DB Appliance: the attack of the clones

From: Mladen Gogala <gogala.mladen_at_gmail.com>
Date: Thu, 22 Sep 2011 15:15:48 +0000 (UTC)
Message-ID: <pan.2011.>

Oracle announced Oracle DB Appliance today. This is a deja vu, from the era of the Oracle Network Computer when Oracle was the first to offer a "database appliance". NC and its brethren database appliance died around the year 2000, which means that the early bird doesn't necessarily catch the worm.
This time, however, things are different. There are several similar machines around, even if we don't count Exadata and Exalogic boxes. There is Teradata Kickfire, there is IBM's "virtual DB2 appliance", a very innovative piece of software that I still count as an appliance and, of course, Netezza DW appliance.
Apparently, the trend is to sell the database, along with the hardware needed to run it and also have the company that sold it to administer it as a part of the support.
IBM has the most experience with it, since they're selling DB2 on the mainframe systems for a very long time. The whole mainframe system can be regarded as one huge DB2 appliance.
That is the usual characteristic of the db appliance market: appliances are high end contraptions. Exadata, Netezza, Kickfire or mainframes are very expensive and glamorous contraptions that with at least six figure price tags and are unlikely to be encountered in small to medium size companies. Furthermore, no matter how fast these things are, the state of technology is simply such that these things will always require a good DBA. Oracle is well positioned to win the inevitable DB appliance wars, but will not impact the vast majority of the Oracle users.
Received on Thu Sep 22 2011 - 10:15:48 CDT

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