Oracle (ORCL) Executive VP John Fowler sat down with The VAR Guy to discuss Engineered Systems, competing vs. integrated offerings like VCE, and vendor lock-in. Here's the recap.

The VAR Guy

September 25, 2013

2 Min Read
Oracle's John Fowler: Engineered Systems Are Not Lock-In

Oracle (ORCL) Executive VP John Fowler sat down with The VAR Guy (and a few industry peers) a few minutes ago at OpenWorld 2013. Fowler touched on a range of points — Engineered Systems, competing vs. integrated offerings like VCE, and vendor lock-in. Here’s the recap.

Among the topics covered:

  • Oracle Engineered Systems vs. VCE: Analysts asked Fowler to explain how Oracle stacks up vs. VCE — the Cisco, EMC and VMware integrated system. Oracle’s Engineered Systems go deeper by focusing on database and middleware optimization, Fowler asserted.

  • Will Engineered Systems Lock Customers In?: “People ask us if we’ll be proprietary — but it’s the Oracle database. We don’t want applications to change. If you adopt Exadata and it doesn’t perform as hoped, you’re still free to run the application on something else without needing to change the application. In the old days of the mainframe you got locked into CICS and got locked in. We don’t do that. I’m not going to apologize for making the technology underneath the database better.”

  • The Alignment of Oracle Hardware and Software: “Thomas [Kurian] and I meet with Larry every single week on a cadence. The key products are all discussed with Larry. We all work for Larry. It really is one engineering team. Larry absolutely contributes to the architecture. He’s very technically involved.” Kurian is executive VP of product development, focused mostly on software. Talk to Fowler and he spends considerable time explaining hardware, microprocessors and more.

  • SPARC: “We’ve never waivered on investing in SPARC. We’ll keep investing to differentiate. The only question we had was around executing it. We have been executing since coming into Oracle.”

  • R&D Strategy after Oracle Purchased Sun: “Larry wanted us [the hardware team] to be much more aggressive so we eliminated speed bumps. Each processor had to be a big, exciting jump even if it took longer. The big idea was a single team working on the database and silicon. At Sun we worked hard on building a great enterprise processor. But we didn’t have anything that said the processor had features designed specifically for the database.”

Time for The VAR Guy to run to his next meeting.

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