Exadata X3 is its name, and it is Oracle's answer to SAP's Hana database, which has been taking the database world by storm since it began shipping about 15 months ago.
SAP now has about 500 Hana customers and is the fastest growing product in SAP's history, SAP executives say.
Ellison didn't spend much time dissing his competitor, SAP. But he couldn't resist one barb.
"SAP has an in-memory database that's a little smaller than what we offer," Ellison said. "I think her name is Hana . I promised Mark [Hurd] that I would not mention them [SAP]. I'm glad to keep my promise."
Steve Lucas, SAP's EVP of database technology, had a bone to pick with his claims.
"Let's just say it's taken me 24 hours to get my eyebrows to lower to their normal position," Lucas told Business Insider.
Lucas says Hana is a different kind of database. It's not just keeping records like a typical database (like recording that a pair of jeans was sold), it's also doing analytics (how many jeans were sold last year), predictive analytics (how many will sell next year), and social media sentiment (how people feel about the jeans).
Making an old-school database faster by putting it in a superfast piece of hardware is not going to hurt Hana, Lucas says.
"You've got a company with a $10 billion database albatross around their neck, and a multibillion hardware albatross around their neck, so their solution is to throw more hardware at the same old tired software. It's a myopic view that what companies need is a faster database," Lucas said. "It absolutely fries my brain."
Lucas also points out that if Ellison wants to talk "speeds and feeds"—an industry term for competing based on how big or fast a piece of equipment is—IBM is already selling an enormous 100-terabyte in-memory database system using Hana, upgradable to 250 terabytes. Sunday night, Ellison said that a single Exadata X3 system can hold as much as 26 terabytes of data.
The SAP executive who spearheaded Hana, Vishal Sikka, laughed it all off.
"My little girl Hana is out there on Oracle," Sikka told Business Insider. "She must be beating Oracle's databases like a drum."
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