Larry Ellison used his entire keynote at Oracle OpenWorld to showcase the HP and Oracle Exadata "database machine" aimed at massive database sizes - see video here.
"In effect, query-handling intelligence has been
shifted from the database server to the storage server, which is closer
to the data itself. The move allows only results to be passed from
storage over to the database system, instead of blocs of data from a
voluminous table of a large, 100 Terabyte or 200 Terabyte database."