Eye on Oracle

Oct 15 2008   9:20AM GMT

Exadata: At what price?

Barney Beal Barney Beal Profile: Barney Beal

For all the secrecy leading up to Oracle’s release of Exadata, the HP-Oracle appliance rolled out on the stage at OpenWorld, plenty of confusion remains.

Namely, just how much does it cost?

Typically, pricing information isn’t that hard to come by. Yet when I asked an Oracle PR rep about the Exadata pricing structure last month, instead of a simple number I was directed to a video of Larry Ellison’s keynote address (28:20 specifically), where Ellison cited the price as $650,000 for the machine and $1,680,000 for the software license.

Of course, Oracle pricing is seldom a simple affair — or any enterprise technology pricing for that matter.

Indeed, Larry Ellison’s boast that the new machine is far cheaper than competitors Netezza and Teradata, has come under scrutiny. Exadata is more like $5.5 million than $2.3 million, according to ComputerWorld.

In fact, a number of bloggers have expressed some confusion over the new Oracle pricing, despite how simple it may look on Oracle’s Exadata price list. Curt Monash posted his own Exadata pricing spreadsheet on his blog and estimates the list price at $5,546,000 and per-terabyte prices of $60,000 and $198,000 for the two configurations offered. Monash notes that that is still an incomplete picture because questions remain over what software needs to be purchased on the server side and how much data fits into an Exadata cell anyway.

Whatever the final number, it’s a pretty steep price, no matter how big the powerful the appliance — especially in this economy.

Of course, with Oracle everything is open to negotiation

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  • Kevin Closson
    "[...text deleted...] because questions remain over what software needs to be purchased on the server side and how much data fits into an Exadata cell anyway." There cannot be any confusion over how much data fits in an Oracle Exadata Storage Cell. There are a fixed number of 12 disks and they are either 300GB SAS or 1000GB SATA. After performing the math for gross capacity, the deployment needs will reduce the value down based on specifics of the deployment such as mirroring (2-way, 3-way) and what percentage of the disk geometry to use for application data. A good rule of thumb is 60% of 2-way mirrored net capacity, or 1TB for the SAS option and 3.6TB for the SATA option. Certain applications will do just fine placing data over a greater percentage of the disks so the 1TB and 3.6TB values can adjust upward. In the end, all of the disk capacity is usable. Varying from the rule-of-thumb 60% is application specific.
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