Oracle Crams 2TB of RAM Into Updated Exalytics Appliance

Exadata database machine users now can opt for a whopping 2TB of RAM in the new Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine X3-4.

There seems to be no limit on how powerful Oracle's Exalytics in-memory database appliance for analytics is getting with its options.

As if a full terabyte of random access memory wasn't enough to process most workloads, starting July 15, users can opt for a whopping 2TB of RAM in the new Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine X3-4.

A good many small and midrange enterprise IT systems don't have 2TB of overall storage, for heaven's sake.

The new X3-4 runs not only all of Oracle business analytics and enterprise performance management software on top of user's choice of data sources but also can run Oracle's Exadata servers, as one might imagine.

The X3-4 system also carries a humongous amount of optional storage: 2.4TB of flash storage plus 5.4TB on hard disk. If this seems just a little like IT overkill, well, think again.

"We recognize that companies have vast estates of data that could be analyzed, including now for Hadoop (for big data load batch processing)," Paul Rodwick, Oracle vice president of Product Management, told eWEEK. "Not everything's going to fit into memory.

"Companies are doing more and more query reporting analysis, planning-type applications and so on. Exalytics is designed to get all the right data into memory for an overall best experience. With double the RAM to 2TB, that really helps."

Use cases Oracle is seeing more often are planning- or scenario-oriented applications and "what-if"-type analyses that require both read and write functions, unlike a classic dashboard or report, Rodwick said.

In its year and a half of availability in the market, the Exalytics has been sold to "a couple of hundred" enterprises, Rodwick said, adding that Oracle isn't seeing one or two specific verticals that are buying it more than others.

"We're seeing adoption all over the board," Rodwick said. "We have some customers with 10,000, 20,000, 40,000 users of Oracle Business Analytics; we have one that's up over 150,000 users. It's the fastest of our engineered-together products in terms of its early adopter ramp."

Here are some additional data points from Oracle on the X3-4:

--Deeper analysis: The new system has increased main memory to 2TB, plus compression, for analyzing larger data sets and more aggregates at various levels of granularity in-memory. Exalytics users can access unlimited amounts of data, unconstrained by in-memory capacity because Oracle Business Intelligence software automatically manages queries across the Exalytics in-memory cache and all underlying data sources, such as data warehouses and Hadoop.

--Faster calculations: Flash memory in the new Exalytics powers faster calculations, restructuring, load and export for planning applications, what-if analysis and scenario modeling with Oracle Essbase. The increased storage capacity enables performance improvements of up to 25X in load times and 9X in calculation times when running multiple Oracle Essbase cubes concurrently. The increased storage capacity for running multiple cubes enables more dynamic forecasts through faster aggregates.

--The newest version of Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation Suite (v11.1.1.7) features more than 200 enhancements across the suite and many features targeted exclusively for Oracle Exalytics, Rodwick said. Examples include extremely fast "hot-data" recommendations from the database and high-volume bursting with Oracle BI Publisher, to generate hundreds of thousands of personalized reports and documents for business users in time periods that were previously unachievable.

If you'd like more detailed information, here's a data sheet (PDF format) for the Exalytics X3-4 system. Pricing for the Exadata machines that run Exalytics systems start at $200,000 for a one-eighth rack and go up to $1.6 million for a full rack. Here is a price list of Oracle Engineered-Together Systems.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 13 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...