Oracle Unveils Exadata Version 2 Database Machine

Designed for speedier data warehouses, online transaction processing

Oracle chief executive officer Larry Ellison and Sun executive vice president John Fowler today unveiled what they claim is the world’s first OLTP Database Machine. The Exadata Database Machine Version 2, created in a partnership between Sun and Oracle, is designed for speed for both data warehousing applications (the companies say its speed is twice that of Version 1) and online transaction processing (OLTP).

The new version uses standard hardware components as well as Sun’s FlashFire technology. At its core is the Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and Oracle Exadata Storage Server Software Release 11.2. Use of Exadata Smart Flash Cache based on Sun FlashFire contributes to the fast speed, the companies claimed in a press release, delivering “extreme performance and scalability” for OLTP.

The Exadatas will feature Sun’s FlashFire memory cards, Intel Xeon (Nehalem) processors, fast disks (600 GB SAS Disks at 6 Gigabits/second), DDR3 memory, 72 gigabytes of memory per database server, and fast network performance thanks to 40 gigabits/second InfiniBand. Disk capacity of 100 TB (SAS) or 336 TB (SATA) per rack is part of the package.

Performance is clearly key. Oracle says the Exabyte uses hybrid columnar compression to shrink data 10 to 50 times smaller, and scans on such compressed data offer faster query performance. Storage indices are used to reduce disk I/O. Query processing can be offloaded to storage devices using a feature called Smart Scan, which is particularly useful for data mining applications.

Exadata Version 2 is shipping in four configurations: the full rack includes 8 database servers and 14 storage servers; the half rack is equipped with 4 database servers and 7 storage servers. A quarter-rack version uses 2 database servers and 3 storage servers; a basic system contains a single database server and one storage server. All four configurations are now available.

More information is available at www.oracle.com/database/database-machine.html.