Cloud Computing

Oracle Unveils Exadata Database as a Service

Oracle earlier this week announced the availability of its Exadata platform on its next-generation cloud infrastructure, which essentially means the company is providing Exadata as a Service.

The Oracle Cloud infrastructure is a comprehensive set of integrated, subscription-based services that let businesses run any workload in an enterprise-grade cloud managed by Oracle.

It enables self-provisioning of multiple bare metal servers in less than five minutes, with each supporting more than 4 million Input/output operations per second. It also allows block storage that scales linearly by 60 IOPS per GB, Oracle said.

The Oracle Cloud offers the following:

  • Elastic compute capacity
  • Online storage
  • Exadata database on demand, on high-performance bare metal
  • Load balancing
  • Developer portal

Exadata on Oracle’s cloud lets enterprises run high-demand applications using real-time targeting, analytics or personalization with extreme performance, Oracle said.

Enterprises can migrate mission-critical database applications and data warehouses seamlessly, and develop new extreme performance cloud applications, according to the company.

Oracle “isn’t the only game in town, but Exadata’s performance, coupled with the Oracle Cloud, which is optimized for Exadata, certainly makes it an attractive option for customers — particularly those with an already heavy reliance on Oracle,” said Rebecca Wettemann, VP of research at Nucleus Research.

“That said, this is a very competitive marketplace, and I expect we’ll see more ‘mine is faster, better or cheaper’ announcements from the other [Platform as a Service] players,” she told the E-Commerce Times.

The Only One

Oracle Database is available on Amazon Web Services through Amazon’s Relational Database Service offering, noted Doug Henschen, principal analyst at Constellation Research.

However, “Oracle is alone in offering Exadata as a Service,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

This “brings portability to the cloud to those running Exadata on premises,” Henschen remarked. “It’s a higher-performance, higher-scale option for those currently using Oracle Database in a traditional deployment, though some tuning is then required.”

Late to the Party

Oracle last year unveiled Exadata on the Oracle Cloud on its partner network; this week’s announcement appears to be a notification of the service’s general availability.

“Oracle was late to this party and is still largely regarded as being an inferior solution,” observed Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.

“In Oracle’s class, particularly for high-performance applications, the Nvidia/IBM partnership likely puts IBM in the lead for this kind of solution,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

IBM this spring made Nvidia’s Tesla P100 GPU accelerator available on the cloud, which will help businesses run compute-heavy workloads such as artificial intelligence, deep learning, and high-performance data analytics better and faster.

IBM and Microsoft “seem to own dominance,” Enderle said. “Even Amazon has high-performance applications now. [Oracle] is playing catch-up.”

Good News for Oracle Users

Oracle Exadata as a Service will “give the hundreds of thousands of Oracle Database customers additional cloud deployment options,” Constellation’s Henschen observed.

“There are many other options in the cloud, and many are fast-growing for cost and other competitive reasons,” he pointed out, but “Oracle has long been every database vendor’s biggest competitor.”

Oracle “is the world’s most popular database” Henschen said. “Migrating data, queries and tables that you’ve already set up on one database to an equivalent cloud service is far easier and faster than rewriting from scratch.”

The cloud “happens to be where companies are encountering or aggregating lots of high-scale data,” he noted.

The new service “is undoubtedly good news” for Oracle customers, “because they’ve likely been having serious performance issues before,” Enderle remarked.

That said, Oracle “will need to step it up a lot” to catch IBM, AWS and Microsoft, he added, “because even Google seems to be moving faster at the moment.”

Richard Adhikari

Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.

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