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Rise of the Machines

This is the penultimate day of #OOW11 and I am here at the hotel lobby trying to put some order around the myriads of nuggets of information I have had over the last several days.

The announcements this year have been centered around introduction of various new products from Oracle - Oracle Database Cloud, Cloud Control, Database Appliance, Big Data Appliance, Exalytics, T4 Super cluster and so on. One interesting pattern that emerges from the announcements that is different  from all the previous years is the introduction of several engineered and assembled systems that perform some type of task - specialized or generic. In the past Oracle announced machines too; but not so many at the same time, leading to an observation by April Sims (Executive Editor, Select Journal) that this year can be summed up in one phrase - Rise of the Machines.

But many of the folks I met in person or online were struggling to put their head around the whole lineup. It's quite clear that they were very unclear (no pun intended) how these are different and what situation each one would fit in. It's perfectly normal to be little confused about the sweet spots of each product considering the glut of information on them and seemingly overlapping functionalities. In the Select Journal Editorial Board meeting we had earlier this morning, I committed to writing about the differences between the different systems announced at #OOW11 and their usages in Select Journal 2012 Q1 edition. I didn't realize at that time what a tall order that is. I need to reach out to several product managers and executives inside Oracle to understand the functionality differences in these machines. Well, now that I have firmly put my feet in mouth, I will have to do just that. [Update on 4/29/2012: I have done that. Please see below]

In the demogrounds I learned about Oracle Data Loader for Hadoop and Enterprise-R, two exciting technologies that will change the way we collect and analyze large data sets, especially unstructured ones. Another new technology, centered around Cloud Control, was the Data Subsetting. It allows you to pull a subset of data from the source system to create test data, mask it if necessary and even find sensitive data based on some format. The tool was due for quite some time.

Again, I really need to collect my thoughts and sort through all that information overload I was subjected to at OOW. This was the best OOW ever.

#990000; font-size: large;">Update on April 29th, 2011

I knew I had to wrap my head around these announcements and sort through the features available in the engineered machines. And I did exactly that. I presented a paper in the same name - Rise of the Machines - in Collaborate 2012, the annual conference of the Independent Oracle Users Group. Here is the presentation. In that session I explained the various features of 6 machines - Oracle Database Appliance, Exadata, Exalogic, Sparc Super Cluster, Exalytics and Big Data Appliance, the differences between them and where each one should be used. Please download the session if you want to know more about the topic.