Oracle’s John Fowler Explains The Value Of Deep Engineering And Highly Tuned Systems

Oracle Voice, 01/26/2015

By: John Soat, Oracle

Having gone to great pains to convince business people that they’re better off putting business applications and even infrastructure in the cloud, some are now preaching what may seem like the opposite message.

But as usual, wisdom is in seeing that different situations call for different solutions. John Fowler, Oracle’s executive vice president of systems, made a number of points recently that help parse out this complexity.

Businesses can reduce costs even when maintaining on-premises Oracle Engineered Systems.

“There are a couple of elements of Oracle Engineered Systems that are important. One of them is fairly well understood and the other is not. The well understood one is this: I do a lot of the integration work for you. This means that I reduce your chances for errors and make it easier to maintain, set up, and use. It’s a lot different buying a bicycle that’s already assembled and tested than buying a bicycle in parts—which is the way data centers have been bought.

“The element that’s not well understood is that these Oracle Engineered Systems also provide much higher performance and much greater efficiency than a data center composed of non-Engineered Systems. People have got to equate performance and efficiency with cost. If I deliver an Oracle Engineered System that can run your entire ERP system, even if that system is relatively large, I’ve simplified your environment and reduced cost.”

Cloud computing and on-premises Oracle Engineered Systems aren’t mutually exclusive.

“There are lots of reasons why you might want to use something on premises and not with a cloud—or vice versa. You may be in a regulated industry that won’t let you move customer data to the cloud. Or you may have customized your applications in ways that are unique to your business and are not offered by a cloud provider.

“Our software works on both, and there are pros and cons for each. We can help customers cost it out. It’s not an emotional or a religious discussion, because we’re not simply pushing a cloud offering. We can sit down and say, what’s best for the customer?

“We expect most large customers will take advantage of both on-premises computing as well as cloud services. And we’re able to offer both of those, so we’re very unique in that regard. As far as our cloud services go, since we’re using our Oracle Engineered Systems, we’re able to deliver a very, very cost-effective service for people running cloud applications.”

Data centers of the future will not be viewed through the prism of cost, but rather be viewed as a competitive advantage.

“The evolution of the data center is fascinating. The most recent trend is virtualization, which by itself I don’t consider particularly noteworthy. What virtualization lets you do is to more efficiently use the resources you have today to run your existing applications.

“I think a more exciting vision of the data center of the future is this: Can we provide you a real-time view of your enterprise? Or, how about the ability to have a 360-degree customer view? What if you could run all your batch processing in line with your working day so you can actually change your business process and do all those things at a fraction of the cost you have today? I know that sounds crazy dramatic, but that’s what we’re working on.

“So the data center of the future becomes, first of all, lower cost than it is today. More interestingly, it becomes a place where it really helps your business, as opposed to being just part of your cost. Think about a company that’s able to say, ‘My data center really gives me a way to change my business’—as opposed to the many companies today that only to want to figure out how to reduce their data center costs. That’s evolution.”

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