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PR336 / 14th October 1997

Oracle continues to demonstrate its lead in decision support solutions (DSS)
by announcing record-shattering results for the Analytical Processing
Benchmark-1 (APB-1). The Oracle Express Server, recognised for its power and
flexibility in business analysis applications, has now demonstrated the
fastest calculation and query performance results of any Online Analytical
Processing (OLAP) server.

Oracle Express is used by sales managers, marketing analysts, financial
analysts and general business managers to better understand their customers,
markets, products and financial performance.  

The APB-1 benchmark was developed by the OLAP Council in order to reduce
confusion in the market over contradictory vendor claims and to provide an
objective measure by which to judge vendor performance.  

"It's good news that a second OLAP vendor has run the standard APB-1
benchmark, particularly as Oracle has chosen an identical configuration that
allows the figures to be compared directly,'' said Nigel Pendse, lead author
of The OLAP Report ( "For too long now, OLAP vendors
have made extraordinary assertions about performance that they couldn't back
up. These results are a dramatic improvement on the first published run of
this benchmark. Now, any OLAP vendors claiming high performance must put up
or shut up.''  

Executing over 6.2 million query transactions per day, Oracle Express further
establishes itself as the premier OLAP solution. With this industry leading
technology, a sales manager, for example, could determine any number of
"what if?'' scenarios in a matter of minutes. This results in far greater
flexibility, allowing the business to react more quickly to business trends
and competitive situations, enabling implementation of strategic programs to
better drive the business.  

"The OLAP market is filled with lots of unverified hype making it difficult
for prospective buyers. As the OLAP market leader we thought it was
important to support the OLAP Council's efforts to establish a standard
benchmark on which OLAP Server performance could be objectively measured,''
said John Watton, DSS Marketing Manager, Oracle UK.  

Oracle's end-to-end run time of the APB-1 benchmark was more than five times
faster than current results posted earlier this year by Arbor Essbase on an
identical hardware platform. The actual measured results for Express were a
total elapsed time of 7606 seconds (2 hours and 7 minutes) versus 39,221
seconds (10 hours and 54 minutes) for Arbor. The benchmark has two phases:
data load and calculation, and query. In the first phase Express had an
elapsed time of 4,974 seconds (1 hour and 23 minutes) versus 18,222 seconds
(5 hours 4 minutes) for Essbase. This phase included sophisticated
calculations like multidimensional consolidations, cost allocation models
and forecasts.  

In the second phase, Express executed 250,000 OLAP queries in 2632 seconds (44
minutes) versus 20,999 seconds (5 hours and 50 minutes) for Essbase. The
overall result is a more than five-to-one performance advantage. In
addition, the storage space to represent the same information in Express was
one-third of the storage for Essbase. These results demonstrate the dramatic
performance advantage Express holds over Essbase in OLAP performance across
the full range of OLAP activities.  

Oracle performed the benchmark using Oracle Express Server 6.1 hosted on an
out-of-the-box HP NetServer. The server was equipped with 4 Intel Pentium Pro
200 MHz CPUs, 1 gigabyte of memory, and 20 gigabytes of disk storage accessed
through a single controller. The operating system was Windows NT 4.0. Tuning
the Express Server required setting only 5 configuration parameters. No
engineering assistance was needed from the platform vendor while Arbor claimed
extensive support and tuning from the vendor.  

     Total Time for Incremental Load and OLAP Calculations 4974 seconds  
     Total Time for 250,000 Queries 2632 seconds  
     Total Elapsed Time 7606 seconds  

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