August 27, 2013, 10:25 AM — Oracle CEO Larry Ellison typically uses his annual OpenWorld conference keynotes to deliver the company's biggest announcements and strategic positioning, and this year they will apparently involve an in-memory database and Oracle's PaaS (platform as a service) offerings.
On Sunday, Sept. 22 Ellison will deliver his first keynote, which is titled "Oracle Database 12c In-Memory Database and M6 Big Memory Machine," according to an announcement released Tuesday.
The first likely refers to something Ellison mentioned in June during an Oracle earnings call.
While Oracle released an initial version of Database 12c in June, on the call Ellison referred to an upcoming product he described as a "vertical, columnar compressed, high-speed in-memory vertical database" that would be out at the end of this year.
Meanwhile, M6 Big Memory Machine is apparently a high-RAM server based on Oracle's next-generation SPARC M6 chips and will likely be paired with the in-memory 12c product.
All told, Oracle and Ellison clearly plan to take the fight to SAP, Microsoft and IBM with regard to in-memory computing.
Indeed, on the June call Ellison referred to the in-memory 12c product as a reason why he was confident SAP's much-hyped HANA in-memory database "could never compete with Oracle over the long term."
While HANA has been generally available since June 2011, Oracle boasts a much larger installed base for its database platform, especially within SAP's customer base. Meanwhile, SAP has been hoping to convince customers to move their SAP workloads over to HANA. But if Oracle can get a compelling in-memory alternative to market soon, coupled with sales incentives, it could retain customers who are considering a switch.
Microsoft and IBM are also rolling out in-memory database technologies. By putting data for processing in RAM, rather than reading and writing it off of disks, in-memory databases can provide major performance boosts, vendors say.
Ellison's second OpenWorld keynote is titled "The Oracle Cloud Platform: Database as a Service. Java as a Service," and will cover Oracle's entry into PaaS.
While the services have been available for some time, Oracle hasn't spent an overt amount of energy marketing them. This clearly is about to change given that Ellison himself will broach the topic during OpenWorld, and not a lower-level Oracle executive.