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Exadata Second Coming

With HP being the big news at Oracle OpenWorld last year, when the Exadata V1 data warehousing cluster appliance was first announced and even bore the name HP Oracle Database Machine, you might be thinking that the ghosts of Hewlett and Packard as well as current HP employees might be a little miffed at Oracle for dropping HP iron with the launch of the Exadata V2 cluster, now for online transaction processing as well as for data warehousing, back in mid-September. The Exadata V2 rig is based on Sun iron, and Oracle is not offering hardware upgrades to the V1 machines so current customers can move to faster HP iron.

"There are a lot of industry shifts going on right now, and this is one of them," explains Small, referring to Oracle's pending acquisition of Sun and its change to Sun iron. "With Oracle buying Sun, this kind of move is to be expected." Small added that the original Exadata product line was "a very small portion" of the business that HP and Oracle do together. He also said that HP viewed Exadata as a kind of single-function appliance, while Matrix was more about creating a single pool of resources that many applications could share, and that the two products don't really compete.

In addition to the Matrix templates for PeopleSoft, HP is kicking out a reference architecture for a ProLiant DL785 running Oracle 11g, which shows linear scalability on the box using four-core Opteron processors, scaling up to a 32-core, eight-socket configuration. This reference architecture makes use of Oracle's database data compression technology, and Van der Zweep says that HP has been able to compress databases by a factor of 75 per cent with only taking a few per cent hit on server performance on an eight-socket DL785. That is a lot of storage savings, obviously.

HP has also validated Oracle VM Server to run on ProLiant DL380 G6 servers, which are based on Intel's Xeon 5500 processors, in conjunction with its LeftHand P4000 storage area networks. HP already supports Oracle Enterprise Linux (a knock-off of Red Hat Enterprise Linux) on selected ProLiant machines, but neither Oracle VM Server nor Oracle Enterprise Linux are preloaded on ProLiants. You have to pay extra to get factory installation by HP. (HP does preload RHEL and Novell's SUSE Linux on its ProLiants as well as VMware's ESX Server hypervisor.)

EMC said that it realizes that many customers run VMware's ESX Server hypervisor in the same IT shops where Oracle VM Server, Oracle's implementation of the open source Xen hypervisor, is also used. Although there is no way that the penetration of Oracle VM is as high as for ESX Server, in Oracle shops, the Oracle software stack always has a bit more traction, and in some cases, a lot more traction.

Particularly among customers who want to run virtualized database, middleware, and application software stacks and who are just taking the entire Oracle stack--including Oracle Enterprise Linux and Oracle VM Server--and deploying it. Knowing this, EMC says that it can now support virtualized Oracle environments alongside the vSphere 4 stack on Symmetrix, Clariion, and Celera storage, including disk and flash storage.

EMC also said that it has optimized the use of tiered disk and flash storage in Oracle virtual environments with virtual provisioning and non-disruptive virtual LUN migration. This allows multiple Oracle databases to share a stack of flash storage, thereby boosting their performance.

EMC also said that its vCenter Site Recovery Manager software, which was href="http://www.theregister.co.uk/2009/10/06/vmware_vcenter_srm4/">just added to the vSphere stack last week and which allows for failover of VMs across a network of servers in the event of an impending or actual crash of a server or a VM stack, has been tweaked so virtualized Oracle environments running on ESX Server 4.0 can be made more resilient with the SRM feature. ®

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