Oracle Hits Back on IBM pureScale Technology

At Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle executive Robert Shimp responds to IBM's pureScale technology, the latest attempt by IBM to challenge Oracle's database business.

IBMraised a few eyebrows last week when it announced plans for DB2 pureScale, a feature IBM officials said would challenge Oracle's Exadata technology.

But sitting at the Oracle OpenWorld conference, Oracle executive Robert Shimp told eWEEK that IBMmay be getting ahead of itself.

"(That was) a very bold statement on their part," said Shimp, group vice president of the Global Technology Business Unit. "It's very narrowly focused technology, and proprietary technology, unlike Exadata which is based on completely open standard, Intel-based technologies."

DB2 pureScale is being designed to run on rack-mount 550 Express and p5 Power 595 servers and is meant to help companies to scale out their DB2 clusters without hurting performance. Slated to be available in December, the feature incorporates the new PowerHA pureScale technology to cut the amount of communications required within the system, which helps to reduce the amount of computing power that gets spent.

IBM announced plans for the technology Oct. 9, two days before the start of OpenWorld in San Francisco. In an interview with Computer World, Bernie Spang, director of product strategy for IBMinformation management, called pureScale an "Exadata-killer," and described it as more economical and scalable.

However, Shimp countered that in terms of their capabilities, the two products are not in the same ballpark.

"It's not an actual solution, so it's not in the same category as an Exadata machine," he explained. "We're delivering the complete solution from hardware, server storage, networking capability, OS, the actual database server software, storage management software, everything from soup to nuts in a single solution. What they're offering is actually a technology component piece."

Shimp said that the second version of Exadata, released last month, has opened up the market even further because it can now address OLTP and content management applications.

"It not only allows them to address immediate data warehousing issues...but it enables them to have flexibility of deploying that same computing capacity for transactional systems down the road whenever they choose," he added. "As far as pureScale technology, it's still very early to figure exactly what ( IBMis) trying to do."