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

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 ( 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.

    Saturday Feb 01, 2014

    SPARC T5-2 Server Shatters Another World Record and Gets Single-Processor Configuration

    Since their introduction last year, Oracle's T5 servers have topped performance metrics across enterprise workloads. The SPARC T5 server has just shattered another world record (see the latest SPECjEnterprise2010 2-socket benchmark result). In that test, the SPARC T5-2 server:

    • Showed the best performance per socket for a single system in the application tier (1)
    • Demonstrated 1.5 times higher performance compared to Oracle’s 2-socket Sun Server X4-2 systems, running Intel's E5-2600 v2 series processor (Ivy Bridge) (1)
    • Delivered 29% better performance (1) and 20% better price performance compared to a two-socket IBM PowerLinux POWER7+ processor-based server (2)

    Another piece of good news is that Oracle is announcing that the SPARC T5-2 server is now offered in a single-processor configuration, making it easier to adopt Oracle's latest technology - see details here. Customers will now have options for deploying T5-based servers starting with 16 and going up to 128 cores. Complementing this server line-up, the SPARC T4-1 server provides an entry-level configuration with 8 cores, while the SPARC M6-32 system provides massive scalability up to 384 cores.


     (1) Results from as of 1/22/2014. SPARC T5-2, 17,033.54 SPECjEnterprise2010 EjOPS; IBM PowerLinux 7R2, 13,161.07 SPECjEnterprise2010 EjOPS; Sun Server X4-2, 11,259.88 SPECjEnterprise2010 EjOPS. The SPARC T5-2 server result represents the best performance per socket for a single system in the application tier of 8,516.77 SPECjEnterprise2010 EjOPS per socket. SPEC and the benchmark name SPECjEnterprise are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation.

    (2) SPARC T5-2 configuration: Java EE server, 1 SPARC T5-2 server, 2 chips, 3.6 GHz SPARC T5, Oracle WebLogic 12c (12.1.2); Database server, 1 SPARC T5-2 server, 2 chips, 3.6 GHz SPARC T5, Oracle Database 12c ( The SPARC T5-2 configuration cost is the total application and database server hardware plus software. List price is $613,052 from as of 1/22/2014. IBM PowerLinux 7R2 configuration: Java EE server, 1 IBM PowerLinux 7R2, 2 chips, 4.2 GHz Power 7+, WebSphere Application Server V8.5; Database server: 1 IBM PowerLinux 7R2, 2 chips, 4.2 GHz Power 7+, IBM DB2 10.1 FP2. The IBM PowerLinux 7R2 configuration total hardware plus software list price is $588,970 based on public pricing from as of 1/22/2014. Pricing does not include database storage hardware for IBM or Oracle.

Oracle, Solaris, and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle Corporation and/or its affiliates.

    Tuesday Jan 28, 2014

    Revolutionizing Server Economics: Terabyte-Scale Computing Without the Premium

    Large-scale servers offer significant advantages in the areas of application performance, simplified data center operations, and higher server utilization for large, complex workloads or for consolidating smaller servers. Historically, large-scale servers have had a higher cost per unit of performance, therefore limiting large servers to specialized workloads. Oracle has re-engineered server economics, enabling near-linear pricing from two-processor SPARC T5 servers to the terabyte-scale SPARC M6-32 server. Oracle customers can deploy any workload onto a larger scale server, obtaining better performance, better efficiency, and less complexity without a price premium over small servers.

    Video: Revolutionizing Server Economics

    Terabyte-Scale Computing Advantages
    “Scaling up” with large servers—generally SMP servers hosting eight or more processors—provides significant advantages over “scaling out” with many small servers. Higher system performance is available from larger pools of compute resources due to higher bandwidth system interconnects and lower latencies, versus conventional networking across clusters of small servers. Additionally, large-scale servers can be configured with terabytes of system memory, allowing entire databases and applications to be cached in-memory for unprecedented performance levels. Oracle’s SPARC M6-32 server offers up to 32 terabytes of system memory—twice the memory per processor of any other large-scale enterprise-class server—and more than a terabyte/sec of memory or I/O system bandwidth. The system provides terabyte-scale computing without the price premium found on large-scale servers from other vendors.

    The New Wisdom of Near-Linear Pricing—What Does This Mean?
    For a few decades now, conventional wisdom has said that vendors charge a significant premium for larger multiprocessor servers, thereby delivering price/performance that is worse relative to smaller severs. These price premiums have limited big-scale servers to specific workloads for which large compute resources, memory footprint, high availability, or other large-scale server capabilities are required. This trend has led IT organizations to build larger-scale deployments with increasing quantities of smaller networked servers, resulting in challenges to achieve performance, increased complexity, higher costs for high-speed networks, and lower server utilization.

    Oracle has created new wisdom with the introduction of the SPARC T5 and M6 servers. Near-linear pricing means that the price/performance of the terabyte-scale SPARC M6-32 server is nearly the same as the price/performance of the SPARC T5-2 server. In fact, the price/performance for all SPARC T5 servers, which scale from two to eight processors, is nearly the same. Oracle customers can now deploy any workload onto larger-scale servers obtaining the advantages of terabyte-scale computing including higher performance, higher efficiency, higher system availability, and less complexity for nearly the same price/performance as smaller servers.

    This chart above illustrates how price/performance across Oracle’s SPARC T5 and SPARC-M6 servers is nearly constant. The lines show the price/performance for servers configured with the same amount of memory per processor, but different maximum processor (socket) counts, while the numbers indicate list prices. Other vendors charge high premiums for large servers—regardless of the processor (x86, POWER, Itanium, etc.) on which they are based. As shown in the example above, IBM’s POWER servers still follow conventional wisdom, with a high price premium for larger servers. The revolutionary price/performance introduced by Oracle is made possible by breakthrough engineering, such as the creation of a highly efficient processor interconnect design and the utilization of non-proprietary memory components.

    The comparison table above shows that, for about the same price, a single SPARC M6-32 server offers a dramatically simpler deployment, while providing much better performance, than a network of smaller servers. The architecture using SPARC T5-2 servers needs to factor in the cost of expensive, complex, high-performance networking that is necessary to make a cluster of small servers perform like a single high-end system. However, even the most sophisticated conventional technologies available today for networking cannot match the speed and efficiency of the SPARC M6-32 internal system interconnect. A similar argument can be made when comparing an architecture with one SPARC T5-8 server with a cluster consisting of a few smaller servers.

    Oracle’s new large-scale servers—SPARC M6-32 and SPARC T5-8—are ideal consolidation platforms, delivering the scalability, high availability, virtualization, and system management capabilities to support hundreds of diverse workloads of varying sizes. Oracle customers can benefit from the significant advantages of Oracle’s large servers in terms of higher performance, system availability, and reduced management complexity when compared to many smaller networked systems.

    For more information, download the product brief on Revolutionizing Server Economics:
 Terabyte-Scale Computing with the Premium.

    Monday Jan 27, 2014

    Oracle SuperCluster Optimizes IT Outsourcing Services for ATOS

    ATOS, a leading international IT services outsourcing provider, has implemented Oracle SuperCluster as a complete, high-availability, multi-tenancy infrastructure, increasing performance, increasing profits, and providing higher services levels to customers.

    With Oracle SuperCluster support for multi-tenancy through virtualization, and Oracle Exadata Storage engineered and performance optimized, ATOS significantly increased batch processing with more than 10x more IOPS with Oracle Exadata Storage X3-2.

    [Read More]

    Monday Jan 06, 2014

    The Unique Business Value of Oracle Engineered Systems: Why Oracle Engineered Systems Are Best

    The trend toward adoption of pre-integrated data center 'building blocks' combining applications, database and middleware software, data storage, compute, networking, virtualization and management is well underway within most global enterprises.  This trend, and Oracle's leadership position, is evidenced by recent survey data and analysis published by numerous industry luminaries (such as Gartner and IDC).  While not all such offerings from all vendors are equivalent, they all have common aims: cost reduction, improved efficiency, better ease of use and the agility to take advantage of marketplace opportunities and technology changes as quickly as they occur, for as long as they last.  While other technology solution vendors are now racing to close the gap, Oracle's offering continues to outpace our competition, propelled by numerous commercial, marketplace and unique technical advantages.

    [Read More]

    Monday Dec 23, 2013

    Oracle Has a SPARC-powered Exadata Configuration Called SuperCluster

    Oracle has been shipping a version of Oracle Exadata that runs Oracle’s T and M-series microprocessors for more than 2 years. This database machine is called Oracle SuperCluster.[Read More]

    Thursday Dec 19, 2013

    How Office Depot Optimizes ERP by 20% with SPARC and Solaris

    Office Depot simplifies IT architecture and reduces complexity with Oracle E-Business Suite applications, Oracle’s Sun SPARC platform, and the Oracle Solaris platform.

    Office Depot is one of the largest retailers of office supply products in the world with over 900 stores in the United States and another 400-500 in Europe and the Middle East.

    Their challenge was that they couldn’t scale their Oracle ERP applications on their current hardware platform, so they made the move from an x86 architecture to a SPARC and Solaris platform to get better scalability and reliability.

    This wasn't a decision to be taken lightly. Oracle ERP is Office Depot's largest application with the largest workload. The company supports over 40,000 employees on this platform alone.

    “We needed something that we could just put in and operate,” says Marshall Lew, Sr. Director of Computing Platforms at Office Depot.

    The Benefits
    What Office Depot saw was a 20% improvement in application performance on the SPARC and Solaris platform, with Oracle database running on top of it.

    “Oracle database runs on many platforms, but on Solaris it really leverages the horsepower, engineering and design of the SPARC architecture and how it handles memory and core processing.”

    --Marshall Lew, Sr. Director of Computing Platforms at Office Depot

    “Before, it was always a challenge to get all of the different components working together. With Solaris and with Oracle database on top of it, it made it a lot easier,” says Lew. “From paper to production, the SPARC and Solaris combination was a much more simplified architecture, with a lot less complexity.”

    To learn more about the success that Office Depot is having, watch this video:

    Do these issues resonate with you? Let us know in the comments below.

    Share this page

    Wednesday Dec 18, 2013

    How HDFC Securities Gains 3x Throughput Performance, Executes Online Trades Up to 60% Faster, and Cuts Data Center Costs

    Oracle SuperCluster has been sold in over 30 countries across a wide range of industries including Financial, Telecommunications, Government, Oil and Gas, Retail, and to Hosting Services Providers. Over half of these Oracle SuperCluster implementations replaced existing HP and IBM infrastructure.

    Many customers are also opting to implement Oracle SuperCluster as brand new architectures due to the simplicity of the Oracle engineered, integrated, and optimized system that includes SPARC T5 or M6 compute nodes, Exadata Storage Servers, and ZFS storage, all connected through a high-speed Infiniband interconnect. Oracle SuperCluster installation time is greatly reduced from weeks and months to as short as 25 days, which significantly reduces overall implementation costs and gets applications up and running faster, leading to quicker production-level deployment of applications.

    Hear what HDFC Securities said about Oracle SuperCluster (here):

    "Oracle SuperCluster was the obvious choice for our time-sensitive business, as it offers extreme performance, has no single point of failure, delivers single-vendor support, and provides the highest level of efficiency for our online trading platform where 100% up-time is essential. We saw a three-fold improvement in throughput performance, increased the speed of online trading by up to 60%, produced reports 67% faster, improved risk management, and cut data center costs."
    –Vivek Joshi, CTO, HDFC Securities

    Other Oracle SuperCluster customers include:

    What do you think Oracle SuperCluster can do for your business?

    Christine Kipp ( 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.

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    Monday Dec 09, 2013

    Product Introduction Video: Oracle SuperCluster M6-32 - Most Powerful Oracle Engineered System

    Oracle SuperCluster M6-32 Webcast

    Take a look at the webcacast introducing the SuperCluster M6-32, Oracle's most powerful engineered system. Hosted by Oracle's Michael Palmeter, Senior Director of Product Management; Ganesh Ramamurthy, Vice President, Software Development; and Juan Loaiza, Senior Vice President, Systems Technology, this Webcast will further outline why SuperCluster M6-32 is ideally suited for in-memory applications and consolidation of mission-critical workloads.

    For more product data, and customer performance results, go to the Oracle SuperCluster site.

    More Oracle SuperCluster news to come!

    - Christine Kipp, Product Manager

    Tuesday Nov 26, 2013

    Don't Miss the Oracle SuperCluster M6-32 Launch WebCast on December 4!

    Announcing oracle’s most powerful Engineered System for Oracle Database, database-as-a-Service and database and application consolidation

    On December 4, 2013, Oracle will host a customer webcast to acquaint customers with the Oracle SuperCluster M6-32, Oracle’s most powerful engineered system for in-memory Oracle Database performance, Database-as-a-Service and application consolidation.

    Hosted by Oracle’s Juan Loaiza, Senior Vice President, Oracle Exadata Development, Ganesh Ramamurthy, Vice President, Oracle SuperCluster Development, Michael Palmeter, Senior Director of Engineered Systems Product Management, this webcast will explain why the Oracle SuperCluster M6-32 is ideally suited for Oracle Database consolidation and Database-as-a-Service, maximum-performance in-memory applications and consolidation of mission-critical business applications.

    Ultimate In-memory database performance, Platform-as-a-Service and consolidation

    The new Oracle SuperCluster M6-32 offers unprecedented in-memory database and application performance with the highest levels of availability, scalability, reliability of any Engineered System.  Combining Oracle’s Exadata Storage Server technology, SPARC microprocessors, silicon network, highly-secure virtualization, out-of-the-box platform and database-as-a-service-management, the Oracle SuperCluster M6-32 is the best example of Oracle’s Engineered Systems vision thus far.

    Join us for this webcast and learn how Oracle SuperCluster M6-32 can help you:

    • Increase performance by up to 10–20X over the performance of standard systems for new in-memory applications, legacy applications and Oracle Database utilizing:
      • Up to 384 microprocessor cores and 32 terabytes of high-performance memory in the most powerful and flexible system design Oracle has ever developed
      • Complete set of Exadata technology for optimal Oracle Database performance and efficiency
    • Realize rich multi-tenancy with near-zero-overhead virtualization
    • Implement Platform-as-a-Service and Database-as-a-Service management out-of-the-box

    Wed, December 4, 2013
    8 a.m. PT / 11 a.m. ET
    5 p.m. CET / 4 p.m. GMT

    Duration: 30 minutes including Q&A
    View local time here.

    Register Now

    Friday Oct 04, 2013

    Oracle x86 Systems: The Best x86 Platforms for Oracle Solaris

    With adoption in over 50,000 businesses and institutions, Oracle Solaris has clearly established itself as the world leader in UNIX-based operating systems. Oracle Solaris includes many unique and innovative technologies that are not commonly available in other operating systems, such as Oracle Solaris ZFS, Dynamic Tracing (DTrace), predictive fault detection, built-in virtualization, and advanced security.

    As a result of a broad strategic alliance between Oracle and Intel, Oracle Solaris has become widely deployed on Intel-based x86 systems from a variety of different hardware vendors. Intel has embraced Oracle Solaris as a mainstream UNIX operating system for enterprise-class, mission-critical systems based on Intel Xeon processors.

    While Intel Xeon processor-based systems from any hardware OEM can be certified to run Oracle Solaris, Oracle has engineered Oracle Solaris to provide additional benefits when running on Oracle x86 systems. A primary example of this is the Oracle Solaris Fault Management Architecture (FMA). Developed and enhanced over the past decade, Oracle Solaris FMA is composed of a set of diagnosis engines that process raw error events from the hardware and provide an automated and intelligent method for problem diagnosis.

    As a result of Oracle’s partnership with Intel, Oracle Solaris FMA was instrumented with diagnosis ability for DIMM and CPU correctible errors and fault detection for PCIe errors. Oracle Solaris also has the ability to offline individual processor strands, retire individual pages of memory and cease using problematic I/O devices.

    While Oracle Solaris FMA is a built-in feature of the operating system, its capabilities can vary dramatically based on the server on which it is running, as is shown in the figure below:

    Figure 1. Complete Oracle Solaris FMA capabilities are only available on Oracle x86 systems.

    When running on Oracle x86 servers, Oracle Solaris automatically detects the presence of Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager (Oracle ILOM), the embedded service processor that is part of every server from Oracle, and establishes a high speed connection between the two which allows both Oracle Solaris FMA and Oracle ILOM to have total visibility into the health of the entire system. Oracle’s x86 systems are the only Intel-based systems in which the service processor and Oracle Solaris are tightly integrated. As a result, organizations running Oracle’s x86 servers have the flexibility to choose how they want to monitor their servers, which simplifies their management infrastructure.

    Oracle has also engineered Oracle Solaris FMA to provide special serviceability features when running on Oracle x86 systems. When a component fails in any of Oracle’s x86 servers, Oracle Solaris FMA will diagnose the problem and specify the failed component using the same nomenclature as the slot/component identification label silkscreened on the chassis. To further help in identifying and locating faulted components, when Oracle Solaris diagnoses a fault, a fault message is sent to Oracle ILOM, which in turn lights the appropriate fault indicators. Both of these allow for easier and faster service, enabling technicians to quickly restore services that were brought down by a fault.

    Oracle Auto Service Request (ASR) is a secure, scalable, customer-configurable software solution for Oracle hardware products that resolves problems faster by providing automatic service request generation and priority service request handling for specific faults. If a fault is detected, the ASR software automatically creates a service request with the My Oracle Support portal. By automatically including the component part number in the service request to Oracle, Oracle ASR makes ordering replacement parts very simple. While non-Oracle hardware vendors have their own technologies for communicating problems back to their respective support organizations, those technologies are not tightly integrated with Oracle Solaris. Having a set of software and firmware components that have all been engineered and tested together is the only way to ensure accurate diagnosis of problems.

    Oracle’s x86 systems are the best x86 platforms for Oracle software. Only Oracle provides customers with an optimized hardware and software stack that comes complete with choice of operating system, virtualization software and cloud management tools – all at no extra charge. Oracle’s optimized hardware and software stack has enabled a 10x performance gain in its engineered systems and has delivered world-record benchmark results. Oracle offers a wide range of Intel Xeon processor-based servers to suit the needs of enterprise class application that are required to conduct day-to-day operations:

     Product Name  Features  Primary Application
     Sun Blade X4-2B  Two-socket blade module based on Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 product family  Compute node for clustered computing and virtualization needs in a blade form factor
     Sun Server X4-2 Two-socket 1RU server based on Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 product family Compute node for clulstered computing and virtualization needs
     Sun Server X4-2L Two-socket 2RU server based on Intel Xeon processor E5-2600 v2 product family Storage node for large internal storage capacity needs
     Sun Server X2-4 Four-socket 3RU server based on Intel Xeon processor E7-4800 product family Consolidation node for efficient use of resources with high-performance and large memeory availability
     Sun Server X2-8 Eight-socket 5RU server based on Intel Xeon processor E7-8800 product family  SMP node for scale-up computing

    Figure 2. Oracle x86 system portfolio

    Oracle Solaris runs better and smarter on Oracle x86 servers. By engineering Oracle Solaris to work with Oracle’s x86 hardware, Oracle has engineered unique features that bring value to organizations that are looking to run their mission-critical applications. The advanced fault management and serviceability features, as well as improvements to installation and system management, make Oracle x86 systems the best hardware choice for running Oracle Solaris.

    Pierre Lessard is a Principal Product Manager in Oracle’s Systems Group, focusing on x86 servers.  He spent the last fifteen years at Oracle in Operations and Engineering, working on both SPARC and x86-based systems.

    Driving Database Innovation Down the Stack: Oracle Database and Oracle Linux on Oracle x86 Hardware

    Oracle has always been a database company, but more recently we are driving database innovation even further down the stack through the operating system all the way down to the hardware.

    Oracle x86 servers are the building blocks for Oracle’s engineered systems such as Exadata. These engineered systems run Oracle Database and Oracle Linux and are highly optimized to work together and provide unique features and benefits. For example, there is code in Oracle Linux and Oracle Database to make it run faster on Oracle x86, and there are firmware enhancements embedded in the server that make Oracle x86 the best x86 platform for running Oracle Database.

    Oracle made these enhancements as part of the work to build engineered systems, but you can still take advantage of many of these features outside of engineered systems, if you are running Oracle Database and Oracle Linux on Oracle x86.

    To understand how Oracle engineers its x86 servers to be the best for Oracle software, let’s first talk about Oracle’s overall design approach for building x86 systems. Oracle strives to make the most reliable, enterprise-grade servers because we know that this is what Oracle’s database customers want and expect.

    Oracle x86 servers are built using Intel Xeon Processor family CPUs and chipsets, Intel NICs, and Intel SSDs. Oracle and Intel have a shared vision of creating the highest-performance, lowest power, and most reliable servers. Oracle collaborates with Intel to drive performance and reliability improvements at the component level to provide improved RAS features. Oracle also adds hundreds of firmware extensions to the storage subsystem and BIOS to ensure optimal database robustness.

    In addition to the reliability built into each server, there is additional reliability that is engineered into Oracle Database when running on Oracle x86. This extra robustness comes from the process by which Oracle software is developed, tested, and deployed.

    Oracle runs its own product development IT infrastructures on Oracle x86. In other words, software engineers developing Oracle Database write and unit test their code on Oracle x86, and Oracle Database builds are tested on a farm of Oracle x86 servers. Running Oracle Database and Oracle Linux on Oracle x86 is also a combination that Oracle uses to run its own cloud business, processing 3.2 billion business-critical database transactions per hour in Oracle’s Hosted cloud.

    Through all of this additional testing and internal use of Oracle Database on Oracle x86, we uncovered many corner-case bugs in our storage subsystem, in our BIOS, and in other subsystems. And we worked through and fixed all of these bugs prior to general release. What this means is that customers running Oracle Database on Oracle x86, whether as part of an engineered system or a stand-alone server, are going to see fewer problems, less downtime, and reduced operating expenses.

    Oracle and Intel not only collaborate closely to build servers but also to make sure that Oracle Database has maximum performance with Intel Xeon Processors. For example, Oracle and Intel worked together to accelerate encryption and decryption by three times by using AES-NI, improve the performance of checksum calculations in Oracle Database 12c by 40 percent, and add NUMA optimizations to improve locking by over 50 percent.

    With the new Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 series processors, Oracle will refresh its two-socket product line to take advantage of the improved performance, additional cores, and power savings. Oracle’s new Sun Server X4-2L server will support the fastest Intel Xeon E5-2600 v2 Processor family CPUs while also supporting over 50 TB of internal storage in only 2 rack units. And using Oracle’s Sun Flash Accelerator PCIe cards, Oracle Database I/O service times can be made fifteen times faster.

    The net results from hundreds of firmware enhancements, hundreds more improvements to Oracle Linux, server components engineered for reliability and performance is a server that is designed for Oracle Database at all levels. And there are many more enhancements in the pipeline to further integrate hardware and software to provide a unified Red Stack.

    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.


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


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