Back from the America's Cup, Larry Ellison (ORCL -0.6%) was his usual self during an Oracle OpenWorld speech, trash-talking rivals and promising upcoming Oracle products will blow away existing offerings.
Grabbing the most headlines: Ellison's boast that an expected in-memory version of Oracle's flagship 12c database will improve analytics query speeds by 100x, and transaction-processing rates by 2x, over a standard relational database. Ellison also stated customers will have to "just flip a switch" to turn a regular 12c database into an in-memory database.
The product is aimed squarely at archrival SAP (SAP -0.2%), whose market-leading Hana in-memory database is expected to post 2013 sales of €650M-€700M (that's up from 2012's €392M, but some think the figures are inflated). Though not applicable to all traditional database deployments, Hana is viewed as a long-term threat to Oracle's database cash-cow.
SAP has been busy expanding Hana's reach this year, adding support for its core Business Suite apps, expanding 3rd-party app support, and launching a Hana managed cloud service for migrating on-premise SAP apps.
Ellison also promised Oracle will launch a new high-end server, known as the M6-32 Big Memory Machine, for in-memory deployments; the server will support up to 32TB of RAM, and cost a hefty $3M. Oracle's hardware product sales fell 14% Y/Y in the Aug. quarter, easily missing guidance.
Also on tap: a database backup appliance and a related cloud backup/recovery service. By constantly receiving database logs and supporting restores to any log points, Ellison asserts the appliance is a better solution for databases than standard backup systems.