Oracle11g New Features Look Like Good Stuff. Not Just a World Domination Play.

I feel fortunate to be one of 350 people invited to Oracle HQ this week for the Xtreme PTS: The Total Oracle Partner Technology Connection. This is a week long 11g briefing, technical deep dive and hands-on event hosted by Oracle’s Platform Technology Solutions group.

I’ve been involved with pre-release Oracle technology in one fashion or another with every release since 5.1.17 so I’ve been to this type of event several times. Over the years these events have been sort of “This is our software, with it we shall dominate the world.” That was not the case at this event. The presentations have been very good, focused on the technology and honestly a pleasure to attend. Andy Mendelsohn gave the first key note presentation covering 11g new features. I have to admit I was curious what sort of war drum the 11g new features presentation would sound like. Would I hear, “We are Linux” or “Microsoft Sucks?”

As soon as Andy started to speak, I set my stop watch. I wanted to time how long it would take for the word Linux to pop up. I was pleasantly surprised that the first 21 minutes of the presentation consisted of a good coverage of the new features with complete lack of any “World Dominance” sort of mantra. At 22 minutes, the word Linux appeared right next to Windows in the context of provisioning! See, I don’t think we really want to hear all this “Rule the world with Linux” sort of stuff. After all, the majority of Oracle customers are running their business with Oracle on Unix systems primarily, Windows just below that and then Linux. I’m not bashing Linux, but come on, it is just an OS. We like Oracle—The Database, the platform. No need for Linux religion really.

Richard Sarwal followed with an update on Enterprise Manager. I’ve known Richard since the mid-90s. What I learned from his presentation is that EM is getting more and more focus at Oracle. I’m glad because as it stabilizes it appears to me more and more crucial in the grand scheme of operations over all. I have to admit that I have not kept myself up to date with some of the provisioning and patch management capabilities of EM. Small awakenings like that are why I like to attend these types of events.

Near the end of the day yesterday I spent about an hour and a half briefing the Sr. Director in charge of VOS development in Server Technologies on some testing I’m doing in our labs. One of his engineers that I’ve known, and held in the highest regard, since the mid-90s was there as well. After the meeting she told me she reads my blog. She didn’t chew me out about the content. I was happy.

Oracle versus SQL Server
I’ve pointed out many times on this blog that I am not a Microsoft-basher. I do have one thing to say, however. The more I see about 11g combined with the February SE licensing (as I discussed in this blog entry) change, Oracle is going to put the hurt on SQL Server they way they did Informix, Sybase and Ingres. And for those of you who can’t remember those wars, they were bloody.

World Dominance
OK, so I harp on that one a bit too much. It isn’t that I don’t think Oracle should pursue world dominance; it’s just that I don’t want to constantly hear about it. Too much preaching to the converted gets tiring. Look, if Oracle doesn’t remain dominant in the market they won’t be there to support our deployments. None of us would benefit from Oracle suffering in the market.  But world dominance?

7 Responses to “Oracle11g New Features Look Like Good Stuff. Not Just a World Domination Play.”


  1. 1 Doug Burns April 4, 2007 at 5:15 am

    Thanks for that. It’s interesting stuff for those who can’t attend and I found my head nodding constantly, agreeing with your sentiments.

  2. 2 eric gross April 4, 2007 at 3:40 pm

    Thanks for the info.. Would it be possible to post some of the cool new features you heard about for ll? Specifically cluster issues of course would be appreciated :-).

  3. 3 Amir Hameed April 6, 2007 at 3:23 am

    Kevin,
    You have mentioned VOS in this blog. What do you think is Oracle’s direction in supporting Veritas Cluster in the long run?

  4. 4 kevinclosson April 8, 2007 at 2:09 am

    VCS?

    A rounded ball of frozen liquid rolled upstream from Hades through the river Styx

  5. 5 kevinclosson April 8, 2007 at 2:36 am

    Hold it…VOS? Not Veritas/Oracle/Sun. No, I’m talking about the Virtual Operating System layer of the Oracle kernel. Sorry for the confusion…shouldn’t that me SOS for Symantec/Oracle/Sun now anyway? Poor moniker that would be 😦

  6. 6 Jeff April 9, 2007 at 11:32 am

    Kevin,

    Was there anything that came out of the PTS about Oracle’s future direction for supporting Red Hat 5 and it’s virtualization (Xen) functionality. From a development perspective, RHEL 5 with Virtualization and RAC would be a nice combination for shops like us that have to support multiple Linux O/S environments for our customers. I’d hope that Virtualization and RAC can play well together down the road, but I don’t know if that is going to happen.

    A little off-topic, however ties in with my comment: Do you have any initial reaction on Red Hat’s database availability solutions that they are now touting will save significant $$ in Oracle licensing costs.

    Thanks JPD

  7. 7 kevinclosson April 11, 2007 at 7:36 pm

    Jeff,

    No mention of virtualization. I wouldn’t expect there to be. After all, I think virtualization still gives Oracle a bit of grief vis-a-vis their per-core licensing.

    Eric,

    No new features regarding clusters that I could see. I think that segment of the release is just hardening the code. Remember that when 10g went GA and you installed it, Oracle developers had already put it out of their mind and started on 11g. That is the dev cycle. In fact, 11g is already seemingly “legacy” for the core developers as they have moved on to whatever its follow-on release will be. That is how Oracle (and most any large software dev operation) development works.

    As for other features, I was keen on some of the ILM aspects that will be available via improved partitioning features. Of course that leaves your ILM for unstructured data completely out in the cold, but hey, there cannot possibly be any data outside of Oracle databases! There are improvements in Data Guard making the standby more usable. I really like improvements to Data Guard. I think DG is extremely important technology….and there was more…

    There is only one truely new feature in 11g that I know of. The rest are advances on the 10g base. There may be more, but the one I know of was not discussed in the PTS presentations so I don’t feel at liberty to discuss until the cat is out of the bag.


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