Menu
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison wades into the in-memory database wars

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison wades into the in-memory database wars

Oracle's in-memory option takes advantage of the core platform's maturity, according to an executive

Larry Ellison recently expressed his displeasure with kids who play video games all day.

Larry Ellison recently expressed his displeasure with kids who play video games all day.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is taking the fight to IBM, Microsoft and SAP in the burgeoning in-memory database market with a new option the company says can deliver dramatic performance boosts without requiring changes to applications.

Ellison first unveiled Oracle Database In-Memory at September's OpenWorld conference. During a webcast on Tuesday (US time), Ellison is expected to announce the product will be generally available within 60 days.

That's a bit sooner than some industry observers expected, and Oracle's aggressive timeline speaks to the competitive pressures it is facing from rival in-memory database vendors. SAP, for one, has ported its Business Suite software to Hana, an in-memory platform it launched a few years ago, with the express goal of convincing Suite customers now using Oracle's database to make the switch.

In-memory computing pushes information into RAM instead of reading it off of disk, providing significant performance boosts. Oracle has already offered the TimesTen in-memory database in both stand-alone form and as a caching option for its flagship database, but that technology has tended to serve more specialized purposes.

With the new in-memory option Oracle has an advantage over newer in-memory platforms such as Hana, said Tim Shetler, vice president of product management. SAP is "trying really hard to finish the other parts of a database management system," he said. "It's just a matter of maturity."

In contrast, Oracle's in-memory option can take advantage of the company's well-established capabilities for database scalability, high-availability and security, Shetler said.

The in-memory option is only available with the enterprise edition of Oracle's database, as is typically the case, Shetler said. Pricing won't be released until the general availability launch but licensing will follow standard Oracle guidelines, he said.

Ellison is expected to show live demonstrations of the in-memory option running on multiple hardware systems, from a two-socket server to a full-rack Oracle Exadata machine and finally, a SPARC M6-32 server.

The demonstrations will show the software processing up to a trillion pieces of data, pulled from six months of Wikipedia queries, at high speed, according to Shetler.

Oracle took a best-of-both-worlds approach to its in-memory option. The add-on creates an in-memory column store, which dramatically speeds up analytic queries, while preserving the database's existing relational row store for OLTP (online transaction processing) workloads. The column store does away with the overhead required to maintain row-based analytic indexes, improving OLTP performance.

Since the OpenWorld announcement, Oracle has added additional features to the in-memory option, the key one being support for its Real Application Clusters (RAC) technology, which provides scalability and fault tolerance.

Despite the option's benefits for analytic processing, there's still good reason for customers to buy Exalytics, Oracle's dedicated analytics appliance, according to Shetler.

Exalytics should be seen as a dedicated platform for running Oracle's business intelligence (BI) stack and Endeca data-discovery tool, with data being pulled into the system from multiple locations, he said. The in-memory option, meanwhile, helps speed up multiple applications that share the same database server, he added.

One observer gave the new option a measured thumbs up.

"The two standard concerns about Oracle are cost - product and administration alike - and scaling difficulties," said analyst Curt Monash of Monash Research. "Both apply to this option in spades. But otherwise, it sounds great, for all the usual RAM performance reasons."

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags enterprise resource planningdatabasesMicrosoftOracleIBMbusiness intelligencesoftwareapplicationsSAPCustomer Relationship Managementhardware systemsdata warehousingdata mining

Featured

Slideshows

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA

Reseller News has honoured the leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry at the 2019 Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) in Auckland. The awards recognised standout individuals across six categories, spanning Entrepreneur, Rising Star, Shining Star, Community, Technical and Achievement. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Leading female front runners of the Kiwi ICT industry honoured at 2019 WIICTA
Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch

The 2019 Reseller News Innovation Awards has kicked off with the Judges Lunch in Auckland with 70 judges in the voting panel. The awards will reflect the changing dynamics of the channel, recognising excellence across customer value and innovation - spanning start-ups, partners, distributors and vendors. Photos by Christine Wong.

Reseller News kicks off awards season in 2019 with Judges' Lunch
Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch

Reseller News welcomed 2018 inductees - Chris Simpson, Kendra Ross and Phill Patton - to the third running of the Reseller News Hall of Fame lunch, held at the French Cafe in Auckland. The inductees discussed the changing landscape of the technology industry in New Zealand, while outlining ways to attract a new breed of players to the ecosystem. Photos by Gino Demeer.

Reseller News welcomes industry figures for 2019 Hall of Fame lunch
Show Comments