Oracle Hardware And Software Chiefs Discuss 'Radically Co-Engineering The Entire Stack'

Oracle's software and hardware leaders explained to the company's partners Wednesday why deep collaboration between their departments is leading to breakthroughs in computing performance.

John Fowler, executive vice president of systems, and Juan Loaiza, senior vice president of systems technologies, joined each other for a keynote at the OpenWorld conference, telling attendees no company can match Oracle's collaborative efforts in building solutions optimized across the stack.

Those joint efforts to engineer in silicon and in software are driving transformational performance gains in running databases, Fowler said.

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"A bunch of disparate companies cannot make the breakthroughs in technology," Oracle's hardware chief told attendees.

And Loaiza, who heads the software workforce in Redwood City, Calif., described Oracle's efforts of "radically co-engineering the entire stack" as "changing the way the game is played."

In that context, the two previewed a new engineered system: Exadata SL -- a variation of Oracle's flagship database system powered by Oracle's SPARC processors and running Linux as its operating system.

They also said Oracle is expanding its SPARC M7 processors, which include a state-of-the-art security technology dubbed Software in Silicon, to its entry-level engineered system, the Oracle Database Appliance.

That technology built into the processor enables encryption to be run as default, with almost no resource overhead required to harden the system.

"When you put things into the chip, you can achieve massive amplification of capability," Fowler said.

While Fowler and Loaiza were talking about systems built for on-premises deployments, the collaborative practice unique to the technology giant has direct repercussions across Oracle's expanding cloud portfolio, they said.

"Co-engineering is what happens in the cloud," Loaiza said. "You get an integrated stack from a cloud vendor. We've been doing that for a long time."

Howard Moore, CEO of Keste, an Oracle partner based in Plano, Texas, told CRN that while Oracle's engineering leaders have long promoted their cooperation across hardware and software development fronts, the message takes on new relevance as the company makes a serious push to establish itself a cloud player.

"It goes back to Oracle's cloud infrastructure is going to be built on all this stuff," Moore told CRN. "That's where Oracle will have a big advantage if they can pull it off."

The pitch Oracle is making for its cloud products is their seamless interoperability between public and private implementations, all running on the same engineered systems infrastructure, Moore said.

"Most companies are not going to move everything to the cloud, but you still want to use cloud approaches, even if you're on-prem," he told CRN.

Oracle's broad set of solutions spans its own line of SPARC processors and its partnership with Intel, Loaiza said.

The coordinated development across hardware and software has delivered major gains to database performance, including in-memory database technology, he said.

Oracle changed the actual core algorithms and structures in its database to take advantage of vector units in the SPARC processors, delivering analytics performance hundreds of times faster than what was previously available, according to Loaiza.

"This is really our main transformational database technology for super high performance," Loaiza said.

He later added: "This is not a product feature. This is a computer science advance …. everything else in the industry is going to have to copy it. It's dramatically better than anything else out there."