Oracle has certified its own Database 19c Enterprise Edition for ARM architecture. At least, the database can now be run specifically on Ampere processors. This makes the alternative to the ubiquitous Intel Xeons in data centres a bit more attractive.
In the press release, Oracle states that Database 19c Enterprise Edition is available on ARM on both a cloud and on-prem basis. It talks about a “highly economical price point.” Since database workloads are critical to running dependent applications quickly, any performance improvement is welcome to avoid bottlenecks.
On paper, ARM offers many advantages over the architecture found in AMD and Intel chips for data centers. For example, it is much more efficient and therefore cheaper. Oracle itself states that Database 19c costs only half as much to run on an Ampere Altra processor versus the competition thanks to its low Core Factor. However, it speaks volumes not to refer to ARM’s popularity in the cloud, but in other devices: 180 billion processors of this nature are said to be in everything from phones to IoT sensors.
Specifically, the market share of ARM architecture in the cloud is growing, but still quite limited. For example, in the middle of last year it represented 7.1 percent of the total market , according to DataCenter Knowledge.
Migration and Access
As compelling as the story around ARM may be, many organizations will question migrating to a completely different architecture. Oracle also has a stake in making ARM successful thanks to its investments in chipmaker Ampere.
In this area, Oracle states that Oracle Recovery Manager (RMAN) can back up and transfer databases without harming them. In addition, all the features of the conventional Database 19c version are available on ARM. So ultimately it is the software layer from Oracle that can bridge the compatibility gap.
The company also wants to provide more access for open-source developers, universities and industry partners. So it offers OCI Arm Accelerator, which provides one year of free access to Oracle Database Service on OCI Ampere A1, OCI Ampere A1 Compute and other OCI services. At least, it also talks about credits to be used up, and if that happens before the year is up, one loses the free access.
Also read: Oracle introduces free Oracle 23c database