The figures in this post have now been updated. There’s a new spreadsheet at that link as well.
I’ve been trying to figure out how much Oracle Exadata actually costs. My first cut comes up with prices of $58-190K/TB (user data), based on a total system price of $5,322,000, and user data figures of 28 and 92.4 TB for the two available sizes of disk drive. But of course there are a lot of uncertainties in these figures. You can use this spreadsheet (Edit: That’s the old one) to see where the final numbers come from, and to modify the estimates as you see fit. Difficulties include:
- The Oracle Exadata package has two parts — a storage cluster and a RAC server cluster. It’s not certain what the proper balance between the two is …
- … unless one uses the configurations in the actual HP Oracle Database Machine. But that comes in only two sizes, 14 and 46.2 terabytes of uncompressed user data.* Presumably, smaller configurations would wind up costing a little more per terabyte, due to a higher server/storage cost ratio.
- It’s not clear which options to include. I just went with RAC (Real Application Cluster), Partitioning, and Advanced compression, but your mileage may vary. For example, if you want Oracle Spatial, there’s a hefty additional cost. Ditto some of the security options. Basically, my plan was to go light on the options, because many of them represent features that either other vendors don’t usually bundle for free (Teradata may be an exception to that rule).
- Translating nominal to actual user data is always tricky. I used the low end of Oracle’s stated 2-3X compression range, because rival vendors use conservative compression figures in that aspect of their marketing as well.
- Oracle offers two sizes of disk — 300 MB (15,000 RPM) and 1 TB (7,200 RPM). The system price for either one is the same, which means the price/terabyte can vary by a factor of 3.3
- The whole list price discussion is a bit beside the point anyway, as discounting is rampant.
*Oracle cites figures of 1 TB and 3.3 TB of uncompressed user data on its systems that have 12 x 300 MB and 12 x 1 TB of spinning disk respectively. That’s a 1:3.6 ratio, vs. the 1:8 ratio Greenplum quotes. Differences include 4% of Greenplum’s disks being used for hot spares (Oracle’s configuration doesn’t appear to include those, but I could be wrong) and another 4% being used for the actual software (Oracle provides other disks for that). Beyond that, there seems to be a basic 2X difference because Greenplum has an extra level of mirroring.
So how does Oracle’s Exadata pricing compare with other vendors’? It’s hard to be very precise. Besides all the other caveats above, appliance vendors have very different hardware configurations from each other, while software-only vendors can run on multiple different hardware set-ups. But all that said — and to a very rough first approximation — Oracle’s high-end price/TB figure is in the same ballpark as Teradata’s, while the lower-end figure is in Netezza range.
How Exadata’s query speed, throughput, and administrative effort compare to the competition’s of course remains to be seen.
So did I make any egregious errors? Do you think I picked the wrong options? Please say what you would have done differently in the comment thread, and suggest your own price numbers!
Oracle references used