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Oracle pushes into database-as-a-service

Chris Kanaracus | Sept. 24, 2013
Oracle's new 12c database is hyped as faster and more powerful.

Mendelsohn didn't touch upon Oracle's public cloud database-as-a-service, which was announced in 2011. Ellison is expected to discuss that offering as well as other Oracle public cloud services during a Tuesday keynote at OpenWorld.

Nor did Mendelsohn speak at length about an upcoming in-memory option for the Oracle database, which Ellison also announced Sunday.

That option is now in "pre-beta stage" in Mendelsohn's development group, and will be coming out next year, he said.

Oracle is hoping the in-memory option will help it fend off interest in competing in-memory databases, such as SAP's HANA. SAP is hoping that its customers who now use Oracle to run SAP applications will switch to HANA.

Oracle's database architecture is "bloated" compared to HANA and the in-memory option could mean more work for database administrators, SAP said in an emailed statement.

In addition, "while Oracle was working on 12c, SAP HANA matured from a database to a platform to perform application functions close to the database -- e.g. predictive libraries, business functions, graph processing, geo spatial processing, text processing engines and app server capabilities in memory," SAP said. "We are ready for the next generation apps that will need these application management capabilities natively in database. We believe that they are really behind on this."

While Mendelsohn spoke repeatedly about strong early interest in 12c, typically most Oracle database customers wait quite some time to upgrade, in the interest of letting others work out any remaining bugs.

There are other considerations as well, said John Matelski, CIO of DeKalb County, Georgia, in an interview.

"With a lot of the security enhancements and multitenancy, there's a lot of excitement about [12c]," said Matelski, who is also vice president of the Independent Oracle Users Group. "But organizationally you can't just make a leap. We have a good number of folks that have started the planning phases, but even the planning phase takes six to nine months."

Other factors are somewhat out of Oracle's hands, namely how long it takes for third-party application vendors to certify their products for a new release, Matelski added. Until that happens, "we know we'll get support from Oracle but you don't know you're going to get the support from other vendors," he said.



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