Monday Feb 09, 2015

Oracle to Receive IEEE Milestone Award for SPARC RISC Architecture

The SPARC Architecture IEEE Milestone Plaque unveiling recognizing the technological achievements of the SPARC RISC Architecture for innovation and excellence will be held on February 13, 2015 at 11:00 a.m. in the lobby of the Clock Tower on Oracle’s Santa Clara Campus. The plaque unveiling will be preceded by a dedication ceremony in the Oracle Auditorium beginning at 10:00 a.m. Speakers will include IEEE 2015 President Howard Michel, John Fowler, Executive Vice President, Systems, Oracle, and Professor David Patterson along with others instrumental in shaping the success of this highly impactful technology.


A History of Record Performance and Mission Critical Enterprise Capabilities
Sun Microsystems first introduced SPARC (Scalable Processor Architecture) RISC (Reduced Instruction-Set Computing) in 1987. Over the course of its life, the SPARC processor architecture has powered millions of servers and workstations, and is still a leading and highly valued technology today.
Closely integrated with the Oracle Solaris operating system, Oracle's SPARC-based systems provide customers extreme performance to maximize the up-time and ROI of mission-critical enterprise applications and cloud services—at a fraction of the cost of mainframe computers. With a long history of record-breaking performance, SPARC-based systems have achieved over 450 record benchmarks, with 32 currently standing. Today, the SPARC processor family is used in Oracle's enterprise servers to create architectures that are optimized for a powerful mix of applications, from CRM systems and Java/Web middleware infrastructure applications to mission-critical ERP and backend OLTP/data warehousing enterprise applications that depend on high availability and scalability.

SPARC Innovations Continue
Building on over 27 years of innovations and a long list of "firsts," Oracle continues to engineer record-breaking SPARC-based systems running Oracle Solaris. As first announced at Hot Chips 2014, Oracle’s new and revolutionary Software in Silicon technology hardwires key software processes directly onto the processor. Software in Silicon accelerates functions running on special engines on the processor's silicon, separate from its cores, and speeds up application performance while retaining the overall functionality of the processor.  

To attend the SPARC Architecture IEEE Milestone Plaque unveiling please register here.

Tuesday Jan 27, 2015

Is Your Company Prepared to Thrive or Merely Survive?

When I speak with CIOs about what they're concerned with, I hear a lot of talk about staying competitive by leveraging IT to drive business transformation. In a recent survey of about 100 business leaders, Gatepoint Research found that organizations are turning to vendor-integrated hardware and software solutions to drive business transformation, while simultaneously achieving cost-effective performance, adaptability, and security goals. When asked how IT could better address business needs, respondents indicated that IT has to be integral to the business:

    •    67% of respondents stated that IT has to offer access to business-critical data in real-time
    •    61% say upgrades and new roll-outs have to occur seamlessly, stay out of the way
    •    57% say they must be confident of the system’s security


What do you think about these survey findings? Do they reflect what you're seeing in your own business? To read about the survey in more detail, you can download the Gatepoint Research white paper here.



In addition, I'll be talking on February 4 at 10:00 a.m. PT with Doug Barth, founder of Gatepoint Research and Aaron DeLosreyes, Senior Director of Oracle Technology Practice for Cognizant, about these findings and their implications during a webcast. I hope you can join us - information about the webcast is here: http://ora.cl/WuG.


Harish Venkat is Vice President of the Global Hardware Systems Business Group at Oracle Corporation. Follow him on Twitter @hvenkat1.

Wednesday Jan 14, 2015

The Internet of Things Will Be Huge, Is Your IT Infrastructure Ready to Support It?

IDC predicts that the worldwide IoT market will grow from $1.3 trillion in 2013 to $3.04 trillion in 2020 (1). IDC also states that within three years, 50% of IT networks will transition from having excess capacity to handle the additional IoT devices to being network constrained. (2)

As further evidence, analyst firm 451 Research reported an increase in M&A spending in 2014 that pushed 'Internet of Things'-related deal-making past the $14bn mark, a fortyfold increase in acquirer spending compared to 2013. (3)

This rate of growth cannot be ignored. IoT is inevitable and will create tremendous opportunity for a new wave of services built around connected devices. It will also pose challenges to IT and infrastructure leaders for the following reasons:
  • The volume of data that will come off devices will be enormous and capable of completely overwhelming network infrastructures.
  • IT infrastructures will need to support these vast amounts of data.
  • Solutions that aren’t fully integrated will fail to deliver needed data and analytic capabilities. All devices will need to be integrated with all other devices, so seamless integration of applications and technologies will be critical.
  • Realizing business value from IoT will be dependent upon scalable and flexible infrastructures that can integrate and secure data received from various components and devices.

How can you prepare? A good first step is to modernize IT infrastructures and upgrade legacy architectures. As is the case with other technology trends like mobile, big data, and social, IT needs to be agile and strongly aligned with the business. This means anticipating and responding to business needs quickly, providing real-time information that informs decision-making, and being scalable to support planned and unplanned growth.



What are you doing as an IT leader to prepare for this next wave of technology change?

If you want to see a short video about the growth of IoT, check out, “The Internet of Things: Managing the Complexity

Follow me on Twitter @hvenkat1.

Harish Venkat is Vice President of the Global Hardware Systems Business Group at Oracle Corporation.


(1) ‘Finding Success in the New IoT Ecosystem: Market to Reach $3.04 Trillion and 30 Billion Connected "Things" in 2020, IDC Says,’ press release, Nov. 7, 2014
(2) IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Internet of Things 2015 Predictions, Dec 2014, http://www.idc.com/research/viewtoc.jsp?containerId=252872
(3) “451 Research: Jump in M&A spending in 2014 pushes 'Internet of Things'-related deal-making past the $14bn mark.” PRWeb, Jan 6, 2015, http://www.prweb.com/releases/2015/01/prweb12424187.htm

Monday Dec 08, 2014

The Best Infrastructure for Your Private Cloud

There is still a Conventional Wisdom in IT that the way to architect private clouds is to use generic X86 servers, with open source software such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and virtualization software such as VMware. Oracle's technology creates a New Wisdom, in which a better infrastructure for building private clouds provides higher efficiency, more agility and flexibility, and ultimately better value.

Oracle's winning technology acts on three areas:

  • decreases the overhead on creating and running Virtual Machines (VMs), through a layered virtualization model
  • increases the number of VMs supported per server, while eliminating oversubscription, through processors with high hardware thread density
  • increases the agility and flexibility of managing Virtual Machine life cycle, while allowing for compliance guarantees

This blog entry describes in more detail how this is accomplished.

Thursday Dec 04, 2014

What Cloud Infrastructure Will Best Deliver?

Cloud computing is on every CIO’s mind right now, as enterprises continue their strong adoption of public and private clouds in an effort to increase agility and cost savings. When it comes to the ideal mix though, which public-, private- or hybrid-cloud infrastructure can best deliver? I asked this question to a lot of CIOs a couple of weeks ago when I spoke at the Wipro Leading Edge executive customer event in Prague, and I heard mixed responses.

According to a September 2014 Computerworld survey of IT executives in midsize to large enterprise organizations, enterprise usage of private clouds is growing faster than that of the public cloud.

Where do you think we’ll be in two years and what will be the mix? Do you plan to adopt a public, private, or hybrid cloud strategy?


Harish Venkat is Vice President of the Global Hardware Systems Business Group at Oracle Corporation.

Tuesday Dec 02, 2014

Oracle’s New Two-Socket x86 Servers with Oracle’s Unique NVM Express Design

Today Oracle announced the new Oracle Server X5-2 and Oracle Server X5-2L, based on the latest processors from the Intel® Xeon® E5-2600 v3 processor family, also known as the Intel Haswell-EP processors.  These are the most powerful two-socket servers we’ve ever made, and we are excited to share our most recent innovations. Both of these servers have been designed from the ground up for one purpose – to be the best two-socket servers for running Oracle software.

We have optimized the two servers for different Oracle workloads. Oracle Server X5-2 is ideal for running Oracle Database in a clustered configuration and also for high-density virtualization environments that require an optimal balance between core density, memory footprint, and I/O bandwidth. Oracle Server X5-2L, on the other hand, is the perfect platform for single-node databases and enterprise storage solutions requiring extremely reliability.

With Oracle Server X5-2 and Oracle Server X5-2L we introduce a new high-bandwidth flash technology known as NVM Express (NVMe). Using an Oracle-unique design, we are able to improve the bandwidth to each flash drive by over 2.5 times, compared to conventional SSDs. We achieved this by eliminating the SAS/SATA controller from the path completely.

By bringing four PCIe lanes directly to the NVM Express SSD itself, we are able to provide 32 Gb/sec bandwidth to each drive.  That’s over 2.5x the bandwidth when compared to the 12 Gb/sec pipe of a conventional SAS3 SSD.  And, along with the additional bandwidth, we eliminate the protocol conversion to and from SAS, further reducing latency and boosting performance of transactional workloads.

We were able to accomplish this bandwidth breakthrough and also use standard Small Form Factor (SFF) drives. Oracle’s NVM Express SSDs fit into the same drive bays as hard drives and conventional SSDs. For Oracle Server X5-2 and Oracle Server X5-2L, all of our 2.5-inch disk cages support up to four NVM Express drives in designated slots for a total capacity of 6.4 TB. These slots connect through the disk back plan to an internal PCIe switch.

Most importantly, we’ve engineered a way to make these flash drives hot-pluggable. This allows you to keep the server and database running even in the event of a NVM Express SSD replacement.

So why is this new flash technology so important when running Oracle software? For Oracle Database, our NVM Express flash technology is optimized to accelerate Oracle Database using a feature called Database Smart Flash Cache. This feature keeps recently accessed data warm in flash storage, reducing the chance that the database needs to fetch the data from slower magnetic media that may be direct attached or resident on a NAS/SAN fabric.  In addition to the high-bandwidth interface to the NVM Express SSDs, the flash technology itself has been engineered to be high-endurance and write-optimized for Oracle Database.

NVM Express can also be used to speed up Oracle Solaris and Oracle Solaris ZFS (the filesystem). By configuring ZFS hybrid storage pools to contain NVM Express SSDs, you can benefit from the tiered storage that is possible with the flexible storage options for Oracle Server X5-2L. ZFS will automatically maximize the storage performance by moving data between DRAM, NVM Express SSDs, and conventional hard drives.

To learn more about Oracle Server X5-2 and Oracle Server X5-2L, you can find additional information including data sheets and white papers here.

Josh Rosen is a Senior Principal Product Strategy Manager for Oracle’s x86 servers, focusing on Oracle’s operating systems and software. He previously spent more than a decade as a developer and architect of system management software. Josh has worked on system management for many of Oracle's hardware products ranging from the earliest blade systems to the latest Oracle x86 servers.

Tuesday Nov 25, 2014

The Best Virtualization and Life Cycle Management for Private Clouds

Virtualization started as a means for server consolidation in order to obtain better efficiency in IT infrastructure. Cost savings came from increased system utilization and reduced server hardware needed to support multiple workloads. However, as private clouds were increasingly deployed in modern data centers, there has been a sharp increase in the number of Virtual Machines that are managed. Many of these clouds have been architected with a hypervisor model supporting many operating system copies. This model actually creates issues of poor efficiency and high management overhead. In other words, IT managers are back again looking at the issue of how to improve the efficiency in their clouds. 

This blog entry describes how Oracle's layered virtualization model, and state-of-the-art life-cycle management, provides the ideal foundation for building efficient private clouds.


Tuesday Nov 18, 2014

Are Two HPs Better Than One?

HP recently announced plans to split into two separate companies. One company will target enterprise customers (data center infrastructures), the other will focus on the client side (consumers). This move has sparked a series of questions among financial and industry analysts alike: What will it mean to customers who currently hold enterprise agreements or other company-wide contracts with HP products and services? HP stated the goal to split the company was to become profitable again, however, very few details were provided around HP's planned execution. "This would not have been possible three years ago," Whitman said, referring to a proposal to spin off PCs in 2011.

Some analysts expressed skepticism about the latest move. Barclays analysts recently noted that the sudden announcement in 2011 was disruptive to HP's sales, its sales force and demand. "If the (latest) decision by HP isn't well communicated or is not well executed, the negative share shifts could be material," they said in a note. (footnote 1)

Also consider Oracle’s investment in R&D on average from 2010-2013 as compared to Hewlett-Packard’s:
Oracle FY12 $5.0B vs. HP FY12 $3.2B:
(footnote 2)

Oracle spent ~12% of revenue into R&D, contrast that with HP, which spent $3.2B/year on average from FY2010-FY2013, constituting a mere 2.6% of revenue.

And that is before this recent split. Will HP still have the same resources to spend on R&D in the future as it does today? With declining revenues for 11 of the past 12 quarters, the same leaders running the same businesses, and no details provided yet to fix their underlying problems, one could ask if this split was to meet the expectations of Wall Street. How exactly is this a win for customers and not just investors? How will HP cross-integrate and innovate now as two separate companies? It was not that long ago when HP touted the combined portfolio of its consumer and enterprise businesses as a competitive differentiator.

In contrast to HP, Oracle is clearly investing in R&D and continuing to innovate with expanded server and hardware offerings with published and committed roadmaps to ultimately SIMPLIFY IT and increase customer value.


Chart 1 source: http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/investor-relations/index.htm http://www.mercurynews.com/ci_23437659/exclusive-hp-hewlett-packard-slashed-rd-spending-fraction-norms
Chart 2 source: http://www.slideshare.net/Pronq/hp-mobility-perspective-at-hp-world-congress-2014
Footnote 1: http://www.reuters.com/article/2014/10/06/us-hp-restructuring-idUSKCN0HV0U720141006
Footnote 2: http://www.work-bench.com/blog/2014/09/03/analyzing-r&d-and-m&a-activity-by-legacy-tech-vendors/

Friday Nov 14, 2014

Are You (or Should You Be) Worried about Industry Disruption?

Innovation fueled by technology is laying the groundwork for new business models to disrupt industries and threaten established companies. Market dynamics influenced by mobile, social, big data, and the Internet of Everything are forcing businesses into an ‘adapt or die’ mode.



In the retail sector, Amazon not only dominates ecommerce, but has also reset expectations regarding affiliate programs, fulfillment, customer loyalty, and user experience. Tesla Motors has shaken the auto industry with electric cars sold directly to consumers rather than through franchised dealers. Airbnb’s community based travel service in 34,000+ cities is directly challenging the hotel industry. Twitter has changed the way we track news and consume media, providing a platform for global real-time communications. Other companies such as Uber, Square, Kickstarter, and 23 and Me are challenging the status quo in transportation, payment services, fundraising, and personalized medicine.

It seems that no industry is untouched. Yet, IT departments are so busy running the business that they can only spend 16% of their time transforming the business.

Being able to execute on innovative ideas and strategies will separate future industry leaders from laggards. And alignment of business objectives and IT infrastructure is key to a successful execution model.

I’ll be presenting this topic and speaking with global business executives next week in Prague at the Wipro Leading Edge conference.

Do you have any ideas to share? What dynamics in your industry are forcing companies to adapt and change? How will you keep up and what should you be watching out for?


Harish Venkat is Vice President of the Global Hardware Systems Business Group at Oracle Corporation. As leader of hardware strategy for both sales and product marketing, Harish is responsible for growing Oracle’s server, storage and engineered systems business. With a focus on helping customers optimize both business and IT in today's rapidly changing environment, Harish and his organization deliver integrated system and software solutions that drive business transformation. With nearly 20 years’ industry experience, Harish is recognized for the leadership, know-how and strong focus on customers that he brings to his current role.

Thursday Oct 23, 2014

Game Changing Innovation with Power8?

On Monday, October 12, IBM announced their first Power8-based enterprise class systems and yet still did not deliver the full realization of its 12-core Power8 processor, previewed by IBM in August 2013. Potential customers should also really consider IBM's lack of deep-level optimization, as compared to Oracle and SPARC.

By opening Power to partner co-development, IBM has lost much of its ability to retain control of deep-level optimizations. Consider that IBM agreed to pay Globalfoundries Inc. $1.5 billion to take an unprofitable chip-manufacturing unit off its hands. It now makes much more sense as to why IBM is investing in partner add-on capabilities through CAPI (Coherent Accelerator Processor Interface), such as chips from NVIDIA, instead of investing in its own software in silicon enhancements like Oracle. And while Oracle was busy acquiring Sun, Pillar, Xsigo and more, IBM was divesting its networking, hard disk, x86 server business and most recently their chip manufacturing unit. 


From a product feature standpoint, consider that CAPI lacks the true software in silicon (as Oracle is doing with SPARC/Solaris) approach and co-engineered Hardware + Software solutions (such as Oracle ECI Solution for SPARC), from a workload optimization and total business solution standpoint. Customers increasingly state that they want and need optimized solutions for their data centers to reduce complexity and simplify data center management, as well as resource utilization. They need this to drive their time to value; Oracle delivers. With CAPI, who is going to test, support, and optimize for key customer workload environments – IBM? NVIDIA?

Why Invest with Oracle?  

  • Oracle has proven massive investments in its hardware and software portfolios
  • Oracle Servers, OS, and Storage's publicly committed forward-looking roadmap
  • Oracle's full stack, including industry-leading software solutions, enabling deep integration with software in silicon that customers can leverage
  • Oracle enables your business transformation

What do you think? Are these game changing innovations from IBM?

Thursday Oct 16, 2014

SPARC and Solaris Leadership in Security

Oracle’s SPARC systems and Oracle Solaris OS are co-engineered to provide efficient secure technology. SPARC security uses hardware accelerators to deliver leading performance.

Oracle leads in providing encryption and policy-based key management that ensure data protection for cloud and virtual environments. Oracle has proved its dramatic security performance advantages through rigorous testing. In the cloud a huge amount data needs to be encrypted. For data at rest, AES block-level encryption is FIPS 140-2 certified to support U.S. government agencies. The end-to-end performance of all system components that make up a virtualized environment.

AES Security Performance (per chip)

Figure 1. SPARC T5-2 is 2.5x faster on AES-128-CBC versus the best x86 E5 v2 result (with AES-NI) and 4.6x faster versus the IBM POWER8 result.

This result demonstrates the superiority of Oracle’s SPARC T5 processors with Oracle Solaris for security and demonstrates the leadership SPARC servers provide in large-scale secure cloud environments. With Solaris 11.2 command compliance provides system assessments against security/compliance benchmarks and generates actionable reports.

SPARC Customer Successes
Large Mobile TeleCommunications Provider
utilizing the SPARC T5-2 server, Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center realized the benefits of the feature functionality of Oracle core technology and the RAS capabilities of SPARC/Solaris.

Global Investment Management Firm needed to provide a platform to meet business needs during spikes and growth and encryption to meet 2016 requirements. The customer consolidated from 60 servers to just a few racks of SPARC T5-2, T5-4 and T5-8’s to provide Infrastructure as a service.

SPARC T5-2 Server
Utilizing modular design architecture and powered by either one or two SPARC T5 processors—Oracle’s most powerful SPARC processors ever—the SPARC T5-2 server delivers exceptional single- and multi-thread performance. With 16 cores and 16 memory slots per SPARC T5 processor, the SPARC T5-2 server provides extreme compute density, with up to 32 cores and 1 TB of system memory within a 3U enclosure. Oracle has also proven that the SPARC T5-2 is the fastest server for Java applications, which is critical in many cloud deployments. The SPARC T5-2 is 1.8x faster than the best Intel 2-chip x86 E5 v2 Ivy-Bridge-based Cisco UCS C240 M3 server.

Conclusion
The SPARC T5 server running Oracle Solaris 11 automatically utilizes hardware accelerators for security. Combined with the Oracle virtualization technologies such as the Oracle VM Server for SPARC and Oracle Solaris Zones, which provide a low overhead, flexible, scalable, manageable and secure virtualization environment with no extra cost for customers that have Oracle premier support.

For more information about SPARC and Solaris performance, please visit http://www.oracle.com/benchmarks.



Benchmark Disclosures
1) SPARC, x86 and POWER8 security performance: https://blogs.oracle.com/BestPerf/entry/20130925_crypto_t5_2_x4 and www.ibm.com/developerworks/ibmi/library/i-ibmi-7_2-and-ibm-power8 (fig 2)
2) SPARC T5-2 114,492 SPECjbb2013-MultiJVM max-jOPS, 43,963 SPECjbb2013-MultiJVM critical-jOPS; Cisco UCS C240 M3 63,079 SPECjbb2013-MultiJVM max-jOPS, 23,797 SPECjbb2013-MultiJVM critical-jOPS.

Thursday Oct 09, 2014

SPARC It Up! M7 Promises Once in a Generation Innovation

Oracle's microprocessor received a lot of coverage at Oracle OpenWorld 2014. The extreme performance, efficiency and optimization gains will rewrite the rules for price and performance value, plus speed the time it takes to deploy technology. Masood Heydari, SVP of Hardware Development at Oracle, provided an update to the SPARC M7 roadmap, first revealed at the Hot Chips conference in August 2014.

Click here to view Masood's "SPARC Server Strategy and Roadmap" presentation.

Software in Silicon
Heydari explained, "The goal of our strategy is to make Oracle engineered systems running on SPARC the best systems on which to run Oracle applications, period. That means optimizing around the best execution environment, best reliability, best management, etc." He emphasized Oracle has innovated on this strategy by placing software functions directly into the processor, calling them "software in silicon," an Oracle phrase that’ll be repeated as products featuring M7 near release. This design approach is where specific software functions are performed in hardware, enabling applications and operations to run faster. For example;

SPARC will incorporate in-memory query acceleration engines that take over certain database search functions so that database queries "speed up query performance by 10x and spit out results at the speed of memory," according to Larry Ellison.

Ellison made his first public appearance as Oracle's CTO and executive chairman of the board. He talked about the importance of doing things differently when running a database in memory. "Within the acceleration engine is decompression. When you compress and decompress data, the ratio of reading the data is 10 to 20 times more frequent than loading the data in memory. The magic to speeding things up isn’t compression, but decompression. We're processing data that runs at 120GB/second. That's a shocking number," and equivalent to 64 CPU cores.  

The most important innovation in the M7 is its new memory protection features. The computer will notify the developer when an application is tampering with another application. This "always on" memory protection is hard-wired in the silicon to defend against memory violations, speeding up software development and resulting in more secure and available applications. 

"It means applications can only access the memory they're supposed to access. Otherwise, the hardware will stop them" Ellison said. "Even smart programmers make mistakes and those mistakes can be really hard to find. Those are some of the hardest bugs to find. The failures are intermittent; they're extremely hard to trap. They're extremely hard to trace. With memory protection, you can discover those bugs really early, so it saves you a fortune in finding really difficult bugs. But the cool thing about it is because it's in hardware, you can leave this memory protection on without paying any performance price."  

The upcoming SPARC M7 will be available across the Oracle server product line in 2015. Tell us, which M7 features or applications do you look forward to?  

To learn more about SPARC technology, click here.


Rick O'Herron is the director of content strategy in Oracle's brand communications team.   

Sunday Sep 07, 2014

Gartner Positions Oracle in Leaders Quadrant for Integrated Systems


This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The Gartner document is available upon request from Oracle.

Gartner, Inc. has named Oracle a Leader in its latest Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems. Gartner’s Magic Quadrant reports position vendors within a particular quadrant based on both their completeness of vision and their ability to execute.

The authors of Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems define integrated systems as “combinations of server, storage, and network infrastructure, sold with management software that facilitates the provisioning and management of the combined unit.”

The Gartner analysts listed six drivers for adopting integrated systems.

  • Improved performance
  • Perceived lower operating expenditure costs and greater IT optimization
  • Increased automation
  • Simplified sourcing and support
  • Faster time to value with infrastructure
  • Support in moving from IT maintenance to IT innovation

“Oracle is the only integrated systems vendor that architects, integrates, and implements the entire technology stack of hardware and software, so customers can simplify IT and focus on innovating in their core business,” says Steve Rudinsky, principal product marketing director for Oracle SuperCluster. “As a market leader, no other vendor offers the breadth of integrated systems portfolio, the level of intra-stack optimization, or the proven track record.”

Ability to Execute

When assessing the two main selection criteria for determining leaders, the Gartner analysts note, “The market for integrated systems is complex, with greater dependency on very specific topics. We have, therefore, added several sub-criteria to the standard list of criteria, to enable more accurate vendor assessment. For our assessment of Product/Service, we examine the degree of software integration available from the vendor or implementation partners, plus the vendor’s ability to deliver on road map promises. Sales Execution/Pricing examines both direct and indirect execution, as most integration system strategies are highly dependent on the role of local channel partners.”

Completeness of Vision

Reiterating their comments about the complexity of the integrated systems market, the authors added, “As with Sales Execution/Pricing, the Sales Strategy criterion for Completeness of Vision assesses both the direct strategy and the channel partner strategy. Offering (Product) Strategy focuses on the breadth of the total solution (including software integration), the investment in management tools and the technology portfolio breadth. Business Model examines the implementation services that are available through the vendor or channel partners, and the variety of solutions and use cases that can be addressed.”

Read Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Integrated Systems (June 16, 2014, ID:G00252466, Analyst(s): Andrew Butler, George J. Weiss, Philip Dawson).

Learn more about Oracle’s engineered systems and download the e-book Engineered for Extreme Performance.


About Gartner Research Publications
Gartner does not endorse any vendor, product, or service depicted in its research publications, and does not advise technology users to select only those vendors with the highest ratings. Gartner research publications consist of the opinions of Gartner’s research organization and should not be construed as statements of fact. Gartner disclaims all warranties, expressed or implied, with respect to this research, including any warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.

Oracle’s Software in Silicon


Earlier this month at the Hot Chips Symposium on High Performance Chips, Oracle announced its next generation M7 processor designed to supercharge in-memory computing. The 32-core M7, ‘the biggest and baddest SPARC processor that either Sun Microsystems or Oracle has ever created’, as referred to by Timothy Prickett Morgan of Enterprise Tech, will offer huge performance advantages and includes Software in Silicon features for Application Acceleration Support on each core.

Learn more about Oracle’s Software in Silicon strategy at Oracle OpenWorld 2014 in San Francisco (September 28-October 2) when Rick Hetherington, VP Hardware Development, discusses the latest advancements being made in SPARC to dramatically increase application performance, availability, and security. Rick’s session, ‘Oracle Software in Silicon Technical Deep Dive’ reveals the details on the next generation chip as told by one of Oracle’s most seasoned and respected processor architects. This is a ‘must see’ session for those companies interested in being the first to master and fully take advantage of these next generation technologies.

For details on all of the Oracle OpenWorld Server sessions, demos and labs see Focus On Oracle Servers.

Two Ways IBM Has Over-promised and Under-delivered with POWER8 to Date

IBM launched its first POWER8 systems in April 2014. So now that the dust has settled and the first systems have started shipping, let’s take stock of what IBM actually delivered with POWER8.

POWER8 Is More Than a Year Late
IBM has shown on previous roadmaps that it has a 3-year release cycle for new POWER generations. Following that cadence, IBM clearly missed its POWER8 release by more than a year, given that POWER7 systems started shipping the Spring of 2010 and the first POWER8 systems started shipping June 2014. 

Where Is AIX8?
We give IBM marketing credit for trying to re-spin a patched AIX7.1 (TL3 released November 2013) as their next generation OS, but the fact of the matter is that all IBM has added to the latest patch is basic enablement for the new hardware and rejigger their feature packaging a bit (e.g., more is now included in the higher cost enterprise edition of the OS).  

Further, there are few if any incremental functional improvements and no major new features planned even for its next impending patch release (TL4), which according to IBM’s AIX release history is still not yet available as of July 2014. However, the really critical point for anyone considering POWER8 is that AIX8 isn’t even on IBM’s public roadmap yet. Where is AIX8 and what exactly will IBM deliver?


FACT: AIX 7 TL3 last November just released “WPAR alt-disk install and rollback”. Solaris has provided similar technology, called Live Upgrade, since Solaris 10 was released in 2005.

FACT: Apparently per IBM’s roadmaps, AIX does not yet support SR-IOV, as it is shown as a future still, while Solaris has supported SR-IOV since 2010.

FACT: Consider all of the advantages Oracle just released in Solaris 11.2. Click here to see what’s new in 11.2. Just to give some examples…

  • Centralized cloud management with Oracle's OpenStack distribution. Integrated at the core of Oracle Solaris 11.2, deploy a private cloud instance in minutes instead of weeks.
  • Secure and agile application provisioning in the cloud with Unified Archives, a new archive format that allows total portability between bare metal and virtualized systems. Instant cloning in the cloud when you need it, to scale out or for reliable disaster recovery in emergencies.
  • No compromise virtualization with Oracle Solaris Zones enhanced. Oracle Solaris 11.2 brings an even greater level of flexibility with independent and isolated Kernel Zones.
  • Maintain SLAs with application driven Software Defined Networking, extending the network virtualization capabilities of Oracle Solaris. Elastic Virtual Switching ensures dynamic networks across your cloud environment with unprecedented agility.
  • Lower the effort of meeting compliance with an integrated and automated checking and report generation tool, reducing the time needed for compliance review by as much as 10x.
About

Oracle engineers hardware and software to work together in the cloud and in your data center. For more information about Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.

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