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April 18, 2016updated 05 Sep 2016 11:25am

Oracle returns on-premise for Exadata-as-a-Service

News: Big Red aims to meet customer demands for data regulations and security.

By James Nunns

Oracle will soon introduce an on-premise version of its Exadata cloud service.

The plan is to allow customers to deploy the dedicated database appliance on their own servers but with all the benefits of a cloud service.

The on-premise version will be billed in a pay-as-you-go model even though it lives on-premise and it will behave just as the cloud service would.

Big Red’s thinking behind this is that customers still want to have access to on-premises database appliances, perhaps for security, regulatory or price reasons.

Although the company has set about transforming itself into a full cloud company, it still has a large on-premise customer base which it needs to maintain. Recent financial results have seen its hardware and on-premise software revenues decline.

In Q2 2016, Big Red reported on-premise software revenues of $6.36bn, down 7% from the same quarter a year ago, while hardware revenue was $1.12bn, a decrease of 16% from the same quarter a year ago.

The seventh-generation appliance will feature Broadwell Xeons with Oracle using the 22-core version to power the machine, while it will also support eight-terabyte drives and Samsung’s 3D NAND.

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The reason for going in this hardware direction is so that Exadata will be denser in order to get a more powerful system.

According to Tim Shelter, VP, product management, Oracle, the addition of Samsung’s 3D NAND, a technology that stacks storage cells to increase capacity through higher density, will improve Oracle’s tiering as it has the ability to put a row into Flash and then decompress it only when it lands in that storage tier.

In addition to the on-premise version, Oracle is also working on hybrid cloud use cases which would appeal to users that have data regulations needs to satisfy.

Although Big Red is updating a few areas of the on-premise Exadata service, it has decided to continue using InfiniBand as the internal network which connects storage and servers.

Other options are available to Oracle as Ethernet has become cheaper and faster, but the technology that it has used since the first Exadata is here to stay. The eighth-generation of the database appliance will likely feature a 100Gbps connection after the Xeons begin using the Skylake architecture.

Oracle Exadata

Oracle has been busy trying to appease customers that want to store data but have concerns about it.

The company recently created a service that allows users to deploy a part of its public cloud on the customer’s premises and allow them to set policies which then confine sensitive data to that infrastructure.

Oracle Cloud at Customer relies upon an Oracle node being installed as part of the company’s cloud platform inside a customer’s own data centre. The node, which is fully managed, is called the Oracle Cloud Machine.

Amit Zavery, SVP, Oracle cloud platforms said: "What we are seeing from our enterprise customers is that everyone has been adopting the public cloud, but there are a few areas where a lot of companies have issues around legal compliance, privacy requirements, data residency issues, or some specific control needs."

Interest is expected to be seen across industries such as financial services, telecoms, public sector and government agencies.

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