Oracle Rolls Out Exadata Storage Expansion Rack

Oracle calls Exadata Storage Expansion Rack "a cost-effective way to add extreme performance storage servers" to an Oracle Exadata database machine.

Oracle, which has about 1,000 big data-type Exadata storage systems currently running in customers' daily production but whose CEO expects that number to triple in the next year, is looking ahead at what the expected increase might require.

So the company on July 12 made available an Exadata Storage Expansion Rack, something the company calls "a cost-effective way to add extreme performance storage servers" to an Oracle Exadata database machine.

The Exadata, launched in 2010, is an Intel Xeon-powered (originally it was Sun SPARC-powered), self-contained unified data center system featuring computing and storage nodes and internal InfiniBand networking. It is designed solely to run the Oracle database; no other applications need apply.

As one might imagine, since the servers have been out in the field working for more than year collecting scads of data, there is a need to handle the data overflow without having to buy and install new Exadata units.

These are not inexpensive. A quarter-rack Exadata system costs $300,000; a half-rack is priced at $550,000; and the full racks range from $1 million to $1.5 million, depending upon how much horsepower you desire.

The new expansion rack for a full Exadata system costs $750,000; the half-rack is $425,000; and the quarter-rack is $225,000.

All these prices do not include services. Here's the latest price list Oracle provides.

Tim Shetler, who serves as vice president for product management for Oracle's Systems Technology group, told eWEEK that the Exadata Storage Expansion Rack is designed primarily for storing massive amounts of structured and unstructured data, such as historical relational data, backups of Oracle Exadata Database Machine, Weblogs, documents, images, LOBs and XML files.

"To this point, the storage that came with the Exadata-for the vast majority of customers, whether they were doing data warehousing or not-was quite enough," Shetler said. "But as of late [the last quarter or so], we've started to see customers begin to run out of storage.

"Over time, people just collect more data than they get rid of, so at some point they need to extend the storage and not necessarily extend the compute capacity. If they did that, they'd have to get more database, InfiniBand and so on, then hook everything together with switches.

"The Expansion Rack is prebuilt and ready to cable together with InfiniBand, so it's ready to go."

Standard Oracle Exadata Storage Expansion Rack configurations come with 96TB to more than 3PB of raw disk storage using only the included InfiniBand switches, Shetler said. More than 10PB of user data can be stored using the Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression, which is included, he said.

Flash PCI Card capacity-included with the Expansion Rack-ranges from 1.5TB to 47TB. The Intel Xeon processing power in the Exadata storage servers range from 48 cores to about 1,500 cores, Oracle said.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger

Chris Preimesberger is Editor of Features & Analysis at eWEEK, responsible in large part for the publication's coverage areas. In his 12 years and more than 3,900 stories at eWEEK, he has...