Oracle, Intel Target IBM Power With Migration Program

The vendors launched Exa Your Power to entice businesses to move their Oracle Databases from IBM Power systems to Intel-based Oracle hardware.

Oracle servers

Oracle and Intel are teaming up to take on IBM in the data center.

On the opening night of the OpenWorld 2015 show Oct. 25 in San Francisco, executives with both tech giants announced a program designed to entice businesses to move their Oracle Database environments off IBM's Power systems and onto Oracle Engineered Systems powered by Intel processors.

The Exa Your Power program includes a proof-of-concept (PoC) to show qualified customers how easy and cost-effective it is to migrate their data from IBM Power servers onto Intel-based Oracle Exadata Database Machines, and then give them a customized data migration report, according to officials.

Oracle and Intel also will assess the customer's environment and develop a roadmap for how to modernize their database environments by using Oracle's Engineered Systems.

"Transformation of the enterprise is already underway with the continuous improvements in capabilities, performance per dollar, energy efficiency, and a vast software ecosystem that Intel and Oracle deliver together," Raj Hazra, vice president of Intel's Data Center Group and general manager of its Enterprise and High Performance Computing Platform Group, said in a statement.

During the event, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd was introduced on stage by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich to unveil the Exa Your Power program.

"Between what Oracle and Intel have done together, we can take some of those workloads [now running on IBM Power systems] and do 10 times, 15 times the performance of the existing legacy systems," Hurd said.

Oracle officials said that thousands of customers already have moved their Oracle Databases to Intel-based Exadata systems since the engineered offering was introduced in 2008.

"Working together with Intel and our partners, we have helped thousands of enterprises quickly and easily move their Oracle database from their legacy systems to Oracle Engineered Systems," Karen Sigman, vice president of Oracle Platform Business, said in a statement.

The move by Oracle and Intel comes a year after IBM sold its x86-based server business to Lenovo for $2.1 billion, with officials opting to focus its efforts on the higher-priced Power line of servers as well as other areas, such as big data, analytics and the cloud. At the same time, IBM is looking to expand the reach of the Power architecture through the almost two-year-old OpenPower Foundation. The group now has more than 110 members and earlier this year unveiled the first hardware products, which run on Power8 processors.

Oracle got into the hardware business when it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010 for $7.9 billion. Speculation at the time was that then-CEO Larry Ellison bought Sun for Java and its software, and that he would jettison the hardware. However, Oracle officials used the Sun hardware as the basis for what would become the engineered systems, with the hardware—including compute, networking and storage—being optimized to run Oracle's broad range of enterprise applications. The software can run on other platforms—such as IBM's Power architecture—but Oracle officials argue that it runs best on Oracle hardware.

Oracle continues to roll out high-end servers that run on the SPARC chip technology inherited from Sun, but the engineered systems run on Intel chips. Oracle last year unveiled new Exadata systems that are powered by a Xeon E7 v2 processor from Intel customized for Oracle's converged solutions.

Intel's Data Center Group in recent years has been working with large customers to offer server chips that are customized for their particular needs.

According to reports, the first systems in the jointly funded Oracle-Intel Exa Your Power program will concentrate on the Exadata systems; it later will include other Oracle Engineered Systems, like Exalogic Elastic Cloud and Exalytics In-Memory Machine.