September 19, 2009

Oracle gives a few customer database size examples

In its recent quarterly conference call, Oracle said (as per the Seeking Alpha transcript):

AC Neilsen, for instance, we deployed a 45-terabyte data [mart], they called it; Adidas, 13 terabytes; Australian Bureau of Statistics, 250 terabytes; and of course, some of our high-end ones that you have probably heard of in the past, AT&T, 250 terabytes; Yahoo!, 700 terabytes — just gives you an idea of the size of the databases that are out there and how they are growing, and that’s driving the need for greater throughput.

I don’t know what’s being counted there, but I wouldn’t be surprised if those were legit user-data figures.

Some other notes:


10 Responses to “Oracle gives a few customer database size examples”

  1. Fazal Majid on September 20th, 2009 2:09 am

    Note the weasel words (although comparing Oracle salespeople to weasels is highly insulting for the noble weasel). They’re just saying the clients in question have warehouses that size. Not that the said clients are happy.

    Netezza explicitly claims Nielsen ditched their Oracle warehouse for a Netezza appliance, because ComScore (an Aster customer) was eating their lunch due to the poor performance of their existing Oracle and PL/SQL solution.

    Unless Nielsen explicitly rescind their Oracle licenses and return them, something they would be crazy to do, Oracle can still claim with a straight face Nielsen is an Oracle customer.

    Of couse, the proof in the pudding will be whether Nielsen pays Oracle its pound of flesh, a.k.a. maintenance contract, to keep future upgrade rights for licenses they no longer use…

    No wonder Oracle software license sales are falling, and they are so desperate to jack up maintenance contract rates.

  2. Greg Rahn on September 20th, 2009 12:30 pm


    The Yahoo database [of 700 terabytes] is of course Yahoo’s first-generation data warehouse, which has been largely superseded by an internal system more than 10X that size.

    I’m doubtful that your assertion is true. If the database mentioned from Yahoo! is the one that I believe it to be (one that I worked on), it is only a year or so old.

  3. Curt Monash on September 20th, 2009 4:20 pm


    Unfortunately, of the two meetings I had with Yahoo in August, the one about which I have not yet received clearance to post details is the one that discussed Yahoo’s three generations of data warehousing on the advertising side of the business.

  4. Greg Rahn on September 22nd, 2009 2:38 am


    I confirmed that the Yahoo database mentioned on the call is indeed the one I thought it was and is not “Yahoo’s first-generation data warehouse, which has been largely superseded by an internal system more than 10X that size”. Also, the 700TB is a true “user data” number.


    The Nielsen Company is a global company and most certainly has more than one data warehouse, probably even multiple data warehouses/marts per continent. I’m quite certain the 45 terabytes of Oracle datamarts is a current and active install somewhere in the world.

  5. Curt Monash on September 22nd, 2009 11:39 am

    Updates above, as per comments here or in private.

    @Greg — would you know whether all the databases cited are actually running on some version of Exadata?

  6. Greg Rahn on September 22nd, 2009 1:17 pm


    I don’t believe that any of the database systems mentioned there are live production on Exadata as of today.

  7. Curt Monash on September 22nd, 2009 1:57 pm

    Thanks, Greg.

    Are they live production at all?

  8. Greg Rahn on September 23rd, 2009 12:30 am


    I pretty sure that all the systems mentioned on the call are systems that have been live in production for at least a few years now.

  9. Yahoo’s wants to do decapetabyte-scale data warehousing in Hadoop | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on October 1st, 2009 3:05 am

    […] is moving as much of its analytics to Hadoop as possible. Much of this is being moved away from Oracle and from Yahoo’s own […]

  10. Comments on the Gartner 2009/2010 Data Warehouse Database Management System Magic Quadrant : DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on February 8th, 2012 7:23 am

    […] Gartner says Oracle’s offering has finally become “accepted” in the market for databases >50 TB. I guess I can live with that fairly weak claim, but I wouldn’t go much further than that. […]

Leave a Reply

Feed: DBMS (database management system), DW (data warehousing), BI (business intelligence), and analytics technology Subscribe to the Monash Research feed via RSS or email:


Search our blogs and white papers

Monash Research blogs

User consulting

Building a short list? Refining your strategic plan? We can help.

Vendor advisory

We tell vendors what's happening -- and, more important, what they should do about it.

Monash Research highlights

Learn about white papers, webcasts, and blog highlights, by RSS or email.