Conor O'Mahony's Database Diary

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Archive for January 2012

Oracle Reduce their Exadata Projections

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In June of last year, during Oracle’s FYQ4 2011 earnings call, Larry Ellison claimed that Oracle expect more than 2,000 Exadata systems to be installed in fiscal year 2012. His exact quote follows. You can read the full transcript on SeekingAlpha at Oracle’s CEO Discusses Q4 2011 Results.

Today, more than 1,000 Exadatas are installed, and we plan on tripling that number this year.

He noted that more than 1,000 systems had been installed at that time. Tripling this number yields more than 3,000. This implies that there would be more than two thousand new systems installed in FY2012.

Last month, during Oracle’s FYQ2 2012 earnings call, Larry Ellison said:

This past Q2, Oracle sold over 200 Exadata and Exalogic engineered systems. In Q3, we plan to sell over 300 Exadata and Exalogic engineered systems. In Q4, we plan to sell over 400 Exadata and Exalogic engineered systems.

Again, the full transcript is available on SeekingAlpha at Oracle’s CEO Discusses Q2 2012 Results. There is no reference to Q1 sales, but Oracle projects that Q2 + Q3 + Q4 sales of both Exadata and Exalogic will be more than 900.

A couple of things stand out here. The first is that these latest projections from Oracle are for both Exadata and Exalogic systems combined, whereas the original projection was for Exadata systems only. The second is that these latest projections from Oracle are significantly down (more than 2,000 has been revised down to whatever business they did in Q1 + more than 900 in Q2, Q3, and Q4 combined). And this significant downward revision in projections has happened in the space of just 6 months.

If you read the Q&A segment from the Q2 earnings call, it is quite interesting. An analyst asks Oracle about the downward revision in projections. There are some semi-coherent responses from Ellison and Hurd, before Hurd claims that instead of 3x growth in engineered systems, they are on track for 2.5x growth. Hmmm, unless they had a monster Q1, that doesn’t quite add up either 🙂


Written by Conor O'Mahony

January 30, 2012 at 1:17 pm

Posted in Oracle Exadata

Tagged with ,

Win a Trip to the IDUG Conference of your Choice

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DB2Night ShowThe International DB2 User Group (IDUG) is a user-run organization. If you want independent information about DB2, IDUG is the place to go. This year, IDUG are have conferences in the US (Denver), Germany (Berlin), and Australia (Sydney). The good news is that the DB2night Show is holding a contest, and the prize is an all expenses-paid trip to the IDUG conference of your choice. The contest aims to identify new users who can speak about their experiences with DB2. It’s a talent contest of sorts, where the talent is sharing your experiences. If you have ever considered speaking at a conference, this contest is the ideal way to see how you might do in a fun setting.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

January 25, 2012 at 2:01 pm

Anatomy of an Oracle Marketing Claim

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Yesterday, Oracle announced a new TPC-C benchmark result. They claim:

In this benchmark, the Sun Fire X4800 M2 server equipped with eight Intel® Xeon® E7-8870 processors and 4TB of Samsung’s Green DDR3 memory, is nearly 3x faster than the best published eight-processor result posted by an IBM p570 server equipped with eight Power 6 processors and running DB2. Moreover, Oracle Database 11g running on the Sun Fire X4800 M2 server is nearly 60 percent faster than the best DB2 result running on IBM’s x86 server.

Let’s have a closer look at this claim, starting with the first part: “nearly 3x faster than the best published eight-processor result posted by an IBM p570 server“. Interestingly, Oracle do not lead by comparing their new leading x86 result with IBM’s leading x86 result. Instead they choose to compare their new result to an IBM result from 2007, exploiting the fact that even though this IBM result was on a different platform, it uses the same number of processors. Of course, we all know that the advances in hardware, storage, networking, and software technology over half a decade are simply too great to form any basis for reasonable comparison. Thankfully, most people will see straight through this shallow attempt by Oracle to make themselves look better than they are. I cannot imagine any reasonable person claiming that Oracle’s x86 solutions offer 3x the performance of IBM’s Power Systems solutions, when comparing today’s technology. I’m sure most people will agree that this first comparison is simply meaningless.

Okay, now let’s look at the second claim: “nearly 60 percent faster than the best DB2 result running on IBM’s x86 server“. Oracle now compare their new leading x86 result with IBM’s leading x86 result. However, if you look at the benchmark details, you will see that IBM’s result uses half the number of CPU processors, CPU cores, and CPU threads. If you look at performance per core, the Oracle result achieves 60,046 tpmC per CPU core, while the IBM result achieves 75,367 tpmC per core. While Oracle claims to be 60% faster, if you take into account relevant system size and determine the performance per core, IBM is actually 25% faster than Oracle.

Finally, let’s not forget the price/performance metric from these benchmark results. This new Oracle result achieved US$.98/tpmC, whereas the leading IBM x86 result achieved US$.59/tpmC. That’s correct, when you determine the cost of processing each transaction for these two benchmark results IBM is 39% less expensive than Oracle. (BTW, I haven’t had a chance yet to determine if Oracle Used their Usual TPC Price/Performance Tactics for this benchmark result, as the result details are not yet available to me; but if they have, the IBM system will prove to be even less expensive again than the Oracle system.)

Benchmark results are as of January 17, 2012: Source: Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC),
Oracle result: Oracle Sun Fire X4800 M2 server (8 chips/80 cores/160 threads) – 4,803,718 tpmC, US$.98/tpmC, available 06/26/12.
IBM results: IBM System p 570 server (8 chips/16 cores/32 threads) -1,616,162 tpmC, US$3.54 /tpmC, available 11/21/2007. IBM System x3850 X5 (4 chips/40 cores/80 threads) – 3,014,684 tpmC, US$.59/tpmC, available 09/22/11.

Written by Conor O'Mahony

January 18, 2012 at 11:01 am

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