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A Look Back at 2016

One of the best things about the holidays is gathering with your family for a big holiday feast: to reflect on good times with loved ones and all our blessings. As 2016 has come to a close, I’d like to take a few moments to review some of the exciting happenings for Oracle’s family of engineered systems this past year.

New Cloud Solutions

While there’s inevitable movement toward public cloud services, many organizations have sound reasons for keeping some of their IT assets in the corporate data center. Perhaps they want to make a gradual transition to the cloud, or it makes sense to stratify their workloads. Oracle kept this in mind with a range of new IaaS offerings this year. Oracle’s IaaS products and services are built on accepted industry standards, which means applications and data can move seamlessly from data center to cloud and back unchanged—and they can be managed from one centralized location. Some of the exciting new offerings include bare metal cloud servers 11.5 times faster and 20 percent less expensive than the fastest competitor. This high-performing family includes one notable new member, the Exadata X6 Database Machine. The Exadata X6 incorporates innovative database architecture that delivers 300+ GB/second analytic throughput, 5.6 million OLTP read IOPS and 52 million OLTP write IOPS, and 250 microsecond IO latency at 2.4 million IOPS. It comes fully pre-configured and tested. And it has an identical Exadata Cloud Machine twin for seamless on-premises or cloud operation.

IDC interviewed eight organizations using the Exadata X6 and projected that these businesses could achieve a five-year ROI of 429%, with average benefits per organization of $12.76 million. These benefits came in areas including increased business productivity ($5.74 million/organization), IT staff productivity gains ($3.53 million/organization), risk mitigation ($2.62 million/organization), and cost savings ($0.87 million/organization)—plus an estimated $220,000 increase in revenue per 100 users. You can read all the details in the IDC report.

How We’re Keeping the Family Safe and Secure

In talking with hundreds of customers over this past year, I've begun to realize that security, while generally regarded as a top priority in theory, is not always a top priority in practice. I've surprisingly found myself in the position of convincing customers that they do, in fact, have a security issue they need to address—and quickly. Just recently in the news was the massive data breach at Yahoo! that Jeff Williams, CTO of Contrast Security, called “the Exxon Valdez of security breaches” with more than one billion accounts compromised.

Addressing the security issue can be simpler than you think when you know where to start. Oracle engineered systems have consistently been regarded as one of the most complete security solutions for building an enterprise “information fortress.” And they do it without adding complexity to your infrastructure, as Oracle continued to demonstrate this past year. Here are just a few highlights:

  • Consolidated systems and servers—that is, a converged infrastructure—reduces cyber-attack entry points. With a simplified architecture, it’s also easier to put into place consistent security policies.
  • Oracle engineered systems allow you to encrypt all your data without compromising speed or performance, whether your systems are on premises or in the cloud. You can encrypt every level of your infrastructure including production, testing and development, and QA.
  • Oracle engineered systems help you harden infrastructure by testing critical software patches across the stack and providing a locked-down storage path that includes pre-encryption de-duping, as just two examples.

A single-vendor integrated stack means elimination of multiple patches and upgrades and facilitates scaling, supports the highest performance, and reduces TCO. You can get all the details in our May blog post from SVP Jim Gargan, “Building an Information Fortress.”

Great Things Come in Small Packages
 
Smaller Oracle Data Appliances and the new Oracle MiniCluster were both released this year for small and midsize businesses that wanted the enterprise performance of an Exadata or SuperCluster, respectively.
 
Oracle Database Appliances offer a completely integrated solution—everything you need in a single appliance. It eliminates the time spent integrating, testing, and deploying a full stack, so you can be up and running as quickly as one hour. Patches are automatic, so the ODA significantly simplifies your job and saves money. Since it’s an engineered system, every component works seamlessly with every other layer in the stack—and it’s cloud-ready when you are.
 
In 2016, Oracle introduced new models, expanding the family to four configurations that meet a wide range of business needs. Since the cloud is no longer optional, ODA comes with cloud extensions and levers for private, hybrid, and public cloud options, including backup and disaster recovery. Check out the entire family in our October blog post, “A Complete Database Appliance Portfolio.”
 
Another new family member, the Oracle MiniCluster S7-2, makes it possible for you to secure your applications and databases against a whole range of attack vectors. You can automatically verify compliance with key security standards on a pre-determined schedule. The MiniCluster provides total security in a compact package. See them all in our September blog post, “A Little Insurance for Your IT Career.

Don't Forget About Storage

In September, we launched the fifth-generation ZS5 Series of ZFS Storage Appliances. Serving as the data backbone of many Oracle Public Cloud services, they give you the benefits of cloud-scale architectures in your own data center while, at the same time, giving you “cloud insurance” when you’re ready to go to the public cloud. With the ZS5 Series, you can leverage Oracle Public Cloud services for object storage, elastic block storage, archive storage, and backup storage. And you have end-to-end visibility and diagnostics from your on-premises environments to the Oracle Public Cloud. This gives you lots of cost-effective options. For instance, you can take cold data from your storage appliance and move it to the Oracle Archive Cloud for 1/10 of a penny per gigabyte—the lowest cost in the world. For more on the ZS5 Series, read VP Steve Zivanic's take on the “ZS5: Ready for the Cloud When You Are” blog post.
 
Once again, the entire family of Oracle engineered systems works together to support your infrastructure on-premises, in the cloud, or in a hybrid environment—and go back and forth between on-premises and cloud smoothly and seamlessly, without any operational disruption.

Wishing You and Your Family All the Best in 2017!

It really has been an exciting year for Oracle—exciting because you’ve told us about the tremendous value you’re getting out of these new infrastructure solutions we’ve introduced this year, which bring a new level of simplicity, performance, and availability to your enterprise. After all, the investments we’ve made have been to make your job easier, to make you more productive, and to make your role more valuable to your organization. It’s amazing what’s been accomplished in 2016, with new consumption models of your favorite engineered systems technology, added security features, new smaller hardware offerings, and cloud storage.
 
We look forward to sharing exciting news and hearing about your successes.
 
But most important, I personally want to wish you a joyful holiday season with your family and friends and a happy and prosperous New Year.

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