Data Warehouse Global Leaders Forum, Athens

Mark and I have just spent the last couple of days at the DW Global Leaders Forum in Athens. The DW Global Leaders Forum is an Oracle-run customer program that connects a number of EMEA Data Warehouse clients with each other, Oracle and a small number of partners.

The main focus of the event was Exadata (Exadata is the answer to every question, it turns out). With the release of OBIEE 11g there has been a lot of focus on the reporting tools recently, so it was a real pleasure to spend a couple of days listening to and thinking about some of the leading Data Warehouse implementations in EMEA.

We got to see what some pretty large organisations, predominantly in the telco and financial services areas, were doing with Exadata and hear the performance gains, reduction in TCO and general consolidation stories. We were also given an insight into how FIFA were using Data Warehousing to analyse betting fraud in world cup games, which watching the news this evening is pretty relevant. 

Probably the take aways from the event for me were:

  • How mature Exadata is becoming; we are now effectively on the third release of the product - the other side of this is that clients were definitely reporting some hardware issues on the V1 boxes - something we have witnessed through a client of ours.
  • Exadata genuinely seems to win-out in proof of concepts.  Obviously you don’t see the cases where it did not win, but its not just the Oracle marketing machine making this stuff up.
  • Database consolidation is a major win for implementers. Having a consolidated database platform is an relatively obvious gain, however the compression Exadata gives means that a lot of database can be hosted on one server, compression ratios of between 4x and 10x were reported.
  • The volume of data that can be processed by Exadata, and the performance gains are undoubtedly impressive. Throughput numbers like 50GB/s, and real time processing of 1m records a second, from this Exadata would really support the big data world.
  • There are some very smart people implementing large databases on Oracle in EMEA and I think a lot of them were at this event

So thanks to Reiner and his team, and to everyone we met, it was a great event and we look forward to the next one.