Oracle Introduces New Generation of Engineered Systems and New Pricing Strategy

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During a live event, Larry Ellison, Oracle’s executive chairman of the board and CTO, outlined the company’s new strategy for reducing customer costs and increasing value with its next generation of engineered systems, including Oracle’s new Virtual Compute Appliance X5, Oracle FS1 Series Flash Storage System, and sixth-generation Oracle Exadata Database Machine, the X5.

In the presentation today, Ellison emphasized two key points. One is that while in the past Oracle engineered systems were designed to provide strong price/performance, now Oracle is seeking to deliver low cost as well as high performance. And, while Oracle has been pushing its cloud strategy, the data center is not going away. What organizations will need in the future is the ability to move applications and data to the public cloud and back to the data center gracefully, and with no code changes, said Ellison.

Everybody is talking about the cloud, but data centers are not going away, stressed Ellison. “Clouds are going to get bigger. Clouds are going to get more popular but data centers are not going to go away. And one of the things we are going to be focusing on is how we interconnect our data centers to the cloud,” he said. “You have to have the ability to press a button and move an application from the cloud to the data center and back again easily and gracefully. You have to have the ability to take data and move it from your data center into the cloud and back again. So there has to be some degree of compatibility between the public cloud and your private data center.”

According to Oracle, more than 10,000 units have shipped to date as Oracle customers across the globe have adopted engineered systems and appliances to simplify their IT infrastructures, speed application deployments, and increase data center productivity. Ellison emphasized that the strategy for Oracle’s engineered systems in the very beginning was to deliver “extreme performance” and that by delivering the highest performance, it would also deliver better cost/performance than its competitors.

But now, he said, the strategy is to not only deliver the “highest performance appliances and machines in the industry by a large margin” but now with the 5th version of engineered systems, to deliver by far the lowest price for the data center core. Throughout the presentation, Ellison also compared the pricing of Oracle’s engineered systems to that of competitors’  systems, while also focusing on the difficulty for organizations of maintaining, and applying patches and updates to systems not built together from the start.

Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance X5

The new generation of integrated appliances include Oracle’s Virtual Compute Appliance X5. Paired with the Oracle FS1 Series Flash Storage System, the Virtual Compute Appliance provides a complete, converged infrastructure system, and gives customers the ability to reduce infrastructure complexity by as much as 70%, deploy applications 7 times faster, and cut capital expenditures by as much as 50%.

Oracle Database Appliance X5

The addition, the latest version of the Oracle Database Appliance, the X5 offers a complete package of compute, storage, and software that saves time and money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of database and application workloads. Oracle Database Appliance X5 adds flash caching, integrated InfiniBand connectivity, increased compute cores, and increased storage to improve consolidation density by up to 4x. In addition, incorporating a higher degree of automation is important in terms of saving on labor costs as well as in terms of consistency.

Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance

According to Oracle, the Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance X5 provides a Oracle Database-integrated data protection solution that eliminates data loss exposure for all Oracle databases, with minimal impact to production environments. Available today, this new version offers faster processors and up to 30 percent expanded capacity within a single rack, enabling faster recovery, higher throughput, and improved database backup consolidation. “The focus with the Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance was to completely automate logging and recovery - and take human error out of it.”

The problem with other backup appliances is that if an organization has done anything between the time it backed the data up and the restore, whatever was done is lost.  The Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance is engineered to work with the Oracle Database, and it has been engineered it in such as way that it also does periodic backups, but between backups the database logs are transferred to a Recovery Appliance and so the Recovery Appliance does not just contain a copy of the database, but it to also maintains copies of the database logs, “everything you did you since you backed it up,” said Ellison. “This thing was engineered to work with our database. It is fully automated.”

Big Data Appliance

Oracle has also upgraded the Big Data Appliance to the X5. According to Oracle, it delivers comprehensive and secure Hadoop and NoSQL capabilities to the enterprise at a 35% lower 3-year total cost of ownership and with 30% faster deployment time than a custom-built cluster. For faster, lower-cost throughput, the new appliance comes with twice the RAM and 2.25x the processor cores. Also available on Oracle Big Data Appliance is the latest version of Oracle Big Data SQL, which extends Oracle SQL to Hadoop and NoSQL, enabling customers to use one fast SQL query across all their data, with no application changes. You get all this if you are willing to pay less.


Oracle also unveiled the Exalogic X5, featuring scale-out 2-socket servers, ultra-fast Infiniband networking, and low-cost storage. “The interesting thing about this is it is designed as a private cloud,” said Ellison.  In other words, he said, the software that runs Exalogic is the same software that runs the Oracle Cloud, which is important when moving applications and data back and forth between a company’s data center and the public cloud.

Oracle Exadata

And finally, Oracle unveiled the latest version of its very first engineered system, the Exadata. The Oracle Exadata X5, which can incrementally scale compute or storage, is designed to run all Oracle Database workloads and features scale-out database servers, scale-out intelligent storage servers, and high-speed InfiniBand networking. “It is fault tolerant; there is no single point of failure in this system. A compute server can fail. A network connection can fail. A storage server can fail. It doesn’t matter. It keeps running.”

And with this version, said Ellison, Oracle has thrown out the high-performance disk and is instead giving customers about the same amount of flash at the same price as it did for high performance disk. “We have two options now with Exadata storage – extreme flash storage - and high capacity disk,” said Ellison.