Oracle’s Plan For Growth

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According to a ComputerWorld article, Oracle has outlined it’s five growth plans as:

  1. Security
  2. Content Management
  3. Business Intelligence
  4. Grid Computing
  5. Enterprise Search

These are some great areas for Oracle to grow into, honestly. Now, you may think from my last article that security would be one Oracle would have some problems with, due to the whole four month wait for a patch to fix a critical security flaw. However, this is not exactly the sort of security Oracle is hoping to grow their business with.

Database Vault (which has already been released) and Audit Vault are some awesome products, and are especially important if you’re susceptible to SOX or HIPAA audits. Though Oracle already employs grants, roles, Virtual Private Database (VPD), Label Security, enterprise users and roles, and much more, there has always been one big problem: DBAs are just too powerful. Yes, you must empower a user to do his or her job, but there are some companies that must remain very tight on their security. Database Vault helps remedy this by keeping DBAs and other privileged users from specific data.

Audit Vault is also pretty cool (or will be, when it comes out). It actually takes all the audit data in your databases and consolidates it, making it easier for security administrators to keep an eye on their systems. It also makes it very easy to create a presentation to auditors of how safe you’re keeping your data.

I don’t know too much about their content management plans, but I do know that anything can be better than a bunch of CLOBs and BLOBs indexed by interMedia!

Business Intelligence appears to be very promising. I’ve always been impressed with Oracle’s warehouse and BI tools, and their new acquisitions should bring some great new insight.

Grid Computing? Let’s see how that goes. I’ve been noticing more and more companies abandoning the grid and going back to the mainframe. With multi-core servers becoming cheaper every day, it’s hard not to go with a single machine to house many instances. Grid Computing, while very interesting and logical for some institutions, just doesn’t make sense for many companies. While Oracle is correct that Grid Computing saves money on servers, it definitely increases the cost of your Oracle licensing. At this point, however, multi-core servers are coming much cheaper and allow much better savings as less licenses are necessary.

Lastly, the Secure Enterprise Search. I wrote an article on this when it was released. It looks very promising from several points of view. First of all, I don’t doubt that Oracle will be able to pull it off logistics-wise. While Oracle’s searches have never been as fast as Google’s, their interMedia product is very good at indexing many types of data. Oracle also has made great strides bringing many business functions together, so well in fact that it’s only a logical next step to make a way to search it all. Not only that, but private data is a nearly untapped market. Google has its Google Appliance, but it hasn’t caught on as much as they had hoped and is made more for company intranets than a true corporate data consolidation and searching solution. If Oracle can make some high performance company-wide searches possible, this is an area they could truly shine in.

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