Which is to say, Oracle Open World. Extremely big. Extremely red.
Item: I’ve never seen the main Moscone-North hall filled to the edges before. It’s pretty mind-boggling. I heard 35,000 attendees (but whenever conference organizers give attendee counts, they’re lying) and then, very specifically, 81,000 hotel-nights, which is a damn big deal. Did I mention it was extremely red?
Item: Even under this stress, the WiFi held up really quite well. I didn’t know that could be done. Granted, there are dramatically fewer laptops open here than at a geek conference.
Item: I hadn’t previously seen Larry Ellison in full attack mode. The audience enjoyed it, but not as much as Larry did. Sample riff: An Oracle/Sun combo is stated to beat an IBM offering at a big transaction-processing benchmark, 25% more throughput and several times less latency. Plus, our combo has many fewer racks. Plus, we burn lots less power. Quip: I guess that’s why they call their CPU the “Power” series. Plays one of those “intelligent-planet” IBM ads (this one) which talks about putting IBM technology to work to enhance petroleum extraction. Punchline: “It’s like Sarah Palin: ‘Drill, baby, drill.’” Ouf.
Item: This conference isn’t about technology, it’s about business. Here’s a detail, just part of a big poster from the Deloitte booth:
Item:The keynotes featured a bunch of hard-hitting (I thought) industry-specific demos, showing many different Oracle technologies working together to integrate your information; the picture below shows a application suite specifically set up to support the “Fast Fashion” business, as in Zara or H&M.
Item: JavaOne needs to continue to exist. A biz-conference like OOW is a fine thing, but big-system developers need to have a place to get together and talk once a year or so. Whether you decide to build the theme around Java, or server-side, or Enterprise I don’t think matters that much, but JavaOne is a pretty good brand. There’s an Oracle Developer conference going on here too, but it’s a flimsy bag on the side of the real show, which, like I said, is about business.
Item: The Sun booth was resolutely about technology. Here’s a picture of a new 96GB Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card, but we had M9000 mainframes and Amber Roads and a Storage Tek tape library with the robot arms grinding away, too.
Item: In private conversation, the Oracle people all speak with one voice about how they think they can put the Sun resources to work; but even with all the public statements this week, I’m not blogging any of that stuff just yet.
Item: The production values are high, people and infrastructure alike. I saw lots of people in suits and business casual, and the booths were remarkably glossy.
Item: The trade show is beyond massive; I’d never heard of maybe a quarter of the exhibitors, and I’ve been around this biz a long time. I’ve given and received a lot of enterprise-software demos; amazing how beautifully all your information integrates in that scenario. This booth was in a good location, but even the lamest and most remote displays seemed to be getting pretty good traffic.
Item: It’s exhausting; I saw people in various stages of being overcome all over the place.
Comment feed for ongoing:
From: gvb (Oct 13 2009, at 04:26)
Is it a coincidence that the exhausted person is wearing a RedHat cap? ;-) What message are you sending?
From: Giacomo (Oct 13 2009, at 13:46)
I'm also not surprised that the conference is mostly about business rather than tech, that's the Oracle way: we do as much tech as business requires. No more, no less.
Obviously they don't send us euro-minions to OpenWorld, sigh.
From: Stuart Marks (Oct 14 2009, at 18:49)
I'm a Sun person at OOW too. Same place as JavaOne, but a completely different atmosphere. But yes, it's a business conference, not a developer conference. Oracle Develop is confined to the Hilton SF. It was crowded, but it's a much smaller venue. How many people do you think were there? I'd say, around a thousand, if that. There were only 25 people at my session. So yes, a big developer conference like JavaOne that attracts 10,000+ developers is a huge asset that shouldn't be let go easily. I wouldn't be surprised if Oracle Develop were merged into JavaOne, leaving Oracle OpenWorld as a pure business conference.
See my blog (linked from my name above) for further thoughts on OOW.