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Oracle boosts Exadata Cloud Infrastructure with X9M

New hardware is coming to the tech giant's cloud service for database workloads, with the Exadata X9M for more compute and storage to provide increased performance and scale.

Oracle is updating the technology behind its Exadata Cloud Infrastructure database service with the availability of X9M hardware set to roll out across Oracle Cloud Infrastructure by June across 37 cloud regions, the tech giant said on Wednesday.

The Exadata Cloud Infrastructure X9M service is powered by Oracle's Exadata Database Machine, a purpose-built server optimized for Oracle database operations.

Exadata Cloud Infrastructure runs both the Oracle Autonomous Database, a fully managed database, and the Exadata Database Service, which provides more options for users to manage Oracle Database operations on their own.

The new X9M service is an update from the X8M cloud service that Oracle introduced in October 2020. Oracle first unveiled the X9M hardware in September 2021 for on-premises users, and it is now coming to Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI).

The vendor, based in Austin, is providing users with more compute and storage capacity with the X9M than the X8M in a bid to provide more scale and performance.

The Exadata X9M infrastructure provides up to 8,064 virtual CPUs (vCPUs) of compute power, more than doubling the power of the 3,200 vCPUs of the X8M. In terms of storage, the X9M can support up to 3.3 petabytes of uncompressed database data, up from 2.6 petabytes on the X8M.

"With the Exadata Cloud Infrastructure X9M release, I see Oracle delivering the portfolio enhancements needed to ensure the sharp differentiation of its Exadata X9M proposition across the intensely competitive database cloud market," said Ron Westfall, an analyst at Futurum Research.

Oracle Exadata Cloud Infrastructure X9M boosts database operations

The cloud database market is competitive, with multiple services from AWS, Microsoft and Google all angling for market share.

Westfall noted that Exadata Cloud Infrastructure claims to have better online transaction processing (OLTP) performance than its rivals. He also said that Oracle providing the X9M service at the same price as X8M is a positive development for Oracle's users, while helping to differentiate Oracle from competition by providing increased capabilities.

With the Exadata Cloud Infrastructure X9M release, I see Oracle delivering the portfolio enhancements needed to ensure the sharp differentiation of its Exadata X9M proposition across the intensely competitive database cloud market.
Ron WestfallAnalyst, Futurum Research

"From my view, the direction Oracle is taking Exadata Cloud Infrastructure X9M provides substantial upside for today's X8M and now X9M customers, while creating more disruption and headaches for the competition," Westfall said.

As opposed to using general-purpose hardware, Exadata Cloud Infrastructure provides database optimized infrastructure, according to Ashish Ray, vice president of product management at Oracle. Ray said that optimization isn't just providing a more powerful hardware component; it is also in a configuration and with software specifically tuned for running Oracle's database.

From on-premises to cloud database with X9M

As is also the case with the Exadata X9M running on premises, Ray said users can choose to run either the autonomous database service or Exadata Database Service.

Ray explained that the Exadata Database Service offers organizations more flexibility as users have complete ownership of the database update and maintenance schedule, compared with the autonomous database, which by definition is autonomous and largely self-driving.

In terms of why an organization would choose to run Exadata on premises or in the cloud, Ray said that moving workloads to the cloud for many businesses is a process that takes place over time.

Enterprise applications running in an organization often depend on existing data center infrastructure, according to Ray. For those applications for which the hardware needs to stay on premises, he said that Oracle's Cloud at Customer services, which provide cloud capabilities that run in customer's location, were helpful. Cloud at Customer provides consumption-based utility pricing while the hardware is deployed in an organization's own data center.

For enterprise applications that don't have existing data center infrastructure dependencies, Ray said that's where the public cloud and the Exadata Cloud Infrastructure service is a good fit.

Because the on-premises and the cloud Exadata service both use the same Oracle database technology, users can transition from on premises to cloud without application or data model changes.

"Customers can … transition based on their overall cloud journey requirements," Ray said.

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