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The next release of the Oracle database, expected to ship sometime next year, will be what Ellison described -- to applause -- as "the first multitenant database in the world," making it a critical component of the company's cloud strategy.
SaaS applications from Salesforce.com, NetSuite and other vendors are developed with a multitenant architecture, allowing many customers to tap into a single instance of the application and therefore cutting costs.
But Ellison said there are problems with that approach: Query and reporting software tools, for example, don't work well with multitenant applications, he said. And different kinds of SaaS applications, such as CRM and ERP, have to run on separate databases -- often running on dedicated servers -- which leads to increased computing costs.
"With Oracle [Database] 12c we have a fundamentally new architecture," Ellison said, arguing that building multi-tenancy into the database instead of applications will improve cloud system stability, scalability and security. "Multitenancy built at the right level."
Additional details about the new database could come Monday when Andrew Mendelsohn, senior vice president of database server technologies, is scheduled to give a keynote speech.
The Exadata X3 system is the third generation of the database server since Oracle introduced the first Exadata in 2008. The new server operates entirely on DRAM and Flash memory and, unlike earlier generations of the product, uses no disk drives.
"Everything is in memory," Ellison said. "Disk drives are becoming passé."
Each Exadata rack has 26 TB of capacity: 22 TB of flash memory and 4 TB of DRAM. With a data compression rate of 10-to-1, he said, each Exadata X3 rack is capable of storing some 220 TB of information.
"If you thought the old Exadatas were fast, you ain't seen nothing yet," Ellison said, noting that the new Exadata system can perform 1 million input/output data writes per second. "You would need thousands or tens of thousands of disk drives to deliver the I/O capacity of a single Exadata X3 rack."
The new Exadata system outperforms competing data storage systems, such as EMC's recently unveiled Symmetrix VMAX 40K, at lower costs, Ellison said. The Exadata's starting price is $200,000, he said, but added to laughter: "I bet if you talk to an Oracle salesman you can get a better price than that."
Ellison followed a keynote speech by Noriyuki Toyuki, a corporate vice president at Fujitsu, and Ellison noted that Oracle and Fujitsu are co-developing the next generation of SPARC microprocessors. Ellison said many functions now coded in software would be programmed into SPARC chips, greatly speeding up the performance of the Oracle database.