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Show Report: Oracle OpenWorld & JavaOne 2010 - Day One

All the fun of the 'developer & DBA' fair - Oracle has managed to create a huge impact on San Francisco this week

Oracle has managed to create a huge impact on San Francisco this week. Reports suggest that not since a US president (we're not sure which one) needed a little extra access in the city has a road been permanently closed for the week – but the local police have done it for Larry Ellison so go figure that one out!

Oracle has kicked off the first complete day of its Oracle OpenWorld and JavaOne exhibition in San Francisco this week with a series of announcements including news of new Oracle Fusion middleware applications.

On the back of a Sunday night keynote delivered by Larry Ellison himself, the first show day's news has encompassed new Oracle Fusion middleware applications, which the company describes as a suite of modular apps that are 100% open and totally standards-based.

The new business apps, which coexist with existing Oracle applications, are built on a service-oriented architecture to enable users to manage functions across a heterogeneous environment.

Presented as 100 modules over 7 different product families, Oracle Fusion Applications have been positioned to serve the following markets: Financial Management, Procurement and Sourcing, Project and Portfolio Management, Human Capital Management, Customer Relationship Management, Supply Chain Management, as well as Governance Risk and Compliance.

"To set a new standard, we listened and gathered the best practices from thousands of customers to deliver the first 100 percent open and standards-based business applications. Beginning today, Oracle Fusion Applications define how organizations innovate, work and adopt technology," said Steve Miranda, SVP of Oracle application development.

Cloud in a box
Also key among the hot news elements put forward on day one of this year's event was news of what Oracle is calling the world's first integrated middleware machine, the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud is an integrated hardware and software system engineered, tested and tuned by Oracle to run Java and non-Java applications with extreme performance.

The machine provides a complete cloud application infrastructure, consolidating what is described as “the widest possible range of Java and non-Java application types and workloads” -- as well meeting the most demanding service-level requirements.

Although some commentators and journalists are simply describing Ellison's new baby as – a server. The product does in fact combine 64-bit x86 processors, an InfiniBand-based I/O fabric and solid-state storage with the Oracle WebLogic Server, other enterprise Java Oracle middleware products and a choice of Oracle Solaris or Oracle Linux operating system software.

"Appliances are becoming the new cloud. In part, this is because traditional hardware and software vendors need to maneuver to get greater mind-share in this space while retaining the higher margins that they're accustomed to. But the cloud in a box also has appeal for customers - providing them with many of the speed to solution and flexibility benefits of the cloud -- along with remote system management and support in an on-premise solution,” said Laurie McCabe, IT analyst and researcher; Partner and Co-founder, SMB.

The product's software has been tuned to exploit the I/O fabric in the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud machine in order to deliver performance results 10x better than a standard application server configuration. It has also been engineered for large-scale, mission-critical deployments -- and is said to accelerate the performance of the entire Oracle Fusion Middleware product portfolio and also increases the performance of applications running on Oracle WebLogic Server with either Oracle Linux or Oracle Solaris 11.

“Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud is a complete system of servers, network, storage, VM, operating system and middleware, all engineered to work together,” said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. “This delivers stunning results, including the fastest Java performance, elastic capacity on demand and a completely fault tolerant system.”

Unified Storage Ubiquity
Oracle also used the first day of this massive show to talk about its Sun ZFS Storage Appliance product line, a selection of storage appliances that the company says offers 50 percent more performance than previous products, two times more storage capacity and nearly three times more processing power.

Built with storage analytics utility with DTrace Analytics, the ZFS Storage Appliance product line includes management software and a hybrid storage pool architecture that has been integrated across the Oracle stack to provide optimal business system performance.

Today also saw news of the company's Oracle’s Agile Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) 9.3.1, which it says is designed to help pharmaceutical companies streamline drug development processes, reduce waste, leverage global networks and enable Quality by Design (QbD) practices. The drugs don't work – but the software does This latest release also includes new cross industry capabilities that support the entire product value chain. For example, Agile PLM 9.3.1 provides deeper product lifecycle analytics, next generation multi-CAD integrations, complex technical documents management, design variant management and many other usability and functional enhancements.

“Pharmaceutical manufacturers operate in a highly regulated environment that has some of the most complicated value chains and business processes,” said Eric Newmark, research manager, IDC Health Insights. “These companies require solutions like Oracle’s Agile PLM which helps address the shifting landscape they face by streamlining complex processes, reducing waste, improving collaboration and supporting compliance with incredibly strict regulations.”

“We are committed to helping organizations across all industries manage product value chain processes so that they can accelerate product innovation and maximize product profitability,” said Hardeep Gulati, Oracle vice president PLM and PIM Product Strategy. “With this release, Oracle has added new differentiated capabilities that enable pharmaceutical drug development while also enhancing the deep cross industry capabilities delivered in Agile Enterprise PLM.”

Last, but not least of the announcements made on this opening day was news of Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0, an integral part of Oracle Virtualization, the industry’s most (to use Oracle's words! ) complete and integrated virtualization portfolio. Pre-installed on Oracle’s SPARC T-Series servers, Oracle VM Server for SPARC (previously called Logical Domains) is a server virtualization solution that allows up to 128 virtual servers on one system by taking advantage of the massive thread scale offered by SPARC T-Series servers, including the new SPARC T3 servers, enabling organizations to benefit from increased flexibility and improved server utilization.

“With advanced performance, management and availability features, Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 delivers unrivaled enterprise-class virtualization capabilities,” said Wim Coekaerts, senior vice president Linux and Virtualization Engineering, Oracle. “What’s more, it clearly demonstrates that Oracle is committed to continuing its investment in Oracle Solaris and SPARC and offering fully optimized and integrated solutions to our customers.”

Oracle VM Server for SPARC 2.0 includes performance, resource management, flexibility, power management and availability enhancements. It can support highly sophisticated enterprise workloads, including Oracle Real Application Clusters environments. As a single announcement, it sits among around ten major hardware and software releases, upgrades, enhancements and new launches made today.

Oracle has managed to create a huge impact on San Francisco this week. Reports suggest that not since a US president (we're not sure which one) needed a little extra access in the city has a road been permanently closed for the week – but the local Police have done it for Larry Ellison so go figure that one out!

It's a seriously weighty show, it's truly impressive and – if I have to go on the record and say it – I wasn't so keen on Oracle before now and I had a tremendously soft spot for Sun Microsystems. But Sun technologies appear to have been reasonably well looked after since the Oracle acquisition (perhaps Open Solaris excepted) and if the future for Java is still positive then I think we should all be mostly happy.

More Stories By Adrian Bridgwater

Adrian Bridgwater is a freelance journalist and corporate content creation specialist focusing on cross platform software application development as well as all related aspects software engineering, project management and technology as a whole.

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