What You Missed At Oracle OpenWorld 2012

Oracle OpenWorld, The 2012 Edition

Once again, San Francisco braced itself for Oracle OpenWorld and its 50,000 attendees. This year, the humongous show occupied not only the Moscone Conference Center, nearby Howard Street (seen here being transformed for the event) and the Yerba Buena Gardens as in the past, but a dozen other parts of the city such as Minna Alley and Union Square -- renamed "Oracle Square" for the week.

Attendees booked nearly 98,000 hotel room nights for the show and dropped an estimated $120 million in San Francisco during their stay.

Signing In

Early attendees get registered on Saturday before the conference gets under way. Throughout the conference, Oracle executives referred to Oracle OpenWorld 2012 as the largest IT vendor-specific conference, even though rival Salesforce.com claimed an attendance of more than 90,000 at its Dreamforce conference in San Francisco just two weeks earlier.

The Calm Before The Swarm

Early Sunday in the Moscone Center before the start of the day's events.

Ellison Kicks Things Off

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison delivered the opening keynote Sunday afternoon, unveiling plans to expand Oracle's cloud offerings to include Infrastructure-as-a-Service for public and private cloud applications.

Ellison also debuted the Exadata Database Machine X3, an upgrade of the database appliance that makes up Oracle's line of "Engineered Systems" that combine Sun hardware with Oracle software. Ellison also announced the Oracle Database 12c, the next generation of the company's flagship database software that's scheduled to ship in 2013.

Moving Up At OOW 2012

The exiting crowd following Ellison's Sunday keynote was a big contrast with the empty steps just a few hours before. This area in Moscone North, outside the hall where the major keynote speeches were given, was often jam-packed throughout the day.

Big Data, Big Machines

Following Ellison's speech, many attendees stuck around in Moscone North to check out the display of Engineered Systems, including the new Oracle Exadata Database Machine X3.

SPARC Of An Idea

Here an attendee gets a demonstration of Oracle's SPARC SuperCluster server that's based on the SPARC T4-4 microprocessor. During Oracle OpenWorld, company execs disclosed that Oracle is working to develop the next generation of SPARC chips, the T5, which are now expected to be ready in 2013.

New Cloud Programs For Channel Partners

Earlier Sunday, during a number of sessions for members of the Oracle Partner Network program, Channel Chief Judson Althoff outlined a number of new initiatives to help Oracle's 25,000 partners expand into cloud services.

Topping the list is a new "specialization" for partners that builds private cloud systems based on Oracle technology -- particularly rewarding those that use the complete Oracle technology "stack." Partners can earn commissions on registered deals to sell Oracle's public cloud services. The Rapid Start Cloud Specialization provides systems integrators and resellers with Oracle expertise to build cloud solutions. And another initiative is designed to recruit ISVs to develop applications for Oracle's Platform-as-a-Service cloud service.

Come Sail Away

Almost as prevalent as cloud and Engineered Systems throughout the show were signs of the upcoming America's Cup sailing match races, one of the world's most prestigious sporting events. Ellison's boat won the trophy in 2010 and Oracle Team USA is preparing to defend the championship.


One of the boats being tested by Oracle Team USA was on display in Yerba Buena Park near the Moscone Center. Later in the week, another boat, #5, was moored at Treasure Island during the Customer Appreciation Event.

The Music Scene

Throughout Oracle OpenWorld Yerba Buena Gardens was home to the America's Cup Pavilion and was one of the sites for the nightly music festivals. Performers included Joss Stone, Jimmy Cliff, The Hives, The English Beat, Astral, Macy Gray, The Crystal Method and Red Meat.

The Harder They Sing ...

Singer Jimmy Cliff wowed the crowd at the Yerba Buena Gardens Pavilion Monday night.