Kaleidoscope 2015 Recap: The best EPM Conference
This year I was lucky again to attend, present, and help prepare Kaleidoscope. For me and many others, Kscope is the best EPM conference and every year is better than the previous year.
Hollywood Kscope was my fourth conference, and when I look back, I always have a different reason to appreciate the conference and this it was all about content for me. ODTUG asks you to fill out an evaluation for every session you attend and this year, I gave 5/5 to all sessions I’ve been. You could clearly see presenters put a lot of hours into their presentations.
I wanted to learn more about Exalytics because I see more and more interest about Exalytics and I have the luck to work with a client where we have 2 Exalytics X4 machines (and not T4 like I wrote before, thank you John A Booth). I attended the Exalytics panel organized by Gary Crisci, it was a fantastic session with several real life clients using Exalytics and explaining why they chose it and why it worked for them. Before this session, I never realized you could save money with Exalytics. Yes, you read it right: Exalytics is actually the best solution to consolidate servers: there were cases of clients consolidating nearly 350 servers with 19 Exalytics machines!
Exalytics are big machines and you might want to have several virtual servers on the same physical box using the virtualization technology. Oracle recommends OVM (Oracle Virtual Machines) to run on the Exalytics box. I was a bit confused about this practice because if I can have the power of an Exalytics machine, I want to have a bare metal installation, especially for Essbase. Gabby Rubin, Exalytics Product Manager with Oracle said that roughly 60% of setups are with Essbase on OVM, of course your Essbase will take a hit but you will still have a better setup than any other configuration.
I was completely sold on Exalytics when I learned that there is an Intel engineer working in close relationship with the Essbase development team. I read somewhere that Intel processors were optimized with Essbase, now I know it is true. My understanding is that Intel have a special chip that can optimize the performance of the treatment by either increasing the number of cores or the frequency of the CPU, this is really impressive: if you need to perform a calculation, you increase the frequency, if you have a big number of users hitting your applications, you increase the number of CPU. Actually, the chipset will do the optimization for you, almost magic!
Sunset on EPMA
Some of us are looking forward to it, some others are in production with EPMA and can be concerned about a potential sunset of EPMA. I attended the Planning Deep Dive on Thursday and asked the question I wanted to ask for quite some time: “What is happening with EPMA?” We had a clear answer from Shankar Viswanathan, Product Manager with Oracle: there is no new development of EPMA but the tool will be supported as long as necessary. Now, if you ask the question: should I start a new implementation with EPMA? The answer is ‘NO’, clear enough?
What about EPMA DataSync then? Well, you have FDMEE, it comes free with the PBCS.
Oracle is making the Cloud their strategic initiative, I think this is clear for every one of us.
The EPM suite is the best selling and fastest growing Oracle Cloud offering. It is crucial that Oracle succeeds in the Cloud to stay alive, they lost a battle with CRM against Salesforce.com, they are not doing very good with PeopleSoft HR against Workday, they cannot loose another battle against Anaplan or any other Cloud solution. If you don’t have a client on the Cloud and want to learn about EPM on the Cloud, you can use the Simplified Interface with 18.104.22.168, it is really close to the Cloud interface and I posted several articles on this topic.
Bottom Line (updated 8/23/2015, thank you Glenn Scwartzberg for the clarification)
The three current versions of Hyperion EPM will remain: Cloud first, then Exalytics, and then On-premises.
On premise will remain the choice for many organizations but I think we will see a significant increase of Cloud and Exalytics:
- “simple” setups where you would use the Cloud in order to run your EPM: everything is hosted, you pay per user and everything you need is included (Oracle Database, Planning, HFM, FDMEE, backups, upgrades,..).
- If you want to make the investment in an infrastructure, then you would go with Exalytics and own your entire solution
Read the comments if you want more clarification form Glenn.