dimanche sept. 22, 2013

GRTgaz new Information System on Oracle SuperCluster

This testimony from Mr Sébastien Flourac, Head of Strategy for GRTgaz IT, concluded the last week SPARC Showcase event. Mr Flourac highlighted why he selected an Oracle SuperCluster, Engineered Systems, over a more traditional build it yourself approach, that he also studied.

Due to EEC regulation, GRTgaz a subsidary of GDF-Suez, has to be externalized including of course all its applications and existing IT in less than 2 years. But, of course, the current platforms are shared with other GDF-Suez services, which means for GRT gaz, that they have to build entirely a new platform to migrate their existing application with the lowest associated risks. As a major part of the technologies supporting GRT gaz applications was running on Oracle Database and Oracle Weblogic, either on IBM AIX or SPARC Solaris, GRT gaz had a closer look on what Oracle has to propose to simplify Oracle software on Oracle Hardware, compatible with the existing GRT gaz environment. And it became obvious to Mr Flourac that Oracle SuperCluster was the best fit for his project and for the future for several reasons.

Simplicity and lower cost

With Oracle Engineered Systems, all the complexity and cost of traditional build it yourself solutions has been taken care of at Oracle Engineering level. All the configurations and setup have been defined and integrated at all levels (software, virtualization and hardware) to offer the best SLA (performance and availability). This was concurring to simplify its externalization project, and was also bringing additional benefits on the storage layer for the future.

It was the best financial scenario in their project context.

Lower risks

Not only does the SuperCluster offer the best SLA by design. It also provides a very important feature in this complex applications migration : a full compatibility to run existing Oracle software versions. This was very important for Mr Flourac to avoid in his project to do both : migrate and upgrade.
It is also providing :

  • an integrated stack of Oracle Software and Hardware
  • an upgrade process tested by Oracle
  • a better support of the entire stack

Build for the future

Oracle SuperCluster provides to GRT gaz a consolidated, homogeneous and extremely scalable platform, which not only enable this externalization project but also will be able to host the new business requests.

With this new platform in place, Mr Flourac already knows that in the next phases he will be able to leverage additional integrated and unique features that running Oracle Softwares on Oracle SuperCluster provides:

  • Exadata integration and acceleration for Oracle Database starting with 11gR2
  • Exalogic integration and acceleration for Oracle Weblogic starting with 10.3.4

Of course the SuperCluster is a key enabler, but such a project requires also a team to manage the migration, the transition and the run. This is done through the support of Oracle ACS (transition), Fujitsu (migration) and Euriware (run).


T5-2 for high-performance financial trading

On this post, I will focus on the second testimony reported by François Napoleoni. Here,the goal was to select the next best platform to face the growth and upgrade of a financial trading application. The comparaison has been made between :
  1. T5-2, running Oracle VM, Solaris, Sybase and the financial application
  2. x86, running VMWare, Redhat, Sybase and the financial application

The decision criteria being :

  • Simplified architecture
  • Systems performance in real life (what has been tested and measured)
  • Platform stability
  • Single point of support
  • Leverage internal skills
  • Strong security enforced between the different virtual environments
  • ROI of the solution

For those of you understanding french, I will let you listen to this few minutes video below. And for the English readers, go through more details in this post.

Oracle VM virtualization on T4-4 : architecture and service catalog

Last Tuesday, during the SPARC Showcase event, Jean-François Charpentier, François Napoleoni and Sébastien Flourac delivered very interesting uses cases of deployment of latest Oracle Systems at work : Oracle VM virtualization project on T4-4, intensive financial trading on T5-2 and a complete Information System migration to Oracle SuperCluster.

I will start to cover in this post the main points that Jean-François Charpentier focus on to build a consolidated T4-4 platform, effective for his Business users.

Oracle VM virtualization on T4-4 Architecture

As often, Mr Charpentier had to handle existing environment, that needed to be taken into account when building this new virtual platform. First he had to be able to provide a platform that could consolidate all the existing environments, the main driver here being :

  • total memory requirement of existing asset
  • multi-tenant capability to share the platform securely between several different networks
  • comply to strong SLA

T4-4 was the best building block to cover them :

  • memory : up to 2 TB
  • multiple networks connection : up to 16x PCIe extension
  • Oracle VM built-in with redundant channels capability and live migration
  • Solaris binary compatibility to enable easy consolidation of existing environments

Overall Architecture Design

The deployment choice have been to setup 2x Oracle VM T4-4 clusters per sites as follow:


To cover his SLA requirements, Mr Charpentier built redundancy not only by providing multiple T4-4 nodes per Oracle VM clusters, but also at the Oracle VM itselfs. For Oracle VM, he chose to make redundant storage and network virtual access layer as display in the following 2 diagrams.

Oracle VM Virtual Mutlipathing with alternate I/O Domain


Oracle VM Virtual Network Access through IPMP


 All of this virtual network layer being link to different network back-bones, thanks to the 16x PCIe extension of the T4-4, as illustrated in the following diagram.


Another option could have been to deploy Oracle Virtual Network, to enable the disk and network access with only 2x PCIe slots at the server layer.

Oracle VM on T4-4 Service Catalog

Beside the architecture choice, that needs to comply with strong SLA. The development of a service catalogue is also very key to bring the IT toward a service provider. And it is exactly what have been put in place by Jean-François Charpentier, as follow :

 By putting in place this new virtual platform with its associated service catalog, Mr Charpentier was able to provide to his Business better agility thanks to easier and faster deployment. This platform has become the standard for all Solaris deployment for his business unit, and they expect to reach a 90% to 100% Solaris virtualization by 2014.

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Eric Bezille

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