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EMC Tailors Storage Systems For Big Data

EMC at Oracle Open World shows two system configurations for transaction-intensive applications such as databases, data warehousing, or Big Data analytics.

10 Lessons Learned By Big Data Pioneers
10 Lessons Learned By Big Data Pioneers
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EMC at Oracle Open World in San Francisco on Monday highlighted two storage system configurations that will compete with Oracle's Exadata and Exalogic appliances for transaction-intensive applications such as databases, data warehousing, or Big Data analytics.

The EMC VNX Unified Storage for Oracle is a VNX system that has Oracle installed in a VMware vSphere virtual machine environment. The system is meant to unify all Oracle environments--database over Oracle Direct NFS, application servers over NFS, and testing and development over NFS--resulting in less disk space used and faster testing. EMC says this configuration was made because 50% of Oracle customers are virtualizing their systems today.

The VNX Unified Storage for Oracle includes EMC's Fully Automated Storage Tiering (FAST) technology, which migrates most frequently used data between a primary Fibre Channel drive and solid state drives and migrates less frequently used data to Serial ATA (SATA) drives and its FAST Cache. In an Oracle environment, FAST is well-suited to database applications that generate a large number of random inputs-outputs, that experience sudden bursts in user query activity, or a high number of user loads and where the entire working set can be contained in the solid state drive cache.

[ EMC wants to play a role outside the data center also. Read: ECM Reaches For The Clouds ]

Based on testing carried out on an Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAQ) 11g database that was configured to access the VNX7500 file storage over the Network File System (NFS), using the Oracle Direct NFS (dNFS) client, results showed an 100% improvement in transactions per minute (TPM), 170% improvement in IOPS, and a 79% decrease in response time, the company said.

The company also is showing off the EMC Greenplum Data Computing Appliance (DCA) for Big Data Analytics configuration, which provides a new migration path to Greenplum for Oracle Data Warehouse. This system includes the Greenplum Data Computing Appliance, EMC's Global Data Warehouse, and EMC's IT Business Intelligence Grid infrastructure. The EMC Greenplum DCA consists of 8 to 16 segment servers running Red Hat Enterprise Linux. Each segment server contains 96 to 192 processor cores, with 384 GB to 768 GB of memory per segment server. The DCA includes 12 600-GB Serial Attached SCSI (SAS) 15K RPM drives for a total useable and compressed capacity of 73 TB to 144 TB. The DCA competes with Oracle's Exadata Database Machine.

In tests performed with this server/storage configuration and a 15-TB Oracle Data Warehouse, the DCA processed a 99 million rows query in less than 28 seconds vs. seven minutes in a traditional Oracle environment and data loads decreased from six days to 29 minutes.

Despite EMC's competition with Oracle in the Big Data, database, and data warehousing markets, EMC CEO Joe Tucci and president Pat Gelsinger will be delivering a joint keynote at Oracle Open World on Monday on the cloud and Big Data. There's much to be said for healthy coopetition.

According to EMC, the company has a 16-year partnership with Oracle and 70,000 mutual customers.

Deni Connor is founding analyst for Storage Strategies NOW, an industry analyst firm that focuses on storage, virtualization, and servers.

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