Why pay extra for an in-memory performance boost?
That's the question posed by Microsoft as the company announced the release of SQL Server Migration Assistant (SSMA) 6.0 for Oracle. The free tool enables organizations to migrate existing Oracle databases to SQL Server 2014, letting customers leverage "proven in-memory technology without costly add-ons" for responsive applications and near-instant business analytics, boasted Microsoft in a statement.
Oracle unveiled its new 12C Database In-Memory Option on June 10. In an interview with eWEEK's Chris Preimesberger, Oracle Executive Vice President for Database and Server Technologies Andrew Mendelsohn called the offering "every bit as fast as SAP HANA," a rival in-memory database platform from the German business software provider.
"There's no published benchmark, but you'll see us do demos of scanning billions of rows per second with a single core [processor], and when you parallelize that, you can see the scale that can happen across multiple cores or servers," he added. Pricing has not been released ahead of this month's launch.
In-memory processing is also one of the hallmark features of the latest edition of Microsoft's database. "This release completely brings in-memory capability to all [workloads]—OLTP, data warehousing and business intelligence," stated CEO Satya Nadella during the product's official launch on April 15. (The database has been generally available since April 1.)
As a result, organizations can leverage terabytes worth of dynamic RAM to bypass comparatively slower data storage systems and components to improve the performance of enterprise applications. "In-memory technology has been allowing users to manipulate millions of records at the speed of thought, and scaling analytics solutions to billions of records in SQL Server Analysis Services," stated Quentin Clark, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Data Platform Group, during the SQL Server 2014 launch.
Now Microsoft is rolling out the red carpet—and smoothing away any bumps—for Oracle shops. In a blog post, the company's SQL Server Team boasted that SSMA 6.0 "greatly simplifies the database migration process." The software supports migration from Oracle 9i or later to SQL Server 2005, SQL Server 2008, 2008 R2, 2012 and SQL Server 2014.
"SSMA automates all aspects of migration, including migration assessment analysis, schema and SQL statement conversion, data migration as well as migration testing to reduce cost and reduce risk of database migration projects," they wrote. Other perks include "automatically moving Oracle tables into SQL Server 2014 in-memory tables, the ability to process 10,000 Oracle objects in a single migration," added the company.
SQL Server is increasingly helping Microsoft drive commercial revenues, according to Nadella. During a recent fourth-quarter earnings call, he said the company "had another breakout year" with the release of SQL Server 2014. "And we grew our SQL business by more than 19 percent," he added.
Although they remain competitors, Oracle and Microsoft have found common ground in the cloud. Earlier this year, the companies kicked off license-included Oracle virtual machines for Azure, Microsoft's cloud computing platform.