PureApplication delivers expertise. Exalogic requires it.

In a recent interview Mark Hurd : IBM PureSystem is far behind Oracle, Oracle’s co-president offered the following reaction to the launch of IBM PureSystems:

Wow, so far, I only saw this thing in the newspaper. In my opinion, it’s just server + storage + a series of low-end platformfor integration and superposition, and it is even not a real integrated hardware/software system. Exa series of Oracle Exadata, Exalogic, Exalytics have a fully integrated solution with multi-level integration technology from the bottom to the top. Exadata’s DRAM, Flash, Infiniband, the column-type compression technology have not been seen in PureSystem. Oracle launched integrated hardware and software strategy which becomes the industry trends, other vendors are to imitate but can not do.

In short, the logic goes like this: Oracle “launched integrated hardware and software strategy”, is leading the industry and IBM is far behind. While the Exa series “have a fully integrated solution” the PureSystem “is even not a real integrated hardware/software system”.

Wow. Mark Hurd is arguing that IBM, who has been delivering integrated systems since the sixties, is far behind Oracle, who acquired Sun three years ago.

Fully integrated: Exa vs PureSystems

Let’s look at the facts. IBM announced two expert integrated systems in April 2012, PureFlex and PureApplication. These are single part number systems. They arrive integrated at the client site. Out of the box. Ready for deployment in hours, not days or weeks. Moreover, PureSystems are not just shipped integrated, they are integrated by design. A single pane of glass handles compute, storage, and network, as well as virtualization, updates, compliance, energy, and system management. No other tools required. Zero system downtime for capacity upgrades, system maintenance, software updates.

Contrast that to any of the Oracle Exa- products. You have to separately procure, install, configure, and manage the hardware (e.g. Exadata or Exalogic) and the corresponding software (Oracle Database, Oracle RAC or WebLogic Suite, Oracle Enterprise Manager, etc). For an in-depth analysis of one Exa “integrated system” try Exalogic – the emperor has no cloths!

It’s a distraction. Oracle claiming thought leadership appears as an attempt to obscure a fundamental gap between IBM PureSystems and the Exa series that goes far beyond integration.

PureSystems represent a new category of systems with IT operational expertise built right in for the average IT professional to leverage out of the box and simplify the IT experience throughout the entire system lifecycle.

Consider the PureApplication System, which you can think of as a platform-as-a-service delivered in a single system. It is fully Java and JEE compatible and it can run on average 98%1 of Oracle PL/SQL code unchanged. It arrives with integrated virtualization, provisioning, and policy-based elastic scaling. It includes built-in workload management and integrated system monitoring. Adaptive database compression can provide 7x or greater overall space savings2 and integrated analytics optimize SQL queries automatically.

PureApplication is designed to deploy applications 20-30X faster2 than traditional approaches through the notion of “patterns” which capture how experts have been deploying complex software configurations and allow you to apply that expertise by the click of a mouse.

Open and extensible. Every PureApplication arrives with out-of-the-box IBM patterns for deploying web applications, databases, and data marts. Pre-entitled. BPM, Portal, BI, SOA Policy, Messaging, and 80+ patterns from IBM and other software vendors are separately available at GA through the on-line catalogue. It also includes tooling to capture your own patterns of expertise.

On the other hand, Exalogic is designed for application logic only, offers no appliance-like simplicity, and offers no system virtualization. When you actually install software on it can be up to 88% more expensive than PureApplication3. Plus, of course, you would need to acquire, install, configure, and manage a separate database server. Exadata anyone?

In short, PureApplication delivers expertise. Exalogic requires it.

Watch Jerry Cuomo, IBM Fellow and WebSphere Chief Technology Officer, dive into the value and choices that PureApplication Systems present to Oracle middleware customers as well as highlight the fundamental gaps facing Oracle’s Exalogic offering during the Break Free Forum at Impact 2012.


1 Compatibility: based on internal tests and reported client experiences from July 2010 to July 2011.

2 Based on IBM internal tests and client experiences of IBM capabilities leveraged in PureApplication System. Results may not be typical and will vary based on actual configuration, applications, and other variables in a production environment. Contact IBM to see what we can do for you

3 Comparison is based on publicly available information as of 04/11/2011 for acquisition and 1Y maintenance/support of Oracle Exalogic X2-2 Quarter Rack hardware with Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software, WebLogic Suite, Oracle Enterprise Manager: WebLogic Server Management Pack Enterprise Edition and of IBM PureApplication System W1500-96, which provides comparable hardware infrastructure, middleware and management capabilities in one integrated system.

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