Ellison: New Oracle Tech Automates, Modernizes Apps

Oracle's top executive Larry Ellison took to the stage Sunday night to open the Oracle OpenWorld 2014 conference by placing a stake in the cloud for his company with new services aimed at not only automating the movement of applications to the cloud, but also automatically modernizing those applications to meet the needs of cloud users.

Ellison also introduced several new Oracle hardware platforms, including a flash storage array he claimed is faster and cheaper than EMC's XtremIO solution as well as a new SPARC processor that prevents an application from accessing any data that was not created by the application.

Ellison, speaking for the first time since Oracle said he would step down as CEO to be Oracle's executive chairman and chief technology officer, said that, contrary to what some people believe, Oracle is already a major force in the cloud, with 19 of the top 20 application vendors, including Oracle competitors, basing their services on Oracle databases.

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He cited Salesforce.com's sales and services technologies and SAP's ARIBA, Success Factors, and soon-to-be-acquired Concur as examples.

Ellison said he has no idea what runs on SAP's HANA.

"It's rude, but it's the truth," he said. "'HANA powers the cloud.' What cloud? Let's talk about planet Earth. ... How many articles have I read (where) we missed the cloud? I guess that's why we're only 19 of 20."

Oracle has built a complete cloud platform that offers the three top requirements, including Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service, Ellison said.

"We realized we need to bring SaaS, PaaS and IaaS together because of a promise we made to customers 30 years ago," he said.

That promise, that customers could painlessly upgrade their applications as new platforms were developed, was kept as customers were able to move their applications from mainframes and microcomputers to client/server systems to PCs and going forward to the cloud, Ellison said.

That promise was furthered with Ellison's introduction of the Oracle Cloud Platform, a complete set of services for building cloud applications.

The Oracle Cloud Platform has the Oracle Database as its base, on top of which are WebLogic and Java cloud services topped by what Ellison termed four "critical" cloud services.

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Those services include social, mobile, analytics and, coming soon, security. New applications developed for the Oracle Database automatically take advantage of those services and are automatically multi-tenant as well.

"If you build an app on top of our database, if we build an app on top of our database, it's social," he said.

This includes all applications in Oracle's three primary application classes, including customer experience management, human capital management and enterprise planning management, Ellison said.

Included in the Oracle Cloud Platform are extensions to those three classes of applications that allow customers to take advantage of the platform for developing their own applications that provide all the same benefits as applications developed by Oracle, Ellison said.

"Believe it or not, we are the only cloud vendor on the planet Earth to allow you to use our core platform to build your own apps," he said.

Ellison also unveiled a major upgrade to the Oracle Cloud by making it possible to automatically move any existing database application to the cloud by "pressing a button." Pressing that button also automatically modernizes that application as well, he said.

"That was our promise 30 years ago, and we're finally there," he said.

Also new on Sunday was an upgraded Oracle Database Platform-as-a-Service, which provides identical capabilities to applications running in the cloud or on-premise, Ellison said.

The upgrade not only allows applications moved to the cloud to run in the same way they run on premise, but also allows customers to easily move applications back from the cloud, he said.

"You don't like our prices? You can say, 'Heck with you, Oracle,' and move it back," he said.

By modernizing the applications, Ellison said Oracle is including automatic 10:1 data compression, automatic encryption of all data, automatic compatibility with in-memory analytics and big data and automatic transformation for multi-tenant environments.

Ellison also introduced several new hardware platforms the company expects to introduce between September and November.

The first is the Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance, which is a new appliance for automatically backing up of databases. Ellison said most backup appliances are designed for files, not databases, with the result that recovery of large databases can miss recent changes to the data.

NEXT: New Flash Storage Array, New SPARC 7 Processor With Hard-Wired Data Protection

The Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance allows tens to thousands of databases to be backed up to different locations and to the cloud to protect against site failures, and provides automatic backups, restores and recovery of databases, Ellison said.

"Guess what?" he said. "It doesn't lose a byte of data. It's in the name."

Also new is an upgrade to Oracle's Exalytics appliance for in-memory business analytics that now comes built-in with the ability to run Oracle Database in-memory, he said.

Ellison also introduced the Oracle FS1, a new Fibre Channel flash storage SAN appliance that can scale out to 16 nodes with multiple petabytes of flash storage with fault-tolerance built in.

"It's much faster than EMC's XtremIO, and not even half the price," he said.

The Oracle FS1 can also be configured with rotating disk storage and will automatically place the data on the right tier of storage depending on the quality-of-service customers require, he said.

Ellison also previewed the upcoming SPARC M7 microprocessor, which is scheduled to ship on Oracle servers starting in 2015. The SPARC M7 processors include built-in database acceleration engines to speed up query performance by ten times, as well as in-line deduplication of the data.

"We process the entire query in silicon," he said. "It's never been done before. We're pioneering."

The SPARC M7 will also have a unique feature called Memory Protection that allows applications to only access data which they have created, Ellison said. Memory Protection will make it easy to find bugs in production application as well as prevent malicious applications from stealing data, he said.

"You have hard wiring in the silicon itself to protect an application from itself," he said.