Oracle's Breathless Run To OpenWorld

Oracle's fast, fast, fast server meets a blink-of-an-eye world that can't stop to breathe. But sometimes speed leads to a remarkable discovery.
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We live in fast times where the CEO of the world's biggest technology company lasts for 10 months, and just as quickly we jump from a week of trashing Leo Apotheker and sneering with disdain at HP's much-maligned board of directors and the gawdy exit bonuses doled out to departing HP CEOs and with the distance of a weekend filled with football games and political talk and the beginnings of Fall or maybe Indian Summer the whole sordid mess is suddenly forgotten and off we rush to talk to Mark Hurd the old CEO of HP now at Oracle and happy to see us all, the breathless media tripping over itself for the latest preview of what Oracle has up its sleeves.

Fast, fast, fast, that's the new Oracle SPARC SuperCluster that has five times faster single thread performance than anything before it with its T4 processor and all-Oracle/Sun technology. And according to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison it is 10 to 50 times faster than IBM's P-Series and 10 to 50 is such a huge range but what's a few thousand transactions among friends and all of that at a fraction of the cost of the IBM P-Series but it's not just the processing that's fast because Oracle says it processes data requests in parallel across several storage devices and its database is "massively accelerated" using hybrid columnar compression and InformationWeek's Doug Henschen says this might revive the fortunes of Sun hardware in the high-end Unix market and that it might also be a "do-or-die proposition for Oracle's hardware business after several quarters of decline"--and all of this along with baby Exadata couldn't wait until next week's Oracle OpenWorld?

After all what will we do while we wait, wait, wait, oh so patiently for the iPhone 5 which hasn't been announced has barely been leaked or lost. And while we wait for that already we're hearing about what the display technology might be for the iPhone after that and oh wait just a moment isn't that Amazon finally about to announce its tablet but it's not telling us just yet and gosh I hope the company isn't calling us all to some grand sham in New York City to announce it has beefed up all of its data centers with some new form of cooling unless of course they've figured out how to solve the energy crisis and then that would be a worthy trick and while we're all waiting for these things there goes Samsung barely able to sell a product on any continent if Apple has its way but now there's an 8.9 inch tablet coming and what does it do? Oh it's 8.9 inches.

There will be no taking a breath because goodness knows that any minute we'll finally see Mango the new version of Windows Phone 7 that's been in the works for months and isn't that just like Microsoft which is already talking about Windows 8 and lookie here it's going to boot up in eight seconds thank goodness because who can stand waiting so long and we probably won't see that new OS until later next year how can they do this to us because damned if Apple waits until the last possible moment and damned if Microsoft tells us a year in advance.

This is a blink-of-an-eye world that can't take a breath with quad-core mobile phones running on 4g networks so I can stalk flights in real time while getting turn-by-turn directions in real time while I'm driving and listening to Spotify through a connection on Facebook in real time and if I want to go faster than real time I can always go to predictive applications and pretty soon I'll just be able to manipulate the outcome and won't it all be just grand because this is an era where not even hackers can afford to wait so they buy and sell root access to and they rent out botnets like cheap roach motel rooms because who has time to code all of this stuff up themselves anyway.

Other than the rush of going fast and our own insatiable need to continually raise the bar on what's possible why don't we ever stop to take a breath?

Perhaps because it is in our nature, because we can, and because the outcome isn't just about how fast a manufacturer can source the cheapest part, but because speed often leads to remarkable discovery, to solutions that sometimes don't just give us pause, but take our breath away. Last week, thanks to the trendy notions of crowdsourcing and gamification, it was revealed that the masses had gathered online to play a game, called FoldIt, and as a result had collectively helped discover an enzyme involved in the reproduction of AIDS, an enzyme whose creation had escaped the efforts of scientists for years.

And. That. Is. Stunning.

Fritz Nelson is the editorial director for InformationWeek and the Executive Producer of TechWebTV. Fritz writes about startups and established companies alike, but likes to exploit multiple forms of media into his writing.

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