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Oracle senior vice president Juan Loaiza took the stage at OpenWorld to provide more details of the next-generation Exadata X3 database machine, which CEO Larry Ellison announced on Sunday.

The X3 systems contain large amounts of DRAM and flash cache, allowing data to be held in-memory versus read off disks, increasing performance dramatically, according to Oracle.

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Since Exadata's release in 2008, there are now "thousands of deployed systems," ranging from petabyte-scale data warehouses to ones running transactional business applications from Oracle and SAP. About half of the Exadata installed base to date is using it for data warehousing, with the other half running OLTP (online transaction processing) workloads.

He also sought to show audience members that Exadata is relatively easy to deploy, bringing on an executive from PayPal who described how the company took its Exadata from a pilot project to a "business decision platform" in just 60 days.

X3 systems are available now for use with any application certified for Oracle Database 11g R2 and Real Application Clusters, according to a statement. They are also "fully compatible" with previous Exadata versions, allowing customers to upgrade to X3, Oracle said. Hardware pricing is the same as the previous generation but that doesn't account for the large amounts of separately licensed Oracle software the systems run.

They are available in full, half, quarter and eighth-rack configurations, with the last being a new option aimed at smaller companies.

Loaiza's remarks avoided competitive trash talk of the kind Ellison dished out on Sunday when unveiling X3. In particular, Ellison singled out rival SAP's HANA in-memory database platform, calling its capacity "very small" in contrast to Exadata X3.

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