Tuesday Mar 30, 2010

How to Optimize Oracle Solaris Applications for Intel Platforms


Back in the day Sun was all about SunOS on SPARC.

Period.

The OS was optimized for the hardware and the hardware was designed to take advantage of the OS. If you wanted something else, you went somewhere else.

After a stuttering start, things changed, and the partnership between Intel and Solaris has been riding the updrafts for several years, now.

Here's the latest...


How to Optimize Oracle Solaris Applications for Intel Platforms

by Mike Mulkey

A technical guide for developers and sysadmins that explains how to use the capabilities of Solaris to optimize the scalability, performance, reliability, security, power efficiency, and virtualization of applications running on Intel's Xeon processor family (5600 and 7500 series).

A lot of work went into this paper, and it shows. It takes each major Solaris capability and describes how it has been optimized. For example ...

  • How Solaris enhances Intel multicore processor capabilities—up to 8 processor sockets, each with up to 8 cores and 2 threads per core—as well as Intel Hyper-Threading, QuickPath, and Turbo Boost technologies.
  • How Solaris Fault Management Architecture (FMA) integrates with the Intel Machine Check Architecture (MCA) Recovery features, enabling systems to automatically monitor, report, and recover from hardware errors to maintain data integrity and keep missioncritical applications and services online.
  • How Solaris takes advantage of the dynamic power management capabilities of the Intel processors.
  • How Solaris takes advantage of the latest Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT) features and enables the highest consolidation ratios.

Content:

  1. Introduction
    • The Oracle Solaris Ecosystem
    • Intel Xeon Processor 5600 and 7500 series
    • Oracle Integration
  2. Intelligent Performance
    • Memory Placement Optimization (MPO)
    • Intel Turbo Boost
  3. Automated Energy Efficiency
    • Power Aware Dispatcher
    • PowerTOP
    • Power Budgets and Power Capping
    • Always Running APIC Timer
  4. Reliability
    • Oracle Solaris FMA for Intel Xeon Processors
  5. Security
  6. Oracle Virtualization
    • Intel Virtualization Technology (Intel VT)
    • Oracle Solaris Virtualization Capabilities
    • Oracle VM VirtualBox
  7. Developer Tools Optimizations
  8. Oracle Solaris Studio
  9. Conclusion
  10. Resources
  11. Appendices

It's a great read.

- Rick

Tuesday Sep 29, 2009

What Have Sun and Intel Been Up To?

Synergy.

Intel has been developing hardware that takes advantage of the capabilities of Solaris, and Solaris has been optimizing its features to run on Intel platforms. Specifically, on the next-generation Intel Xeon processor.


Why should a sysadmin care? Because the capabilities that resulted from this collaboration will let you do get more work out of fewer resources while increasing reliability and saving energy.

Highlights:

  • Performance: the combination of Intel's Hyper-Threading Technology and the Solaris multi-threading capabilities work together to increase the performance of multi-threaded workloads while reducing power consumption.
  • Reliability: Intel's Machine Architecture Recovery feature works with the Solaris Fault Manager to detect memory and cache errors and correct them before they cause a fault.
  • Power Efficiency: Intel's Intelligent Power Technology allows system administrators to set policies for the optimal mix of processing power and energy use, or Solaris to optimize it automatically.
  • Flexible Virtualization: the OpenSolaris xVM hypervisor supports the virtualization capabilities of Intel's next generation Xeon processor, including network virtualization.

Details here:

- Rick

Monday Mar 30, 2009

Videos on Solaris for the New Intel Xeon Processor 5500 Systems

Check out the new videos about Solaris optimizations for Intel, e.g. the Power Aware Dispatcher that automatically monitors and optimizes your system to maximize performance while minimizing power consumption. Also, Intel's PowerTOP technology works with Solaris DTrace to let you monitor in real time how a system is taking advantage of new processor power-management features like Intel Turbo Boost. See Inside Engineering for more info.
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