Oracle president Mark Hurd appeared riled this afternoon on the subject of SAP HANA when, asked how yesterday's in-memory processing offering for Oracle Database 12c, he replied that customers considering SAP should "forget them", and said he chooses to "refute the thesis it's even a comparison".
Hurd's statements could have been in response to a video blog posted by SAP executive board member Vishal Sikka yesterday, soon after Oracle CEO Larry Ellison revealed the in-memory option.
"When I heard about Oracle's pre-announcement, my only thought for them was 'Mr Ellison, why did it take you four years after you called us wackos to do more of the same thing you have always done?'," said Sikka on the blog.
"Welcome to the party - the good news is you are now a believer in in-memory databases, but guess what? We have already changed the game. We are already onto the next frontiers," he said.
Today, Hurd told the press:
"I don't like it when Exadata [Oracle's on-premise database solution] or in-memory gets compared to SAP HANA, because I don't think they're comparable. So I think it gets popular in the way they promote it to say it's comparable to this or that.
"SAP HANA has to be programmed, what we told you about has nothing to with all that," continued Hurd.
"It's moving your current apps from here to there, and flipping the switch. All the magic is below the database layer. This thing of where you have to go and write a whole bunch of new software is very hard and very complicated. So I refute the thesis it's even a comparison."
Hurd said that he doubted an Oracle customer would be swayed from "the opportunity to simply flip a switch" to access an in-memory option, and advised those tempted to switch to SAP to "forget them".
When asked why it took so long for Oracle to come up with an answer to HANA, Hurd replied:
"You say we didn't have an answer - I didn't even know what the question was."
Hurd said it was important "nobody walks way from this thinking that the first time Oracle's had in-memory was last night's announcement."
He pointed out that an Exadata unit already contains 26TB of memory, 4TB of which is DRAM, and 22TB of which is flash.
"So we had in-memory long before HANA was a product," said Hurd.
Are you tempted to switch from SAP HANA after Oracle's latest product announcement at Oracle OpenWorld 2013? Let us know.