back to article Oracle's mighty column stuffs databases

Oracle says it can squeeze its databases in ZFS and Pillar Data arrays with Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC). HCC is applied to OLTP databases and data warehouses, with a claimed 10x to 50x compression for most datasets. Oracle says that by using HCC with ZFS or Pillar Axiom arrays its customers can throw out EMC or NetApp …

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Bronze badge

Yet more signs of Oracle wanting to own the world...

Oracle did not invent columnar compression. It's been around for decades. What is concerning is that Oracle is limiting its availability to its own hardware.

It looks like Oracle are lining up a formidable array of corporations as enemies among which canbe found HP, IBM, NetApp and EMC to name just four. Anybody who can find common cause among that lot has pressed a few carefully placed buttons.

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Holmes

Uhhhh

I believe it's called competition...

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Bronze badge

Try looking up anti-competitive activities

It's what is called an anti-competitive activity. It's an attempt to lock out competition by exploiting a customer base who are locked in by their own investment in systems (many of which were developed before Oracle took over).

It's an old, old story - just look it up. Eventually competitition authorities have to be involved. It happened to IBM, Microsoft, Standard Oil and a number of others.

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FAIL

What happened to Microsoft?

They may have been convicted of monopoly abuse but they received no punishment and the same behaviours that saw them in court in the 90's are continuing to this day.

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@Steven Jones

Yes, but if we look at the Mainframe market, IBM has a stronger position than MS has with Windows. And IBM is also found guilty in court for using foul play and sentenced.

I dont know how many times Oracle has been sentenced in court, compared to IBM? Oracle has no monopoly on databases. IBM has monopoly on Mainframes. No complaints on IBM from people here, though. As usual.

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Anonymous Coward

And in the real world...

IBM never had a monopoly on mainframes. What they had is a monopoly on IBM architecture mainframes (although RCA once produced a semi-compatible called the Spectra which English Electric Computers and, later, ICL sold under license as System 4 - it was a financial disaster for RCA). However, Honeywell and a number of others had alternative, but incompatible mainframes.

What IBM had was a de-facto control of a large part of the market due to their dominance and the immense difficulty of customers migrating to alternatives. That's pretty well the position if you are an Oracle shop, using Oracle Databases and Oracle-owned middleware. Once Oracle start eliminating the hardware competition by simply not developing, supporting or releasing

I also had personal experience of Oracle putting pressure on continuing to use SPARC hardware rather than x64. On this (very sensitive and critical application) the sales people started hinting to business managers that they could only provide the very best support on Oracle hardware. The irony was that Oracle had mightily screwed up on a related application on SPARC hardware before they'd bought the company. They actually had the cheek to state the reason for this was they were separate companies then and it was an issue of miscommunication that would not happen now they were one. When challenged directly that this meant they were saying they'd give poorer support on Oracle with x64 and Linux versus SPARC and Solaris, they backed down - sort of. They were still trying to sow seeds of doubt. The hardware cost differences are huge - an M-series solution versus a comparable x64 LINUX one is around 5:1 (and getting wider). T series is something like 3:1 on throughput (and many apps simply don't run fast enough on T series).

Now Oracle aren't alone in this - salesman have to eat, and they'll use what tactics they can. But to be fair to IBM they are now much less likely to throw FUD around than Oracle are now when it comes to compatibility issues.

Needless to say the details of this have to remain anonymous, but be of no misunderstanding, sales teams will use all the pressure they can, and hinting at instability of Oracle on non-Oracle hardware is now one of them. They will also do this to senior business managers.

I could name a few other companies that can be ruthless in this way - once customers are tied into a software solution which is disproportionately expensive to migrate, this is bound to happen. What we have now with Oracle is a number of previously independent companies which were once largely hardware-neutral (including Oracle itself) being turned into a vertically-integrated organisation which will increasingly squeezed out competitions.

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Anonymous Coward

Er...

Why not just run HCC on the EMC array? Or are Oracle only supporting software compression on their own storage devices?

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Silver badge

'Cause the Oracle DB engine has a *much* better idea about the layout & contents of it's files and can optimise it's compression based on this.

Any compression done at the storage layer will only really be able to deal in blocks. To do what Oracle does, EMC would need to understand filesystems & Oracle DB file formats. Plus, before you apply any updates to the O/S or Oracle, you'd need to get sign-off from EMC that they'll be compatible.

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Anonymous Coward

Same Question

To repeat AC's comment, if Oracle is doing HCC in the database why can you not store the same database on a VNX or any other array and get the same results.

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Silver badge

why not?

Haven't they simply added another set of pointer chains to the database? and if so, isn't that just another column/row/table?

Or is it that they could only make their front-end talk to an Oracle DB?

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