has officially launched its 11g database and the software giant has taken an
interesting approach with positioning–most features can be aligned to an
today I asked the question that everyone is asking in relation to new software upgrades
these days: When will customers
upgrade? I also pointed out the MO for enterprise
managers is to take their time upgrading.
response to this IT manager positioning vendors hit you with a ton of features
(and some ridiculously far fetched ROI cases). Oracle clearly delivered the
first part: 11g (see
statement) has more than 400 features and supports new data types such as
RFID data and medical images. Oracle 11g rolls out on Linux this quarter.
Pricing wasn’t disclosed, but executives noted it will be roughly on par
with the 10g pricing schedule.
the ROI cases aren’t all that ridiculous. Oracle president Charles
Phillips didn’t dish out some big ROI percentage during Oracle’s
New York City powwow. But he did outline 11g’s features and some
common sense. In fact it’s one of the few times I listened to a product
pitch and said: “Yeah, I can see that ROI case.” Disclosure: My
default setting for vendor ROI cases is “Yeah, right.”
mentioned earlier, Ari Kaplan, president of the Independent Oracle User Group,
said 11g’s audit vault, which would make it easier to thwart DBAs (database administrators) with their hands in the
till. He also cited better security. All of that’s true, but the ROI case
for regulatory requirements and security is generally dicey.
features have better ROI cases. Here’s a look at some of the more
interesting features of 11g and how they may line up with your CFO’s
Guard: A feature that offloads inactive data to standby systems
automatically. Why is this notable? It could give you more return on disaster
recovery sites, which for many companies just site there until disaster
strikes. I’ve done countless disaster recovery case studies and this gear
gets a workout once a quarter (assuming companies keep up with testing).
and Total Recall: Flashback helps companies
correct bad transactions. Total Recall gives administrators the ability to go
back to an as of date. The ROI case here would be time and labor closing
compression technology: That means companies can buy less disk space.
Online upgrades and patching can cut patch management labor.
features–transparent encryption in 11g, which allows you to encrypt
tables and indexes individually, and query caching, which improves application performance–can be lined up with ROI cases. And these ROI
cases aren’t a big stretch. “Each one of these features has a
business benefit,” said Phillips.
line: Oracle has provided customers multiple avenues to build ROI cases with
11g–and the cases are quite logical (compared to other products
the question about how quickly Oracle customers will upgrade to 11g remains.
Phillips outlined the upgrade process: Pundits doubt new release, IT executives
file away for future reference and then DBAs download
the new database and eventually say they can solve problems with 11g. In other
words, it’s a bottoms-up upgrade process. “It’s hard for us
to predict the upgrade cycle,” said Phillips. “10g went faster than
that these potential ROI cases seem fairly obvious perhaps the upgrade process
will move more quickly. For his part, Phillips is banking on Oracle’s
army of DBAs.
“It may not be the CEO (CFO) that says I need that, but it may be the DBA that can translate these features to savings,” said Phillips. “Our DBAs will be our evangelists.”