September 19, 2011

Exadata Mini-Me?

It is being suggested that Oracle is about to introduce small, (relatively) cheap Exadata boxes. Key quotes include:

We estimate a price point of $100K-$200K, well below Exadata prices of $500K-$2.5M.


The whole thing sounds appealing, but I must confess that the idea of “zero-DBA” Oracle takes me aback. It might look OK at demo time, but I have trouble imagining it working in live production situations.


14 Responses to “Exadata Mini-Me?”

  1. real.tk421 on September 19th, 2011 3:40 pm

    Now, it should only take between 1 and 1.75 days to patch/update…

  2. Keshava Murthy on September 19th, 2011 3:53 pm

    Hi Curt,
    Are you concerned about just ORACLE in zero DBA environment or any RDBMS? As you know, it’s common to have databases embedded in mission critical systems without a DBA for it.

  3. M-A-O-L » Focus on Big Data and Exadata Mini on September 19th, 2011 3:55 pm

    […] is predicting that Oracle will release an Exadata Mini machine that will fit under ones desk (via DBMS2). And Jean-Pierre Dijcks compiled a list of Big Data related sessions at Openworld, Big Data may […]

  4. Curt Monash on September 19th, 2011 4:14 pm

    Oracle in particular. I’d feel a lot better about, say, Progress.

    Also, it’s one thing to have an application VAR drop a system into your company, that they’ve already tuned and configured, and have the whole thing just run. Even then, Oracle would probably need some remote DBA work, but I could imagine that somehow being automated away. But if you’re writing and running your own custom software, then it’s VERY hard to see that being zero-DBA.

  5. Dennis Moore on September 19th, 2011 5:04 pm

    Curt –

    Interesting – this price point appears to be squarely around the same number as an entry-level SAP HANA box ($100K hardware, $120K HANA software) …

    – Dennis Moore

  6. Paul Johnson on September 20th, 2011 6:30 am

    Who wants a server under their desk, especially one that costs > $100k? Not me sir!

    Exadata is aimed at the high-end market and is predicated largely on using horsepower and parallelism in the storage tier.

    This approach overcomes the fact that the DBMS is general purpose and not built for BI. The Exadata architecture demands *very* large memory in the compute tier to handle the data flowing from the storage.

    For the SMB market, with dramatically smaller data volumes, exactly what will a mini-Exadata deliver compared to a traditional SMP server + storage setup?

    I take it as a given that ALL Oracle systems will need >0 admins 😉

  7. Barfo Rama on September 20th, 2011 5:31 pm

    The exadata architecture offloads processing and filtering to the storage tier, so less data need flow into the compute tier. This would be ideal for some BI guy to have under his desk, not having to fight DSS (or OLTP) queries on a big machine.

    Why is it so odd to have a machine cost in the same magnitude as labor? Even garbage trucks cost more than the yearly labor (more than twice for the single-person automated trucks). Accountants amortize, gummint accelerates.

    As far as DBA – as a single user box, any problems can just be rebooted, bill gates style. XE has been around long enough to show it can work just fine without those pesky concurrency issues.

  8. Barfo Rama on September 20th, 2011 5:35 pm

    And when full table scans are faster than everything else, you get rid of plan stability issues.

  9. Curt Monash on September 20th, 2011 6:58 pm

    I agree with the idea of an analytic appliance or other simple analytic DBMS system for a small group of folks. That’s a big part of how Netezza got started, for example. But I’d be surprised if Oracle pulls that off this year; there’s more to it than just lowering price and footprint.

  10. Cloud Database on September 20th, 2011 7:41 pm

    Curt the “Small Exadata” AKA Sexadata sounds interesting. Is it running Oracle RAC still? That alone is a heavy price. I’ve been expecting some sort of bundle for the MySQL segment. Do you know the target segment (OLTP/OLAP/Hybrid)?

    — Mike

  11. Curt Monash on September 20th, 2011 9:37 pm


    Your post was held up by my spam filter for approval, probably because of your habit of keyword stuffing “Cloud Database” rather than using your real name.

    Anyhow, I only “know” what I read in that article.

  12. Oracle Database Appliance soundbites | DBMS 2 : DataBase Management System Services on September 21st, 2011 2:59 pm

    […] turns out that Oracle’s new small appliance isn’t really an Exadata Mini-Me. Rather, the Oracle Database Appliance is — well, it seems to be a box with an Oracle DBMS in […]

  13. Mike Hogan on September 21st, 2011 4:23 pm

    It could have been the “s-word” that held things up in the filter. I still expect a MySQL-based appliance for the SMB space at some point. Maybe they offer a “” DaaS using one or the other database, but DaaS does create challenges as I’m starting to write about in my blog. I would have been surprised though if Big-O offered an Exadata-lite to cannibalize its parent at this stage in the game.

    –Mike Hogan

  14. Barfo Rama on September 21st, 2011 6:43 pm

    OK, now it’s all over the net. It’s a 2 node RAC with a you-get-what-we-give-you configuration. This allows a 2 hour RAC installation for $50K (I take it that does not include license?). No separate compute/storage tiers, no columnar compression, so it is not a baby Exadata. Nice stuff for an smb.

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