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Oracle Teams With HP on Database Hardware

Oracle Corp. (Nasdaq: ORCL) in tandem with Hewlett-Packard Co. (NYSE: HPQ) is bringing out its first hardware product, a database machine, which Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says is suitable for high end, high performance data warehouses.

At the Oracle OpenWorld conference on Wednesday, Ellison said in a keynote address that the HP Oracle Database Machine will combine a grid of Oracle database servers with a grid of HP Exabyte storage servers. The two grids are combined in a standard 42-u rack.

In a departure from other high end designs, the storage server rather than the database server will contain the intelligence to break queries down into separate parts that are executed in parallel on multi-core processors.

In effect, query-handling intelligence has been shifted from the database server to the storage server, which is closer to the data itself. The move allows only results to be passed from storage over to the database system, instead of blocs of data from a voluminous table of a large, 100 Terabyte or 200 Terabyte database. Databases of that size are becoming increasingly common, and the database machine approach will commonly improve performance over software-only, Oracle data warehouses by a factor of up to 30, Ellison said.

"We pass the query from the database server to the query server, where it is parallelized," with a part of the query running on each core of two-way storage server. Up to 14 storage servers or 28, multi-core CPUs are included in the database machine. The now common quad-core CPU would yield a maximum of 112 cores available for parallel query processing, allowing a complex query to be broken down into 112 parts, if necessary, each with its own core.

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