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Gather round, EMC's ol' man Tucci knows Big Data's 'killer app'

Big cheese tells a tale of real-time analysis

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Oracle OpenWorld Joe Tucci, EMC boss and non-Oracle oracle speaking at Oracle OpenWorld, said that predictive real-time analysis would be the killer Big Data application.

EMC's big kahuna was key-noting on the second day at the event, following on from Larry Ellison's opening session on the first day, where Ellison gloated over Oracle's engineered system hardware, the Exadata and Exalogic boxes, bragging that they were miles better than hardware and software from competitors, such as EMC, IBM and SAP – just a tad insensitive when Oracle had invited EMC to keynote on a following day at its big shindig.

Tucci's pitch centred on private/public cloud computing and Big Data, which he said was driving new data storage models such as NOSQL and Hadoop. He said that companies which use a combination of structured data in relational databases (like Oracle) and unstructured and semi-structured data (in Hadoop and other data stores) will be able to make better decisions because of the technology. The faster they can analyse their data and make decisions, the better.

That leads to fast-response flash storage, used in server flash caches and shared flash arrays, like EMC's coming Xtremio product, which will enable much faster analysis of data held in flash memory instead of slow-access disk arrays. Tucci thinks that "Real-time predictive analytics will be the killer app for this cloud era."

Joe Tucci

R/T analytics will enable businesses to make special offers, come up with discounts, and institute general pricing changes more quickly. Shortening the time lag between market condition changes and the product supply and pricing situation will enable a business to be more responsive and maximise revenues, reducing, for example, customer churn.

All this depends upon the done deal of commodity hardware, such as X86 chips; virtualisation; and being able to automate more data centre operations – such as system management ops currently done through GUIs – to help better orchestrate compute, storage and networking elements in the data centre. We need a software-defined data centre, Tucci maintains, which is incidentally a mantra that EMC-owned VMware is now pursuing.

Of course, in Tucci's vision, Oracle is just another set of hardware and software resources to be managed and deployed in such a data centre. By this reasoning, unless Oracle gets its own data centre orchestration product then Ellison faces his engineered systems becoming just another IT component in a VMware-orchestrated data centre – with Joe getting the last laugh.

Tucci wrapped up the speech by thanking Ellison, in a nicely ironical way, for his introduction the previous day. The man has one thing Larry lacks: style. ®

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