Stumbled upon this Dell’s article from 2001 — The Oracle Database Appliance by Dell: Architecture and Features. The idea of appliance-like platform for Oracle database is obviously not new but the latest implementation of Oracle Database Appliance makes the most sense from all previous attempts (comments are open below to disagree if you’d like).
What Dell called an appliance back in those days is basically suggested architecture based on several devices from Dell — the server, the database storage and the backup storage — coupled with Oracle 8i Database:
That wouldn’t qualify as a database appliance in my eyes but more like a reference configuration for a small/medium scale database deployment so I don’t think Dell got it right back then and that’s could be why the idea didn’t really take off. Any of the Oracle Validated Configurations (OVI) will qualify more for a database appliance because they specify exact configurations including versions of all software, firmware, patches, exact models and etc. I don’t want to say that OVIs should be called appliances — they are still far behind from ODA — but I just want to say that they are close than Dell’s 2001 database appliance attempt.
So what do we see 10 years later? Singe device, no fuss, everything pre-configured, Oracle RAC, simplified operations — dream of 2001 finally coming true?
Note that Dell did one thing better back then (well, at least some Oracle customers would agree) — they allowed the use of Oracle Database Standard Edition, which is not supported with Oracle Database Appliance as we know it today. I think this is the only thing missing to make ODA the database platform of choice for most of *small* deployments.