back to article Larry 'Shared databases are crap' Ellison reveals shared Oracle database

Billionaire Oracle chief Larry Ellison has announced his company's public and private cloud services and a multi-tenant version of his core database product, completing his Saul-like conversion from befuddled skeptic. The database company's chief executive opened his annual Oracle Open World (OOW) conference announcing a …


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  1. BorkedAgain
    Thumb Up

    Well, there's a mystery solved at least.

    I wondered who had inherited Jobs' Reality Distortion Field generator (since it obviously left Apple when he ascended to glory) and now we know.

  2. [My Handle]

    Nothing to do with the article, but what's with the bloody annoying adverts that run right across the middle of the page preventing you from reading the article? Doesn't The Register like having readers?

    1. I'm Brian and so's my wife

      Oh dear - you've just triggered a hijacking of this thread for arguments about browser choice and ABP...

    2. I think so I am?


      What adverts are you on about!

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Poor choice of title

    Having heard the youtube clip you nicely linked I can understand why he said what he did from a Databse perspective back then. From a compute perspective he is funny I'll admit. Now they own Sun and getting there heard around there purchase and picking up from there stagnation of there new toy they are moving forward with Cloud's. Does this mean we can call Oracle fashin victims now :).

    1. Turtle_Fan

      Re: Poor choice of title

      Poor choice of grammar and spelling, more like.

      1. Goat Jam

        Re: Poor choice of title

        PXG is a serial offender I'm afraid.

        Hopefully this is due to his using English as a second language in which case then he's doing better than I am in learning two languages but it is equally possible he is simply the result of our modern school system and their less than exemplary standards.

        In fact I doubt he is an EaaSL speaker, because most of those who I've met have actually been better (English) writers than many natives speakers that I've met.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Poor choice of title

          No need to be afraid, I have explained previously so I'll just appologise for my mental limitations and thank you both for the helpful constructive feedback.

          1. Turtle_Fan

            Re: Poor choice of title

            One of the very few times I feel genuinely embarrassed and feel like putting a sock in it.

            Despite frequenting this place for years, I must have somehow missed you.

  4. Anonymous Coward

    Happy Snooping !

    Oracle Listener ports are normally firewalled off because they are insecure as hell. Ca 1997 I could crash the Oracle Listener of Oracle 8 by telnet-ing into the port and then randomly hitting the keyboard. No password required whatsoever. Maybe my brain was a top secret hacker weapon then or maybe their code was pure shit.

    You betcha (as Mad Sarah would say) that a "multi-tenant" Oracle database is a major security risk, if they have not re-written basically everything. I suspect their code is to 50% from the 1980s and crafty hackers will have a field day. Think of buffer overflows in SQL statements.

    A colleague of mine recently crashed the MySQL server reliably with some sort of "unexpected" SQL recently. Of course that is a different Oracle product, but I fail to see why their "main" RDBMS should be substantially more safe. Maybe the good Larry can rationalize about it. His first version, that it is a big fat security risk without OS-level virtualization appears to be quite correct to me.

  5. Anonymous Coward

    Technical Details

    According to

    Mr Larry does NOT do real multi-tenancy on the same database instance. Instead each customer apparently gets his own set of Oracle RDBMS processes. He essentially relies on the MMU of the processor to keep the hacker separate from valuable corporate data. So his 1980s code might be subverted, but that (might !) not be an issue. It WILL be an issue, if Oracle does not run the crap with very strict tcp/domain socket firewalling enabled. One customer's communication ports must not be reachable from other customer's processes. Otherwise the attacker will take over some Ora process (by means of buffer overflow which almost certainly exist in the millions of 80s/90s lines of code) and then try to connect to processes of other customers on that machine.

    Essentially, he relies on Unix user permissions (to protect files, shared memory, semaphores etc) and firewalls such as iptables. Modern unices probably share executable code pages between processes and some filesystem state as compared to OS level virtualization. Instruction Cache usage will be better.

    Is it worth the larger attack surface ?

  6. Erik4872

    Oracle mainframe?

    "We own it. We manage it. We upgrade it. You only pay for what you use,"

    Sounds like the IBM high-end systems model to me! Definitely a different track for Oracle to be going down, but not surprising given their software model. I can definitely see large organizations salivating at the thought of getting rid of those pesky, expensive Oracle and Solaris admins. The IBM System p and System z platforms run like this too -- you have some control since the machines are physically there, but the daily maintenance is handled by IBM and they send out part-swappers when physical tasks need to be performed. The machine even calls in the tickets by itself. And when you want more capacity, they just turn on more processors, which they happily provide you because the cost to use them way outweighs the cost of providing the physical hardware to your site.

    Only problem with this model? Huge hundreds-of-percent margin for the vendor and massive lock in. Imagine trying to extract something like this private, Oracle-managed cloud from your datacenter. Not that locally run Solaris and Oracle software are any less of a lock-in, but when you own the systems you at least have the option to get rid of it without rebuying things. I can see a couple of customer types for this service -- customers who just want to absolve themselves of any responsibility beyond paying the IT bill, and those without the staffing levels to work through all the crazy Oracle software problems that pop up from day to day.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Oracle mainframe?

      A more proprietary and expensive version of mainframe.

    2. whatsa

      Re: Oracle mainframe?


      I have it on good authority, that if you dont knock on the broom closet door you never see them?

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Multi-Tenancy databases are a pain in the arse, couldn't agree more having to had to deal with multiple apps in one DB due budgetary constraints! Although isn't it interesting that if you start segregating apps into their own little databases that you have have a more interesting licensing deal to negotiate with Old Tom, sorry Larry?

  8. mollyfud

    First Multi-tenant Database? Really? Buzz-Wrong

    Make that the second Multi-tenant Database but whos counting!

  9. Andy Davies

    "We own it. We manage it. We upgrade it. You only pay for what you use,"

    Who pays the electricity bill?

    You can buy perfectly respectable ex-corporate HP and Dell servers on eBay for £20-30 and I used to run a couple for fun (including an Oracle database) but the fun had to stop when I got the electricity bill:it was costing me £30 a month to run £40's worth of server - which is the first nearly convincing argument I've heard for trusting corporate data to the Cloud!

    AndyD 8-)#

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