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Questions Emerge On HP-Oracle Device

The whole concept of the data warehouse appliances has gone from "an interesting niche in the market to something that's smack dab in the middle of the mainstream market." That's how Jim Baum, president and COO of Netezza, sized up the HP Oracle Database Machine announced earlier this week, but it's clear that competitors, as well as analysts and potential customers, are still struggling to size up the actual product.
The whole concept of the data warehouse appliances has gone from "an interesting niche in the market to something that's smack dab in the middle of the mainstream market." That's how Jim Baum, president and COO of Netezza, sized up the importance of this week's announcement of the HP Oracle Database Machine. That's the big picture, but having interviewed Netezza and Teradata executives thus far, it's clear that they, along with analysts and potential customers, are still struggling to size up the actual product. I'm still gathering opinions, but here's a short list of questions raised thus far:• Oracle CEO Larry Ellison seemed to suggest that the HP Oracle Exadata Storage Server, the storage side of the total machine, would put query processing power on every disk, yet the product is also said to be built entirely on industry standard hardware. So how do you put an intelligent query gateway on every disk without using proprietary hardware?

• Teradata execs wondered if the device has a mixed architecture, with a shared-nothing approach on the Exadata Storage Server side (for fast, massively parallel processing) but a shared architecture on the Database Machine side? If so, the database optimizer has to be very sophisticated to maintain performance.

• Oracle says the HP Oracle Exadata Storage Servers deliver "10x or more performance improvements in data-intensive query processing," but the question is, 10 times what exactly? Are benchmarks available?

• One question just for HP: How do you reconcile the HP-Oracle device with HP's Neoview offering? Isn't that a competitive overlap?

Interviews with Oracle and HP are pending, so I'm hoping to share answers by Monday. On the competitive front, IBM has declined to comment on the announcement.The whole concept of the data warehouse appliances has gone from "an interesting niche in the market to something that's smack dab in the middle of the mainstream market." That's how Jim Baum, president and COO of Netezza, sized up the HP Oracle Database Machine announced earlier this week, but it's clear that competitors, as well as analysts and potential customers, are still struggling to size up the actual product.