Last fall, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison announced that his company was getting into the hardware business, but I think he misspoke. At that time, he was referring to the new HP Oracle Database Machine with Exadata Storage, a high-end data warehousing (DW) appliance that incorporated hardware from his partner, as well as intelligent storage software technology from that partner--and even had the partner’s name first in the product name. If that was the criterion for “getting into the hardware business”--i.e., running on someone else’s hardware--then every software vendor on earth is in the hardware business, by my reckoning.
In my recent BI Belt Tightening For Tough Economic Times document I explored a few low-cost alternatives to traditional, mainstream, and typically relatively expensive Business Intelligence (BI) tools. While some of these alternatives indeed were a fraction of a cost of a characteristic large enterprise BI software license, there were even fewer truly zero cost options. But there were some. For example, you can:
Leverage and use no-cost bundled BI software already in-house.Small departments and workgroups may be able to leverage BI software that comes bundled at no additional cost with BI appliances, database management systems (DBMSes), and application licenses. You can consider using these few free licenses from Actuate, IBM Cognos, Information Builders, Jaspersoft, Microsoft, MicroStrategy, Panorama, Pentaho, and SAP Business Objects for additional functions such as testing, QA, and prototyping. While these few free licenses are just a drop in the bucket in a typical large enterprise BI license requirements, do look around and don’t waste money on BI products you may already have.
It's painful to see the auto, newspaper, construction, financial services, and so many other formerly vibrant sectors of the world economy go down the proverbial tubes. One of the most nauseating realities is when millions of people lose their jobs, homes, and communities in a seeming blink.
I am writing this blog on my way back home from www.himss.org show in Chicago, while a tingly chill crawls down my back. It’s a creepy feeling of déjà vu. Even worse, it feels like the movie Groundhog Day where the main character keeps waking up on the same day, same date, never able to get to tomorrow. Everything he was able to achieve during the day is erased, and he has to do it over, and over, and over again. This was the feeling I got as I walked the show floor and kept asking myself questions such as:
Where are the open technology standards?
Where is the transparency?
Where is the common sense that business requirements, not vendors, dictate the rules?
In a recent article, Bill Inmon incinerates a strawman concept that he refers to as “virtual data warehousing (DW).” For those unfamiliar with Inmon, he is generally considered the founder of DW as a data management discipline, has been at it since the 70s, and has more published books and articles to his name than most mortals. So he clearly may be considered an authority on the topic of DW.