Oracle Details 12C Database, Exadata X3, New Cloud Services

CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison introduced two new products and two new cloud services before about 6,000 mostly quiet attendees at Moscone Center in San Francisco on the first night of the five-day OpenWorld conference.

Oracle took some big steps forward on its corporate journey into cloud systems and services Sept. 30, the opening night of its annual OpenWorld conference in San Francisco.

CEO and co-founder Larry Ellison introduced two new products and two new cloud services before about 6,000 mostly quiet attendees at Moscone Center on the first night of the five-day conference. About 50,000 people in all will be visiting the conference for at least one day this week.

The products Ellison previewed in his 50-minute keynote address are the new Oracle 12C ("You guessed it, the 'C' is for cloud," he said) parallel database software expressly designed for cloud computing deployments. The other is a revamped version of the Exadata hardware in-memory database and analytics server called the X3.

Optimized for Multitenant Cloud Loads

Ellison said the 12C database is optimized for multitenant workloads becoming prevalent in cloud computing environments in which software runs on several machines and in disparate locations as needed.

"Before this, if you wanted to run multitenant services on one database, you had to do it at the application level, and there are all kinds of problems that can come up in that situation—security being the main one," Ellison said. "The 12C makes all of that just go away."

The new cloud-based services are Oracle's version of infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and a new private cloud system, which runs on the company's Exadata and Exalogic servers and will compete directly with Amazon's market-leading Web services-on-demand product.

The Oracle Private Cloud, Ellison said, gives users the advantages of a public-cloud service but runs on Exadata and/or Exalogic servers that reside in a customer’s data center. They could be managed by Oracle employees, if that is the customer's choice. Such a private cloud deployment also could run inside Oracle's own data centers, depending upon the needs of the client, Ellison said.

"Regulated sectors, like financial services, health care and government, have to have their data on-site and behind their own firewalls, so our cloud can be run that way, if needed," Ellison said. "These systems are absolutely the same all the way through—mirror images of each other. The only difference is whose floor they are located on."

Oracle Private Cloud Backend Identical to Public Cloud

Ellison added that the private cloud service would be identical to Oracle’s existing public cloud service, in which Oracle owns, manages and operates the hardware in its own data center and sells its computing power as a pay-as-you-go service.

The Exadata database machine can run multiple databases—all the while keeping the data separate and secure—that enterprises in the past have had to run on separate dedicated servers with separate storage, networking and security.

The new Exadata server runs 2TB to 4TB of DRAM in up to 22 terabytes of NAND flash memory, which delivers micro-second-fast response times.

"You virtually never have to use the hard-disk drives," Ellison said. “Everything is in semiconductor memory. All your data is migrated off old mechanical spinning disk drives and into memory. You can't get any faster than that.”

The Exadata also uses high-end compression on the database to make better use of storage capacity. “Some applications will require a huge amount of capacity, and in some cases you can buy a much smaller machine,” Ellison said.

All the new products and services will become available in 2013, Ellison said. The Exadata X3 pricing starts at $200,000 for a partial rack, Ellison said.

Oracle OpenWorld continues through Oct. 4.

Chris Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger

Chris J. Preimesberger is Editor-in-Chief of eWEEK and responsible for all the publication's coverage. In his 15 years and more than 4,000 articles at eWEEK, he has distinguished himself in reporting...