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OpenWorld: Oracle pushes further into cloud with Database 12c

01 Oct 2012
Oracle Openworld

SAN FRANCISCO: Larry Ellison opened the OpenWorld 2012 show on Sunday evening with major product announcements around cloud computing and infrastructure as a service (IaaS), along with an update to the firm’s Exadata database machine.

Oracle Database 12c is "the first multi-tenant database in the world", according to the Oracle chief. 

"With traditional database architecture, multiple customer data could exist in the database, but at the application level," he said.

For example, an ERP database would have its own dedicated memory, processor and separate files.

“Typical companies have hundreds, sometimes thousands of databases, and this is becoming very expensive to manage and back up," Ellison noted.

Oracle Database 12c will act as a container database, and will hold a number of separate pluggable databases, with shared memory.

“You can plug multiple private databases into that container, but with six times less hardware, and it’s five times more scalable,” Ellison said.

“You can back up hundreds of databases, and manage many as one.”

Ellison played down his previous remarks at OpenWorld 2011 about multi-tenancy not being secure, explaining this was referencing the application level model favoured by certain SaaS providers.

“I’ve been very critical of multi-tenancy at the application level. A lot of security features don’t work properly when multi-tenancy is implemented at the application level, but they do work properly in Oracle database 12c,” he said.

Oracle Database 12c, with the ‘c’ standing for cloud, will launch in 2013. 

Oracle also fleshed out its cloud business with a new IaaS line to add to its current Fusion platform as a service middleware and software as a service application family.

Ellison also launched Oracle Private Cloud, an extension of the Oracle Public Cloud announced at OpenWorld 2011. Oracle can still manage the hardware and software for customers, who will be able to do development, testing or production on the private cloud behind their own firewall, or use it for disaster recovery purposes.

Oracle's database machine has also been updated. Exadata X3 offers 26TB of DRAM and flash memory in one rack, and 10 times the database compression, outperforming key competitors, according to Ellison.

“SAP has an in-memory machine that’s a little bit smaller, we offer 26TB of memory, they offer .5TB with Hana,” he quipped.

He added that Exadata outperforms IBM at one eighth of the price, noting that while the Exadata list price is $200,000, customers would be able to get a better deal from their Oracle sales reps.

With Exadata X3, Oracle has focused on flash for storage, rather than disk drives.

“[Exadata X3] sends all reads and writes to flash now, not just reads,” Ellison said.

“Flash cache will automatically keep all your active data in memory, flash disk will not. It’s a smart memory hierarchy.”

Exadata X3 can support up to 1.5 million writes per second, according to Ellison, who added that this is equivalent to 10,000 disk drives in 100 racks.

There was no further detail given around availability and pricing for the four new products, but Oracle is due to expand on these over the course of the week at OpenWorld.

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Madeline Bennett

Madeline Bennett is editor of V3 and The INQUIRER. Previously, she was editor of IT Week. Prior to becoming a journalist, Madeline was an English teacher at a London secondary school. Madeline is a regular technology commentator on TV and radio, including Sky, BBC and CNN. 

View Madeline's Google+ profile

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