Schwarzenegger rescues Ellison keynote from jaws of banality
Your audience...give them to me, now
Guest are welcome to make a splash at Oracle's event - but not too welcome. Usually, they serve as a warm up act or foil to Ellison and his giggly wit.
For once, though, Oracle's chief executive has let someone interrupt his OpenWorld shtick and have the audience nibble copious one-liners from their open hand.
That someone was former actor turned California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who took the OpenWorld stage while Ellison was speaking and proceeded to wax warmly about technology, crack a saucy gag about his wife Maria Shriver, and make some heartfelt comments about California-based Oracle and Sun Microsystems - as the former buys the latter.
God knows this year's proceedings needed it, and we can only imagine Ellison knew that too, which is why he ceded the ground.
Schwarzenegger stepped in during round two of Ellison's IBM bashing - which he started on Sunday. This time, the bashing was larded with a crawl through the Exadata V2 feature list.
There was some new stuff, but none of the show stoppers of years past. At OpenWorld 2008, Ellison proclaimed - wrongly - that Oracle was getting into the server business with Exadata. In 2006, it was Oracle's Linux distro and support business that crippled Red Hat's stock on speculation Oracle was going after the company as revenge for snatching away JBoss.
Three years on, things are kind of so-so on some of those OpenWorld showstoppers.
The idea three years back was that Oracle's Unbreakable Linux would support Red Hat and that Red Hat customers could easily switch to Oracle - robbing Red Hat of business. Two years back, when things were not quite panning out and Red Hat was still thriving, Ellison threw in Oracle VM server virtualization to "differentiate" Oracle's Red Hat from Red Hat's Red Hat.
"If you are a Red Hat customer, it's very easy to swap from a Red Hat system to an Oracle system and from Red Hat support to Oracle support, and a number of customers have done that," Ellison said at OpenWorld 2007.
Flash forward to 2009, and there's no Ellison bullishness - just "pride" in how Unbreakable Linux and Oracle's Enterprise Linux has gone. Ellison is "very, very proud of where we are today" with 4,000 customers. "Uptake of Oracle Enterprise Linux has been better than we anticipated," he claimed
Tellingly, though, Ellison said Oracle isn't actually doing any surveys on uptake of its Linux - a curious move for a new product, especially one launched with such a splash.
Not to worry: Hewlett-Packard has. Ellison produced the "surprise" findings from an HP poll that found 65 per cent of respondents are running Oracle's database on Oracle Enterprise Linux, 37 per cent on Red Hat, and 15 per cent on SuSE.
There were no more details on the survey, like when it was conducted or who responded.
In what looks like an attempt to salvage something from the idea of the Red Hat support business, Ellison unveiled plans for a system to monitor customers software and hardware. The system will see Oracle merge its online My Oracle Support and on-site Oracle Enterprise Manager, and will provide alerts, suggest fixes, and problem-free patches for Oracle software and hardware.
The vision is to ultimately enable let customers manage their Oracle Fusion applications. According to Ellison, the system will combine dashboards to monitor service levels and if an application falls short, to drill into the user-defined metrics to find out what application server of Java Virtual Machine, for example, isn't working or is locked.
Ellison promised this management capability would be in all Oracle's Fusion applications - meaning Oracle, PeopleSoft, Siebel, and JD Edwards.
He did not say when the system would become available, but the biggest hurdle is lack of information in Oracle's possession about individual customers' systems. Without it, Oracle can't deliver things like patches that won't crash or conflict with other patches in a users' systems.
"When we have all this configuration data we are going to data mine that database," Ellison said. "We haven't got enough information to diagnose the problem...if we are allowed to collect that data we can examine it."
It was the closest to cry for help from Oracle's alpha CEO as you're likely to get.
As for Fusion, Ellison repeated the applications would be available next year. The re-architected and Oracle-Middleware-certified suite had been promised for 2008.
Bring on The Governator McGuffin. Among Schwarzenegger's diversionary and crowd-pleasing zingers:
"It's an honor to be in the company of so many brilliant, innovative and entrepreneurial individuals as I came out on stage - I feel my IQ short up 10 points!"
"I love technology, high tech, bio tech, nano tech, green tech - all of the techs, I just love it. I love it, because I know that some day in the future you will devise technology so we can have a hands-free cell phone - even though my wife doesn't believe in it yet. Can you believe she was caught last week! I promise the people, I'm going to create action and stop her. This is a no win situation. If I don't create action the voters get upset. If I do create action, and I get upset, then I get no action!"
"Congratulations Larry Ellison and Scott McNealy and their new partnership and their great, great work they are doing for the state of California - let's give them a big big hand."
"Thank-you. I'll be back!" ®
RE: RE: Re: Interesting...
".....That tearing sound was that particular definition as you tried to stretch it...." Agreed, but if you don't give the Sunshiners something to come back at then all we get is Kebabfart's bleating about cache. However, the Californian brain-drain is not a stretch at all. Whilst it may be too early to start wondering when certain global IT companies might decide to move out of Silly-con Valley to neighbouring or geographically-close-but-not-quite-neighbouring states (happy now?), it would seem logial that they will eventually if California can't provide the people they require.
"....There was also encumbered material in the JDK..." IIRC, the encumbered material in the JDK was largely Sun's own, or owned by non-competing parties whom had no interest in fighting Sun. The core of Slowaris (sorry, it never does tire) is System V UNIX, and Larry has little chance of getting all the players onside on that as some of them have the same code in their proprietary UNIX. For example, I don't expect IBM to be going out of their way to help Larry, and I believe they have rights to some of the code in Slowaris (nope, still not tired!). And whilst Novell have stated "We don't believe there is Unix in Linux", they also said they weren't interested in suing the other UNIX vendors, which kinda hints they think there is material "encumbered" by Novell in commercial UNIX releases, probably including Slowaris (tired? Moi? Never!). Didn't Sun jump to the front of the non-existant queue to pay SCO to "license" UNIX in Slowaris (not done just yet)? I'm sure that wasn't just because they wanted to see Linux crushed, or are you telling me they really knew there was no need to license and they just did want to fund SCO to kill Linux (<insert faux shock here>)? Some of us Linux users have long memories (and Google cache to back them up when alcohol has erased brain cells).
"....And if so, the politicians will be up against Larry...." Yes, and we all know Larry is the new knight-In-shining-white-armour that replaced Steve Jobs as the last enterpreneur-of-suitable-innovative-mysticism-ready-to-save-Sun-unchanged-and-stroke-sunshiner's-egos, bla-bla-bla, but even SuperLarry and his UberBankAccount have their limits. Even if he did get Novell onside by purchase, he'd still have to deal with IBM, and I really don't think even his ego is big enough for that, especially as he seems to have spent the last quarter antagonising IBM. Now, Larry may be loud, but I happen to think he is a very smart man, and I don't think he'd be opening an IBM charm offensive in such a manner, so it looks like he really doesn't have that in mind.
"....If you're going to lash out and put someone in their place, at least try and spell the chosen insult correctly...." Well, it was more laughing-at rather than lashing-out-at. Are we a wee bit sensitive? Apologies for my spelling, but my boss till doesn't think I require a secretary to do my edits. But, TBH, even in the old days when you had to mess about linking files and changing permissions, Oracle installations weren't exactly brain surgery, which is one of the reasons Oracle became the DB of choice. Nowadays it's even easier, so, IMO, the original poster must be thick (<= much easier to spell!).
".....someone with a chip on their shoulder about Sun, who foams at the mouth at the very mention of the organisation." More of a falls-of-the-chair-laughing-at, and mainly directed at the Sunshiners and their blinkered views. I did know a number of very intelligent and skilled people that used to work at Guillemont Park, some whom would even hold their hands up and admit to being my friends, but the truth is most of them have left Sun for pastures greener a while ago (shockingly, one of them even went to Microsoft!!!!). My "chip" is not a Sun in general issue, it's more to do with the comic attitude of the Sunshiners (not Sun employees) that have hitched their careers to the Sun wagon and rode it through the good times, happy in their herd-mentality and roughshod over anyone with a conflicting view, but now find it so hard to admit they may have been wrong. Why shouldn't we have a good laugh at their expense, especially as they are so easy to provoke? After all, pretty much all they have left is a sense of humour, and if they're losing that.....
/Slowaris - nah, it's got too good a ring to it to drop just yet!
RE: Re: Interesting...
"I know you Sunshiners think you're the only people qualified to have any thoughts on Sun at all, and that us customers should just shut up and listen to your "superior knowledge", but that kind of attitude is one of the factors that got Sun canned. Don't you think it's about time you learned to listen a little? True, my posts are more than a tad sarcastic, but then you guys are such an easy target!"
I don't work at Sun and although I've used Sun kit, it's been a long time since I did so. Some of it was reasonable, if pricey, some of it was obviously flawed. Not everyone who sees merit in Sun's stuff has a relationship with Sun - it's not a George W. Bush world, you know?
"Not directly neighbouring, but here in the UK the definition of neighbour is someone that is close by, not neccessarily next door. Did you ever wonder why an area called a "neighbourhood" didn't just consist of three houses?"
That tearing sound was that particular definition as you tried to stretch it to fit geography and a bunch of other domains.
"They can't. There is too much copyrighted material in Slowaris, which is why even the less-capable OpenSlowaris has to be licensed under the CDDL fudge."
Erm, there's "copyrighted material" in virtually everything, apart from explicitly public domain stuff. What you presumably meant was that there's "encumbered material" in Solaris: stuff they can't relicense, perhaps because they don't own it. (That "Slowaris" joke never tires, does it?) There was also encumbered material in the JDK, but they got there in the end, so I'm not completely convinced that it isn't a matter of politics. And if so, the politicians will be up against Larry, so the situation isn't static by any means.
"And Oracle DB or RAC installs - onto hp-ux, Red Hat or Windows at least - don't seem that hard, so all I can come up with is that you must be incompetant."
If you're going to lash out and put someone in their place, at least try and spell the chosen insult correctly, even though it probably won't change the impression we're getting of someone with a chip on their shoulder about Sun, who foams at the mouth at the very mention of the organisation.
RE: @Matt RE: Re: Interesting...
".....It is quite simple what Oracle will do with Solaris, it will position it as the high end, reliable, highperformance UNIX. They will charge more for Solaris than for Unbreakable Linux, Unbreakable Linux will be kept to undercut Redhat pricing...." Slight problem for the Sunshiners, then - that was exactly the plan Sun used to have for Slowaris. Sun's plan was SPARC-Slowaris for the "high-end" at a nice price, and use "free" Slowaris on x64 to fight Linux. It didn't work. So if Larry's plan is effectively the same he's just destined to repeat the failings of Sun.
"...This is preety much how IBM positions AIX or HP positions HPUX...." Close, but no cigar. You'll notice that hp and IBM didn't waste time trying to fight the Linux juggernaut, instead they used it to kill Sun. If Larry goes from general Linux support to war with the Linux community then he will lose, regardless of how tightly he ties Oracle DB or other products to Slowaris or Oracle Linux. Despite the interesting poll results he quotes, I personally don't know any company in the UK that uses Oracle Linux, but I know plenty (including mine) that use Red Hat. Sure, I don't know every company in the UK, but I suspect I know people that work in IT in a largish wedge of the corporations Larry will want to target, and Sun already failed in.
"...Oracle is a bussiness, it is not a charitable organization." You may want to keep that in mind when you Sunshiners start prattling on about how Larry is just going to take the old Sun and "make it better" - he can't. He will have to chop large chunks of deadwood to get it into shape, and Rock was just the start.
"It wouldn't be an article about Sun without a Matt Bryant commentary...." I know you Sunshiners think you're the only people qualified to have any thoughts on Sun at all, and that us customers should just shut up and listen to your "superior knowledge", but that kind of attitude is one of the factors that got Sun canned. Don't you think it's about time you learned to listen a little? True, my posts are more than a tad sarcastic, but then you guys are such an easy target!
"....Texas is a neighbouring state to California now, is it?...." Not directly neighbouring, but here in the UK the definition of neighbour is someone that is close by, not neccessarily next door. Did you ever wonder why an area called a "neighbourhood" didn't just consist of three houses? Of course, I notice that you don't deny the brain-drain from California, a serious economic factor that is affecting Sillicon Valley. If that is the best critique of my post you can do then we really do need some new Sunshiners, the old ones are just getting more and more pathetic.
"....Certainly it would be interesting if Sun did make Solaris available under a GPL-compatible licence...." They can't. There is too much copyrighted material in Slowaris, which is why even the less-capable OpenSlowaris has to be licensed under the CDDL fudge.
"....Go to Larry's people for support on software written by someone else? Laughable!...." You're forgetting, that's what Sun tried with their own Linux support. However, I have used Oracle support for RAC on Rad Hat and found them very good, so maybe Larry's people aren't as bad as the old Sun "support" for Linux (which just seems to have consisted of asking why users didn't switch to Slowaris). And Oracle DB or RAC installs - onto hp-ux, Red Hat or Windows at least - don't seem that hard, so all I can come up with is that you must be incompetant.