Oracle Adds To Its Engineered Systems Story
Oracle says Exadata (shown at left) is its most successful product launch ever, landing more than 1,000 customers since it was introduced in 2008. This "engineered system" puts Oracle's 11g Database on supporting X86-based processing and disk-based storage tiers with flash cache available for ultra-fast querying. It can be used for either transactional environments or data warehousing (though not both simultaneously). Exadata's Hybrid Columnar Compression offers some of the storage efficiencies of column-store databases, delivering up to a 10-to-1 compression ratio, versus an average of 4-to-1 for most row-store databases.
Oracle expanded its engineered systems family in September by announcing the Oracle SuperCluster (shown at right), a new product due out this fall based on the new Sun Sparc T-4 chip. SuperCluster is available in full-rack or half-rack configurations, and you can add capacity in half-rack increments. The full-rack includes 1,200 CPU threads, 4 TB of DRAM, between 97 TB and 198 TB of hard disk, and 8.66 TB of flash memory.
Oracle claims transactional performance for SuperCluster will be 10 times faster and data warehousing performance 50 times faster than conventional server architectures. But as a proprietary Unix machine, SuperCluster will be swimming against the tide of data warehousing deployments moving toward scale-out architectures on commodity X86 hardware. Oracle Exadata and Exalogic are both X86-powered machines that run on Linux.
In the latest news, Oracle announced at Oracle OpenWorld in early October that it will add a distribution of Apache Hadoop software and a related big-data appliance. Oracle is also planning a separate NoSQL transactional DBMS based on the open-source BerkeleyDB product acquired with Sleepycat Software in 2006. And in another embrace of open-source software, Oracle says it will offer a distribution of the open-source R statistical environment for in in-database analysis within the Oracle 11g. Oracle has yet to announce ship dates for the Hadoop, NoSQL, and R products.