Takeaways From OpenWorld - Page 2


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6. Oracle is Gunning for IBM and HP

While Ellison showed off his new Big Data and Exalytics appliances, he focused on Exadata and Exalogic during his opening keynote.

"Exadata is the biggest seller in Oracle's history and Exalogic sales have begun even faster than those for Exadata," he said. "It's all about moving data, not doing arithmetic in the microprocessor."

Per his reckoning, Oracle Exadata is much faster than IBM's biggest box or HP's Superdome. The SPARC T4-4, he said, had more than 2.4-times better performance per socket than the IBM Power 780 with 33 percent better price/performance. Compared to the HP Superdome 2 with 16 Itanium processors, Oracle delivered 5.7-times more performance per socket and 2.6-times better price/performance.

However, those numbers may be misleading. If you take an Exadata box and a simple IBM P780, the numbers may be correct. But what's to stop IBM hooking up its largest server to a bank of SSDs, such as the Violin Memory 6000 Series flash memory arrays? By doing so, it greatly accelerates IOPS. Oracle has wisely pre-engineered that functionality into one box. Expect IBM to follow suit very soon.

7. Oracle Likes Compression

Ellison also extolled the virtues of compression during his keynote. He said that compression at a ratio of five-to-one up to 15-to-one or more can be achieved with databases running in Exadata and other Oracle systems. And he had some interesting math to go over.

"If you compress the data, magic happens," he said. "When you add compression on top of Exadata, it means that we move 1/10th as much data, 10 times faster, which means we move data 100 times faster than everyone else in this business."

Known as Hybrid Columnar Compression support, it can be used with various Oracle products including Exadata and Sun ZFS Storage.

8. SPARC Processors Are Not Going Away

Yes, there may be Intel processors inside Oracle's latest new Exa-boxes, and yes, the company is pushing these products heavily as the fastest selling items in company history. But that doesn't mean SPARC is going away. In fact, Fowler and other Oracle luminaries laid out a multiyear roadmap for SPARC that makes it very clear the company has big plans for it.

"The SPARC T4 server line delivers the biggest generational performance increase in the history of Oracle's SPARC processors," said Fowler.

This new chip has dynamic threading, which means it works well with both single-threaded and highly concurrent workloads, enabling users to consolidate multiple application tiers onto a single server.

As Fowler pointed out, the new SPARC SuperCluster T4-4 uses SPARC processors as opposed to being all-Intel.

9. Oracle Is gunning for VMware

VMware appears to be yet another target on Oracle's radar. Edward Screven, chief corporate architect at Oracle, claimed that Oracle VM can manage up to 128 virtual CPUs per guest with a TB of memory provided per guest.

"It has four times the scalability of VMware, which costs four times more," said Screven.

10. Dell Searches for Solutions

Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer, gave a keynote during the conference in which he outlined his strategy. He is valiantly trying to get away from the "Dude, you're getting a Dell" days by distancing himself from any focus on PCs, laptops or servers. Yes, the company will continue to sell PCs and yes, it has sold more than 15 million servers in the past decade. But he wants to focus on solutions overall -- an end-to-end vision that encompasses servers, end points, networking and storage.

"Dell is evolving into an end to end solutions provider, but we understand that the client is a big part of the solution," said Dell.

Drew Robb is a freelance writer specializing in technology and engineering. Currently living in California, he is originally from Scotland, where he received a degree in geology and geography from the University of Strathclyde. He is the author of Server Disk Management in a Windows Environment (CRC Press).

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