Cloud // Cloud Storage
Commentary
8/9/2010
07:36 PM
Bob Evans
Bob Evans
Commentary
50%
50%

Global CIO: Oracle's Fowler Says Systems Performance About To Explode

More-powerful engineered systems will give customers dramatically expanded insights, options, and opportunities, says Oracle's systems chief.

"The traditional way we looked at and built storage for decades is a hands-off thing: this is my pen and this is my hand but they don't really know about each other—the pen's not even shaped for my hand. If you look at a traditional SAN and say, 'How is that relating to an intensive data thing?', well, the answer is it's not. That whole interface is being refactored," he said.

"Disk drives themselves—they're mechanical devices, and they're really old, and they fail a lot, and you look at them and think, wow, this is like the tube and the transistor. That's gonna be a tidal wave in what we do."

Asked if that means Hewlett-Packard's idea of converged infrastructure, Fowler sketched out a future where the various pieces in the IT puzzle become much easier to fit together—and in turn, render a much more-complete and intriguing final picture.

"I do think there is a refactoring in technology going on, where a bunch of technology grew up separately—storage and servers are a great example—partly because storage companies like EMC and NetApp developed some really excellent products that worked quite well and evolved their industry that way—but, there's no other reason for that. And there's a lot of technical reasons for why you could build things differently and better to achieve better performance or manageability," Fowler said.

"Today, you can build things where the storage unit actually has logic and actually is intelligent about things and you can do a much better job—so I think you're gonna see a lot of changes, and these will follow the classic scenario of early adopters and lots of excitement and it takes a while to mature.

"Engineered systems are going to go through exactly that life cycle: we're in the early part of it—right now, people are probably puzzled, and then it's gonna be exciting and then it'll mature and become part of the real IT life cycle."

And Fowler insists that we are still in the early stages of that overall life cycle, and that for all of the pumped-up capabilities of today's high-end systems, the systems of the not-too-distant future will make them seem by comparison like 286-based PCs.

"The stage we're at right now, we're just rubbing two sticks together!" Fowler shouts as he tosses his hands up and laughs. "You know how people used to make fire? That's where we're at right now: we're rubbing two sticks together to make fire!

"I'm telling you, I look at this stuff we're building today and in some ways I think, 'My God, this is so primitive—and on multiple axes!' There's no way that companies should have these multimillion-dollar IT staffs just to get the freekin' thing up and running! Would you buy an automobile if you then would have to employ a mechanic just to start it the first time? It's some of the things all of us in IT should be embarrassed about, which kinda translates as 'How hard can we make it for people?' "

Yeah, it's been hard—way too hard in many cases. But maybe with all the advanced-technology work going on at IBM and SAP and HP and Oracle and Intel and other places, CIOs will soon be able to replace those two sticks with some lasers.

RECOMMENDED READING:

Global CIO: Larry Ellison & The New Oracle Rock The Tech World

Global CIO: IBM Doubles Down On Red-Hot Optimized Systems

Global CIO: The CEO Of The Year Is SAP's Bill McDermott

Global CIO: In Database Wars, Microsoft Says It Gets No Respect

Global CIO: Oracle's Top 10 Retail-Industry Insights

Global CIO: In Database Wars, Oracle Blasts Microsoft And IBM

Global CIO: Microsoft Joins Oracle & IBM In Rise Of The Machines

Global CIO: Oracle Reveals Strategy & Customers For White-Hot Exadata

Global CIO: Larry Ellison's Hardware Boasts Are Nonsense, Says IBM

Global CIO: Larry Ellison's IBM-Slayer Is Oracle Exadata Machine

Global CIO: Oracle Layoffs Threaten Larry Ellison's Credibility

Global CIO: How SAP Is Leading The Mobile-Enterprise Revolution

Global CIO: SAP's Top 10 Priorities To Become Undisputed #1

Global CIO: Oracle's Larry Ellison Declares War On IBM And SAP

Global CIO: Why Oracle's Earnings Will Improve With Sun

Global CIO: IBM Claims Hardware Supremacy And Calls Out HP's Hurd

Global CIO: Oracle Needs More Than Talk To Beat IBM's Systems

Global CIO: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison's Top 10 Reasons For Buying Sun

Global CIO: Oracle CEO Larry Ellison On The Future Of IT

Global CIO: Oracle-Sun A Bad Deal? Only A Fool Would Say That

Oracle Sees Unconditional EU Approval For Sun

Global CIO: Why Oracle's Larry Ellison Will Tell The EU To Pound Sand

IBM CEO Sam Palmisano Talks With Global CIO

Global CIO: An Open Letter To Oracle CEO Larry Ellison

Global CIO: Where Do Oracle's Profits Come From?

Global CIO: Oracle Dumps HP After Co-Creating 'Most Successful Introduction Ever'

Global CIO: Sam Palmisano's Grand Strategy For IBM

Global CIO: In Oracle Vs. SAP, IBM Could Tip Balance

GlobalCIO Bob Evans is senior VP and director of InformationWeek's Global CIO unit.

To find out more about Bob Evans, please visit his page.

For more Global CIO perspectives, check out Global CIO,
or write to Bob at bevans@techweb.com.

Previous
3 of 3
Next
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Google in the Enterprise Survey
Google in the Enterprise Survey
There's no doubt Google has made headway into businesses: Just 28 percent discourage or ban use of its productivity ­products, and 69 percent cite Google Apps' good or excellent ­mobility. But progress could still stall: 59 percent of nonusers ­distrust the security of Google's cloud. Its data privacy is an open question, and 37 percent worry about integration.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
InformationWeek Tech Digest, Nov. 10, 2014
Just 30% of respondents to our new survey say their companies are very or extremely effective at identifying critical data and analyzing it to make decisions, down from 42% in 2013. What gives?
Video
Slideshows
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.