Will Asian firms take to Oracle's hardware?

Vendor's new storage server appeals to existing customers, but the verdict is not yet out on how receptive businesses are toward the product, say market watchers.
Written by Vivian Yeo, Contributor

Oracle's new storage server will appeal to its existing customer base in Asia, but users that have competitor offerings might not be easily swayed, according to an analyst.

Michael Barnes, vice president of software research at Springboard Research, told ZDNet Asia in an e-mail that the product is "a compelling offer" for Oracle's existing customer base, given the combination of strong integration with existing Oracle databases, and a standard underlying Intel-based server platform from Hewlett-Packard.

Announced last month, the HP Oracle Exadata Storage Server marks the first time the software vendor designed and rolled out a hardware product. Oracle also introduced the HP Oracle Database Machine, which bundles 14 HP Oracle Exadata Storage Servers with eight Oracle Database servers.

However, Barnes noted that companies with data warehousing appliances from competitors such as Teradata, would "struggle to justify a move to Oracle as a replacement for their existing solutions". This segment, he added, could also include customers with whom Oracle has a strong relationships.

Bhavish Sood, principal analyst for software markets at Gartner, pointed out it was "too early" to determine how customers will take to the product. "Oracle's success would be dependent on at what price point the appliance will be launched in Asia, and how well it develops professional services capabilities to complement the appliance," he said in an e-mail interview.

The two products, according to Mumbai-based Sood, allow Oracle to deliver "a massively parallel storage grid and database management system (DBMS) that increases overall performance because a portion of SQL code is executed on the storage appliance". The vendor's existing customers with large databases--such as data warehouses or large transactional systems--processing complex queries will benefit most and are likely the initial target market, he added.

During the initial stages, warned Sood, customers "might experience some delays" as the support Oracle provides will be based on HP's support process. "Ultimately, we expect Oracle to succeed in supporting the appliance," he said.

Oracle's product may find traction in Singapore, which has announced plans to roll out grid services in the island-state. HP, which is partnering Singapore Computer Systems to roll out the services, did not confirm with ZDNet Asia if the consortium was looking at using the new hardware from Oracle.

In an e-mail, an HP spokesperson said: "We are constantly looking out for new technologies that we can use and offer on the SCS-HP grid. Whatever products we select eventually will have to meet the needs of ISVs (independent software vendors) which provide their software as a service on our platform, as well as the needs of businesses that are looking at using grid services."

When contacted, Oracle's Singapore office declined to reveal whether there has been customer interest in the Exadata server product.

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