Saturday, September 27, 2008

Unravelling an Oracle hardware mystery

As already noted, my first reaction to Larry's announcement was "nice - but irrelevant". However, I promised myself that I would look at the Oracle hardware announcement in more detail.

Of course, I took a look at Kevin Closson's blog and related 'FAQ' at and that is giving me some ideas of the Exadata capabilities.

I also started to read some of the materials at OTN. And the relevant pages at And the Oracle online price list. (Note to Oracle: it is not easy to find the Exadata info from OTN home page. And there is no entry at all in the Oracle Store.)

Some up front observations:

1) The Exadata is a storage machine, independent of the HP-Oracle Database Machine;
2) The HP-Oracle Database machine is a specific packaging of server and Exadata storage;
3) The size and price point of Exadata Storage server indicates it could reach into the mid-size business market;
4) Oracle still uses 'interesting' pricing.

My previous comment about not being applicable to my region was based on my reaction to the price and configuration of the full-blown HP-Oracle Database Machine. Not quite correct ...

From the announcement on Wednesday, and the side conversations, I managed to totally lose sight of point 1. Indeed, Oracle has announced they are in the disk storage business - a natural outgrowth of their foray into file systems and disk storage management with OCFS and ASM.

The size ranges for Exadata will indeed introduce some interesting issues. It is indeed valid for mid-range business and may even reach into the upper small-sized business. However, every mid-size company I deal with is looking at reducing the storage footprint, as well as reducing the number of storage vendors. Hardware sales is a different process, and requires a completely different sales relationship and entry point to the organization - Oracle really needs to look to third parties like Edmonton's Interdynamix if they want to be successful in that market.

My point about interesting pricing is taken from the referenced price list. Oracle sells the storage using either 300GB SAS drives or 1TB SATA drives. The amusing (or distressing) concern is that Oracle charges a simple hardware price for the 'shelf' including the 12 disk drives, but then has a software charge per disk in that shelf. Unless I totally misinterpret that pricing doc - possible, as I'm sitting in the airport waiting for my name to be called on standby.

1 comment:

samantha said...

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