Is Oracle Chipping Away at Their Greatest Strength?

So you just purchased a new house and it’s beautiful. The floor plan matches what you had in mind, your friends will be impressed on how well you decorated and you can finally relax with some personal space. Working with the builder was a good experience in that the company had all the right expertise and talent to build everything correctly. In fact, sitting in a chair you can control everything in the house from the lights, cooling, heating and everything else you might want. Only one thing left to do is buy new kitchen appliances. You’ve been doing research and there is a new generation of appliances that will cook faster, cool better and make your life easier.

It’s a rainy Saturday morning which makes the day perfect to do you’re appliance shopping. Because you got the jump on the day the store is relatively empty and you have a sales person waiting to talk to someone like you. This is going to be easy as you know what you want and you have already checked the store inventory online to make sure there are will be no delivery problems. In talking with the sales person you tell him the model numbers of the appliances you want and in short order the sales person is entering the order into the computer. “Okay, I’m supposed to ask you a few questions before we complete the order,” says the sales person. “What company built your house?” Well that’s kind of a strange question but, you answer the sales person question anyway. “Ohh, I’m sorry the new generation of appliances will not work in houses by that builder,” the sales person replies with a sympathetic expression. “What the hell” you think and you reply “Are you kidding?”

The sales person launches into this long winded explanation that basically explains that the new features that enable the appliances to cook faster, cool better and make you life easier will not work in your house. Sure you could still buy the appliances but don’t expect those advanced features to work and the price remains the same. Maybe in the future the new features might work but, I can’t really commit to that. The sales person sees that you’re not a happy camper and offers, “We have plenty of appliances with last year’s technology over here that will work in your house.”

What would you do? I believe one of Oracle’s greatest strengths is that the database, in its entirety, works across everything. I enjoyed my years working for Oracle on the delivery side of the business and often expounded to customers on how Oracle worked across most every operating system. It seems the tides are changing these days as the 11gR2 Flash Cache feature only works with Sun Solaris and Oracle Enterprise Linux. Both Sun Solaris and Oracle Enterprise Linux are owned and supported by Oracle. So if you went with another operating system the Flash Cache feature isn’t available to your business. So the question is, “Is Oracle chipping away at their strengths?” Hopefully, the Flash Cache feature becomes available across all the supported operating systems and this is a non-issue. The danger there however is that some customers are going to get the impression they are being pushed to the back of the line even after their sizable investment. So the question is for you, “What would you do?”

Oracle Flash Cache is a feature that allows the DBA to use enterprise flash disks (EFD) as a cache to improve database performance. Using Flash Cache a DBA defines the mount point, file name and amount of disk for the database to use in holding objects, like tables, for very fast access times. For more information on Oracle’s Flash Cache feature review these links:

http://guyharrison.squarespace.com/blog/2010/7/7/the-flash-cache-keep-option.html

http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E11882_01/server.112/e10595/memory005.htm#ADMIN13392

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About Sam Lucido

I’m a family man that loves playing with the kids, gardening and sitting outside talking with the neighbors. I work for EMC utilizing my 14 years experience with Oracle technology to talk with customers about some of the great storage and virtualization solutions we have to offer.
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