Oracle revamps its Exadata hardware platforms, boosting performance for on-premises workloads

Oracle Corp. is accelerating its on-premises performance with a refreshed line of Oracle Exadata X9M platforms that are designed to run its database software within customer’s own data centers.

The new products announced today include Exadata Cloud@Customer X9M, an appliance that’s designed specifically for companies that want to run the company’s flagship Autonomous Database on-premises. The hardware is similar in concept to Amazon Web Services Inc.’s Outposts and Microsoft Corp.’s Azure Stack, which run those companies’ cloud services within customers’ own data centers.

Oracle says Exadata Cloud@Customer X9M is faster than its previous generation hardware, citing its 80% faster scan rates, its 87% higher input/output operations per second and its Structured Query Language read latency of less than 19 microseconds.

With customers paying the same price for the upgraded system, it means costs can be reduced by 47% from the previous-generation Exadata Cloud@Customer X8M hardware. The new appliance also provides up to 45% lower infrastructure costs for large workloads with elastic storage expansion, Oracle said.

Analyst Carl Olofson of International Data Corp. said Oracle is once again pushing the performance envelope with Exadata Cloud@Customer X9M.

“When combined with Autonomous Database’s self-driving capabilities it’s a powerful enterprise-grade database cloud on-premises offering that delivers impressive value on multiple levels,” he said. “For companies serious about running these types of critical Oracle-based applications in an on-premises enterprise database cloud, Oracle Autonomous Database on Exadata Cloud@Customer is the obvious choice.”

Also new is Oracle Exadata Database Machine X9M, the latest version of Oracle’s standard appliance for running databases and analytics workloads on-premises. The hardware boasts the latest Intel Corp. central processing units, Intel Optane persistent memory and RDMA over Converged Ethernet technology that enables it to deliver up to 27.6 million IPOS and less than 19 microseconds latency for online transaction processing workloads, Oracle said.

With 576 CPUs and 28% more storage than the previous generation hardware, the Oracle Exadata Database Machine X9M is well-oiled for big-data analytics, machine learning and low-level SQL workloads, with each rack delivering more than 1 terabyte per second of analytical scan throughput, Oracle said. Thanks to the added capacity, customers will also be able to consolidate more workloads onto a single system, reducing cost and complexity.

Data center colocation provide Equinix Inc. has been able to enjoy early access to the Exadata Database Machine X9M and gave the platform a glowing reference. Greg Ogle, vice president of global IT infrastructure at Equinix, said the company’s investment has exceeded its expectations.

“Not only did we address our biggest challenge of increasing performance for the Siebel CRM platform by an average of 40% and 4-5X on large queries, but we also reaped the benefits of consolidating all of our databases onto Exadata, reduced our 287 databases by half, lowered administration, improved uptime and saved 50% of our legacy costs,” he said.

Analyst Holger Mueller of Constellation Research Inc. gave both platforms thumbs up.

“Oracle Exadata X9M and Oracle Exadata Cloud@Customer X9M are yet another manifestation of Oracle’s vision for the ‘chip-to-click’ integrated technology stack,” he said. “With the highest degree of identicality across both its cloud and on-premises implementations, CxOs gain the flexibility to choose where to deploy their Oracle Database workloads in the cloud and/or on-premises.”

The final new member of Oracle’s hardware family is the Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance X9M. It has been purpose-built to protect Oracle Database workloads and comes with some unique capabilities to recover databases and ensure no data loss.

The appliance offers 30% more storage capacity than the previous generation machine, reducing entry-level pricing by around 50%, Oracle said. It can also validate backups for assured database recovery, Oracle said.

The most promising new feature appears to be the Cyber Vault capabilities that make it possible for companies to reliably recover from malware and ransomware attacks. Other new capabilities include synchronization between multiple appliances that enables backup and recovery continuity during planned and unplanned outages.

Besides the new hardware, the Oracle Autonomous Database has also gained some new enhancements. The updates include support for small databases running with fractional central processing units that enable agile, low-cost consolidation, application development and testing.

It also integrates with the new Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance for the first time. Also, customers can now benefit from security features such as customer-managed encryption keys and database-level access control lists, Oracle said.

Juan Loaiza, Oracle Mission-Critical Database Technologies executive vice president, said the company has integrated the most advanced CPUs, networking and storage technology currently available in its XM9 hardware, while optimizing the software they run to enable faster performance.

“Customers get the fastest OLTP, the fastest analytics and the best consolidatiom, all at the same price as the previous generation,” Loaiza said. “No other platform, do-it-yourself infrastructure, database or cloud service comes close to Exadata X9M performance, cost/performance or simplicity.”

With reporting from Robert Hof

Image: Oracle

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