Oracle Announces a Slew of New In-Memory Applications

While SAP has lately given huge publicity to in-memory computing via its incessant promotion of SAP HANA, the technology has been around since the late 1990s, and there are currently over 50 software vendors delivering such proven solutions. Most recently, during the COLLABORATE ’13 Oracle Applications User Group (OAUG) conference, Oracle announced new Oracle In-Memory Applications for Oracle Engineered Systems, leveraging dynamic random access memory (DRAM), flash memories, and the near zero latency InfiniBand network fabric to run ten to twenty times faster than commodity hardware. These tools can achieve these impressive speeds by transforming batch processing to real-time and shortening response time with improved user interface (UI) rendering.

Contrary to popular belief that in-memory computing is a niche technology designed mainly to run analytics faster, many critical applications and workflows for businesses such as financial close, cost management, what-if projections, and planning often take hours or days to execute. In fact, entire industries such as software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings, social networks, financial (algorithmic) trading, on-line gaming, etc. would not exist as we know them today without in-memory computing. Another lesser-known fact is that the primary users of fast in-memory analytics are small to medium businesses (SMBs), although popular belief is that only the largest corporations could afford and benefit from these tools.

Oracle’s In-Memory Value Prop

Oracle’s new in-memory applications change business dynamics to much more quickly discover growth opportunities, make smarter decisions, reduce corporate costs, and shorten time-consuming workloads. With runtime no longer an issue, executives can now generate complex data crunching analysis in near real-time to make sound decisions and solve critical business problems. The official press release lists many specific examples of significant performance improvements across batch processing, user experience response times, and throughput that are a direct result of running Oracle Applications on Oracle Engineered Systems vs. commodity hardware. Those apps span multiple Oracle product lines such as Oracle Fusion Applications, Oracle E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne, Oracle Supply Chain (including Oracle Value Chain Planning and Oracle Transportation Management), and Siebel CRM.

There is no debate whether in-memory computing will have a long-term disruptive impact on the entire industry by inherently changing users' expectations, application design principles and architectures, and vendors’ approaches. Existing Oracle Applications users on the so-called “commodity hardware” will have to ensure that the costs of the ten to twenty times faster Oracle Engineered Systems hardware (Exadata, Exalytics, etc.) will deliver tangible business benefits for customers by providing improved performance, energy efficiency, lower total cost of ownership (TCO), reliability, and scalability.
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