A new Exadata product won't be huge news if it just seems to be a bigger, faster version of the current editions, according to Eric Guyer, a consultant who advises Oracle customers on dealings with the vendor and author of the Oracle Optimization blog.
"The Exadata of today is in my opinion, RAC on steroids," Guyer said in an interview Tuesday, referring to Oracle's Real Application Clusters software. "Exadata has not been a great destination for consolidating dozens and dozens of database workloads because it doesn't have good virtualization."
"I would like to see an Exadata version that is capable of things like Solaris containers," allowing customers to run older database versions on Exadata, Guyer added. "Right now it's [database] 11g R2 only with no virtualization. That to me is where they need to go. They've got to make it so customers can slice and dice [Exadata's capacity] better. If the next version is just bigger, faster, stronger, it's kind of a non-announcement to me."
The smart money may be on a fairly splashy Exadata reveal from Oracle, either as part of an actual product launch or a statement of future direction.
That's because Oracle needs to raise customer interest in the "engineered systems" notion, upon which it is staking the hardware business acquired through the purchase of Sun Microsystems, rather than compete in the commodity server market.
Hardware revenues in Oracle's first quarter dropped 24 percent to $779 million, repeating a pattern of decline since the Sun deal closed. While Oracle has emphasized that Exadata, Exalogic and its other appliances are much more profitable than commodity servers, investors may soon become restless for the company to show top-line revenue growth in hardware.
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