Automatic Storage Management
Automatic Storage Management (ASM) is a custom file system/volume manager for the Oracle database, built into the Oracle kernel. It provides the best practices for Oracle Database 10g and Oracle Database 11g storage by simplifying both the storage and the management of data contained in the Oracle database.
Location: Redwood City, California
Product: Oracle Automatic Storage Management
Q: Why is Automatic Storage Management innovative?
A: The data files of a database tend to be large files. With traditional volume managers, you can't figure out how your data is mapped to the physical spindle. You can wind up with one disk that gets way too much I/O and pulls the whole system down. ASM breaks data files into pieces that are big enough so that you get good sequential performance if you read the whole piece and then spread them across multiple disks. By spreading data evenly, ASM maintains even disk performance and gives customers better disk utilization, so you don't have hot disks. As a result, customers can manage more data with fewer resources. Most Oracle Real Application Clusters users use ASM.
Q: What's the most innovative product you've worked on—and why?
A: ASM. In 1996 I came up with the fundamental concept. The first production release was in 2003 for Oracle Database 10g Release 1.0, where it was one of the most significant new features. It's innovative because it was the first file system to evenly balance load across multiple disks and reorganize data online. By keeping a pointer to every good-sized piece of storage, you could relocate them one at a time and do it incrementally, while the system is up and running. Then you only have to move the data that you need to move, not all of it.
Q: How do you think Oracle's innovative culture benefits our customers?
A: It keeps us on the leading edge of database technology. We have the best databases in the world. And it keeps getting better. That benefits our customers because they can do more things with data more efficiently.
Q: What innovative technology are you excited about right now?
A: Virtual machines and the ability to scale data centers by having lots and lots of identical servers as well as virtual servers that can migrate between them. It's the data center of the future. It's going to require lots of innovation.
Q: Who in world history do you think of as the most innovative?
A: Leonardo da Vinci. How cool would it be to drive down the freeway with him in the passenger seat?
Q: What's the most innovative product—not Oracle's—that you know of?
A: A lot of innovation, I believe, is happening in biotech, like the sequencing of the human genome.