Pete: [0:02] Hi, I’m Pete Jarvis with TidalScale. Today I’m interviewing Oracle ACE Director alumni Dan Morgan, who started here at TidalScale this week.
Hey, Dan! Why don’t you give everyone a bit of a background on yourself and tell us something interesting about yourself? Welcome!
Dan: [0:18] Thank you very much. It’s good to be here in my first week. I come into this as somebody who, next year, will be hitting my 50th year in IT. Started off in IBM mainframes, writing FORTRAN, and about 30 years ago moved into relational databases and very specifically focused around Oracle and Oracle development, Oracle in the operations center as well.
In terms of other things that I do in my spare time, I run a small website called Morgan’s Library.org (morganslibrary.org), which has a huge amount of information. I hate to say it, but that’s really my hobby—maintaining that website. And I do a fair amount of sailing.
Pete: [1:04] Cool.
Hey, well, I have to say, it’s a real pleasure to be here and to welcome you as the newest member to the TidalScale family.
Hey, Dan, I’m interested in something. Why would someone with your background join a Silicon Valley startup? [Laugh]
Dan: [Laugh] [1:20] Well, you know, I’ve avoided working in Silicon Valley for essentially my whole life. I’ve never worked for Oracle, I’ve never been part of a Silicon Valley startup before. It seemed like it was one of those things that, at this point in my career, I needed to go and do that.
I’ve looked at startups for a very long time with the idea of joining one, but none of them really appealed to me, because they weren’t really compatible with my core focus—which is Oracle, Oracle technology, and Oracle’s customers. This was the first one that really grabbed me as a technology that I’ll bet Oracle wishes they’d invented themselves, because this has so much value for Oracle’s product line.
Pete: [2:02] That’s cool. Hey, and also, thank you for saying that.
What is it about TidalScale software then, and the software-defined service that you see significant for the Oracle customers?
Dan: [2:13] For quite a while now, we’ve been working in IT with software-defined storage with software-defined networks. There’s a phrase that’s started getting bandied about a few years ago about software-defined everything, but software-defined everything really didn’t include software-defined service. We had convert-systems, but convert-systems still limited us to the physical capabilities of a single server. You could cluster them together, but ultimately you couldn’t make a memory pool larger than a single server.
What TidalScale has done with this technology—which is the first time I’ve ever seen that, and I think is probably the first time anyone’s been able to create a commercial product that was capable of this—was to allow us to take the physical resources of multiple servers and bring them together within a single environment.
Pete: [3:06] Cool.
Can you give an example that you think is going to be important from a point of view of an Oracle customer?
Dan: [3:14] Okay.
We’ve got a lot of different Oracle products that can benefit from having more memory. We’ve reached the point where we’ve gone from spinning disk to solid-state drives. We’ve gone from 10-gig ethernet to InfiniVAN, but if you walk into your Oracle shop and you say—whether it is an online system where there are supporting webpages, whether it’s an internet of things-support coming in where they’re storing the information in an Oracle database, whether it is doing data warehousing and analytics—my ability is still constrained by performance.
For over 30 years, every single technology improvement has ended up with bumping up against bigger and bigger data sets, faster and faster needs for transactions. We just can’t do it.
So, if you go out to an Oracle conference, for example, the number one question when you say, “What would you like me to speak about?” is, “Can you talk about performance?” It’s always been the number one topic. Security, yeah. You know, sure. You want to talk about security? Fine, but performance, performance, performance. The only way we’re going to get that kind of performance is to move our data sets into memory. Whether I’m moving it in OBIE, whether I’m moving it in the Oracle database, ultimately it comes down to, “I need a lot more memory than I’m going to get with any commercial server if I just say, ‘I’m putting my database or my application on a single piece of hardware.’”
Pete: [4:51] Got it.
So, the other thing I was thinking about—I wanted to ask you about—is do you see customers above Oracle technologies that will benefit from TidalScale?
Dan: [5:01] Absolutely. So, we can talk about Oracle database, and of course that’s the product that pretty much everyone globally has a lot of, because it’s proven so valuable over the years. But we have needs for this in OBIE for analytics. We have a need for this in products like Coherence, which is part of Oracle’s middleware, where we’re caching information at the middleware layer. The more memory, the more information I can cache, the faster the performance.
If I look at it from the standpoint of Oracle’s TimesTen Database—which is an in-memory database—the primary constraint is I need enough memory to hold my database in memory, or I don’t have an in-memory database, in fact. Even if I go out and start buying hardware with terabytes of memory, the costs are astronomical for the infrastructure, but it also means I’m licensing a lot of CP-cores that I may not need. So, what I need is the ability to add memory without necessarily adding infrastructure that I don’t need and things that increase my licensing cost beyond what I need.
Another one that occurred to me just now as I was saying that was Golden Gate. Oracle Golden Gate for integrated capture uses the streams pool and uses the ability to cache information for long-running transactions within the database. I can’t capture information from those long-running transactions unless I’ve got enough memory to assign to that pool.
Pete: [6:41] Hey, Dan, this was great. I just want to say thank you and welcome. You know, I really hope that you’ll come back and share your thoughts with us after you’ve been at TidalScale a bit longer and let us know more about how you see TidalScale enhancing the value of Oracle customers, and also, it’s just fun working with you. So, thank you very much.
Dan: [7:02] Well, thank you! It’s good being a member of the team, and also looking forward to joining the team when we go to Open World in another month or so.
Pete: [7:09] Hey, that’s going to be great. Take care.
Dan: [7:11] You’re welcome!