Oracle switches up software pricing for Exalytics appliance

A new In-Memory Software product offers more functionality, but at a separate cost

Oracle has introduced a new software package for its Exalytics high-performance analytics appliance that in some cases, will be mandatory.

The new product, Exalytics In-Memory Software, has a list price of $30,000 per processor license. It is "now mandatory for all valid configurations" of Oracle's BI (business intelligence) and EPM (enterprise performance management) software running on Exalytics, according to a company blog post Monday.

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However, it is not mandatory for Exalytics customers that are only running Oracle's Endeca information discovery software, according to the post.

Customers also have the ability to purchase the In-Memory Software product under a Named User Plus licensing model, with a minimum of 20 users. Those licenses are listed at $370 per user, providing a potentially more economical option for companies with modest needs.

Product features include Summary Advisor for Oracle BI Server, which "monitors Business Intelligence usage patterns, analyzes them and recommends the optimal data mart for best overall performance improvement," according to a data sheet.

Other features are related to improved page rendering, memory usage and TimesTen In-Memory Database for Exalytics, an in-memory cache that is also priced separately at $34,500 per processor.

On July 15, Oracle unveiled a next-generation version of the Exalytics hardware, but didn't call out the In-Memory Software product in its announcement. The product showed up on the latest version of Oracle's engineered systems price list, which is dated July 18.

Oracle's hardware revenue has declined since it got into the business with the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, but officials have maintained the company is focused on higher-margin products like Exalytics and Exadata. Customers also load the systems up with plenty of software licenses, giving Oracle both up-front revenue as well as ongoing maintenance streams.

To that end, the new In-Memory Software product carries licensing prerequisites, namely "Business Intelligence Foundation Suite, or Business Intelligence Foundation Suite for Oracle Applications, or Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus or Business Intelligence Suite Enterprise Edition Plus for Oracle Applications and/or Essbase Plus and/or Hyperion Planning Plus," according to Oracle's price list.

Oracle is also preparing to rollout a new engineered system focused on virtualization. A launch event is scheduled for next month.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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