Oracle launches Open World, announces 2 new products with IBM in sights

Monday, October 3, 2011

Oracle (Nasdaq: ORCL) launched two new products during the kick-off of Oracle Open World, taking place in San Francisco, California, and company CEO Larry Ellison took the opportunity to take a few jabs at rival IBM (NYSE: IBM).

During the keynote speech, Ellison announced the launch of the SPARC SuperCluster, which uses the T4 microprocessor - up to five times faster than its predecessor, the T3. The new microprocessor aims to compete directly with IBM's P7. "IBM is very proud of the speed of its P7," he said. While he admitted that the rival firm was still faster in integer arithmetic, "we're faster in Java... and we're not going to stop there. T5 comes out in a year, which will be twice as fast as the T4. And if we don't pass them [IBM], we'll be very, very close."

With the processing capacity of Oracle's Exadata hardware, along with its Exalogic middleware, "we'll move data 100 times faster than they do, and I like our chances in the marketplace with that," Ellison said.

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Exadata and Exalogic were built under Oracle's "parallel everything" architecture, which allows for data compression and fault tolerance, improving performance, security and reliability at a lower cost.

Oracle has sold in total more than 1,000 Exadata machines in a year and expects to sell about 3,000 this year, the CEO said. And Exalogic has had a more rapid adoption than even Exadata, with some Latin American clients including NII Holdings - controller of mobile operator Nextel - and Banco de Chile.

With a quarter rack of Exalogic, Banco de Chile ran data nine times faster than what it had under the IBM P-series, while NII had two full racks that ran twice as fast as the equivalent HP Blade system, he noted.

At the event, Ellison also announced the launch of the Exalytics Intelligence Machine, which employs in-memory analytics for what the company calls "speed of thought, instantaneous business intelligence." The hardware has 1TB of DRAM memory and has a scan rate of 200 Gbps, handling relational, multidimensional or unstructured data.

A total 45,000 people from 117 different countries have gathered in San Francisco for the event, which has also attracted 475 exhibiting partners.