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Exadata Programmable Storage Server – Oracle becomes a hardware vendor

Sept 24, 2008

Breaking News – Oracle becomes a hardware vendor

Today Larry Ellison announced the Oracle “storage grid”, a data warehouse hardware appliance customized for Oracle by Hewlett Packard. This product appears to complete with other hardware/software bundles like Teradata, where you buy “intelligent” disk with on-board CPU.

Ellison correctly noted that connectivity speed has become a bottleneck for many databases (even with dark fiber), and he claims that this device will essentially perform the query filtering at the disk array level, returning only the result set to the Oracle SGA.

The formal name is the “Exadata Programmable Storage Server”.

Cost is said to be upwards of $2,000,000 per unit, and Oracle offered a demonstration scanning 2 billion rows in parallel in 21 seconds.

Essentially, the Oracle “Storage Grid” is a disk array with onboard CPU’s and Oracle parallel query built-in for super fast scans of large tables and filtering of query result sets.

Characteristics include:

  • 12 terabytes of disk (with only one gig/sec transfer speed, quite slow when compared to the competition)
  • 2 internal Intel quad processors (8 cores) to allow for parallel query up to degree=7
  • 2 Infiband pipes

It remains unclear who widespread the adoption of this device will be for the typical Oracle warehouse shop, but the real important new is that Oracle is following IBM’s path of becoming a soup-to-nuts provider, delivering the OS, the hardware and the database platform.


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