PROFIT: What is Oracle doing to help business leaders analyze
information and make better decisions?
MENDELSOHN: On the business intelligence front, we’re
giving customers better insight into all kinds of information:
ERP [enterprise resource planning] data, spatial data, Web
content, XML data, Office documents, you name it. We have
a technology called cube-organized materialized views that
speeds up decision-support queries and makes it easier to
analyze information. In the past, these views had to be created
in advance, based on your knowledge of the kinds of questions you thought people would ask. That often meant creating
hundreds of views to cover all possible scenarios. Now you can
replace all those materialized views with one OLAP [online analytical processing] cube, which yields much faster results.
We also released Oracle Secure Enterprise Search, which
makes it easier to find information in Oracle E-Business Suite
and other applications. Let’s say you want to find a job offer you
posted. With Oracle Secure Enterprise Search, you can type in
“job offer for John Smith” and it will retrieve the information in
the context of the application you are working in.
PROFIT: How does Oracle Database 11g simplify security and
MENDELSOHN: We have a feature called transparent data
encryption that makes it easy to encrypt personally identifiable
information such as Social Security numbers. We’ve enhanced
that technology with support for more datatypes, as well as
for large objects and unstructured information. We also added
tablespace encryption so you can encrypt entire subsets of database information and keep that data secure.
We created Oracle Database Vault to help companies deal
with insider threats. For example, you can set privileges so a
certain administrator can perform backups but not see any
information, or so an HR administrator can see HR information but not financial data. Also, we offer Oracle Audit Vault to
enforce security validation policies. Let’s say an auditor comes
into your IT shop to ensure you are correctly protecting your
information. You might have hundreds or even thousands of
databases, so manually going through the audit trail is virtually
impossible. Oracle Audit Vault can go into all these databases,
gather the auditing information, and consolidate it into a data
warehouse. Then you can run standard queries to quickly discover violations of your security policies.
PROFIT: How does Oracle Database 11g help with business
MENDELSOHN: Many companies have created standby databases for disaster recovery purposes, which are essentially
duplicates of their production databases. This is expensive,
since the standby databases aren’t used unless there is a
mishap or disaster. With Oracle Database 11g, you can offload
work to these standby databases, like your query workload
and your backup workload, so you get daily use of these
Burlington Coat Factory uses Oracle Data Guard to keep
information in sync between its two data centers. Mike Prince,
Burlington’s CTO, told attendees at Oracle Open World how his
organization adopted an Oracle grid to devise a simple yet powerful IT architecture with fewer moving parts. They have two
grids running different production systems, and Oracle Data
Guard ensures that all updates are carried out on both grids,
providing complete protection from site failure or disaster.
PROFIT: What is motivating Oracle Applications customers to
adopt Oracle Database 11g?
MENDELSOHN: We’ve simplified the upgrade process. We’re
constantly testing and refining the software to make sure it supports our ERP and CRM [customer relationship management]
applications in an optimum fashion. Oracle’s own experience
is a great proof point. We run our entire business on Oracle
Applications and Oracle Database in a grid environment. We’re
adopting Oracle Database 11g because we know it can manage
vast quantities of structured and unstructured data in a highly
efficient manner, and because it positions us to deal with change
in a stable, confident way. <>
DAVID BAUM is a technology and business writer who writes frequently for Profit.
BY RICH SCHWERIN
VIRTUALIZE YOUR ENTERPRISE
ORACLE VM DELIVERS SCALABLE, EFFICIENT, LOWER-COST SERVER VIRTUALIZATION.
s the volume of information in your data center continues
to grow, you’re faced with myriad challenges—increased
hardware, energy, and cooling costs; real estate, facility,
and space expansion costs; resource underutilization;
and availability issues, just to name a few. One solution to these
challenges is server virtualization—disaggregating a single
physical server into multiple logical servers (virtual machines)
or partitions. Recently Oracle launched a free, scalable server
virtualization software product, Oracle VM, which supports both
Oracle and non-Oracle applications and is backed by enterprise-quality, low-cost support. Profit sat down with Monica Kumar,
Oracle’s senior director of open source product marketing, to get
the inside story on Oracle VM.
PROFIT: What motivated the release of Oracle VM?
KUMAR: Oracle’s data center was running out of space, and
we decided to deploy virtualization technologies to overcome
the space issues. In testing what was available out there, very
soon we realized that none of these existing x86 server virtu-