September 15th, 2010

There are some funny little wars being fought in the blogosphere between Teradata and Netezza attacking Oracle Exadata. Instead of taking side, let me just link to what’s been going on so far.

That’s where we are right now. If you can only read two links of the six, then read the first two ones, because they add most value, IMHO.

Oracle OpenWorld 2010

September 8th, 2010

Oracle OpenWorld 2010 is casting its shadows because it’s merely two weeks in the future now. I again didn’t manage to get sent… but the lucky few 😉 who will be there, here’s some advice: from the DWH guys on getting organized, from the OEM guys on the Top 11 Things to do, and you should obviously go and see Kevin Closson’s session on DIY Exadata performance.

Closing the specialization vs. general purpose mini-series (part 1, part 2) is Keith Laker from Oracle’s Data Warehouse Insider blog in The Next Evolutionary Step – Analytical Connectivity. And he’s arguing that the shift towards specialization is already over, and appliances will be dead within 2-3 years.

This evolution from needing a specialized appliance to needing analytical connectivity has happened in a very short time. Analytical connectivity is the next stage in the natural evolution of data warehouse platforms I would argue that the “analytic appliance” should now be considered as dead as a dodo.

For customers who have invested heavily in analytic appliances moving to this new level of evolution is simply not possible. Once you functionally isolate your data it is very difficult to start stitching result sets back together to perform higher levels of analysis.

Interestingly enough I’m quite sure he’s referring to Exadata as the winning general purpose platform for Big Data, whereas Stephen O’Grady used Exadata as example for specialized in yesterday’s post. I guess you could make a point of Exadata being the synthesis of specialized  and general purpose – a specialized platform from a HW/SW perspective, but for general purpose use cases.

Following up on yesterday’s post we have Stephen O’Grady from RedMonk looking at specialization vs. general purpose from a general industry perspective: A Swing of the Pendulum: The Shift Towards Specialized Hardware and Software. Excellent read:

What might be different this time around is that on a macro basis, the market is showing an increased appetite for specialization at every level. Combine that with a driving need to maximize performance while minimizing the expense, both in power and datacenter floor space, and the opportunities may be there where they traditionally have not been.

Check back tomorrow for the closing of this mini-series on specialization vs. general purpose.

Greg Rahn’s post about The Core Performance Fundamentals Of Oracle Data Warehousing – Set Processing vs Row Processing is so good, everybody considering a migration from a standard RDBMS to a VLDB platform (such as Exadata, as in Greg’s example) should be forced to read it.

To paraphrase Greg: the performance improvements of the new system not only allow to run today’s jobs faster, but will allow you to do jobs that were entirely impossible with the old system – if you’re willing to do a little re-engineering, and throw away old assumptions and ‘optimizations’ that make your code slow instead of fast on the new platform.

Oracle commissioned Merv Adrian to write about Exadata. Here’s his blog and the report: Oracle Exadata: A Data Management Tipping Point.

Early customer results indicate that Oracle Exadata V2 is delivering on the promise of those new capabilities. The action item for IT, then, is to target corporate applications with the biggest potential for speed-based enhancement, and consider whether Oracle Exadata V2 can cost-effectively enable new ways to use these for competitive advantage.

DIY Exadata Performance

June 8th, 2010

Go vote for Kevin Closson‘s Oracle Open World session proposal Do-It-Yourself Exadata-level Performance? on Oracle Mix. On a related note, this is exactly what we’re doing in our lab, throwing together the best of all technologies, and testing how it stands up against Exadata. Currently this includes a brand new IBM X5 server and a lot of exciting storage technologies.