Ellison hypes Oracle9i, batters rivals

During his keynote speech into the early evening hours on the first day of Internet World in New York, Oracle Corp. Chief Executive Officer and Chairman Larry Ellison relentlessly battered the effectiveness of IBM Corp.'s flagship database product and Microsoft Corp.'s Exchange application server while painting his company's competing Oracle9i products as "unbreakable."

Ellison sent the audience into a few rounds of laughter with the quick barbs he has become accustomed to delivering toward Redwood Shores, California-based Oracle's stiffest competition, leveraging the security and redundancy capability of Oracle 9i as a firm selling point.

Calling IBM's sale of its DB2 database product a "marketing scam," Ellison openly questioned why Big Blue would choose to term its database for mainframes and database for Windows/Unix both "DB2." Further, he charged IBM with incompetence for following Microsoft's lead of a "shared nothing" clustering environment rather than the "shared disk" model of Oracle.

"I guess it was (Microsoft's) lack of reliability (IBM) found most attractive (to copy)," said Ellison. "A shared cluster makes every application you have fault-tolerant, and every application you wrote on top of Oracle work."

Ellison said the non-shared cluster framework is too ineffective to run Siebel, Peoplesoft, and SAP applications. He reinforced -- and provided a live demo -- Oracle9i's capability to operate to run if a server fails. Data center failover also applies with copies of the data running on a duplicate database for recovery and reporting, Ellison added.

"You can take inexpensive components from Dell or Sun, use these as a group. Should one of the components fail, it doesn't matter. It's a redundant configuration," Ellison remarked.

Oracle's CEO also used an on-stage demo to show the effectiveness of migrating Microsoft's Outlook e-mail program onto an Oracle9i server, without interruption, and featuring the same user-facing interface.

He pulled no punches picking on Microsoft's highly public security lapses, including the Redmond, Washington-based software giant's ill-fated launch of its Passport authentication system recently.

"It lasted 20 minutes (before someone broke in). That's not unbreakable, that's not even fragile. That's booby trapped," Ellison quipped.

Ellison claimed that the Oracle9i application server handily outperforms BEA Web Logic and IBM Websphere application servers in response time trials performed in a Java environment with and without caching content removed. He used cost differentials, and statistics available on Oracle's and its competitors' Web sites for inspection by skeptical customers.

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