SAN FRANCISCO-Three of the biggest companies in the IT world are combining next-version technologies to make it more palatable for enterprises to install and configure Oracle's monster data warehouse, a complicated clustered-storage project that takes months to deploy to full production.
The three vendors introduced a new version of Oracle Optimized Warehouse for Dell and EMC Sept. 23 at Oracle OpenWorld here at the Moscone Center.
A data warehouse is a repository of an organization's electronically stored data that is designed to facilitate reporting and analysis for the purpose of providing business information that can become a strategic market advantage.
In this case, Oracle, the world's second-largest software company, provides the software. EMC, the world's top external storage maker, and Dell are offering new hardware and software and configuration and deployment services to get the huge database up, running and monitoring data in a few weeks, rather than months.
The data warehouse combines Oracle's Database Enterprise Edition, RAC (Real Application Clusters) and partitioning with Dell's PowerEdge R900 server (with four quad-core Intel Xeon 7400 series processors) and the Dell|EMC CX4-960 storage array.
Dell's next generation of PowerEdge rack-optimized servers and the EMC Clariion CX4, the latest of EMC's networked storage systems, are the baseline hardware platforms being used. The CX4, which includes virtual provisioning, flash-based SSD (solid-state drive) storage and numerous connectivity options, also is resold by Dell under the Dell|EMC brand.
"There are quite a few [data warehouse] appliance vendors out there. They do one thing and they do it pretty well, but it's not very flexible," Dell's Oracle business development manager, John von Voros, told me. "That being said, they can deliver a kind of 'canned' solution to a customer. What Oracle wants to do is offer that same capability, but they want to be able to do it, of course, with the Oracle software stack."
Dell generally tries to simplify what Oracle has delivered, von Voros said.
"There is some complexity to the clustering and those kinds of things; you have to be aware of patch sets, drivers, firmware, architecture and all these things. So when you compete with somebody who walks in with an appliance [a combination of hardware and preconfigured software], it makes it a little bit more difficult to sell," von Voros said.
The preconfigured and validated Oracle Optimized Warehouse for Dell and EMC supports from 8TB to 10TB of data and is a major upgrade to the 1TB data warehouse first announced at Oracle OpenWorld 2007.
"In their reference implementation, EMC is using only a pair of four-way [socket] servers to run about 900 spindles [or about 20TB] of storage," von Voros said.
Randy Lea, vice president of product and services marketing for Teradata, the world's largest data warehouse provider, told me that the new Oracle-EMC-Dell offering might be intriguing to some companies but that, in the end, "You're still having to deal with three vendors, and ownership of something like this can be a bit complicated."
Lea continued, "Teradata is considered the originator of the data warehouse 'appliance' back in 1984. ... We have the expertise in I/O, disk performance, database and hardware to handle all of these elements under one roof. When you're trying to do the science project, there's big advantages to dealing with one vendor."
Availability of the new data warehouse varies by country. For more information, go here.