Who put robots in my clouds? Oracle OpenWorld

Episode 152 · October 24th, 2018 · 1 hr 11 mins

About this Episode

There’s all sorts of cloud stuff coming out of Oracle OpenWorld this week, so Brando and Coté talk about the mouth-feel of the news. Related, Amazon’s attempts to get off Oracle in Ohio, iCloud dropping out, and JEDI problems.

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Relevant to your interests

  • Cloud, enterprise software to drive 2019 IT spending, says Gartner | ZDNet - CNCF Adopts Sysdig’s Falco Container Runtime Monitor - The New Stack
  • DTA goes cold on blockchain
  • I think the DevOps people are into talking about “product now”…?
  • Ellison makes convincing pitch on automation and security for Oracle Cloud 2.0...but can’t resist trashing AWS
  • Kurt’s summary of Oracle cloud stuff, pretty good.
    • Coté: Look, I don’t really know their portfolio well. It’s hard to follow cause it doesn’t show up in all my feeds like, well, everything else. I’m intrigued by their emphasis on performance and (to a lesser extent) cost. They really hit up the performance characteristics - I’m not sure they mention ease of use or “outcomes” very much.
    • The focus on security is bizarre. Not because they shouldn’t have these things, but because these things are, well, what they should have. Cloud vendors don’t go around chest thumping about how secure they are in the same way that bakers don’t go around chest thumping about how their food is edible.
    • Performance pitching has always been Oracle’s thing (as those of us who used to read printed trade rags know). It’s sort of indicative of easier sales: it’s all numbers in a spreadsheet, then you sort a column and it tells you which vendor to pick.
    • Then there’s Oracle commentary on Amazon of how hard it is to move off Oracle, just barely wrapping itself in the mantle of “because our stuff works better,” when at the core it seems like the worst case of lock-in rent-seeking:
    • ‘Oracle Chairman and co-founder Larry Ellison isn't buying it. On the company's earnings call in December, Ellison said Amazon "is not moving off of Oracle." He reiterated his point at an August event, saying, "I don't think they can do it.
    • ‘They've had 10 years to get off Oracle, and they're still on Oracle," he said. "And it's not going to be easy for them to use their own technology. It's not going to be cost-effective. I mean, it's really, really hard.’
    • ☞ This kind of talk is why we all love to hear “Larry” (as everyone calls him) talk. He’s like the Steve Banon of the IT industry.
    • They should start demo’ing at DevOpsDays and O’Reilly conferences more.
    • Topic: when pitching to “the community” is irrelevant, or, “CIOs don’t go to your shit conferences, nerds.”
    • Now, to put me further out on on the ledge of not knowing Oracle well, they sell a shit-ton of ERP software. They could likely have a larger, positive impact on global productivity by making that ERP software better, no matter how good it is. In the coverage I’ve read, there’s little talk about how they’re revolutionizing ERP stuff - how “machine learning” is improving that. Can it figure out how to file expenses for me? Optimize a supply chain (what ever the fuck that means), etc.? For example, Oracle has the potential to turn all that Watson talk intro practical, everyday applications of “AI.” IBM doesn’t have an ERP suite (they just have re-selling and packaging other people’s stuff injected with Watson thingies - again, whatever the fuck that means) - but Oracle does, plus the foot-print of people using it. I’m sure there’s plenty of money in databases…but their potential to improve their customer’s life is probably more in apps.
    • Diginomica had some ERP coverage: Park Hotels going from analog to digital in accounting, and an excellent example from Red Cross work on improving outcomes. And then back to our regularly scheduled price/performance talk.
    • Kurt has some good, dry lines:
    • Burn-town: “[Oracle’s] Cloud 2.0 looks more like Cloud 0.5” compare to: “My project look like science fair, your project look like section 8.”
  • Amazon's move off Oracle caused Prime Day outage in big Ohio warehouse, internal report says
    • “The outage, which lasted for hours on Prime Day, resulted in over 15,000 delayed packages and roughly $90,000 in wasted labor costs, according to the report. Those costs don't include all the lost hours spent by engineers troubleshooting and fixing the errors or any potential lost sales.”
    • I assume Amazon has saved much more than that by moving off Oracle.
  • Meanwhile, downtime effects us all: Apple iCloud down for (gasp!) hours!
  • Topic: how much uptime do we really need? Cf. SRE last mile problems.
  • US congress-critters question prime directive of Pentagon's $10bn JEDI cloud contract
  • State of Wisconsin shares lessons learned on rolling out Oracle Exadata and how to reduce license costs
  • HashiCorp updates its infrastructure automation suite for hybrid clouds
  • An Alternative History of Silicon Valley Disruption
  • Rockstar Games, crunch, and the great shame of the video games biz
  • Apple’s iCloud services suffered an extended outage
  • Digital transformation of the week: “Eligible Travelers insurance customers will get a discount on their home insurance policies if they buy a smart home kit.”
  • Not everyone likes open spaces: “7 is the magic number of team members for decision-making effectiveness. Once you reach that number, each additional member reduces effectiveness by 10%.”
  • Cloud Foundry Cult: “The users we spoke with didn't just see it as a PaaS – it was the underlying philosophy of application delivery and management upon which future developments would be based. The Foundation claims Cloud Foundry saves, on average, 10 weeks of development time and $100,000 per app development cycle. In fact, in its own survey, 92% of users cite cross-platform flexibility as important. If these panelists are gaining such benefits, it's easy to understand why they are so enamored with it.”
  • 300 VMs per admin is the magic number:
    • “Private clouds owned and self-managed by enterprises can be cheaper than public cloud. The magic number to beat is about $25 per VM-month at 100% utilization. If the cost of the whole stack comes in under this number, then even with the addition of labor to manage that private cloud, it should be cheaper than public cloud. Obviously, with better labor efficiency, unit costs versus public cloud are lowered further, and the relative value of benefits increases. Enterprises unable to achieve a labor efficiency of 300 VMs per engineer are unlikely to beat public cloud on price.
    • ”Partially managed clouds have good economics. If an enterprise is able to manage just the datacenter element of a private cloud at a ratio of at least 400 VMs per engineer, that cloud may cost less to operate than fully managed alternatives. We believe enterprises could easily beat this ratio.”
  • Related: “Of that, private cloud spending [on hardware] reached $4.6 billion, an increase of 28.2 percent year over year. That's a significant increase, but not as great as the jump in spending on public cloud IT infrastructure, which was $10.9 billion, a 58.9 percent year-over-year growth.”

Conferences, et. al.

Listener Feedback

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SDT news & hype


  • Brandon: Making a Murder Season 2.
  • Coté: Staying in the same hotel when you go to a city. Consider the Lobster. Anti-recommendation: Logitech Slim case from iPad Pro with keyboard. The Apple one with a pen holder is probably better?