As expected, on Sunday night, Larry Ellison revealed several new products to make data flow faster across corporate data centres and the Internet.
All told, he launched a big upgrade to the company’s flagship database product, two new hardware products, and a cloud service.
Taken together, they clearly reveal Ellison’s vision to “do the same thing for the data center that Apple did for the consumer,” as he described more than a year ago when explaining why he bought hardware maker Sun Microsystems in 2010.
Since then, revenues from hardware have steadily declined.
Ellison said those declines are part of the plan. He wasn’t interested in Sun’s low-margin hardware, business, he said. He wanted to build “purpose-built machines” (what others call “appliances”) for Oracle database software the same way Apple builds PCs and smartphones for its software.
So, in his opening keynote speech in San Francisco he launched these new products:
1) The “in-memory option” for Oracle’s 12c database: This allows users of Oracle’s 12c database to “just flip a switch” and the database will suddenly work at speeds of at least 100 times faster.
Data will fly around at “ungodly speeds,” Ellison promised.
The 12c database was released at last year’s Oracle World conference. It is a database designed for cloud computing, for companies like Wikipedia, Yahoo, Salesforce.com.
On Sunday, he demonstrated the new database instantly processing billions of searches per second.
The in-memory 12C is also for large enterprises building “private clouds” meaning they are using cloud technology in their own private data centres.
Many such companies are using Oracle’s database with SAP’s software. Oracle and SAP are big rivals. SAP would like these customers to yank out Oracle’s database and use SAP’s in-memory database, and SAP is having some success. SAP says this database is the fastest growing product in the history of the company.
Oracle has now introduced multiple in-memory databases to convince these customers not to ditch the Oracle database.
2) A new server with lots of memory for running the in-memory 12c database. The new server is called the M6-32 Big Memory Machine, and it includes 32 terabytes of memory, enough to hold an enormous database.
Enterprises can also choose to put part of their databases into memory.
Putting a database in memory makes it faster because the server isn’t slowed down by “input/output” (I/O), or grabbing data from storage drives attached to the server.
Because the cost of computer memory has become so cheap, it is now possible to build an a server that has such a huge chunk of memory.
3) The “Oracle Database Backup Logging Recovery Appliance. As the name suggests, this is a device that acts as a backup to an Oracle database. Should a catastrophe occur, this appliance will restore all the data.
4) A backup and recovery cloud service. For those that don’t want to own their own appliance, they can rent it as a cloud service via the Oracle Cloud.
There are countless companies already offering database backup and recovery products and cloud services. Ellison says that his is different because it is specifically designed for the Oracle database.
All of this will hopefully encourage customers to spend more money with Oracle. This will be offset from savings from a cheaper data center, he said.
“We think by designing the software and hardware together, you get extreme performance so you need less machines, you spend less, need less floor space in the data center, use less electricity, less labour maintaining it,” Ellison explained.