The Oracle Database Machine ! ! !

I have debated to myself if I should comment on this or not. This is not the first time that Larry Ellison has gone down this path of where Oracle/Larry has invested in a company that builds hardware. What I like about this approach, he is partnering with a company HP that makes hardware.I think this approach will increase the likelyhood of this succeeding. The combination of HP and Oracle is a pretty compelling story.

This approach makes a lot more sense to me, than trying to do it from scratch.  God knows with database growing 3-5 times their size every 3 years. With the application explosion we have seen the success of companies like Netezza. There is a clear market for this.

Lets not forget my friend?s Foster Hinshaw, President and CEO at Dataupia.  When I was building the Ntirety Database Administration Appliance, I met with  Foster for some advice. I was able to look under the covers at Dataupia and was blown away what they had built. I highly reccommend looking at Dataupia products suite. Meeting with Foster, helped Ntirety greatly with the building of our own database appliance.  Ntirety’s Database Adminustrators use this specialized appliance to manage our clients Oracle and Microsoft SQL Server databases with.The Ntirety database appliance wakes up every few seconds and asks each database inour care, are you ok. Looking for situations we know could lead to a Database failure and proactively dealing with them. Doing it all with a very low foot print in the clients database environment.

The Ntirety Database Appliance, the specialized hardware has provided Ntirety a competitive advantage over all out competitors who also provide database administration service remotely. Ntirety has had an 8 year track record of near perfect client retention and satisfaction. Let me say that again, Ntirety has had an 8 year track record of near perfect client satisfaction and retention. The Ntirety database appliance has helped Ntirety gain efficiencies in how our database administrators do their jobs that has enabled Ntirety to keep prices competitive and still be 100% North American staffed.  So I get it. I think specialized hardware makes sense especially for databases.

I saw a blog entry I thought did an excellent job of commenting on Oracle new machine.

What is the Oracle Database Machine and Is It Needed?

Posted on September 25th, 2008 by Robin Bloor in IT Trends

You may have stumbled on the news that Oracle is now in the hardware business or to be more precise, it is in the database engine business – and by database engine I?m talking about hardware specifically built for running big database applications – and in respect of big databases applications, I mean big data warehouses.

On Wednesday Oracle CEO, Larry Ellison, unveiled the company?s Exadata Storage Server and a Database Machine – shown in the adjacent illustration, with the words Extreme Performance written down the side in red. The hardware is made by HP and you can think of this machine as being an implementation of the Oracle 11g database implemented over Oracle RAC with a complete Oracle software stack, plus Oracle Enterprise Linux.

From a software perspective much of this is familiar territory. The smart part is that the hardware has been designed for lightning query performance. Oracle claims that the HP Oracle Database Machine will run queries 10x faster or more. You can think of the whole configuration as having two parts; up to 8 HP Database Servers running Oracle 11g connected to 14 Exadata Storage Servers. The Exadata Storage Servers marry Intel multi-core processors with blocks of memory to specific disk resources, so that query processing for each disk happens ?over the disk?. That?s where the performance comes from.

Does The World Need This?

It?s a logical question to ask. Database engines have been tried before (remember Britton Lee), but the only one that saw much success was Teradata. Other ideas like ICL?s CAFS (Content Addressable File Store) delivered the performance. But performance is never the problem with devices like this, it?s whether the overall architecture has longevity.

The fact that this is Oracle makes a big difference of course. The database giant has a right to try to move the industry along a different path – and I?m sure that this machine will see some quick adoption. On the HP side of the equation some commentators may wonder whether there isnt a product clash here, with HP also offering its excellent Neoview – based on the Tandem architecture. But first of all, HP is simply providing the iron, it is not selling the database machine. Secondly, Neoview performs best when dealing with mixed workloads whereas the Database Engine specifically targets multi-terabyte data warehouses. It is not a head-to-head clash although they will doubtless meet in the market place.

To read the entire article by Robin Bloor….

  What is the Oracle Database Machine and is it Needed

Only time will tell. For now, Oracle has once again entered the hardware business. This time with HP. Only time will tell.

Posted by Michael Corey


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