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SAN FRANCISCO – New versions of its flagship database software and Exadata database machine highlighted the opening keynote of Oracle OpenWorld Sunday.
CEO Larry Ellison introduced Oracle Database 12c, some details of which have already been known, and which is expected to be made generally available in 2013. Ellison called Oracle Database 12c the “first multi-tenant database,” and highlighted one feature in particular, called Pluggable Databases.
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Pluggable Databases will allow multiple tenants to co-exist in the same database, and the information for multiple Pluggable Databases can be consolidated into a single container database.
“Pluggable Databases makes it much easier for database consolidation,” said Alex Gorbachev, chief technology officer for database consultancy Pythian Group, which beta-tested Oracle Database 12c. “In my experience it works very well.”
Gorbachev compared the architectural shift to when Real Application Clusters (RAC) was introduced. However, the Pluggable Databases feature didn’t require Oracle to conduct a mass overhaul of the Oracle Database kernel, he said, a move he called a good one for end users.
“It didn’t require Oracle to rewrite a lot of things from scratch,” he said.
Markus Korn, head of the Oracle and Unix department at Continental Corp., a German-based automotive industrial supplier, said the Pluggable Databases was the most impressive part of Ellison’s keynote Sunday night at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.
“I have a lot of applications that need independency,” he said. “I need a real secure container so that we can have separate databases for each of them.”
Mike Crist, a technology architect for Kansas City, Mo.-based healthcare technology company Cerner Corp., said the multi-tenancy aspect of Oracle Database 12c will allow Cerner to better host hospital IT infrastructure for its clients.
“We host 300-plus hospital systems ourselves, and we have a group that has to do all of the database backups,” he said. “They’ll love not having hundreds of servers. It’s all about cutting back on additional hardware.”
Oracle also announced a new version of its engineered database machine. Oracle Exadata Database Machine x3 includes 26 terabytes of DRAM and flash memory, and Ellison called it the “database in-memory machine.”
“Exadata x3 is designed to store your database – no, all your databases – in memory,” he said. “Everything is in memory.”
“Disk drives are becoming passé,” he continued. “All of your active data is migrating off of old mechanical rotating disk drives to semiconductor memory, and the first major move in that direction is the Exadata X3.”
Ellison added that the Exadata X3 list price will be the same as its existing Exadata product, the x2-8. He gave no expected delivery date, however.
Mark Chapman, a database administrator and development manager at San Antonio-based Frost Bank, said that the speed of the Exadata X3 just looks “freaking awesome.”
“Database I/O is so important,” he said. “To basically eliminate it, you can’t ask for much more than that.”
With Exadata X3 comes a new configuration, an eighth-rack that will start at a list price of $200,000. That starting point appealed to Korn from Continental.
“The quarter-rack investment was too high,” he said. “With the eighth-rack I can start lower.”