Offloading is the key differentiator of the Exadata platform and has sparked excitement with us since we laid hands on our first Exadata system. Offloading is what makes Exadata different from every other platform that Oracle runs on. The term offloading refers to the concept of moving processing from the database layer to the storage layer. It is also the key paradigm shift provided by the Exadata platform. But it is more than just moving work in terms of CPU usage. The primary benefit of offloading is the reduction in the volume of data that must be returned to the database server—one of the major bottlenecks of most large databases.