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Oracle CEO Larry Ellison used his keynote address at Comdex in Las Vegas today to emphasize one message: Client-server is a bad idea.
Referring to the client-server architecture as "distributed complexity" instead of distributed computing, Ellison admonished the audience to stay away from proliferating "little servers" of discrete data. "By fragmenting our information, we lose track of what's going on in our business." Rather, Ellison urged the audience to "consolidate your data on a few large servers--that's how the Internet works."
Ellison made his stake in all this very clear. "We're in the mega-server business," he said. Ellison predicted that the advantages of Internet-style computing would become obvious to companies over the next several years. "Corporate networks will evolve away from client-server networks," he said. And Oracle is well-positioned to take advantage of the new style of computing. Of the top 10 consumer Web sites, Ellison said, all 10 use Oracle databases. And of the top 10 business Web sites, nine use Oracle databases--the lone holdout, according to Ellison, is IBM, which uses its own database technology.
Ellison used his forum to demonstrate the capabilities of Oracle8i, an Internet-specific version of the company's flagship database product, due by year's end. Oracle8i combines the capability of a relational database with a Java server, which supports browser-based applications. It also features a new file system, called the Internet File System, that is able to store disparate forms of data, such as text, E-mail, video, and graphics, and allow them to be categorized and searched.
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