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Are The Bells Tolling For Oracle?

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16 Nov Are The Bells Tolling For Oracle?

Cojones.

That’s about all I could think of when reading this article posted to Forbes.com. [UPDATE: The link at Forbes has been taken down, probably right after this response from Microsoft went live. You can find the original Forbes article in Google’s cache by clicking here.] It was written by Bob Evans who, as luck would have it, works for Oracle. I think it is safe to say that Bob Evans has balls as big as church bells. I suspect he can’t fly commercial airlines for that exact reason.

So Oracle is calling out Microsoft over a “vaporware fantasy”? Really?

Did Oracle really want to go there?

OK, fine. Let’s begin.

Bob, I have no idea how long you have been with Oracle. Perhaps you don’t recall the time when Oracle marketed itself as “unbreakable” and stated that you “can’t break in.” Well, here’s a C|net article that talks about how Oracle is as unbreakable as any toy I have ever placed in the hands of my toddler children. If you are interested here’s the latest page for the upcoming security releases for that “unbreakable” product of yours. You know, in case you were thinking of using your own product. You’re welcome.

Maybe that’s not fair to you Bob. It was a long time ago, really, and who among us hasn’t said things they regret years later. OK fine, let’s look at something a little more recent, and relevant, to your point about “in-memory” technology. Here’s is a link that announces your Exadata X3 Database In-Memory Machine technology. I especially love this line:

Oracle Exadata X3-2 Database In-Memory Machine and Oracle Exadata X3-8 Database In-Memory Machine can store up to hundreds of Terabytes of compressed user data in Flash and RAM memory, virtually eliminating the performance overhead of reads and writes to slow disk drives, making Exadata X3 systems the ideal database platforms for the varied and unpredictable workloads of cloud computing.

That’s truly amazing, really, how you are able to leverage the use of SSD drives and RAM in order to store data. Kudos to you, sir, for taking something so incredibly common as a flash drive and making everyone think it was a revolutionary idea. It would be the same as if we thought that Vince invented the food processor, or egg salad. Unfortunately your marketing gimmick didn’t fool everyone. Those of us with over 2 years experience as database professionals saw it for what it was: marketing spin, and not very good spin at that.

I’d also like to point out to you that you can find some research papers online from the Microsoft team at UW-Madison. That paper was published in 2011. I’m not sure what year you are living in, though, so perhaps that news won’t reach you for a while. So your claims that this is a knee-jerk reaction is simply not true. If I didn’t know any better I would suspect that you do most of your research using Wikipedia and little else. I don’t think it would hurt your credibility to pick up a phone and do a little fact checking before making absurd claims but since I dabble in marketing I know how facts can get in the way of a good story.

A colleague of mine put it best when in response to reading your article he said: “You know you are over the target when you start taking flak.”

I suspect that Microsoft has been able to do something you dream about: moving technology forward. And that has you scared, so you lashed out.

Don’t worry though Bob, Microsoft is a forgiving lot. They’ll turn the car around and come back for you if you need it.

  • Alan Dykes

    Nice post. That was roughly my reaction when I read that article a few days ago. Gotta make sure that the people you convinced to buy your special hardware feel that they’re special.

    • ThomasLaRock

      Alan,

      Yeah, they need to keep the Oracle Marketing Machine marching on.

  • http://twitter.com/arcanecode Arcane Code

    Its sad to see how bad Oracle is doing financially. They are in such hard times they have resorted to taking money and trying to install third party products (toolbars, antivirus) every time they put out an update to their Java product. I didn’t realize they were that hard up for cash, to resort to that kind of slimy marketing gimmicks. Sad to see a company fall to that level.

    • ThomasLaRock

      Yeah, and at $47,500 USD per core, I can’t see how they aren’t making money either!

  • Rizwan

    Interesting article

  • http://twitter.com/sqlcodemonkey Alex Zuroff

    “Vaporware… You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.”

  • http://twitter.com/alexgorbachev Alex Gorbachev

    Well, speaking about checking facts and doing homework, it would be very easy to check LinkedIn and see that Bob Evans has joined Oracle in May 2012 before serving in similar role at SAP for more than a year. Forbes article’s title does make it clear that it’s Oracle’s message, at least to me, and there is Oracle right next to Bob Evans’ name. There is no masquerade by Forbes.

    Readers might want to check a more thought through response to that article instead of this rather arrogant reaction above. http://www.informationweek.com/software/information-management/oracle-spotlights-its-database-memory-ga/240142209. You will find that Doug Henschen is not biased as this article or the one from Bob Evans.

    • ThomasLaRock

      Alex,

      Thanks for the link.

      There is no masquerade by Forbes. However, it is rather clear that by allowing such nonsense to be published at Forbes.com they are going to be seen as little more than a marketing tool for Oracle at this point.

      As for the fact-checking…I did make mention that I know how facts can get in the way of a good story!

      Thanks again for the link, and for stopping by to read my post.

      • Joseph Marsh

        Honestly, it’s been a LONG time since I read such a gracious response to such an un-gracious comment. Nicely Done, Thomas.

        • ThomasLaRock

          Thanks! I’ve learned not to let the written word get in the way of a good conversation.

  • Gethyn Ellis

    Lol can’t beat a good marketing cat fight :-) interesting post I enjoyed reading it

  • http://www.facebook.com/russel.lee.thomas Russ Thomas

    I read that very article on Forbes when it came out. My response was roughly similar – several sentences in I was thinking, who the hell wrote this… Oracle? Well, turns out indeed it was. I have a very good friend who was a VP for Novell and Groupwise/Office lead at WordPrefect before that. He said in all his years rubbing shoulders with the major players in IT the only company that ever gave him the creeps was Oracle.

    • ThomasLaRock

      Russ,

      I think that sums up how most folks view Oracle – creepy.

  • Aaron Bertrand

    Apparently Forbes was feeling the heat – it seems they’ve taken down the article. http://www.forbes.com/sites/oracle/2012/11/14/oracle-calls-out-microsoft-over-vaporware-fantasy/