Oracle rolls out new in-memory applications, scaled-down Big Data Appliance

The new applications take advantage of Oracle's 'engineered systems'

Oracle is planning to release a series of applications that take advantage of in-memory computing, a move that will up the competitive ante between itself and SAP.

While Oracle announced more than a dozen in-memory applications on Tuesday, the first three will be available in May, according to a spokeswoman. They are JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Sales Advisor, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Project Portfolio Management and Oracle SCM In-Memory Consumption Driven Planning.

Release dates weren't available for the other planned products, which include E-Business Suite In-Memory Cost Management, PeopleSoft In-Memory Project Discovery and JD Edwards EnterpriseOne In-Memory Sales Advisor.

The products will run on Oracle's "engineered systems," which include Exadata and Exalogic. Oracle launched a new version of Exadata last year that CEO Larry Ellison said would allow customers to run all of their databases in-memory. Another system, Exalytics, which was announced in 2011, had in-memory computing as an initial design point and focuses on analytic workloads.

Using the systems' RAM, flash memory and Infiniband networking, the in-memory applications will run up to 20 times faster than on commodity hardware, according to Oracle.

It makes sense for Oracle to release the in-memory applications, both as a means of enticing more sales of the engineered systems, and of giving it something incremental to sell to applications customers who don't have plans to upgrade or expand their footprints but may want new features that complement the core implementation.

In addition, Oracle's software in general runs faster on its engineered systems, according to Tuesday's announcement, which was made at the Collaborate user conference in Denver.

Oracle is no doubt hoping to take some shine away from SAP's HANA in-memory database, which SAP has described as its fastest-growing product ever. SAP is hoping to eventually migrate customers now using Oracle's database to HANA, which is sold in appliance form on hardware from a number of vendors.

SAP is also developing specialized applications that run on HANA as well as fostering a partner ecosystem around the database.

In another announcement Tuesday, Oracle revealed a new scaled-down version of its Big Data Appliance X3-2. The Starter Rack option loads six servers into a full-size rack, allowing for a lower initial cost of purchase and the ability to grow capacity down the line, through a new In-Rack Expansion option.

The Big Data Appliance runs a software stack consisting of Oracle's Linux distribution, Hotspot JVM, NoSQL Database and Cloudera's Hadoop distribution.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
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