Monday, September 30, 2013

Oracle Announces an In-Memory Technology, At an Ungodly Speed

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Oracle OpenWorld started yesterday, and Larry Ellison announced new in-memory options in Oracle 12c. According to PCWeek “The Big Memory Machine costs $3 million, a sum Ellison termed as ‘a fraction’ of what competitors charge.”

The core of the newly announced Oracle technology is a columnar store. It is in fact a fascinating technology that leverages compression, vectorized execution using SIMD, and parallel query processing. However, this technology has been on the market for a long time and has started to commoditize. Oracle is probably the last big vendor to come up with columnar technology.

But even if you pay big dollars, you don’t solve your analytics problem for good. There is one common property among all analytics workloads: they grow. Suddenly 32 TB is not all that big. And the price! Nearly $100,000 per TB. By stark contrast, the cost of commodity DRAM is now about $5,000 per TB, and FusionIO, which is almost as fast as DRAM, is about $2,000 per TB. With a vertically-scaled architecture 32 TB is shockingly expensive. You either need to switch to a bigger appliance or move to Exadata or Oracle Rac.

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