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September 25, 2008


Alex McDonald

Perceptive. One additional comment; this doesn't make Oracle a hardware company. Oracle is about Oracle. Thar's serious loot in them Orakule licences.

Chuck Hollis

Oh yes, no surprise it's all about those software licences :-)

Interesting note, did you see the results we got by virtualizing the much cheaper Oracle "SE" licenses rather than the full-boat RAC licenses, with VMware providing many of the advanced features found in RAC, e.g. load balancing, clustered failover, etc.?

There are many different ways to play the commoditizing game ...

Bit Counter

Good post, and a bit adjustment from my end. Firstly, this is not an appliance. It is a DB machine. It will need customization and maintenance - so service dollars for HP/Oracle. So even if this is sold in an HP shop, it may not hit the ground running.
Second, DMX-4 with the SSDs may have issues for a DWH type workload, esp with the
data movement of larger tables across storage tiers. Isn't this a more of an OLTP type device?

BTW, this year it was NTAP and EMC on the cross-wire during the keynote. Last year it was VMW and prior to it was BEAS. Let us just get used to it. :)

Truly anon,
Bit Counter

Chuck Hollis

Bit Counter

The 'appliance" word is theirs, not mine. I agree with you, this is not a simplistic device.

As far as EFDs making sense in various DW/BI scenarios, I outlined one that we're investigating (e.g. the temp space where you do your joins, data reduction, whatever) which we believe drives an interesting mix of I/Os that EFDs can make run much faster.

Random reads and writes -- that's what they're good for. And, in a DMX, the cache soaks up all the writes, so you're left with random reads. In a CX, not so much write cache, so the profile is different.

Too soon to tell exactly how and where they'll play, or when.

Someone told me that Tom Georgens from NetApp used his speaking slot to "set the record straight" on the usable capacity debate. Amazing, that is.

And you're right, there will always be a tussle of one sort or another going on at these shows.

I'm taking bets as to whether this "initiative" makes it 12 months to the next Oracle Open World. Obviously, their "virtualization initiative" (e.g. Xen instead of VMware) introduced last year isn't making the grade, among others ...


Chuck Hollis

Hi, this is Chuck again, with some updates.

First, someone pointed out an important point that I had missed, e.g. the hardware was probably developed for HP's own Neoview DW/BI environment, see here: http://h71028.www7.hp.com/enterprise/cache/414444-0-0-225-121.html

This brings up an interesting coopetition question: if the customer is interested in large scale DW, which platform does the HP rep promote?

Secondly, since the hardware platform is presumably runs something like Linux or HP-UX, you have to wonder how fast something like DATAllegro, Vertica, Greenplum, ParAccell would run on it.

Can optimized hardware make up for software architectural issues?

Time will tell ...

Ike Kuiper

Hi Chuck,

I agree on your scepticism, especially thinking of the big announcements of Oracle in the recent past about for instance Oracle VM or Oracle Enterprise Linux (OEL), what have we heard about this since the announcements? Not much and certainly not a lot of market-penetration.

Regarding this appliance announcement, I have talked with several Oracle-sales and Oracle-partners at OOW last week. Some conclusion: Oracles-sales does not care about hardware and do not want to discuss this with customers. Especially the application- and middleware-side of Oracle, could not care less. They do not see a huge market for them, as there a not that many customers who will pay 1.6M USD for the licenses of this appliance. Also, although Oracle's business model is evolving to more and more channel-led business (averaging around 60% of the business now), this is direct-sales only. That means that resellers and SI's are expected NOT to promote this

Chuck Hollis

Hi Ike -- I tend to agree

I see this as a purely defensive play by Oracle sales -- if they're in a situation where a specialized DW platform is the competition, they can drag out this beastie to look like they have one too.

I don't see Oracle sales or partners leading with it. I don't see Oracle customers standing up and saying "I want one of those".

And I bet HP did most of the heavy lifting to bring it to market.

-- Chuck


"Closer to Disk"? Has Oracle code running inside a Disk Drive?
If don't, so ther's no changes...
Oracle "Hide" CPUs and Storages inside a Box, with the same disk interfaces (FC, SCSI, etc.)...

Chuck Hollis

... my point exactly, there's no magic here ...



While EMC and other SAN storage vendors are seeing Exadata as a competitive threat, I wonder if you are missing the real competition.

Exadata (as Larry Ellison explicitly stated in October 2007) was developed as Oracle's answer to appliances like Netezza, etc. Exadata was a reactive, defensive move by Oracle, not an offensive one. It doesn't appear that it's working out so well.

But perhaps SAN vendors should also be concerned about the Netezza's of the world. More concerned than they are about Exadata. Note that in the places Exadata is losing (EHarmony and NYSE most recently), they are not losing to SAN players, but to Greenplum and Netezza.

Oracle and EMC face a common threat from the data-appliance guys, it's a classic Clay Christensen 'innovator's dilemma', because these guys are bringing technology that is first and foremost, incompatible with 'mainstream market models for making money'. Perhaps EMC and Oracle should be working together to respond to a disruptive threat you BOTH face.

Chuck Hollis

Ckazky -- great point. EMC actually has done pretty well partnering with many of the players you mention, and many others.

And there are parts to the story not yet visible :-)

-- Chuck


Oracle seems to be saying the way to fix Oracle architecture limitations is buying more and bigger hardware.

Column based databases like Sybase IQ reduce the amount of io needed by 90% anyway, for OLAP , reporting and querying they can deliver 10,100,1000 * performance improvements on much cheap hardware.

Oracles response to new architectural dbms thinking, to build a propriertary Oracle database mainframe!

The comments to this entry are closed.

Chuck Hollis

  • Chuck Hollis
    SVP, Oracle Converged Infrastructure Systems

    Chuck now works for Oracle, and is now deeply embroiled in IT infrastructure.

    Previously, he was with VMware for 2 years, and EMC for 18 years before that, most of them great.

    He enjoys speaking to customer and industry audiences about a variety of technology topics, and -- of course -- enjoys blogging.

    Chuck lives in Vero Beach, FL with his wife and four dogs when he's not traveling. In his spare time, Chuck is working on his second career as an aging rock musician.

    Warning: do not ever buy him a drink when there is a piano nearby.

    Note: these are my personal views, and aren't reviewed or approved by my employer.
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