Oracle’s Next Step

by George A
The CEO of Oracle, Larry Ellison, has unveiled the Exalytics Intelligence Machine at the Open World conference. This technology is competing with SAP’s HANA in-memory platform. The data is read off of RAM and not typical hard discs resulting in a higher speed. The machine has 40 processor cores and 1TB of DRAM. The system remembers queries from users so that they don’t have to be processed each time they are called. Exalytics also incorporates using the concept of paralleling the hardware in the system in order to deal with any failure that may occur in the system. Ellison stresses that database performance is about moving data. Data compression is also another key component in Exalytics as compressing the data allows quicker movement of the same data.  Proctor & Gamble and other companies are already using some of Oracles machines using similar technology.

It’s interesting to see these seeming super computers being used on a normal basis. I imagine that machines of this caliber are not sold in great quantities and must be very expensive in order to cover R&D along with the actual cost of producing it. Hard discs are great bottleneck in the processing speed of computers currently. I imagine in the coming years solid state drives will completely replace hard discs. Oracle realizes the low speed of hard discs and has turned to RAM to store very large amounts of data in order to make it easily accessible at very fast rates.

I find it interesting that database technology integrates hardware and software seamlessly. The purpose of these super computers becomes merely to allow the data to be processed for the user. The technology that is required to fulfill modern day needs in data is astounding. Computers like IBM’s Watson is designed for one single purpose; to answer a question faster than a human can retrieve information from their brain. Databases must hold large amounts of data and at the same time access that data very quickly. These two needs conflict with each other and must be balanced to be successful.

 

Kanaracus, Chris. (2011, October 2). Ellison Unveils ‘Exalytics” in-memory Machine. Computer World.

Retrieved from http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9220448/Ellison_unveils_Exalytics_in_memory_machine?taxonomyId=158&pageNumber=1

1 thought on “Oracle’s Next Step”

  1. Very interesting use of caching for high-performance computing. I wonder how ‘safe’ the underlying data is, though, since RAM is highly volatile. And I agree that to make this type of system work, a lot of investment in R&D, testing, and support of course.

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