Oracle preps Database 12c in-memory option: Can it fend off rivals?

If Oracle can stop rivals in their tracks on the real-time analytics front, the company's database -- under fire from open source alternatives -- will keep customers for multiple investment cycles.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Oracle on Tuesday launched its in-memory option for its Database 12c with CEO Larry Ellison holding court at the company's headquarters and touting analytics and application performance.

The in-memory option will be available within 60 days, but pricing hasn't been disclosed. When Oracle Database In-Memory is generally available, the company will release pricing details. Like other options to Oracle's database, the in-memory addition will be priced by processor.


Oracle Database In-Memory is an early installment of the company's summer software blitz. Oracle executives have been banking on new releases this summer to boost the company's results. Oracle will also release an update to its Database 12c to fix bugs. Database 12c launched a year ago and many customers were waiting for Oracle's first maintenance release.

As for the in-memory option to Oracle's database the goals are relatively clear:

  • Keep customers in the fold as rivals such as SAP HANA are trying to poach
  • Boost application performance and talk about real-time analytics
  • Accelerate performance for Oracle's applications as well as other enterprise tools
  • Sell engineered systems that are optimized for Oracle's Database In-Memory

The in-memory option for Oracle's database was talked up at OpenWorld last fall. If Oracle can stop rivals in their tracks on the real-time analytics front, the company's database — under fire from open source alternatives — will keep customers for multiple investment cycles.

Tim Shetler, vice president of product management, said "database applications are sticky. You need to have a good reason to move with the changes that have to be made." 

Shetler added that Oracle has seen a lot of interest for Database In-Memory and the company has allowed beta testing and test drives for customers. "Database In-Memory is transparent and it's easy to try out," said Shetler. "We have a fair amount of folks experimenting."

Oracle's plan is to launch a partner program to allow independent software vendors to optimize around Database In-Memory. Shetler said that Oracle has seen its key applications — JD Edward, PeopleSoft, E-Business Suite and Siebel — deliver performance increases of 100 times to 1,000 times.

Among the key points:

  • There's no restriction on how large the database can be and still use in-memory.
  • Database In-Memory supports data tiering.
  • Database In-Memory has had validation testing by end-users , partners, and Oracle's applications teams over the last nine months. 
  • Applications can use in-memory processing without additional programming.

Oracle also said its Exadata, Big Memory Machine and SuperCluster systems will support in-memory.

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