Eye on Oracle

May 12 2011   1:45PM GMT

Oracle continues pushing into the data center

Mark Fontecchio Mark Fontecchio Profile: Mark Fontecchio

Last week, Oracle released a study on data center efficiency. For those who still think of Oracle primarily as a database software provider, this might seem a little odd. But seeing how Oracle has evolved, especially since its acquisition of Sun, it does make some sense.

First, some details of the study. Oracle has created what it calls the Oracle Next Generation Data Center Index, The index is a score between 0 and 10, with 10 being the most sophisticated data center strategy. Oracle says that the index measures a data center’s “flexibility, sustainability and supportability.” The results from over 900 organizations: the average index is 5.28.

But what does that number mean exactly? The problem is that neither the page introducing the index, nor a 7-page fact sheet, explain what any of this means, or how exactly Oracle calculates the index.

Virtualization and consolidation seem to be two major factors, but again, there are no details about how a company’s virtualization and consolidation projects past and present factor into the index number. Systems management and server utilization are also mentioned.

The study does give Oracle an opportunity to talk about its own data centers, saying that between 2006 and 2010, “Oracle more than doubled its employee numbers but still managed to reduce its data centres from more than 40 to two.” It added that the consolidation led to $1 billion in savings. Yet it doesn’t actually say what Oracle’s own data center index was.

Oracle also takes the opportunity to talk about its “Self-Service Development Cloud”:

  • Over 2600 physical servers with over 6000 Virtual Servers used by over 3500 developers
  • Enabled a reduction of 75 per cent in number of physical servers
  • Utilization runs typically at 80 per cent, or over 90 per cent at peak load times

It does make sense that Oracle would be more in the data center. It sells server hardware now. It sells more storage. It sells networking. It sells integrated appliances like Exadata that does all three of those things and can consolidate existing servers.

But this data center index that they’ve created is useless without a detailed explanation of how it’s derived.

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