After publishing the story, consultant Kerry Osborne from Enkitec wrote back with his thoughts on the announcement. Here are a couple excerpts from his email to me:
The storage expansion rack is interesting. You could already buy individual storage cells ($55K), so presumably you could put these together on your own already. But it’s now packaged and there appears to be a slight discount as you buy larger configs (full rack storage is slightly less per cell than half rack). We have a customer that has run out of both storage and processing (CPU) capability on the storage cells, but the DB servers are fine. So adding additional storage is the way to go for them.
Oracle salespeople, however, might not be too excited about the storage racks:
Oracle sales people have been hesitant to recommend (just adding additional storage) because they have been trained to push the “balanced config” story saying that the ratio of DB servers to storage cells is somehow magic. So they tend to want customers to buy another quarter rack Exadata. This announcement will make it easier for customers to tell sales guys they just need more storage.
Oracle’s “big” storage announcement today is a new StorageTek 5 terabyte (TB) tape drive called the T10000C.
The T10000C is five times the size as its predecessor, the T10000B. Its throughput is 240MB/second, and Fujifilm Recording Media will manufacture the data cartridge. From the webcast today, it seems engineered to work best with Oracle’s own Exadata server and the IBM mainframe.
So what does that mean? For Oracle shops, it means that Oracle will continue to push its integrated stack to customers. That can either mean you’ve got one throat to choke (a potentially good thing) or vendor lock-in (a bad thing). This much is true: Oracle is trying to spread its tentacles throughout the data center.
Oracle rolled out CERN, the Geneva-based particle physics laboratory, as one of the first customers of the T10000C. Robert Amatruda, a storage analyst at IDC, also spoke during the Oracle-hosted webcast, giving his opinion that tape is still a viable storage option and that the T10000C indicates Oracle’s commitment to StorageTek and tape storage. He also mentioned a StorageTek tape storage roadmap that Oracle rolled out last year, indicating a product with up to 20TB capacity by 2015.
SearchDataBackup published a piece last year about Oracle laying out its enterprise tape library roadmap for its largest customers. This is part of that.
Storage is just one of the pieces of the stack that Oracle overtly wants to own from head to toe. It wants to be able to sell customers the chip to the application and everything in between. This announcement feeds into that. In particular, it signals Oracle’s commitment to StorageTek and building its own storage solutions — at least tape — by itself.
Earlier this month we wrote an Oracle 2011 predictions story, with one prediction being that Oracle would buy a storage company this year. But maybe that won’t happen. Maybe Oracle plans instead on investing engineering resources into the StorageTek brand of Sun that it acquired last year.
Update: SearchDataBackup has a full story on the T10000C.]]>
The announcement will come during a webcast Monday at 12 p.m. Eastern. The name of the webcast is “Game-Changing New Technology for Datacenter Storage.”
Storage is just one of the pieces of the stack that Oracle overtly wants to own from head to toe, as shown in the picture here. It wants to be able to sell customers the chip to the application and everything in between. This event feeds into that. Earlier this month we wrote an Oracle 2011 predictions story, with one prediction being that Oracle would buy a storage company this year. But maybe that won’t happen. Maybe Oracle plans instead on investing engineering resources into the StorageTek brand of Sun that it acquired last year.
What exactly Oracle will announce is still up for speculation, but some have noted that the announcement will come from Jim Cates, listed as VP of hardware development. Cates started his career as a systems engineer at StorageTek, the storage company that Sun acquired in 2005. Until recently he was the VP of tape development at Oracle.
StorageTek has mostly been known for its storage tape backup equipment and storage management software. So that has led some to speculate that Oracle will be announcing something related to tape on Monday.
Here’s the entire event summary from the Oracle event page:
Oracle is taking a dramatic leap in storage technology with an exciting enterprise storage product announcement. We can’t tell you just how much this will improve your datacenter until the big event. But we can say it means:
- Much lower costs—per terabyte of capacity and floor space consumption
- Dramatically higher performance—let’s just say the old benchmarks just got older
- Greater capacity—in a much smaller footprint
- Greater capability—optimized for archive and data protection
If your business counts on storage performance, scalability, and value, then Oracle has all-new solutions you’ve been waiting for. Join this important Webcast and be among the first to learn all about it.
You can read between the lines for yourself. What sticks out to me is the repeated mention of reduced “floor space consumption” and “smaller footprint.” I’m no storage expert so I’m not sure what it means, but it seems to mean something.]]>