Oracle Exadata Database Machine X4 is the firm’s fifth iteration of the product. According to Oracle, it quadruples the amount of flash capacity available, speeding up performance of OLTP-oriented workloads through a mix of bigger physical flash storage and high-speed flash compression. A single Exadata rack can now house up to 88TB of user data in flash, meaning firms can host the majority of their OLTP databases completely in flash. Random I/O rates needed for OLTP have also increased to 2.66 million 8K database reads and 1.96 million writes per second, which Oracle says is an improvement of almost 100 percent.
For data warehousing, new flash-caching algorithms mean tables that are larger than the available flash are now automatically partially cached in flash and read concurrently from both flash and disk to speed up the throughput.
On the consolidation side, Oracle said that firms can easily consolidate hundreds of databases into a single rack, for lower costs. Exadata can also now transparently prioritise requests from database servers, through network adapters and network switches, to storage and back, and ensure that network-intensive workloads such as reporting, batch and backups do not delay time-sensitive workloads.
Oracle said there are thousands of Exadata machines worldwide, supporting petabyte data warehouses, real-time OLTP, e-commerce and online financial trading, which will now be able to take advantage of touted performance increases of between 50 and 100 percent and storage capacity upgrades of between 33 and 100 percent.
However, all this performance comes at a price. The current list price for Exadata starts from $220,000 for an eight rack, rising to $1.1m for a full rack.
But for customers like those in the financial sector, this cost is a worthwhile outlay. “For a certain set of workloads with low latency and high performance requirements, engineered systems offer price performance,” said Dennis Gaughan, managing vice president at Gartner. “Oracle sees enough opportunity at the high end of the market not to focus on scaling Exadata down to a lower price point today.”
The X4 is backwards compatible with older hardware, so current machines can take advantage of the updates above. Oracle could not provide UK shipping or pricing information at the time of writing.
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