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Citing his experience in statistical modeling, Vallee says he can say with 95% confidence that no more than 3.66% of Oracle databases are running 11g. With 50% confidence, he says it's unlikely that even 1% use 11g.
The accuracy of those numbers depends on whether the 718 databases managed by Pythian represent an accurate cross-section of Oracle customers. Vallee believes it's a robust sample. "It's a large enough population to do some statistical studies," he says. "My customers are literally everything from utilities to academic institutions, to dot-coms, to mining companies."
The Pythian Group is based in Ottawa, Ontario, and has offices in the United States, Europe, India and Australia.
Oracle declined to comment about Vallee's findings after being contacted by Network World several times since last Friday, instead providing links to a few documents, none of which show how many Oracle customers have adopted 11g. In the transcript of a February earnings call, Oracle President Charles Phillips says the various editions of Oracle's database, including older versions, have 12,000 customers. Phillips said 11g is "off to a good start" with more than 200,000 downloads, but didn't say how many customers are using it in production. Oracle offers a free evaluation download.
Oracle may not know exactly how many customers use 11g, because licenses allow use of any edition, Vallee says. However, Oracle's statistics on support requests should show how many people are asking for help with 11g compared with other versions, he said. After a request by Network World, Oracle declined to make public any numbers on support requests.
Read more about software in Network World's Software section.