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October 4, 2017

Splunk CEO slams ‘Ludicrous Larry’, offers free cloud trial zinger

Yet another rival takes offence with some of the claims made by Ellison at this year's OpenWorld.

By Ellie Burns

Oh dear, just days after AWS rubbished Larry Ellison’s price promises following the autonomous database launch, yet another big name rival has taken offence at Ellison’s bold claims and promises.

In Ellison’s second keynote address of the this year’s OpenWorld, the Oracle CTO and executive chairman contrasted the new Oracle Management Cloud with the security and management capabilities delivered by Splunk. Oracle’s main man then went onto detail three key areas which Oracle bests Splunk – though the firm’s CEO Doug Merritt would strongly – and I mean strongly – disagree.


“They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, so it was flattering that Oracle finally woke up to the power of machine data and the importance of security and has been attempting to take aim at Splunk this week with the announcement of the “Oracle Management and Security Cloud,” the chief exec said in a lengthy blog posting.

“However, despite their attempt at a direct comparison to Splunk, their offering is so little like Splunk, that we’re only a little flattered.

“The thing that worries me the most about Oracle’s apparent new data offering isn’t their deep misunderstanding of how and why Splunk is able to so effectively deliver amazing value to our customers – it’s their fundamental lack of knowledge and understanding of the security market. This is serious business that requires a community to support those amazing cyber warriors that live on the front lines daily. It’s not time for rhetoric from a company with a record of under serving and gouging their customers.”

The CEO then went through and addressed every single claim made by Ellison, quoting Oracle’s press release announcing the new security offering and refuting the accuracy of each and every statement.

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For example, Oracle said:

“Oracle Management Cloud provides real-time insight through out-of-the-box applied machine learning that is easy to operate and use. In contrast, Splunk provides a machine learning toolkit that requires data scientists.”

Larry Ellison, Executive Chairman & CTO, Oracle


Splunk’s CEO fired back with:

“Just wrong. We make machine data accessible, usable and valuable to everyone and we’re doing the same with machine learning. If you are a data scientist and want to build your own algorithms then, yes, we have a machine learning toolkit.

“But we’ve also seamlessly integrated machine learning for ITOA in Splunk IT Service Intelligence and the same for security with Splunk User Behavior Analytics. This puts answers directly into the hands of anyone in IT, security or the business, no data science degree required”

Merritt went on to debunk claims that Splunk “has no real entity model and leaves data in many disparate vendor silos” and “has no remediation capability.”

Of course, Ellison has never been afraid to slam rivals on the OpenWorld stage. At his first keynote address, his focus on AWS was near obsessional as he rolled out the self-driving database which promises to cut Amazon bills in half. AWS replied with a representative basically saying in less, but more kind, words what Splunk’s Merrit said.

The statement is worth a read, and ends on a real zinger directed straight at Ellison:

“Finally, we’d like to just offer some (more) help. We’ve been bringing machine data from trains, planes and automobiles into Splunk for years. We can bring in boat data as well. There’s a free cloud trial of Splunk that could help you analyze the Oracle yacht data. We realize it’s a bit late for that this year. We’re happy to help you try and win the America’s Cup back next time you compete.”



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