Oracle Unveils In-Memory Processing To Counter SAP

"Ungodly speeds." That's what Oracle CEO Larry Ellison is promising from a new Oracle 12C in-memory option for his company's database products.

The promise was made by Ellison at his keynote address Sunday night for the Oracle OpenWorld conference, taking place this week in San Francisco (Sept. 22-26). He said that putting data into memory produced "ungodly" performance increases for both transactional and analytical workloads, and added that his company has goals of increasing speed for analytics queries by 100 times and doubling the throughput for transactional processing. Oracle's entry into in-memory has been expected, although the details have been few until Sunday.

SAP's HANA

The in-memory option is one of the latest trends in databases, evidenced in particular by the HANA in-memory database product from SAP, one of Oracle's biggest competitors. In-memory technologies are also being launched by Microsoft and IBM, among others.

Ellison said that implementing the in-memory option is relatively easy to do. The option allows for storing data in in both rows and columns, in order to boost the performance of both transactional and analytical processing.

"You flip a switch and all your existing applications run much faster," Ellison told the keynote audience. He added that there are "no changes to your applications," and that everything working today "works with the in-memory option turned on and there's no data migration." Operations that used to take an hour, he said, now take only a few seconds, the in-memory option works in both symmetric multiprocessor and clustered deployments, and it works with existing servers.

Oracle can counter and exceed SAP's efforts on this front by leveraging its much larger customer base for databases. Those customers may well prefer to experiment with an in-memory option from a known vendor and using a technology they are familiar with, even if it means upgrading to version...

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