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Oracle Unveils Business Analytics Machine At Annual Convention

As its annual Oracle Open World 2011 commences in San Francisco, Oracle has made a play in the business analytics space, unveiling the Exalytics Intelligence Machine, which analyzes business data in memory to provide response times that the company claims are 18 times faster than other business intelligence systems. "Data analysis at the speed of thought" is how Oracle CEO Larry Ellison put it in a keynote address at the convention that began Sunday night.

The Exalytics system combines hardware and software, both developed by Oracle, into a system that analyzes data in relational databases, multidimensional data and unstructured data "instantaneously" because the machine stores data in the computer’s memory, Ellison said. The system includes 1 Tbyte of digital random access memory (DRAM), but with compression it can store 5 Tbytes to 10 Tbytes of raw data, he added.

The system runs on 40 cores of Intel Xeon processors and can scan memory at a rate of 200 Gbytes per second. It also features an Infiniband network connection that operates at 40 Gbits per second. "It’s hardware and software engineered together to deliver data analysis at the speed of thought--faster than you can type," Ellison said. "Better answers sooner to help you run your business."

The Exalytics system is another example of a solution for which hardware, software and other components are developed together by Oracle. That includes the Exadata system for databases, introduced in 2008, Exalogic for middleware, introduced in 2010, and the SPARC SuperCluster. The latter was introduced a week ago and combines both database and middleware in one system. In his keynote, Ellison noted that when Oracle acquired Sun Microsystems in 2010, many skeptics speculated that Oracle, a legacy software company, would dispose of Sun’s hardware assets, which are now core components of its Exadata, Exalogic, SuperCluster and Exalytics systems.

More than 45,000 people are expected at Oracle Open World 2011 being held at San Francisco’s Moscone Center convention facility. The convention will include keynotes from executives at Cisco, Dell, EMC and Infosys, among others. Notably absent is HP, whose CEOs have spoken at past Oracle conventions. Ellison hired Mark Hurd and made him president of Oracle after he was forced out as CEO of HP in 2010. Hurd was succeeded at HP by Leo Apotheker, who had been CEO of SAP, an Oracle rival in enterprise software. Oracle became a competitor of HP after the Sun acquisition when it began selling servers and storage hardware.

Apotheker was forced out of HP in September and replaced as president and CEO by Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay and 2010 gubernatorial candidate in California. Ellison, who is fond of making public digs at HP, made no mention of HP’s shakeup in his keynote address.

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