"We expect Oracle to discuss customer adoption of its Exadata solutions, which continues to be impressive," Forrester Research analyst James Kobielus said via email.
Oracle has also indicated that Exalogic has been doing well, but specifics on that front have been fairly slim compared to Exadata. More specific adoption rates or details on high-profile Exalogic deals could come at OpenWorld.
As for those new machines, Oracle couldn't wait for OpenWorld to announce one of them. Last week, it rolled out the Oracle Database Appliance, sort of a miniature version of Exadata aimed at SMBs. On Monday, it unveiled an Exadata-like "supercluster" machine based on its SPARC chips.
At the show, it's possible that Oracle will announce new appliances that target specific software products, including Fusion Applications.
Any evidence the 'soup-to-nuts' stack play is working?
Exadata and Exalogic are part of Oracle's ongoing attempt to position itself as a one-stop shop for IT buyers, with the ability to sell customers everything from storage to business applications in tightly engineered packages.
This strategy has an obvious downside to overcome, namely the threat of total lock-in to a single vendor.
Therefore, it will be interesting to see whether Oracle can show off a high-profile customer or two at OpenWorld who has bought into the super-stack vision in a big way, not just as an Exadata or Exalogic user.
As it turns out, one of those customers may end up being Oracle itself.
Oracle Chief Corporate Architect Edward Screven and systems chief John Fowler are scheduled to deliver a keynote on Wednesday that will "present the latest on Oracle's engineered systems and talks about how Oracle runs its business on Oracle hardware and software -- and the success it is achieving by doing so."
Hullabaloo about Hadoop?
The Hadoop open-source framework for large-scale data processing is getting major interest from many vendors in the database and data warehousing arena. So far, Oracle hasn't made a huge investment. But it could lay out broader plans for Hadoop at OpenWorld.
"Oracle has been conspicuous for its absence from the Hadoop market," Kobielus said.
At least one possibly new Hadoop-related product will be discussed. "Oracle's loader for Hadoop lets you use the power of Hadoop to process data and load the results into Oracle Database for analytics," reads a description for a demo to be held at OpenWorld.
In addition, Oracle CEO Larry Ellison said earlier this year that the company would launch a "big data accelerator" involving Hadoop at OpenWorld.
Oracle's in-memory computing play
Rival SAP has been rebuilding its long-term software strategy around HANA, an in-memory database that is the brainchild of co-founder Hasso Plattner and technology chief Vishal Sikka.
Ellison, whose flagship Oracle database currently powers many an SAP installation, has been somewhat dismissive of HANA's potential and said Oracle has been in the in-memory game for a long time, in an apparent reference to Oracle's TimesTen software, an in-memory database cache acquired in 2005.
OpenWorld is supposed to feature the debut of an "in-memory accelerator" for Exadata, according to remarks Ellison made earlier this year. But it's not clear whether this will constitute an entirely new product or something based on TimesTen.