Eye on Oracle

May 15 2008   3:50PM GMT

Has Oracle misled us about 11g?

Shayna Garlick Shayna Garlick Profile: Shayna Garlick

Is Oracle 11g not yet as successful as we may have been led to believe?

According to Pythian Group CEO Paul Vallee, the answer is yes. Vallee claims his research shows that Oracle 11g is being adopted at slower rates than earlier Oracle databases – and Oracle Corp. will neither comment nor provide numbers showing otherwise.

Pythian Group is an enterprise database management service that manages 718 production databases for 56 Oracle customers. Vallee says that only 3 out of the 718 databases are running 11g (which was released last July).

As I wrote last month, IDC reported that Oracle has increased its database market share. IDC analyst Carl Olofson said Oracle told him that 10% of users expressed intent to upgrade to 11g. According to Olofson, “that would be an unusually high adoption rate for the first year.”

In the Network World article, Vallee says that, based on his numbers from Pythian, “he can say with 95% confidence that no more than 3.66% of Oracle databases are running 11g. With 50% confidence, he says it’s unlikely that even 1% use 11g.” Vallee calls Pythian “a robust sample” of Oracle customers, sufficient for use in statistical studies.

Vallee acknowledged that it might be unrealistic for Oracle to know exactly how many customers are using 11g, but the number of support requests they receive for help with 11g would be a good indication.

However, Oracle declined a request by Network World to provide any support numbers. They also declined to comment on Vallee’s claims, “instead providing links to a few documents, none of which show how many Oracle customers have adopted 11g.”

There’s nothing unusual about a slow adoption rate for a new release – so why would Oracle be reluctant to admit one? (If Vallee’s findings are valid). And, while it may be true that “organizations worldwide adopt Oracle 11g,” just how many organizations is it, exactly?

7  Comments on this Post

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  • Bradd PIontek
    I'm not surprised by Vallee's claims, but it would be interesting to compare the 9i, 10g, and 11g (release 1 and 2 ) adoption rates. I've personally taken the approach of "wait until Release 2" after gettin burned by 8.1.5 bugs. I don't see Oracle delivering higher quality code as time goes by. The impression I get is faster delivered code, with more features, but not necessarily ready for prime time.
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  • Robert Freeman
    I think adoption of 11g has been even slower than earlier releases. I think there are a number of reasons for this including: * 11g has fewer compelling reasons to upgrade than previous versions * Those reason often require purchase of a new license. * 9iR2 and 10gR2, which are likely to be the platforms to upgrade from are quite stable. * 11g has had a number of bugs appear that make people want to let the product mature a bit. People will move, but it will take time. Upgrades are a costly effort and nobody wants to upgrade to a product if they don't have a real cost justification to doing so.
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  • Zaffer Khan
    I will sure get a hands-on on 11g for my Dev/Test Instances. Just waiting for 11g R2.
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  • Kevin Stone
    I do plan to look at 11g I believe it has a lot to offer on the XML side. However I will wait until release 2.
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  • Dave Moore
    The "wait until release 2" is always interesting. If Oracle had labeled it 10.5, would customers wait for 10.6?
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  • Brian Fedorko
    Just like the adoption of 10g, it is very difficult to move production systems to the latest version unless there are very clear advantages that bring immediate value. We'll certainly see more & more adoption as systems in development (which are more likely to utilize the latest & greatest) move into production. That being said, 10g offered HUGE benefits across a wide scale, although we're still learning to make full use of it. Right now, it doesn't seem like 11g is bringing quite as much to the table - Many new features are development (Real Applications Testing) or niche-oriented (Virtual Columns). Or perhaps we just haven't been able to fully flesh out the utility of all the tools yet. Of course, Oracle wants their flagship to be successful, it may take a little time. From my experience, the initial release of 11g has been exceedingly stable compared to the release of 10gR1.
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  • Sergiy Avramych
    I like 11g database very much. New features Oracle is offering are great, especially features like “active standby database”, invisible indexes, automatic partition maintenance, data compression, archive log shipment compression, tablespace encryption, result caching and one, which I discovered by myself, direct IO on full table scan for serialized session. The last one helps increase reporting performance up to 4-5 times. Having Active standby database is a dream for everybody who has DR sides and using those sides only for DR. When using DG in 'LGWR ASYNC' (delay between primary and standby database usually less then 3 seconds) allow us to switch all reporting engines to DR databases for almost real-time reporting. Performance of primary database skyrocketed. How easy become maintain standby database, just run startup and oracle will do rest. I am enjoying cloning of database or creating standby database now. 5 lines of code, and clone created online, no backups no file transferring. This is like a dream for DBAs. Creating SR is a piece of cake now. One click and Service request created. I can continue talking on and on about 11g database. I love it so much. For 20+ years of Oracle experience I did not have so much excitement like now. I think only one reason why 11g implementation is not that fast, because of economy. People worry about their jobs not looking to bring some innovation to the table. BTW release was not that bad as other oracle releases. But after oracle released version, I would not worry at all to upgrade production databases and enjoy all features in once. We upgraded 15% of our 24x7 production databases to version. Currently we are working on upgrading rest of our big production databases to oracle 11g version.
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