Possibly random thoughts of a oddly organized dba with a very short attention span

9.25.2008

the Exadata Storage Server

So I'm not at Oracle Open World but I have been waiting anxiously for the expected announcement from Larry, plus all the other interesting stuff that usually gets posted about OOW. Hearing about Exadata is pretty exciting for me as we've been considering some projects that would be well suited to this type of platform.

Late last year, I began researching some of the competing vendors for very large but simply structured databases. We talked to Teradata, Netezza, Vertica and ... HP Neoview. I went as far as a proof of concept build with Vertica as I figured I needed to turn my thinking sideways to grasp the columnar stuff (actually it was very easy to use) and I just saved all the data on the other guys until something built enough momentum to start setting up more demo builds.

I thought it odd at the time, but the HP Neoview crowd was a little stand-offish and wasn't pushing to get their foot in the door like the other guys. We thought it meant their product might not be quite ready for prime time but now it looks like there could be a whole other side to that story. I mean, if a customer already using Oracle is shopping data warehouse applicances but doesn't need it right now and you know your company and Oracle are combining efforts on something big later that same year, that could explain the slow-down-you're-moving-too-fast feeling from the sales team.

Whatever the story, Exadata is definitely going on the list and moving right up to a top contender. My biggest concern with Vertica was the lack of instrumentation - I can't imagine going back to an uninstrumented tool for critical applications. (but Vertica did promise to add the ability to retain the elapsed time so variance could be calculated to their list of potential enhancements.) Exadata should give us far more speed and retain all that good stuff we've come to depend on. Very anxious to learn more and get a demo build going.

Still curious about one thing though ... will Neodata go away? or is there something else that makes it unique enough to remain a player? the answer probably doesn't matter for us but I'd still like to know.

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