The Unique Business Value of Oracle Engineered Systems: Why Oracle Engineered Systems Are Best

The trend toward adoption of pre-integrated data center "building blocks" combining applications, database and middleware software, data storage, compute, networking, virtualization and management is well underway within most global enterprises. This trend, and Oracle's leadership position, is evidenced by recent survey data and analysis published by numerous industry luminaries (such as Gartner and IDC). While not all such offerings from all vendors are equivalent, they all have common aims: cost reduction, improved efficiency, better ease of use and the agility to take advantage of marketplace opportunities and technology changes as quickly as they occur, for as long as they last. While other technology solution vendors are now racing to close the gap, Oracle's offering continues to outpace our competition, propelled by numerous commercial, marketplace and unique technical advantages.

The basic integration of hardware, virtualization and management software into factory-assembled products has been happening for several years, largely driven by the desire to help the owners and operators of data centers to do more with less cost and risk.  This factory integration of "infrastructure" components is largely the evolution of an even earlier trend toward vendor-lead development of reference architectures (a la "cookbooks";) which aimed to ease the post-sale deployment and integration of complex infrastructure systems comprised of tens or hundreds of discrete components, often from multiple separate vendors.  Oracle, by way of comparison, has taken a different approach that reached further up the technology stack to include, and optimize, the application software that lies at the heart of the enterprise.  

For most enterprises, and certainly most of Oracle's customers, it is the applications (and their enabling middleware and database software) that matter most. Oracle has become one of the largest technology companies in the world on the strength of our extensive portfolio of software products, and our strategy with Oracle Engineered Systems has therefore been to develop infrastructure that is both easier for data center operators to deploy and operate and which delivers unique optimizations which enhance the performance, reliability, manageability, efficiency to the owners of the applications and software that are essential to the business and are driving the lions share of overall IT investment.  Simply put, Oracle's Engineered Systems are more than reference architectures or pre-integrated hardware infrastructure building blocks.  Oracle's Engineered Systems are each designed to support specific high-value, mission critical software workloads, from industry-specific applications and ERP to database, middleware, big data and analytics.

Since their introduction, Oracle Engineered Systems products have proven to be extremely appealing to enterprises the world over.  This is not simply because Oracle has unsurpassed engineering talent and unique intellectual property and therefore delivers extremely technically advanced Engineered Systems products, although this is unquestionably true.  While we do have some of the best engineering talent in the world developing our Engineered Systems products, there are many reasons why Oracle Engineered Systems are superior to home-grown alternatives.  Oracle's unique position as the only vendor offering a complete portfolio of applications, database, middleware, storage, compute platforms, networking, virtualization, operating systems and management has given us a huge advantage over our competitors which we are augmenting at an already rapid and accelerating pace.

In general, however, within any given IT organization and enterprise, different stakeholders continue to have different concerns, reflecting their roles within the organization, backgrounds and the importance of any given application or technology within their industry.  It is not uncommon for concepts like Total Cost of Ownership to have limited relevance outside the executive suite, with management layers below focused entirely on their area of responsibility and not at all on benefits that lie outside.  That said, the benefits of Oracle’s Engineered Systems are not at all hard to characterize and are, at some level, common to all of the products in our Engineered systems portfolio: 

  • Shorter implementation time 

    • Many (most) of the components of the desired application platform are pre-assembled by Oracle and are rapidly manufactured, shipped and installed
    • Oracle and our partners offer expert services tailored for our well known (global standard) Engineered Systems
    • The target Oracle software has been pre-tested, documented and (in many cases) designed for deployment on/with that specific Engineered System
    • Oracle support has special skills and tools to help find and correct stability and performance problems with our Engineered systems, especially when running Oracle workloads (reflected in our Platinum Services SLAs)

  • Better reliability and reduced downtime 

    • Engineered systems are carefully designed for reliability and serviceability (such as the RAS features of our T and M-series servers,  our delivery of fully tested Engineered System patch bundles containing firmware, device drivers, OS patches, management agent patches, system software and middleware or database patches, and design for no-single-point-of-failure redundancy and built in disaster recovery) 
    • Oracle support has special skills and tools to help find and correct stability and performance problems with our Engineered systems, especially when running Oracle workloads (reflected in our Platinum Services SLAs)
    • Hundreds or thousands of Oracle customers are running the same systems under the same workloads, resulting in a higher degree of ‘testing’ than could ever be possible in a single Quality Assurance lab environment

  • Better performance and resource efficiency 

    • Oracle designs Engineered System hardware based on intimate knowledge of the software workloads each system will support, and modifies the Oracle software to take fullest advantage of the Engineered system hardware it will run on
    • Oracle tests the characteristics of the combined hardware and software (the Engineered Systems, often including Oracle applications) in our labs continuously and thereby identifies flawed components (and suppliers/product lines), system design limitations and ideal tuning and configuration to a degree that is utterly impractical in the field, under the time and budgetary constraints of any typical customer project

  • Lower software license and ongoing costs and higher software ROI

    • Oracle’s tools and services span the entire Oracle stack, simplifying system-wide maintenance and administration
    • Superior engineered system performance and efficiency results in the need for fewer software licenses and instances and higher productivity per licensed user

  • Better investment protection and business continuity

    • Oracle’s software and hardware are engineered together, resulting in a much higher degree of out-of-the-box compatibility and usability than would otherwise be possible and guaranteed alignment between new feature development and the ability of the underlying platform to support them (Oracle’s Hybrid Columnar Compression, Smart Flash Cache, Exabus, in-memory application modules, in-memory database enhancements and Software-in-Silicon technology are all excellent examples)
    • Oracle has world-wide reach and an unparalleled ability to manage its supply chain, assuring that the availability of key technologies and components of our systems is uninterrupted and intellectual property rights are safely and consistently managed
Quantifying these benefits is often a challenge, of course, simply because the necessary information about current and projected costs and revenue opportunities tends to be distributed within the enterprise and (in many cases) carefully guarded.  While the precision with which we can predict the business value of any given Oracle Engineered system deployment versus some other lesser option is therefore limited, an increasing number of Oracle customers are making the decision to take steps now, in the right direction.

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« July 2016