Oracle beefs up Exadata and partners with Amazon

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Oracle has revealed upgraded hardware and added support for Amazon cloud services at its OpenWorld conference in San Francisco this week.

The company's new co-chief executive (co-CEO), Mark Hurd, took to the stage to detail upgraded Exadata data processing appliances on the day HP dropped its court case against him.

The Database Machine X2-8 and X2-2 follow on from previous releases, but add higher processing speeds and larger-capacity storage. The X2-8 is supplied as a full rack only and the X2-2 comes in a choice of configurations, scaling from a quarter rack to a 42-unit full rack.

Hurd said about data warehousing: "The data volumes now are huge and they're going to keep getting bigger. As they grow rapidly you're going to need more and more power. [You'll need] beefier processors in the database to handle yet more users: two Intel eight-processor servers, which means you have 128 cores in this eight processor system."

The Exadata Database Machine X2-8 is aimed at very large OLTP and Data Warehousing applications and comprises two eight-socket database servers. The X2-2, an update to the former V2, has eight two-socket database servers. Both systems also include 14 Oracle Exadata Storage Servers with InfiniBand switches.

The Exadata Servers have 168 cores with up to 336TB capacity and Smart Flash Cache can hold up to 5TB of frequently accessed data to improve transaction response times with high throughput.

Oracle also announced a deal with Amazon to allow Oracle customers to fully deploy their software on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) service. Previously, the company had suggested customers should use EC2 for development and testing instances only.

Oracle said it would support and certify its database, E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft Enterprise, Siebel CRM, Fusion Middleware, and its Linux distribution on Amazon. The proviso is the software should be wrapped as Oracle VM virtualised instances rather than EC2's. Oracle will not charge for moving licenses across.

Deployments to EC2 will be enabled using Amazon Machine Images (AMIs). The Oracle-specific AMIs will cover the database, Linux, E-Business Suite and Fusion Middleware.

This fits well with the announcement on Sunday of the Exalogic Elastic Cloud, Oracle's modularised internal cloud hardware. Customers can deploy to Exalogic and move suitable facilities to EC2.