Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Alfidi Capital at Oracle OpenWorld 2017

I attended Oracle OpenWorld 2017 because I am all about tracking cloud sector action. Check out my Oracle badge selfies below so we can get right to work talking about important cloud stuff. I dare you to keep up with all of the photographic proof in this article that I really got a lot from this conference.

Oracle had its sign up at Moscone West.

I sat way in the back for Larry Ellison's welcome keynote, figuring that a speedier exit to the next event was better than being up close with the star himself. The opening speakers introduced the concurrent events like JavaOne and Oracle Code. Some SVP from Intel got going about "blah blah transformation" (that's exactly what I wrote down, it was all about blah blah). I totally called it when Intel's video teaser said data is the most powerful force in the world, because I'm awesome. Intel did impart some wisdom about the Open Platform for Network Functions Virtualization (OPNFV) and the Open Network Automation Platform (ONAP).

Oracle had another big sign over at Moscone South.

Intel and AT+T talked the talk about network capacity and virtualization before Larry came out. All of these concepts, including future blockchain execution, validate my belief that data center REITs as a "pick and shovel play" on the cloud sector will see massive growth for years. These kinds of REITs can handle both cloud expansion and legacy on-premise computing. All of those servers need to sit somewhere, and REITs owning the buildings will get paid to keep them secure.

I saw a large number 9 at Moscone West.

Larry came out and hit a few themes, like autonomous databases in cybersecurity, that I'm pretty sure he's promoted at previous Oracle OpenWorld keynotes. Automated detection and response to intrusion reminds me of his pitch in 2015. Whatever happened to the software that was supposed to be hard-coded into the servers? Is that product still available? I have no idea, because I don't work at Oracle. Anyway, Larry said that Oracle's auto-cyber machine learning security thing will be half the cost of Amazon Redshift. I wonder whether any of Amazon's cloud offerings will still be part of big Amazon after the next downturn. Larry taught me a new catchphrase, "automated hardware resource elasticity," his term of art for planning network and cloud capacity utilization. The term IMHO implies automation of purchase and leasing decisions for new capacity. Whoa, I would not trust a machine learning algorithm to make financial commitments.

IBM sketched storage and next-gen ERP at the Expo.

The Tuesday morning keynote gave me food for thought about virtualization. I do not consider virtualization to be synonymous with optimization, partly because containers are compatible with cloud virtualization. Object programming has now come full circle; DBAs can connect action blocks to process flows and search fields, using free-form natural language that tells bots to process cloud server requests with no programming language needed at all to configure cloud settings. Business rule management systems (BRMS) are moving from rule-based processing to inference-based processing; it's how e-commerce sites push product recommendations across social media channels. I did not know that lift analysis was amenable to A/B testing, but that's how smart business users adjust product positioning and avoid brand conflicts between competing products.

IBM sketched boxes and clouds at the Expo.

Larry's second keynote was his chance to tell us all how he's making a more secure cloud. I was not surprised to hear that Oracle's cloud security concept is still not 100% automated after all the hype people in this sector are putting into AI and machine learning. We're not yet at the nerd nirvana of total security automation. Larry's insight that standard log analytics are hard to run for data security due to different data silos tells me that there's a developmental opportunity for something that compares different silos simultaneously.

IBM sketched excellence and migration at the Expo.

The Code Conference Developer Keynote had lots of gems for Oracle developers. I am not a developer, so they can't make me do their work for them. The lesson from all of these "ecosystem development partners" was that other tech companies' APIs and microservices can reside on Oracle's IaaS and PaaS. These people are the developers building the code behind the plain language business objects demonstrated in OpenWorld's keynotes, complete with staged problem-solving vignettes.

It was a privilege to hear Patrick Debois, founder of the DevOps movement, speak on the DevOps mindset at the Code Conference. DevOps people grok the outsourcing movement to the cloud. Patrick envisions cloud services as an application of Promise Theory where DevOps people must collaborate with third parties outside their enterprise, so customers have more realistic expectations of service reliability.

One top Oracle honcho gave a keynote on how to "own your next," playing on some theme around the word NEXT. True believers want us to know that blockchain will solve all of our problems. Get ready for more blockchain-as-a-service things like Oracle Blockchain Cloud Service. Finally, we see blockchain in its originally intended use as a transaction audit ledger instead of its miscast role as an asset. There was a retired NBA legend on hand in this keynote to share with us the typical motivational speech on humility, persistence, and setting goals. The legend did cite Malcolm Gladwell's Blink as an example of NBA superstars' abilities. Uniquely wired brains can explain so much of superperformance. I always knew that, because I have a uniquely wired brain myself.

Mayor Ed Lee addresses OOW 2017.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee took time out of his busy schedule to rededicate the renovated South Hall of Moscone Center. I scored a front row seat for his talk because I'm special. Actually, I just showed up early to get in line. Yeah, that makes me pretty darn special. I heard there was free stuff for the first people who arrived.

Mayor Ed Lee cuts the ribbon at Moscone South.

Mayor Lee cut the ribbon re-opening Moscone South with help from one of Oracle's top executives. Oracle could not have timed this event any better for the free publicity. I would have helped cut that ribbon but no one asked me, so I guess the folks in charge had it all under control.

Oracle also held its NetSuite SuiteConnect conference in conjunction with OpenWorld. I did not have enough time to review this suite's shiny features. Oracle acquired NetSuite in 2016 to have a turn-key, all-in-one ERP offering that SMBs can use. I don't know what's wrong with Oracle's existing product line that they must add a one size fits all solution, unless they feel the need to keep up with Salesforce.

Duke points the way to the JavaOne Keynote.

The Java Community Keynote was the JavaOne wrap-up, and a continuing lesson in how the developer community generates its own mythos. The perfunctory JavaOne keynotes opened with IBM Open Source project team introducing its Open Liberty platform for building Java microservices and cloud apps. We also got to hear about how the Eclipse Foundation supports microprofiles that build enterprise capabilities for microservices.

Java coders explored the Matrix.

The fun started when one of Oracle's top Java evangelists came out to set the scenario for the long skit the Java community performs as the culmination of its keynote. This year's theme was a spoof of the Matrix movies where Neo, a Java developer, must use his coding skills to defend the Oracle community. There were lots of inside jokes about programming, a "bullet time" motion capture demonstration, and a light sculpture installation from an artist playing the "Oracle" (get it?). Juggy J. Finch, the puppet mascot of the worldwide Java user community, played the Morpheus role. I liked how the coders poked fun at the buzzword bingo of AI, blockchain and other popular terms.

I support VetsinTech.

I must bring this summary of Oracle OpenWorld 2017 to a close. You can see from the above photo how strongly I support VetsinTech, a non-profit organization that gets US military veterans into tech careers. Oracle and its partners would do well to hire our veterans. The Java Community Process is big enough to accommodate them. I shall return to future Oracle events to watch it all unfold.