September 30, 2008

Oracle Database Machine and Exadata pricing: Part 2

My Oracle Database Machine and Exadata pricing spreadsheet has been updated. Specifically:

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:

  1. What software do you need to pay for on the server side? (Oracle loves chargeable options.)
  2. If you get just one or a few Exadata cells, rather than a full Oracle Database Machine, how much will that run you?
  3. (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:

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.


11 Responses to “Oracle Database Machine and Exadata pricing: Part 2”

  1. Oracle Exadata list pricing | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on September 30th, 2008 3:10 am

    […] figures in this post have now been updated.  There’s a new spreadsheet at that link as […]

  2. rc on September 30th, 2008 4:13 am

    You have got to pay for Oracle Spatial but a subset of the Oracle Spatial features is free.

    This free subset is called Oracle Locator and it is often sufficient.

    I don’t know whether Terradata Spatial knows more features than Oracle Locator.

  3. Curt Monash on September 30th, 2008 5:22 am

    If I read correctly, the kinds of features you need for analytics are part of the chargeable option.

    Those features are spelled out in the link above.

    What Oracle gives away for free seems to be a lot of other stuff relevant to more transactional applications, which Netezza and Teradata (probably) don’t offer at all.

    Did I read incorrectly?

  4. Kevin Closson on September 30th, 2008 5:51 pm

    Exadata requires a 2-cell minimum from redundancy. Just FYI.

  5. Curt Monash on September 30th, 2008 6:40 pm

    Thanks, Kevin!

  6. Curt Monash on October 3rd, 2008 10:49 pm

    OK. Finally updated the spreadsheet and blog post in line with Kevin’s comment. 🙂

  7. A data warehouse pricing complication: Software vs. appliances | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on October 11th, 2008 10:15 pm

    […] But I’d like to throw one of his ideas out there right now. Juan contends that comparisons of Oracle Exadata pricing are apt to be misleading because — among other reasons — Oracle licenses can be reused […]

  8. Oracle notes | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on October 17th, 2008 5:22 am

    […] drive option has been increased from 300 to 450 gigabyte drives.  Presumably, this will take our estimate of high-end Exadata list pricing down from $198K/TB of user data to $122K.  Competitive vendors should show similar improvements, […]

  9. Mike on January 15th, 2009 11:30 am

    Wouldn’t the need for double the number of cells for redundency as reported by Kevin increase the cost per terabyte?

  10. Curt Monash on January 15th, 2009 1:07 pm

    Redundancy is factored into the comparison between:

    1. Raw disk space.
    2. User data that there is room for.

    The most detailed I’ve been in working through such a comparison is for Greenplum, but the general idea is similar.

  11. Sorting out Netezza and Oracle Exadata data warehouse appliance pricing | DBMS2 -- DataBase Management System Services on August 9th, 2009 8:55 am

    […] terabytes of user data. I found Bence’s estimates excellent when he helped me work out then-current Exadata pricing last September. That’s a little under $100K/terabyte uncompressed, vs. Netezza’s figure of a little […]

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