Oracle have released the 2nd generation of its Oracle Database Appliance, the X3-2 version. With more compute, memory and storage capacity the X3-2 is aimed at Small to Medium business who have an Oracle environment - that don't need Exadata scale deployments.

View the full Oracle Database Appliance Specs

Not all companies require the petabytes that Exadata can offer, which is why in September 2011 Oracle released the first Oracle Database Appliance. This was based on X4370 M2's - a pair of dual socket E5 Xeon servers with a bit of disk and 96GB of memory per Node.

Oracle Database Appliance X3-2

On the X3-2, Oracle have upgraded the Nodes to X3-2 rack servers (formally X4170 M3) - improving compute performance and overall capacity. Each X3-2 Node is a dual socket Sandy Bridge server running at 2.9 GHz, with 256 GB of main memory, 4 10GBaseT ports, 1 600GB 10krpm SAS and 8 2.5" SFF drives - with two of those used for SSD for database redo logs.

In the storage expansion shelf sits 4 more 200 GB SSDs, with 24 more 2.5" SFF SAS bays - offering up to 18 TB of raw storage. This is cut to 9 TB in a double-mirrored RAID setup, or 6 TB in triple mirrored.

The X3-2 Database Appliance comes with Oracle Linux 5.8 pre-installed as well as the new 'Appliance Manager' software. You can run Oracle's proprietary Xen hypervisor if you want to run your apps directly on the appliance.

In terms of licensing, Oracle are offering capacity-on-demand pricing for 11g Enterprise Edition for between 4 and 16 cores on per server node, and 2 to 16 cores for virtual environments. You do however have to balance the number of active cores on each Node.

UK pricing is yet to be confirmed, but is priced at $60,000 USD - including the storage shelf the unit itself, with a service contract price of $7,200 USD per year. For performance per price point, the X3-2 ODA has over 2.5 times the main memory, 3 times more flash capacity - and a whopping 40% more CPU performance. Compiling the stats and Oracle say you can expect twice the performance of the 1st gen ODA, and 50% more RAW storage capacity. If the amount of storage still isn't adequate then you can add another storage shelf for $40,000 USD.

There's a great deal of capacity and performance increase, for only 20% increase in hardware cost.