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.

Wednesday Aug 13, 2014

U.S. Army Achieves Huge Performance Boost and Cost Savings with Oracle SuperCluster

The U.S. Army AL&T Magazine has published an excellent article called "PBUSE PLUS, CECOM Web-based logistics server solution creates property book system efficiency".  This article discusses the U.S. Army's deployment of Oracle SuperCluster and includes a number of key success metrics that we think are excellent examples of the results that Oracle SuperCluster customers regularly experience.

  • The decision to acquire the Oracle SuperCluster to replace the PBUSE server architecture was a response to severe server problems in accommodating an increasing PBUSE mission workload.
  • To date, the system supports 40,478 active Army, Reserve and National Guard users, averaging 34,750 transactions daily for on-hand assets valued at $212 billion.
  • User requests travel within the cloud operating system as much as 32 times faster than with the legacy PBUSE system it replaced.
  • The PBUSE SPARC SuperCluster takes up one third of the space of the previous six racks, uses a fraction of the power and vastly improves speed and efficiency.

To read more, visit the U.S. Army AL&T Magazine article directly.

[Read More]

Wednesday Jun 11, 2014

Oracle’s New Memory-Optimized x86 Servers: Getting the Most Out of Oracle Database In-Memory

With the launch of Oracle Database In-Memory, it is now possible to perform real-time analytics operations on your business data as it exists at that moment – in the DRAM of the server – and immediately return completely current and consistent data. The Oracle Database In-Memory option dramatically accelerates the performance of analytics queries by storing data in a highly optimized columnar in-memory format.  This is a truly exciting advance in database technology.

As Larry Ellison mentioned in his recent webcast about Oracle Database In-Memory, queries run 100 times faster simply by throwing a switch.  But in order to get the most from the Oracle Database In-Memory option, the underlying server must also be memory-optimized.

This week Oracle announced new 4-socket and 8-socket x86 servers, the Sun Server X4-4 and Sun Server X4-8, both of which have been designed specifically for Oracle Database In-Memory.  These new servers use the fastest Intel® Xeon® E7 v2 processors and each subsystem has been designed to be the best for Oracle Database, from the memory, I/O and flash technologies right down to the system firmware.

Amongst these subsystems, one of the most important aspects we have optimized with the Sun Server X4-4 and Sun Server X4-8 are their memory subsystems.  The new In-Memory option makes it possible to select which parts of the database should be memory optimized.  You can choose to put a single column or table in memory or, if you can, put the whole database in memory.  The more, the better.  With 3 TB and 6 TB total memory capacity on the Sun Server X4-4 and Sun Server X4-8, respectively, you can memory-optimize more, if not your entire database.  


Sun Server X4-8 CMOD with 24 DIMM slots per socket (up to 192 DIMM slots per server)


But memory capacity is not the only important factor in selecting the best server platform for Oracle Database In-Memory.  As you put more of your database in memory, a critical performance metric known as memory bandwidth comes into play.  The total memory bandwidth for the server will dictate the rate in which data can be stored and retrieved from memory. 

In order to achieve real-time analysis of your data using Oracle Database In-Memory, even under heavy load, the server must be able to handle extreme memory workloads.  With that in mind, the Sun Server X4-8 was designed with the maximum possible memory bandwidth, providing over a terabyte per second of total memory bandwidth.  Likewise, the Sun Server X4-4 also provides extreme memory bandwidth in an even more compact form factor with over half a terabyte per second, providing customers with scalability and choice depending on the size of the database.

Beyond the memory subsystem, Oracle’s Sun Server X4-4 and Sun Server X4-8 systems provide other key technologies that enable Oracle Database to run at its best.  The Sun Server X4-4 allows for up 4.8 TB of internal, write-optimized PCIe flash while the Sun Server X4-8 allows for up to 6.4 TB of PCIe flash.  This enables dramatic acceleration of data inserts and updates to Oracle Database.  And with the new elastic computing capability of Oracle’s new x86 servers, server performance can be adapted to your specific Oracle Database workload to ensure that every last bit of processing power is utilized.

Because Oracle designs and tests its x86 servers specifically for Oracle workloads, we provide the highest possible performance and reliability when running Oracle Database.  To learn more about Sun Server X4-4 and Sun Server X4-8, you can find more details including data sheets and white papers here.


Josh Rosen is a Principal Product 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 Jun 10, 2014

The Ideal Platform for Oracle Database 12c In-Memory and in-memory Applications

Oracle SuperClusterOracle's SPARC M6 and T5 servers, Oracle Solaris, Oracle VM Server for SPARC, and Oracle Enterprise Manager have been co-engineered with Oracle Database and Oracle applications to provide maximum In-Memory performance, scalability, efficiency and reliability for the most critical and demanding enterprise deployments. The In-Memory option for the Oracle Database 12c, which has just been released, has been specifically optimized for SPARC servers running Oracle Solaris.


The unique combination of Oracle's M6 32 Terabytes Big Memory Machine and Oracle Database 12c In-Memory demonstrates 2X increase in OLTP performance and 100X increase in analytics response times, allowing complex analysis of incredibly large data sets at the speed of thought. Numerous unique enhancements, including the large cache on the SPARC M6 processor, massive 32 TB of memory, uniform memory access architecture, Oracle Solaris high-performance kernel, and Oracle Database SGA optimization, result in orders of magnitude better transaction processing speeds across a range of in-memory workloads.

[Read More]

Tuesday Jun 03, 2014

Oracle’s Sun Server X4-8 with Built-in Elastic Computing

We are excited to announce the release of Oracle's new 8-socket server, Sun Server X4-8. It’s the most flexible 8-socket x86 server Oracle has ever designed, and also the most powerful. Not only does it use the fastest Intel® Xeon® E7 v2 processors, but also its memory, I/O and storage subsystems are all designed for maximum performance and throughput. Like its predecessor, the Sun Server X4-8 uses a “glueless” design that allows for maximum performance for Oracle Database, while also reducing power consumption and improving reliability.

Sun Server X4-8

The specs are pretty impressive. Sun Server X4-8 supports 120 cores (or 240 threads), 6 TB memory, 9.6 TB HDD capacity or 3.2 TB SSD capacity, contains 16 PCIe Gen 3 I/O expansion slots, and allows for up to 6.4 TB Sun Flash Accelerator F80 PCIe Cards. The Sun Server X4-8 is also the most dense x86 server with its 5U chassis, allowing 60% higher rack-level core and DIMM slot density than the competition. 

There has been a lot of innovation in Oracle’s x86 product line, but the latest and most significant is a capability called elastic computing. This new capability is built into each Sun Server X4-8.  

Elastic computing starts with the Intel processor. While Intel provides a wide range of processors each with a fixed combination of core count, operational frequency, and power consumption, customers have been forced to make tradeoffs when they select a particular processor. They have had to make educated guesses on which particular processor (core count/frequency/cache size) will be best suited for the workload they intend to execute on the server.

Oracle and Intel worked jointly to define a new processor, the Intel Xeon E7-8895 v2 for the Sun Server X4-8, that has unique characteristics and effectively combines the capabilities of three different Xeon processors into a single processor. Oracle system design engineers worked closely with Oracle’s operating system development teams to achieve the ability to vary the core count and operating frequency of the Xeon E7-8895 v2 processor with time without the need for a system level reboot. 

Performance Chart

Along with the new processor, enhancements have been made to the system BIOS, Oracle Solaris, and Oracle Linux, which allow the processors in the system to dynamically clock up to faster speeds as cores are disabled and to reach higher maximum turbo frequencies for the remaining active cores. One customer, a stock market trading company, will take advantage of the elastic computing capability of Sun Server X4-8 by repurposing servers between daytime stock trading activity and nighttime stock portfolio processing, daily, to achieve maximum performance of each workload.

To learn more about Sun Server X4-8, you can find more details including the data sheet and white papers here.

Josh Rosen is a Principal Product 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.

Friday May 02, 2014

SPARC and Solaris Leadership in the Cloud

Oracle’s SPARC systems and Solaris OS are co-engineered to provide efficient virtualization technology. SPARC virtualization is “Built into Firmware” which reduces costs and improves performance.

Oracle has proved its virtualization performance advantages through rigorous public testing. SPEC1, the performance standards group, defined the SPECvirt_sc2010 benchmark to uniformly measure the end-to-end performance of all system components that make up a virtualized environment. The SPECvirt_sc2012 benchmark is a good indicator of virtualization performance, which is critical for any cloud environment.

Virtualization Performance


Figure 1. SPARC T5-2 is 2.3x faster in the SPECvirt_sc2010 benchmark versus the best VMware result on an HP BL620c G7 two-processor x86-based blade server.

Oracle’s SPARC T5-2 server running Oracle Solaris 11 delivered a two-socket world-record SPECvirt_sc2010 result of 4270 @ 264 VMs. This result demonstrates the superiority of Oracle’s SPARC T5 processors with Oracle Solaris virtualization and demonstrates the leadership SPARC servers provide in large-scale environments.

SPARC Customer Successes

Large Communications Provider utilizing the Oracle Optimized Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure, running on SPARC T5 Servers, realized 2.5x faster virtual server deployment versus bare metal for faster time-to-user and administrative productivity.

Regional Water Company realized 7x better cost/performance for virtualized Java, and 2x faster data warehouse performance and order-entry transactions than IBM running Oracle Solaris, Database, Applications and Middleware on SPARC T5 servers with Oracle VM for SPARC versus competitive systems.

Oil and Gas Company running Oracle Database, PeopleSoft, and SAP on Oracle SPARC T5 servers achieved 3x faster provisioning of new services and OPEX savings of $2.8M using Oracle VM for SPARC.

Oracle 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.2

Conclusion
The SPARC T5 server running Oracle Solaris 11 utilizes embedded virtualization products, such as the Oracle VM Server for SPARC and Oracle Solaris Zones, which provide a low overhead, flexible, scalable and manageable 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) SPEC and the benchmark names SPECvirt_sc are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). Results from http://www.spec.org as of 3/6/2014. Solaris SPARC T5-2, SPECvirt_sc2010 4270 @ 264 VMs; VMware ESXi4.1 HP Proliant BL620c G7, SPECvirt_sc2010 1878 @ 120 VMs.

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.


This blog post is provided for information purposes only, and the contents hereof are subject to change without notice. This post is not warranted to be error-free, nor subject to any other warranties or conditions, whether expressed orally or implied in law, including implied warranties and conditions of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. We specifically disclaim any liability with respect to this document, and no contractual obligations are formed either directly or indirectly by this post. This post may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without our prior written permission.

Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners.

Intel and Intel Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. AMD, Opteron, the AMD logo, and the AMD Opteron logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group.

Friday Apr 25, 2014

Is IBM POWER8 a Smart(er) Choice?


On Wednesday, April 23, IBM announced new POWER8 systems at the OpenPower Forum. But IBM customers might be disappointed, as it appears that IBM is shifting its strategic R&D focus to Linux on POWER. IBM recently stated that they will “significantly reposition POWER8” and that they are trying to displace x86 with POWER8 in hyperscale/scale-out data center deployments. IBM seems to be re-aligning POWER8 to cover lost ground since it decided to de-invest in x86 entirely, while Oracle has instead adopted the strategy of adding/building value for enterprise environments and adding functionality to enhance customer experience (our software in silicon with SPARC processors, Oracle Solaris enhancements and Engineered Systems as examples). Ultimately IBM's strategy may lower the starting price, but IBM may not be able to sustain the model nor add significant net-new value longer term with POWER or AIX.

This represents a major shift in strategy and potentially a reduced investment in POWER AIX for the enterprise.

IBM’s hardware business is in a state of major transition. Is hardware even strategic to IBM? 

"They used to be a leader. Now they sell one business after the next. That is not a way to grow," said Fred Hickey, editor of The High-Tech Strategist newsletter who has followed IBM for 30 years. There is clear evidence that IBM is reducing investment in  hardware:

  • IBM sold their PC and Workstation business to Lenovo in 2005
  • IBM just closed their deal to sell off its x86 server business to Lenovo
  • IBM has retained Goldman Sachs to find a buyer for their chip fabrication facilities
  • IBM delivered only two POWER updates in the last four years
  • IBM doesn’t have a public POWER roadmap beyond POWER8 and AIX8

On the other hand, Oracle is doubling down on integrated hardware and software investments to support a long-term innovation roadmap and increased customer value:

  • Oracle increased investment in SPARC and Oracle Solaris delivering five generations of SPARC processors in four years, and doubling performance with each release
  • Oracle plans to release Solaris 11.2 next week, the world’s first cloud operating system coupled with the benefits of advanced virtualization, software-defined networking, and OpenStack integration
  • The SPARC roadmap now shows three future generations of SPARC processors through 2019
  • Oracle continues to invest heavily in a broad portfolio of Engineered Systems to simplify IT

Lots of Unanswered Questions
IBM leaves a lot of unanswered questions on what is going to happen next and whether its new strategy will add any real value:

  • IBM’s POWER strategy is complex and unclear with its new focus in the entry/scale-out market vs. the enterprise. What do current AIX/POWER customers do?
  • Can IBM and the OpenPOWER consortium deliver value with a complex multi-year effort to build a new ecosystem around design, manufacturing and software for the x86/scale out segment?
  • IBM is offering customers new hardware for Linux. What are the bottom line costs and benefits for migrating Linux applications running on x86 to POWER8? What is the value for Linux on POWER over x86? 
  • How does IBM plan on implementing future hardware/software optimization, i.e., PureSystems and PureFLEX, while at the same time pursuing a purely OpenStack model for POWER8? For that matter, what is IBM’s current strategy for PureSystems, given that it did not announce POWER8 Flex nodes and did not mention PureSystems at its recent earnings?

Given this radical new strategy and all the surrounding uncertainty and potential risk, do customers really want to continue to invest in POWER8 and AIX?

Stay tuned for more analysis, as IBM reveals more details about POWER8.


The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Friday Apr 04, 2014

Abu Dhabi Police Implements Oracle SuperCluster T5-8 for Oracle E-Business Suite

Abu Dhabi Police has been working on revamping their IT infrastructure to bring the best-in-class technologies. They selected Oracle SuperCluster T5-8 to implement a large-scale consolidation of Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Enterprise Database instances, consolidating data center environments for rapid deployment. Oracle SuperCluster T5-8 was the optimal, integrated solution. Abu Dhabi Police decided on an "Oracle on Oracle" approach--running Oracle software on Oracle hardware--which provided Oracle Database RAC, Solaris zone clusters for Oracle E-Business Suite, migration of database to 111gR2 database instances, and supporting applications. Oracle Consulting Services managed the complete end-to-end migration.


The work done in this project demonstrates how Oracle software on Oracle hardware delivers a compelling value proposition to customers that are seeking to run their most critical processes with the lowest risk, while having the best total cost of ownership in the market. Abu Dhabi Police is implementing a complete and high-level model that will enable them to be ready for future growth, hosting all their existing database instances and applications.

Oracle identifies, integrates, and conducts full Oracle stack testing, resulting in documented practices for deployment and Oracle E-Business Suite tuning. This has been tested to result in up to a 3x reduction in data center footprint as compared to the competition, and reduce total cost of ownership by up to 3x.

What benefits can you derive from running Oracle software on Oracle hardware?


Christine Kipp (christine.kipp@oracle.com) is a Principal Product Manager at Oracle. She has 20 years' experience with Solaris/UNIX working for Oracle and Sun Microsystems, managing high-end super computing and networking technology. She launched the highest performance Oracle SuperCluster Engineered System to market, and meets with customers to articulate technology and implementations of Oracle SPARC and Exadata, which are engineered and integrated for optimal performance on Oracle software.

Wednesday Mar 19, 2014

What's the #1 Ranked Tape Library? The Results May Surprise You...

Having been working in the IT industry for 27 years, I’ve seen my share of outrageous vendor claims. In fact, it is one my biggest pet peeves about our industry. How many times have you seen XYZ vendor claiming their solution is “industry leading”, “best-in-class”, “world class” or “leading edge” without providing any empirical evidence to back up that claim. Worse yet, I’ve seen claims (from vendors not to be mentioned here) of 3x, 4x or 10x faster, bigger, or otherwise “better” than the competition with no report, benchmark test or third-party source credited. It happens all the time and it begs the question, if it comes from the vendor, not an independent third party, why would a potential customer believe it?

That’s why I’m proud to say that DCIG, whose tagline is “empowering the IT industry with actionable analysis,” recently ranked #1 the Oracle StorageTek SL8500 enterprise tape library in their 2014 Big Data Tape Library Buyer’s Guide. According to DCIG:

“The Oracle StorageTek SL8500 is truly a 'Big Data' offering engineered to handle tremendous volumes of data.”

DCIG uses a rigorous 8-step evaluation process to arrive at their recommendation(s). This year, DCIG evaluated 42 tape libraries from eight different vendors and classified them into five categories:

  • Best-in-class (bestowed upon a single product)
  • Recommended
  • Excellent
  • Good
  • Basic

I particularly like the DCIG analysis because it makes a strong effort to evaluate its subject matter from the perspective of the customer. As stated in the report’s executive summary, the DCIG 2014 Big Data Tape Library Buyer's Guide accomplishes the following objectives:

  • Provides an objective, third-party evaluation of tape libraries that weights, scores and ranks their features from an end-user’s viewpoint

  • Scores and ranks the features on each tape library based upon criteria that matter most to end-users, so they can quickly know which tape libraries are the most appropriate for them to use and under what conditions”

So, if you want the inside scoop from an independent third-party on why the Oracle StorageTek SL8500 was ranked the #1 Big Data tape library and superior to offerings from IBM, HP, and Spectra Logic, then click here.

Thursday Feb 27, 2014

Migrate from AIX to Oracle Solaris in 4 Easy Steps

Do you fear migration downtime for your always-on applications and increase in already long IT projects backlog? Overdue for an upgrade on your AIX/Power systems running Oracle technology and/or Oracle applications?

Simplify the Migration of Oracle Database and Oracle Applications from AIX to Oracle Solaris is a new white paper that explains in detail how to move from AIX to Oracle Solaris. It also has published results of Oracle Database migrations from AIX to Solaris, including the effort, duration, and benefits from actual systems migrations. Hear first-hand from customers who have simplified operations and benefited from UNIX advantages, by moving off IBM AIX systems onto Oracle’s cutting edge Oracle Solaris-powered platforms.

In four simple steps, you can migrate from AIX to Oracle Solaris and take advantage of Oracle’s “Hardware and Software Engineered to Work Together” to reduce cost, risk and improve the productivity of your application and business systems.

To learn more on AIX to Solaris Migration, visit oracle.com/aixtosolaris.

Cut! A Quick Take on the Storage Challenges in Media & Entertainment

With the Academy Awards coming up this weekend, I can’t help but think about how much the motion picture industry has changed over the last 10 years, especially from a production and technology perspective. The transition to digital film making has had a transformational impact on the industry. The onslaught of HD digital cameras and digital technology in the post production workflow has not only overtaken the motion picture industry, but it has also transformed the video production and broadcast segments.

The transformation to an all-digital workflow, from content creation, with seamless blending of live action footage and computer-generated imagery, to content delivery and finally to digital archives is now nearly complete. For example, try to find a new analog camera on display at the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in April in Las Vegas. They will be hard to find. 

Shooting with HD and newer UltraHD digital format cameras means huge digital files, creating a new set of storage problems. Most media workflow architects and archivists will tell you that current digital storage solutions are struggling to keep up. Consider this:


    • Some of the latest HD cameras produce up to 85TB of data throughout a 24 hour shoot; and these “dailies” need to be backed up, essentially doubling the amount of storage
    • The 3D movie Avatar used over one Petabyte of storage; industry experts predict that future feature-length digital motion pictures will consume an Exabyte of storage from initial capture to final cut

    So, where will all this data be stored? On efficient and economic digital tape, of course. At Oracle, we recently announced two new storage technologies—the StorageTek T10000D tape drive and Linear Tape File System--that are being embraced by the Media & Entertainment industry. Our StorageTek T10000D tape technology is the highest capacity storage technology available today. At 8.5TB per cartridge, it is more than 2x the capacity of today’s 4TB disk drives. And due to its unique scalability, discrete cost and power/cooling advantages, tape storage (at scale, re: petabyte[s]), carries a total cost of ownership (TCO) that is 26x lower than conventional disk storage.  

    In addition, the T10000D supports the Linear Tape File System (LTFS) format, which enables users to easily access files on tape just like a thumb drive or a NAS device. LTFS is popular across the film, video and broadcasting segments. In fact, the StorageTek T10000D with LTFS recently won Best Professional Media and Entertainment Class Archive Storage at the 2014 Storage Visions Conference. I know it’s a mouthful, but there you have it!   

    While you may be surprised that tape is in high demand in the Media & Entertainment industry, this is not an isolated case. Indeed, industry influencers and the media have pronounced a resurgence of tape (follow the links below):

    So, when you watch the Oscars, think of the many Petabytes of digital content to be archived and preserved for posterity—and how Oracle StorageTek tape solutions are addressing the Media & Entertainment industry’s storage challenges.

    To learn more about how digital tape storage is helping the Media & Entertainment industry to overcome challenges arising from the transition to an all digital business visit the Oracle booth (SL 13909) at NAB in Las Vegas, April 7-10.


    Chris Ilg (chris.ilg@oracle.com) is a Senior Principal Product Marketing Director for storage at Oracle. He has 27 years' experience in the information technology industry, across the storage, channel and services segments.

    Thursday Feb 13, 2014

    Oracle Kicks Off "Oracle Systems: Enhancing Your Applications" Event Series

    Oracle is kicking off a 17-city North American event series on how running Oracle Applications on Oracle hardware can help customers deliver maximum value and achieve dramatically better business results.

    Watch Video - Oracle Systems: Together with Oracle Applications



    The series kicks off February 19 in Nashville and February 20 in Toronto. Check the full list for a city near you and register today.

    Oracle has engineered and optimized every layer of the underlying hardware and software to work together—so you can replace wait time with work time and get more out of your business. 
At the Oracle Systems: Enhancing Your Applications event, attendees will learn how they can:
    • Reduce costs and focus on innovation with superior Oracle ERP and CRM application and database performance
    • Improve time to value by adding new capabilities when you need them
    • Drive productivity and business value with Oracle Hardware systems and Oracle Optimized Solutions
    • Transform business processes with Oracle’s new In-Memory Applications for Oracle’s Engineered Systems

    Friday Feb 07, 2014

    CRN Names Oracle SuperCluster One of 10 Coolest Servers Of 2013

    CRN recently gathered and reviewed computer systems of all shapes and sizes, including microservers, rack-mount servers, integrated systems, and even mainframes. The result is their list of 10 of the coolest server introductions for 2013 -- which includes the latest Oracle SuperCluster.

    Oracle has lead the shift from stand-alone servers to converged (or engineered, in Oracle speak) systems, starting over five years ago with the Exadata Database Machine. That accelerated four years ago with the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, as well as the introduction of the Oracle SuperCluster over two years ago. Industry analysts now recognize Oracle's leadership role in this category.


    The Oracle SuperCluster family is experiencing triple-digit growth, as customers are shifting their IT spend towards proven, high performance, integrated systems. The newest member of the Oracle SuperCluster family, the SuperCluster M6-32, builds on the existing architecture of Exadata storage servers integrated with compute and network servers that run the complete software stack of OS, database and applications, all of which are optimized for the SuperCluster architecture. It is this architecture, and the 32TB of main memory, that allows for both database and applications to be run completely in memory for optimal performance. Oracle SuperCluster systems are not just for running database and applications in memory, but also are ideal systems for Database-as-a-Service implementations, mission-critical Oracle Database deployments, consolidating enterprise application and database workloads on a single platform, and private cloud deployments.  

    Oracle continues to lead the industry in converged systems, and it is nice that CRN has recognized the Oracle SuperCluster engineered system as one of the Top 10 Coolest Servers for 2013.

    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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