November 12th, 2007 by Mark Rittman
I’m currently sitting in the Club Oracle Gold Lounge in Moscone West, catching up on emails and listening to Charles Phillip’s keynote on the TV in the corner. It’s been a pretty busy couple of days since I arrived on Saturday, luckily the weather has cleared up since our arrival yesterday was a typical crisp, sunny day in downtown San Francisco.
Yesterday started off with the ODTUG BI&DW SIG meeting, a one-hour session that I chaired over in Moscone West. The theme for the meeting was Oracle BI&DW – now and tomorrow, and three of the Oracle product managers, Jean-Pierre Dijcks (OWB), Aydin Gencler (Oracle BI) and Alaric Thomas (Hyperion) kindly agreed to come along, do a short presentation on their respective product areas, and answer questions. Funnily enough, I was concerned that we’d not have enough material and we’d struggle to fill the hour; in the end, we barely management to get everything in, get everyone’s questions answered and finish on time. Luckily the room wasn’t being used directly afterwards, so we were able to hang around after the session, catch up with people and continue the conversation.
The rest of the day was taken up with the Oracle ACE Directors’ briefing, an event organized by Justin Kestlyn and the ACE Director program to provide a product briefing on Fusion Middleware and the Oracle Database. After that was the “Sunday Night Live” event with Larry Ellison, followed by the ACE dinner at a restaurant just around the corner.
The Charles Phillips talk was certainly interesting. The main theme seems to be application integration, and how Oracle’s products apply across the entire organization from the CFO to the CIO and so on. Interesting for me was the quite big emphasis on business intelligence; there was a demo of what looked to be OBIEE integrated with the Hyperion Workspace, the Action Framework that’s coming in the 11g timeline, demos of OBIEE dashboards and integration with E-Business Suite. Also interesting was the announcement of Oracle VM – Oracle’s new server virtualization product, based on (I think) Xen and available for free with the option of paid-for support (like Oracle Enterprise Linux). Oracle VM is something you install onto a bare (i.e. no host OS) x86 or x86-64 server, manage using a second machine, and use to run multiple virtual servers running Oracle software (although you can use it for running anything).
I think the aim seems to be that you run Linux on these virtual servers, the emphasis seems to be on this and whilst you can run Windows on them, performance isn’t as good. You can run Oracle VM on most modern x86 hardware, although hardware with hardware virtualization (like my Macbook Pro, running Core2 Duos) works best. There was also a short demo of using the Oracle VM manager application to migrate VMs from one server to another without the application going down, and managing pools of virtual servers across grids of hardware. Certainly looks very interesting, although the need to install it on a separate, no-OS server and manage it from another will probably stop most of us downloading it tomorrow and giving it a spin on our laptops.
Anyway, that’s it for now, I’m off to the first of the BI keynotes later on this morning. I’ll try and do an update later on in the day.