Oracle puts its money where its mouth is

Larry Ellison is excited about Oracle – so excited that he’s making bets: he’s willing to give away millions of dollars if his products aren’t as top rate as he thinks.

At Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco recently, Ellison gave the details of his million-dollar dare, which asks developers to demonstrate SQL Server 7.0 transaction performance rates that better the 100-times difference between Microsoft’s platform and Oracle’s Version 8 database, according to Oracle.

Ellison who was celebrating the release of Oracle’s 9i “e-business solution” also offered US$1 million for anyone who does not recognize Web site speeds of at least three times greater when using 9i application server along with the 8i database server.

“If the performance doesn’t triple, we will give you a million bucks,” he said.

9i is actually fully comprised of both the 9i application server and 9i database server, however the database will not be released until March 2001.

Ellison called it Oracle’s “complete Internet deployment platform.” He also noted that Oracle will focus on selling the two 9i servers, instead of the individual applications the company had been responsible for in the past. The 9i products will already have Oracle’s applications on them.

This will cut down on installations, and if Ellison has his way, the product will come pre-configured and pre-installed with little work for the user, removing the issues surrounding back-end technology.

He urged 9i customers to buy servers from Oracle partners with configurations certified by Oracle. Ellison added that other configurations will remain available, but reliability and stability will go up when the same configurations are used.

“We would like everyone of our customers to have the same configuration,” he said. “We can do much more thorough testing.”

He stated the design goals included being able to host one million simultaneous users and one million page views per second.

“I’ve got two measurements (for page views). One in terms of page views and one in terms of database transactions,” Ellison said.

The database server also features a flashback function, which allows users to track data through an extensive time period.

Ellison also stressed the importance of continual availability.

“It has to be fault tolerant. We should be able to tolerate any failure in this solution.”

The data restoration feature allows users to go back in time and track information, whether it was lost or tossed. “Our software will fail. There will be bugs, but no one will notice,” he promised. “Users will never see it.”