Iron Man”.
One of the objectives of my trip was to better understand Oracle’s roadmap within the Middleware, Applications, Storage and Hardware landscape. Like (I’m sure) many of this magazine’s readers I was starting to get a little confused as to the strategy and direction vis-à-vis the Sun Microsystems acquisition and was looking for clariﬁcation from the Oracle middleware partners forum in Shanghai. One of the theories behind Oracle’s acquisition of Sun Microsystems is to allow Oracle to oﬀer customers a full open standards stack from tin right up to application end user. However, it is important for Oracle to continue to oﬀer open standards based platforms, across the technology stack, in order to protect the myriad of existing customers who have made extensive investments in mixed technology stack solutions. So how does Oracle demonstrate and convince us that a one-stack platform branded “Oracle” represents the best value to the customer? The “one throat to choke” mantra is a valid sell, but it only goes so far. The real value proposition comes from “marrying” software and hardware in one complete solution that oﬀers measurable cost value beneﬁts – there you go, in one sentence, I have managed to capture Oracle’s newest tag line “Software – Hardware – Complete”. It should therefore come as no surprise why Larry Ellison, Oracle’s co-founder and CEO, looked for product placement advertising investment in “Iron Man 2”. In fact in the ﬁrst ten minutes of the ﬁlm I noted two blatant mentions of “Oracle” and indeed a cameo appearance of Ellison himself. Anyhow I digress. Following on from the basic premise of the original ﬁlm, “Iron Man 2” continues the story of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr) a billionaire inventor and part time armoured super hero who struggles with the challenge of successfully marrying himself (the “software”) with his exoskeleton iron clad super suit (the “hardware”). As should be with any good advertising investment, the ﬁlm is predictable in its outcome; by using innovative design and research as well as acquisition of new technology, Stark, aka Iron Man, is able to conquer good over evil and triumph in the end. Similarly, Oracle would have us believe that it is their innovative combination of hardware in the form of Sun Microsystems, and its own incumbent software solutions that appears to have triumphed.
let’s look at how they relate to Oracle’s latest foray into the complete hardware and software solution – there go those strap line words again! . the discussion of speciﬁc cost containment techniques has given way to a larger discussion of the transformation of IT from cost centre to proﬁt centre. I took the opportunity to take in some of China’s amazing historical sights such as “The Forbidden City” in Beijing and walked about 610 meters of the 6100 km “Great Wall”. “What a load of nonsense” I hear the reader proclaim. my golf club and I had to become one – it was not going to help by throwing good money after bad buying up the latest and greatest in golf club technology without me ﬁrst truly becoming one with the club. What Oracle has announced here is nothing short of genius. expansion and acquisition that have resulted in sprawling infrastructure stretching the limits of manageability. Perhaps most importantly. PeopleSoft Enterprise and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne will run on Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud transparently. the sheer scale of the ongoing IT investment itself has emerged as the dominant concern. the penny has dropped. most small to medium and large enterprises now ﬁnd themselves with too many platforms. reliability. This transformation typically involves adoption of a more centralised.Section 02 – Middleware P/ 07 However this is not to be a movie review so let’s try to get to the point of this article. more tuning. Siebel CRM.e. too many domains of expertise. as I gathered my thoughts following the Shanghai middleware forum. Cleverly. However pause for a moment whist we consider further.in my golf game. On my way back from China. Confucius says… “Man who do not understand Oracle’s complete hardware-software strategy cannot extract value from it” So with the above analogies of Larry Ellison’s “Iron Man 2” and this writer’s poor golf game in mind. Oracle Exalogic benchmarks indicate performance metrics ten times better than standard application server conﬁguration which will result in huge cost savings in the datacentre with reduced overheads on maintenance and manageability – not to mention space! Existing applications such as Oracle E-Business Suite.still open – with the Java WebLogic application server. Even when best-of-breed technologies. at a pace determined by their business needs and investment constraints. storage. however. without needing any modiﬁcation. Oracle summarise that most enterprise IT organisations have inherited years of innovation. many organisations have adopted techniques ranging from virtualisation and centralised storage to enterprise-wide standardisation of software and hardware. elastic capacity on demand and a fully fault tolerant system”. While the individual IT systems and applications in service are often well considered and expertly implemented. Oracle believe real-world approaches that truly deliver on the promise of private cloud will involve systems engineered together for maximum performance while balancing openness. mission-critical private clouds capable of virtually unlimited scale. Many of you may have heard of Oracle Exadata Database Machine – the combination of Oracle database and Sun hardware technologies in one system to provide high performance enterprise storage solutions. and elastic infrastructure and regime today commonly referred to as private cloud. it must be possible for organisations to implement them over time. you can only go so far by throwing money (more hardware. I for one will be looking to real life use cases to include in the next few issues. VM. cost. the Chinese government has indeed banned access to certain web sites such as Facebook. and the future Oracle Fusion Applications it is also an open standards based environment for the thousands of third-party and custom Linux and Solaris applications widely deployed today. Oracle is pushing Exalogic as the ideal platform for applications of all types. ﬂexibility. This delivers stunning results. In order to combat the above. To many of my Facebook friends this would have been interpreted as “too many gins”. This reminds me somewhat of my own performance issues – wait for it . automated. from small-scale departmental applications to the largest and most demanding ERP and transaction intensive applications. but have forgotten about the iPhone app!) saying I had been “spiritually enlightened”. and resource eﬃciency. and too many vendors to coordinate and manage. and will endeavour to report back as the uptake of Exalogic becomes a reality. including the fastest Java performance. they have managed to achieve performance and value benchmark ﬁgures far beyond any single or indeed combination of competitor’s similar oﬀerings. however what I may have been referring to was the enlightenment I had just gleaned from the forum on Oracle’s forward thinking strategy to add customer value in the form of the mantra “Software – Hardware – Complete” As I write this ﬂying overhead Dubbo on approach into Sydney and just ahead of my editor’s submission deadline. Oracle has realised that when it comes to superior performance from your multi vendor infrastructure platform . all engineered to work together. Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud is touted as the world’s ﬁrst engineered system speciﬁcally designed to provide organisations with a foundation for secure. your software and hardware solutions platform. Larry Ellison sums it up with the following quote: “Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud is a complete system of servers. By engineering a hardware platform intimately embedded – but importantly . too many technologies. This is no diﬀerent from the organisations of many readers of this publication. I soon realised that in order to really achieve a golf stroke a ‘fair way’ down the fairway. Oracle Fusion Middleware The real value proposition comes from “marrying” software and hardware in one complete solution that oﬀers measurable cost value beneﬁts. While Exalogic is factory optimised for enterprise Java. and management simplicity. these engineered systems must not be monolithic. unbeatable performance.i. But what really starts to get the adrenaline ﬂowing is the appliance-based nature of Oracle’s recent announcement last month of the “Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud”. network. more software) at the performance and scalability issue. Recently. open standards and modern architectural practices such as SOA have been employed pervasively. operating system and middleware. I “Facebooked” my status from the Wall (and before I get a ﬂood of doubting emails.