Oracle 11g: How fast will folks upgrade?

Posted by Larry Dignan @ 2:13 am Categories: General, Software Infrastructure, Oracle Tags: Security, Database Administrator, Database, Oracle Corp., Oracle, Larry Dignan

Oracle is hosting a powwow in New York to tout the launch of its 11g database Wednesday, but it’s unclear how fast folks will upgrade.

The question for Oracle is just how fast will users upgrade. And that’s no small issue considering 11g is Oracle’s first database update in four years. The MO for software customers these days has been to check out the goods and then wait and wait. And then after waiting a while take some time to mull over the upgrade. It happening now with Vista and it may happen with Oracle 11g too.

Ari Kaplan, president of the Independent Oracle Users Group is more optimistic. His group, which consists of 20,000 users of Oracle’s core technology–database and middleware, but not apps–says there are a few items notably security to boost uptake.

In an April survey, Kaplan found that 35 percent of users will upgrade to 11G in its first year and 53 percent said the next several years. Most users expect the upgrade to take 12 months. The big reason for the upgrade appears to be better security features and compliance management.

But unless you have a solid business reason to upgrade customers may hold off on 11g.

According to Kaplan there are two features that may get customers moving on an upgrade:

  • Audit vault: Kaplan notes that today the database admins have all privileges. That’s a lot of power that enables a wayward DBA to cover tracks. On 11g there’s a trail no matter who is in the database. Great for CFOs and auditors. Not so hot for a DBA. These and other security enhancements may be a selling point. Richard Stiennon has more on the DBA security issue.
  • Information lifecycle management: It’s very easy to have a few terabytes of data lying around. 11g has ways to match the important data with the most mission critical storage channels. The rest can go on cheap drives. Oracle has also lumped better compression technology into 11g.

Will these features get folks to upgrade? That remains to be seen, but don’t be surprised if enterprise managers take their time.

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