Oracle in-memory option flies in the face of SAP

origin_3565779006Oracle is jumping into the in-memory database market with new software that offers far greater backwards compatibility and massive performance boosts without the need to change any applications.

The launch of Oracle Database In-Memory on Tuesday is a direct attack on rivals like IBM, SAP and Microsoft, throwing doubt upon the value of newever, younger startups. With the new software, admins using Oracle’s 12c Database can push data into their server’s RAM instead of reading it off of disk, providing significant performance boosts over pricey Flash drives or traditional spinning disks.

Oracle’s upgrade tightens the completion between it, IBM and Microsoft. Most significantly though, it presents a threat to SAP, which brought out HANA, its own in-memory processing system, back in 2010. But Oracle’s in-memory software is arguably superior, because it’s fully compatible with all apps built using Oracle 12c, which means admins don’t have to rewrite their apps to take advantage of the extra memory.

“We’ve implemented this so that you have to do nothing to your applications to test it out,” said Oracle VP of product management Tim Shetler in an interview with The Register.

Oracle Database In-Memory was first announced at last year’s OpenWorld conference, and now CEO Larry Ellison says it will be available from next month. Since then its added several advantages, including support for its RAC (Real Application Clusters) technology, which provides scalability and fault tolerance. The software will only be available to those using the enterprise edition of Oracle’s database, as is normal with such products.

The in-memory option is “just going to change the way you operate,” said Ellison in an interview. “It’s going to make everything a lot simpler. You can use your transactional system as a data warehouse.”

Ellison, who has a reputation for not being kind to competitors, took the opportunity to slight his rival’s products (like SAP’s).

“There are other in-memory databases but they don’t scale out very well, or at all,” he said, adding that with Oracle’s in-memory option there’s no need to place the entire database in memory, which saves organizations money on RAM. That’s because Oracle’s tech is smarter, and keeps the most often-used bits of the database in-memory while other parts are left on the servers, giving customers “the speed of memory but the capacity of disk,” said Ellison.

Pricing details will be made available at launch.

photo credit: laverrue via photopin cc