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Oracle, Sun set to light FlashFire

'World's first OLTP database machine'

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It looks like Sun Microsystems and its soon-to-be owner, Oracle, are not going to wait until October 14 to talk up a combined Sun server and storage product paired with the Oracle relational database, a device all tuned up for online transaction processing.

As El Reg reported two weeks ago, Oracle was fixing to demonstrate its commitment to the server market by partnering with Sun to best IBM on the TPC-C online transaction processing test. Everyone guessed this would involve a clustered Oracle database configuration, and a day after Oracle and Sun threw down a gauntlet at Big Blue's feet, it came to light that Sun was cooking up a 1U flash disk array called the F5100 that sports 80 flash drives and four SAS disk links, with a capacity of 4 TB and offering an impressive 1 million I/O operations per second.

As soon as this surfaced, it seemed pretty obvious that Oracle and Sun were going to pair up the quad-socket T5440 Sparc T2+ servers with this F5100 disk array to create a very compact, very fast OLTP system, perhaps bearing the Database Machine name for the server cluster and the Exadata name for the disk array.

Now, on Tuesday afternoon, Larry Ellison, Oracle's chief executive officer, and John Fowler, the general manager of Sun's System group, are going to unveil "an innovative new product" which the two are billing as "the world's first OLTP database machine with Sun FlashFire technology."

It looks like we pegged this one correctly, at least in terms of concept if not precise configuration. And it also seems that concern about the future of Sun's server products and Oracle's commitment to them has forced the two to talk a month earlier than they planned to. Not many vendors send out notices of announcements on a Sunday afternoon as part of their regular PR efforts. ®

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