My Oracle Database Machine and Exadata pricing spreadsheet has been updated. Specifically:
- The first page has been modestly altered to accommodate more chargeable software options, as per the discussion below.
- Accordingly, my new estimate for HP Oracle Database Machine list price is $5,546,000. Per-terabyte prices (user data) are $60K and $198K for the two configurations.
- There’s a whole new second page, for Exadata configurations smaller than a full Oracle Database Machine. Most of the work on that was done by Bence Arató of BI Consulting (Hungary), who graciously gave me permission to post it.
- The lowest per-terabyte Exadata price estimates are about 20% lower than for the full Oracle Database Machine. The difference is due mainly to eliminating Real Application Clusters for a single-node SMP machine, and secondarily to rounding down slightly on server hardware capacity. But these are rough estimates, as neither Bence nor I is a hardware pricing guy.
My estimates continue to be much higher than some other reported figures, apparently because those either don’t include all the components (specifically, server-side software, which is the heart of Oracle’s revenue model) or else focus on raw disk rather than user data. Even our figures are just estimates; there’s still quite a bit of uncertainty as to what the true Oracle Exadata list prices are.
The three main areas of confusion seem to be:
- What software do you need to pay for on the server side? (Oracle loves chargeable options.)
- If you get just one or a few Exadata cells, rather than a full Oracle Database Machine, how much will that run you?
- (This one’s only relevant if you’re estimate $/TB rather than total cost) How much data fits onto each Exadata cell anyway?
It turns out that Oracle offers a precise (or at least minimum) list of recommended server software on Page 8 of its Exadata technical whitepaper:
- Oracle Database 11g Enterprise Edition (obviously)
- Real Application Clusters
- Advanced Compression
- Enterprise Manager Diagnostics
- Tuning Pack
This is for “enterprise data warehousing”, with no distinction made for the size of the Exadata configuration. Actually, if one is using a single Exadata cell EDIT: Just a few Exadata cells — and presumably therefore a single 2- or 4-way database server — RAC would seem to be unnecessary. But all the others do look like good things to have no matter what. For example, as per a comment thread last week, what what Oracle packages as its no-added-charge optimizer is somewhat questionable, and many sites need a third-party product and/or Oracle’s extra-charge Tuning Pack to fill in the gap.
Pages 20-21 of the same paper seem to discuss the further chargeable option Oracle Active Data Guard, but that doesn’t seem to be something one would use in a generic installation. And depending on your needs, you might want other chargeable options, such as Oracle Spatial. (Teradata, if I’m not too mistaken, gives its spatial analytics technology away for free.) So my spreadsheet now includes exactly the options in the bulleted list above.
What if you want a smaller configuration? Well, Bence Arató adapted my original spreadsheet with some thoughts, which are now on the second page of the revised version. (I did make one change, adding in a couple of extra software options as per the list above.) As Bence notes, if you only have a single server, you don’t have to pay for RAC. As a result, per-TB prices may actually be lower for smaller configurations than larger ones. The specific hardware cost estimates include are Bence’s, but he cautions that they should only be regarded as rough cuts, since he’s not a hardware guy.
Finally, I stand by the decision in the prior post to use conservative figures for user data/cell. Amazing though that sounds, this is one area in which a whole industry segment is conservative in its marketing, so I’m being conservative on Oracle’s behalf as well. That said, if I’m overdoing the conservatism, than I’m overstating Oracle’s per-terabyte prices.