Mr. Pradeep Bhanot is the Senior Marketing Director for Linux at Oracle.
Olinux: Can you tell us about yourself and your carrier. How long have you been working for Oracle?
Pradeep Banhot: I am the head marketing for Linux at Oracle. I have been with Oracle 11 years starting in Oracle as a technical Consultant in pre-sales followed by post sales. In have been in the US for 8 years. Three years as a technical manager in the San Francisco Bay Area managing customers such as Wells Fargo Bank, Cisco, Netscape, SGI and HP. In recent years I did marketing with IBM followed by Dell. Prior to Oracle I worked in technical systems roles for the UK government and British Telecom for 10 years. I hold a BSc in Computer Science from Greenwich University in London.
Olinux: Shortly, what is the secret behind its success?
Pradeep Banhot: Great people and products. Oracle’s recent success due to the focus on internet based solutions and marketing.
Olinux: Tell us the background, facts, visions, events, decisions and master moves (toward internet) explain Oracle extreme success? Oracle lead the shift to client-server computing on Unix in the 1990’s. Three years ago Oracle bet it’s business on the internet. We moved all out products from character based and client-server windows GUI to a web browser based UI. This bet paid off. Some companies such as IBM are really good at articulating customer requirements such as SQL databases, repository based development, cross platform common user interfaces and e-business. Oracle is really good at adapting it’s software products and people to deliver on that vision. Larry saw the emergence of Unix, Windows and the Internet and made sure we produced products that lead those markets.
Olinux: How Larry Elison leadership has guided Oracle?
Pradeep Banhot: Larry is our visionary. Larry is very consistent in his vision. He goal has been to manage all kinds of information, both structured and unstructured with very high integrity and in great volume. This has been delivered in various products in several forms over the years including Oracle Video Server, Oracle Universal Server and today as Oracle8i Release 2. On the business side Lary drives our $1B infrastructure savings, product consolidation and web based sales programs.
Olinux:How does Oracle analyze Linux growth for past few years? Is it aconsistent growth in your opinion? In what extent Oracle wants Linux to succeeded as an alternative operating system to server and desktop?
Pradeep Banhot: Oracle’s primary focus is on Linux as a server OS. Oracle wants to see Linux succeed as an OS as it offers customers openness and superior TCO. There is strong developer and customer demand for Linux. There have been over 200,000 downloads of Oracle products on linux from our developers site at http://www.technet.oracle.com. Oracle has always been successful on open platforms. Highly proprietary platforms such as AS/400 with built in data management do not enable Oracle to offer it’s benefits to the same extent as Linux.
Olinux: Oracle defines as an internet and ecommerce company. Linux was born and is currently maintained via Internet. Are there any convergence/relation between Oracle internet strategy and a large deploy and support of linux platform?
Pradeep Banhot: Today according to IDC linux is more of a middle tier platform than a database platform. Oracle is working with distributors such as Red Hat to add database friendly features into Linux such as 4GB RAM support, raw I/O and 64-bit file addressing to make it a better third-tier OS. I expect Oracle to increase it’s focus on Linux as a middle tier OS for it’s internet based solutions.
Olinux: Oracle8 was available Linux compatible long time ago. Can you describe Oracle plans towards making other products as Developer 2000 available to companies that already use Linux? Can you list those products or where user can find information about them?
Pradeep Banhot: Oracle plans to make most of it’s products available on Linux. Today there as the Oracle8i R2 database in its third revision on Linux, Oracle Application Server in the middle tier and WebDB as the development environment. You can expect to see Developer6i, Oracle Parallel Server and the Oracle e-business suite being available this year. Product availability information is at http://www.platforms.oracle.com/linux
Olinux: What is Oracle marketing strategy for Linux?
Pradeep Banhot: Oracle wants to be the number one ISV on linux as well as the number on e-business solution on linux. Linux is an integral component of the majority of it’s marketing programs. You won’t see Oracle advertising Linux solutions as it gets better value investing in marketing solutions such as the dot-com suite and it’s e-business suite as deployment solutions on Linux.
Olinux: What are its key alliances including Linux companies and organizations to support this platform?
Oracle has alliances with the major distributions such as Red Hat, SuSe, Caldera and Turbo. We work with Intel and major OEMs such as Compaq and Dell as well as distributors such as Keylink and Hallmark.
Olinux: Can you detail the relation between Oracle and Linux International?
Pradeep Banhot: We are on the board.
Olinux: What are the main sites that are sponsored or companies that Oracle has investments?
Pradeep Banhot: Oracle is not sponsoring any Linux specific sites today. Oracle venture fund has invested in several Linux vendors including Red Hat and Turbo Linux.
Olinux: We recently announced at Olinux that Oracle launched in Japan a new company called Miracle Linux Corporation. Why Oracle has chosen Japan and what are the plans for this new company?
Pradeep Banhot:This is an independent initiative by Oracle Japan. Miracle sees the potential to maximize penetration of Linux in that region by having a domestic product with good national language support. Partnering with NEC and Turbo Linux will minimize time to market. The demand for a national product is high and Oracle has a great reputation on delivery which makes Miracle a sound solution for that market.
Olinux: Officially, Oracle offers linux support based upon Red Hat distribution. what were the main technical and corporate aspects that lead this decision?
Pradeep Banhot:Oracle does it’s base build on Red Hat Linux. However our products are certified on all the major intel based distributions which include SuSE, Turbo and Caldera. It would be great to have a certification platform for all ISV’s that is distribution independent as proposed by LSB that would make our certification easier.
Olinux: In a meeting in Oracle office in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Olinux got to know about the recent creation your.COM department and a about a multi-million venture capital fund to invest in internet company. Are there any to invest aggressively on linux companies or web sites?
Pradeep Banhot: We have a member of the venture fund team that is dedicate to the Linux and related space.
Olinux: An Oracle top executive said recently that Microsoft old fashion desktop style was not needed any longer. Now, President Bill Clinton administration wants to break it apart, but his top economist are studying the impact and financial consequences of this breakup. What your opinion about the case and what will happen in your opinion?
Pradeep Banhot: The government has considered a options including a break up into an OS company and applications company, open source of windows API’s and creating smaller baby companies along the AT&T model. I would bet on the many smaller companies with the same charter and products which would not kill the monopoly but would slow down Microsoft enough to enable real competition to exist. The real benefit I would be liking for is Microsoft being less arrogant would be less likely to crush potential competitors. I would also be looking for better compatibility of MS-Office file formats across products like star office and applix.
Olinux: What is faster and performs better technically: Oracle running Linux or NT? Can you give some results and indicate resource on the internet or those test results?
Pradeep Banhot: Oracle has spent 8 years optimizing it’s NT technology. Today Linux is close on traditional benchmarks. We didi some internal testing which make Linux faster on some workloads and NT on others. We plan to do some Java based testing that I would expect linux to do better in. We have customers such as 1stUp.com that are doing over 40M database transactions per day on a single VA linux box with excellent availability.
Olinux: Can you cite some new technologies and services that guide Oracle project toward future?
Pradeep Banhot: The most exciting technology area for Linux is IA-64. Oracle8i is a workload that really exploits what a 64-bit OS can offer. I am also looking forward to the Oracle Parallel Server option being available later this year in a 4-node configuration which will reinforce that great availability Linux already has coupled with transparent database scalability beyond a single box.