Saturday, September 19, 2009

Oracle-Sun: Breaking Out From a Summer of Silence

To make up for a summer of silence, Oracle and Sun are now taking the gloves off as Larry Ellison gave tangible proof on September 15th of his intention to be a formidable player in the hardware infrastructure business, launching his first joint product with Sun Microsystems called Exadata V2.

Effectively dumping HP, after launching Exadata V1 with Mark Hurd at Oracle OpenWorld 2008 nearly a year ago,
Ellison has quelled any lingering speculation he might spin off Sun's hardware business to HP. Although HP was not directly mentioned during the Exadata V2 launch, it was quintessential Larry Ellison on center stage, calling out a few of his favorite rivals, IBM, Teradata, Netezza, HDS, and the unnamed in-memory OLTP database start-ups that venture capitalists, according to Ellison, "may be sorry they invested in."

Exadata V2, benefiting from the inherent performance gains of Intel Nehalem 5500 series processors and DDR3 memory, also incorporates Sun IP designed by the brilliant Andy Bechtolsheim such as "FlashFire" flash memory cards and 40Gb/sec Infiniband switches, that all told, can reach up to 1 Million random read/write IOPS.
These performance numbers make Exadata V2 scream in running OLTP workloads, but can also run data warehousing workloads twice as fast as Exadata V1.

Subsequent to the joint Sun Oracle product launch, several analysts were quick to point out that Exadata V2 incorporates Intel x86 processors and Oracle Enterprise Linux as opposed to Sun's latest generation "Victoria Falls" dual socket, eight-core CMT processors and Solaris 10, appearing to contradict Oracle's recent WSJ ad proclaiming its increased investment in the SPARC/Solaris platform.

But rumor has it that Larry is saving his joint Oracle-Sun SPARC/Solaris product announcement, that will likely be even bigger on superlatives, for October 12th at this year's Oracle OpenWorld.

Although 2009 marked the summer of silence for the technology sector, it's gearing up to be anything but that as we close out the remaining months of a challenging, yet interesting year.

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