Oracle’s New ZS3-2 Makes Me Reconsider…..

So when I say this new Oracle product made me reconsider, I don’t mean about the new Oracle storage system per se. The ZS range (ZFS as was) has been a very capable and improving storage system for a long while now. Sure, it had promise and interest when its basics were laid down at Sun, but under the Oracle TLC, that promise and interest has morphed to prowess and investment. But back to my reconsiderations; the fact is we all tend to labor under certain assumptions that we build up – often with increasing certainty, and sometimes in spite of the facts! – as we progress through life. I’d love to tell you I’m immune, but that would put me in a minority of one…

I’ll also bet that more than a couple of you reading this will also roll your eyes, lean back in your chair and whisper an exhaled “wow…I didn’t realize that” as you glance through my reconsiderations, because you were sharing some of the same perceptions about Oracle storage. So, here goes:

  • Sure, we’re willing to believe Oracle does decent enough storage, but it’s probably just good enough to be dragged along by, and support, the database software. Yes? Well, no. Next time you’re checking out SPC-2 benchmarks, take a look at the ZS3-2. Remember that this is the baby system in the ZS range (although it can reach 1.5PB and has up to a pretty nifty 1TB of DRAM and 16 TB of flash) but it beats some rather well known competitors by a mile. And don’t forget that SPC-2 is the price performance benchmark (not just a top speed measurement), so we’re not talking silly money to get the job done well.
  • Yeah, but Oracle – big and successful as it is – is like a black-hole death star, sucking users into its vendor lock-in grip. Err, well, turns out that the ZS3-2 offers extensive RESTful management APIs and – get this – not only plays nice in the Technicolor 3D All You Can Eat BOGO OpenStack Cinder world, but Oracle is actively contributing code to Cinder to boot (maybe some of those old Sun genes made it through after all!?)
  • Well, OK, but looking slightly broader than storage, Oracle has always stood alone as a world unto itself hasn’t it; great if you like it, but often swimming against the tide? One word – convergence. Or aggregation (OK, that’s a second word). The point is that many vendors are aggressiveley talking these two words but actually walking them via multiple components that could actually and defensibly be viewed – beneath the marketing veneer and system-level re-integration- as increasingly disaggregated! Oracle has arguably and defensibly one of the best convergence stories out there! Wherever the tide is headed, Oracle is certainly on a good wave.

I guess any successful company has to be flexible to continue its success in a dynamic world and demanding market. And I realized – as I listened to the ZS3-2 announcement details – that sometimes I forget Oracle actually knows that too! Like eating healthily and getting some exercise I am going to add reconsideration to my list of intentional traits….

Topics: Storage IT Infrastructure