Oracle enters hardware business with new storage servers

15 Oct 2009

Software giant Oracle is now a fully fledged hardware giant, too, and is now going to muscle against established storage vendors such as IBM and EMC.

It emerged today at the Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco that Oracle’s first-ever storage product will be a storage server with embedded software designed to work with the company’s databases and be used in a grid.

The Exadata storage server marks the first fruit to emerge from Oracle’s US$5.6-billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems in April this year.

The Exadata storage server will be immediately available on Linux running on Intel, but other platforms like Windows will be on the way, said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who promised it will disrupt the storage market dominated by EMC and IBM.

The first machine comes with 168 terabytes of disk data and 64 Intel cores.

Oracle Exadata Storage Servers combine smart storage software from Oracle and industry-standard hardware from Sun to deliver what Oracle claims will be  the industry’s highest database storage performance.

To overcome the limitations of conventional storage, Oracle Exadata Storage Servers use a parallel architecture to dramatically increase data bandwidth between the database server and storage.

In addition, smart storage software offloads data-intensive query processing from Oracle Database 11g servers and does the query processing closer to the data. The result is faster parallel data processing and less data movement through higher bandwidth connections. This massively parallel architecture also offers linear scalability and mission-critical reliability.

By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years