Yesterday at Oracle OpenWorld, Larry Ellison announced the database giant's first foray into the hardware realm, unveiling the HP/Oracle Database Machine, branded as Exadata. The Exadata system is a combination of Oracle's 11g database engine using Automated Storage Management (ASM) to manage a grid of HP Proliant servers with 12 SATA or SAS drives each, connected to database servers via InfiniBand. Oracle separated the database processing to allow parts of queries to be run on the storage servers, delivering query results to the database servers rather than whole tables, reducing the amount of I/O passing between servers and storage. There is no interconnect among the storage servers, instead ASM manages read and write requests in parallel among all the storage boxes. The storage server grid allows replacement of failed nodes and ongoing scalability to be automated, and growth to be theoretically unlimited. Oracle claims significant performance increases over traditional architectures and dramatic price improvements at the same time, given the industry standard x86 server architecture and the wide use of dense SATA drives.
One of the unfortunate legacies of management software is the still-too-universal force of exoneration as a purchase rationale. When the “blame game” kicks in, we turn to our management tools in an attempt to gather evidence that will exonerate us from blame. This is a dangerous, yet pervasive element of IT culture that must be exterminated. Perpetuation of these insidious forces will threaten the very viability of the entire organization.
IT has long been the scapegoat for everything that goes wrong in the company, and quite frankly, we deserve much of this unsavory scrutiny. The way we’ve run IT is more characteristic of sloppiness than disciplined execution. Such an atmosphere is destructive to the entire organization and this destruction is obvious to many business leaders. They will take action to remedy the situation, action that will prove disastrous for those who fail to demonstrate progress toward discipline.
VMware and Citrix want to be your cloud infrastructure provider. The competing virtual infrastructure makers announced dueling cloud initiatives this week aimed at providing xSPs with simple to deploy and buy cloud computing platforms that come from very different angles and may serve to bifurcate the mid to small market service provider space.
Citrix Cloud Center (abbreviated as C3, a nice homage to cloud pioneer Amazon Web Services' S3 cloud service) gives xSPs a portfolio of tools for automating virtual machine deployment, movement, and SLA management. It bundles together their XenServer Virtual Infrastructure, Netscaler application switch, WANScaler access gateway and bandwidth optimizer, and the forthcoming Workflow Studio for application self-provisioning and admin orchestration.
It seems the WLAN acquisition rumor mill is hot again after a recent drop in Aruba Network (ARUN) shares nearly a week ago. Still not trading near its most recent trough of $4.29/share on July 14, according to Google Finance, I am not convinced that the next acquisition announcement will involve Aruba.
The company, publicly traded and still letting the ink dry on it's government go-to-market partnership with Foundry, still seems a formidable pill for any other networking powerhouse - Juniper being everyone's favorite contender - to swallow.