Tuesday Jul 07, 2015

Oracle Server X5-8 with Elastic Computing the Perfect Fit for Oracle Database

We are excited to announce the release of our new 8-socket server, Oracle Server X5-8. It’s the most flexible 8-socket x86 server we’ve ever designed, and also the most powerful. Not only does it use the fastest Intel® Xeon® E7 v3 processors, but also its memory, I/O and storage subsystems are all designed for maximum performance and throughput. Like its predecessor, the Oracle Server X5-8 uses a “glueless” design that allows for maximum performance for Oracle Database, while also reducing power consumption and improving reliability.

The specs are pretty impressive. Oracle Server X5-8 supports 144 cores (or 288 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 12.8 TB Oracle Flash Accelerator F160 PCIe Cards. Oracle Server X5-8 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. First introduced in Sun Server X4-8, this capability has been enhanced with even more elasticity with Oracle Server X5-8.

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 v3 for the Oracle Server X5-8, 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 v3 processor with time, without the need for a system level reboot.

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.

Oracle Server X5-8 has also been designed specifically for the In-Memory Option of Oracle Database 12c with its optimized memory subsystem. The In-Memory Option of Oracle Database 12c 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 6 TB total memory capacity on Oracle Server X5-8, you can memory-optimize more, if not your entire database.

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 Oracle Server X5-8 was designed with the maximum possible memory bandwidth, providing over 800 gigabytes per second of total memory bandwidth.

Beyond the memory subsystem, Oracle Server X5-8 provides other key technologies that enable Oracle Database to run at its best. Oracle Server X5-8 allows for up to 12.8 TB of PCIe flash. This enables dramatic acceleration of data inserts and updates to Oracle Database.

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 Oracle Server X5-8, you can find more details 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.

Monday Jun 29, 2015

CSC Luxembourg Hosts Managed Services and DBaaS on Oracle SuperCluster

CSC in Luxembourg is implementing Oracle’s SuperCluster, a solution combining hardware and software to achieve unparalleled processing performance. The Luxembourg project is a value proof point for CSC, which plans to make its Luxembourg data centers a European IT pooling center for the South & West Europe region.

Professional of the Financial Sector certified, CSC is the first Luxembourg Oracle partner to offer managed services as well as database-as-a-service based on Oracle Engineered Systems. Oracle SuperCluster also offers advantages in terms of data security and confidentiality as the shared infrastructure allows consolidating the data management of several customers in a secure and compartmentalized way.

Oracle runs best on Oracle,” declares Philippe Cammaert, Senior Sales Manager, at Oracle Luxembourg. "We are thrilled to see our partners consolidating their IT infrastructure on our Engineered Systems. They choose these integrated solutions not only because of their technological performance but also for the business opportunities they offer as part of their managed services."

Service Provider CKI: Designs Oracle SuperCluster Cloud for U.S. Government

Computer Knowledge Inc. articulates Oracle transformational engineered systems infrastructure and methodologies consult with the United States government to reduced costs and increased operational efficiencies.

Oracle SuperCluster Solution

· Unified backup mechanism using external ZFS storage backup appliance (ZBA)

· Active data recovery plan consists of Active Data Guard configuration with asynchronous redo shipping between the Production site location and the disaster recovery site

· Runs custom Java applications, IBM WebSphere, 11gR2

· Oracle customer replaced an existing IBM mainframe circa 1990s with Oracle SuperCluster

Oracle SuperCluster Performance Results

· Massive improvements in performance, performed 14 million SQL execution per hour with .07 second response time

· 9x increase transactions processed

· 10x performance improvement over previous environment

· 30x workload throughput improvement over IBM Mainframe and 10x number of users

· Work done in 1 day by Oracle SuperCluster equals 30 days of work from replaced for IBM mainframe

· Up to 30x performance improvement for 18,000 users

· 7.4 million transactions per hour with a .7ms response time

Tuesday Jun 23, 2015

Uganda Revenue Authority and Oracle SuperCluster: Achieves 99.9% Service Uptime for Government Ministries and Services

URA worked with Oracle and its implementation and logistical partner Technology Associates to deploy a robust, scalable, high-availability database solution that includes software and hardware engineered together, as it felt that having a single vendor for both hardware and software would be advantageous. To that end, URA deployed Oracle SuperCluster, Oracle Solaris 11, and Oracle Database. The authority’s new system is a pivotal resource for the calculation of international trade taxes. It is also used to manage compliance for the Ministry of Finance, as well as collecting transactional, financial, and tax data for the country’s citizens.

[Read More]

Monday Jun 22, 2015

Portic Barcelona Logistics Services: Oracle SuperCluster Transformational Architecture

Port of Barcelona manages logistics through a technological platform that facilitates interaction between its members through its information services to logistics agents and other customers. Portic deployed Oracle SuperCluster with Oracle Solaris to multiply the number of commercial transactions that the e-commerce platform can manage by a factor of six—equivalent to a 32x performance increase—enabling Portic to process up to 26,000 service requests per hour and 500 messages per minute, with room for future expansion.

[Read More]

Thursday Jun 11, 2015

Saudi Arabia Public Pension Agency Implements Oracle SuperCluster to Support Database as a Service

Saudi Arabia Public Pension Agency Implements Oracle SuperCluster to Support Database as a Service

The Public Pension Agency (PPA), an entity within KSA’s Ministry of Finance, has announced the successful implementation of Oracle SuperCluster. PPA decided to implement Oracle technology with a disaster recovery architecture across two separate sites. Oracle SuperCluster also provides high availability for Oracle E-Business Suite, with SuperClusters in two different locations running Oracle E-Business Suite in active/passive mode using Oracle DataGuard technology.

[Read More]

Super and More – Specialized Bicycles Oracle SuperCluster DBaaS Implementation

Super and More – Specialized Bicycles Oracle SuperCluster DBaaS Implementation

Specialized Bicycles implements a transformative solution to simplify IT and modernize the data center with Oracle SuperCluster. Read from the CIO of Specialized, Ron Pollard about their breakthrough performance and technology transformation including streamlining IT, tightening their supply chain, and BI strategy with Oracle. 

[Read More]

iQor: Oracle SuperCluster Improves Performance for Critical Applications While Lowering IT Managed-Services Costs

iQor:  Oracle SuperCluster Improves Performance for Critical Applications While Lowering IT Managed-Services Costs

iQor is a global provider of business-process outsourcing and product-support services. They required a platform to improve performance, support scalability, and provide a disaster recovery environment for mission-critical support. They chose Oracle SuperCluster, optimized the production, business intelligence reporting, and reduced operating cost. iQor realized a 30% improvement in performance for critical applications while lowering IT managed services costs by 20%.

[Read More]

Wednesday Jun 10, 2015

IDC Report: Oracle Engineered Systems Provides US Retailer $28M in Total Cost of Ownership Savings

Major U.S. Department Store Retailer Leverages Oracle Engineered Systems for Greater Business Agility with Oracle SuperCluster

IDC has conducted a report to calculate the return on investment for a major US retail customer by migrating to Oracle Engineered Systems, particularly Oracle SuperCluster.  Consolidation has enabled the retailer to put multiple databases in Oracle Exadata and Oacle SuperCluster. In the past, they needed many more servers to host these databases in a more distributed environment. Consolidation has helped the retailer reduce the number of software licenses it requires to support its data center operations by moving more workloads from a more distributed environment to these Oracle engineered systems, saving an average over three years of $512,000 a year.

[Read More]

Tuesday Jun 09, 2015

Universidad Autónoma de Madrid Implements Oracle SuperCluster: Extreme Performance and to Supports a 10x Increase in Enrollment

Oracle continues to innovate for Education & Research excellence with Oracle solutions for the modern campus. University of Madrid (UAM) enabled a 10x increase in student enrollment, and enabled UAM to manage students’ class selections and scheduling 91% faster with an Oracle SuperCluster half-rack, Oracle WebLogic Server, and Oracle Database .

AM implemented a completely integrated, performance optimized Oracle solution enabling 98% of students to complete enrollment with no limits to concurrent sessions, and to meet the future scalability requirements. Oracle database exports and imports 12x, improving IT administration efficiencies. SuperCluster employs a massively parallel architecture and Exadata Smart Flash Cache to dramatically accelerate Oracle Database processing and speed I/O operations.

“Oracle provides the best database and application server, and Oracle SuperCluster enables us to get the most performance out of it, specifically by enabling hundreds of students to enroll for classes faster and simultaneously.”– María José García Rodriguez, director of information technology, Universidad Autónoma de Madrid.

[Read More]

Tuesday Jun 02, 2015

Oracle’s New Four-Socket Flash-Optimized x86 Server

We are excited to announce the release of our new four-socket x86 server, Oracle Server X5-4, based on Intel’s Haswell-EX processors.  Designed with Oracle operating systems, Oracle virtualization, and Oracle Database in mind, this is the most powerful four-socket x86 server we’ve ever built.  

With the highest reliability, availability, and serviceability features in the four-socket space, Oracle Server X5-4 is the ideal x86 platform for consolidating enterprise applications and for running in-memory databases that require large amounts of memory and I/O.

Once again, Oracle has teamed up with Intel to deliver a unique processor SKU, Intel ® Xeon ® Processor E7-8895 v3, to provide our elastic computing capability.  This specially designed processor SKU effectively combines the capabilities of three different Intel Xeon processors into a single processor, allowing customers to choose between different core counts and frequencies based on the workload.  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 v3 processor with time without the need for a system level reboot.  

Like its two-socket cousins, Oracle Server X5-4 now supports  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.  Oracle Server X5-4 supports 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.

Oracle Server X5-4 supports 72 cores (or 144 threads), 6 TB memory, 7.2 TB HDD capacity, and contains 11 PCIe Gen 3 I/O expansion slots. It is also the most dense x86 server based off of the Intel Xeon E7 processors with its 3U chassis, allowing 40% higher rack-level core and DIMM slot density than the competition.  

To learn more about Oracle Server X5-4 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.

Monday May 11, 2015

IDC Claims 3rd Platform Demands New IT Strategies

IDC defines the 3rd Platform of computing as the surge in mobile, big data, social, and cloud. In a recent paper titled “Assessing the Business Value of Integrated Systems,” IDC claims that this new platform requires IT executives to consider every new hardware and software purchase to ensure progression towards automated, high performance, and cloud-based IT infrastructure.

IDC goes on to say that integrated systems are increasingly viewed as a way to achieve these objectives and cites research of integrated systems users as evidence. The results are impressive – 47% of those surveyed reported improvements to IT staff productivity, 61% reported increased speed of application deployment, and 48% reported a reduction in data center related IT spending.

Do you agree with these findings? I’ll be speaking with the author of this paper, Peter Rutten of IDC, during a webcast on Thursday, May 14th at 10am PT. If this topic interests you, please join us. Find more information here.

Thursday Apr 30, 2015

Oracle Innovates Secure Multi-Tenancy with Oracle SuperCluster

Oracle SuperCluster delivers a complete set of integrated security controls, implemented as a comprehensive platform, to enable secure multi-tenancy for service providers. Unique in the industry, the Oracle SuperCluster multi-tenant architecture enables market leading performance, high availability, and extreme scalability while also satisfying key customer security requirements such as secure isolation, strong authentication and access control, end-to-end data protection, and comprehensive monitoring and compliance auditing. The security protections designed into the Oracle SuperCluster multi-tenant architecture span every layer of the IT stack from the compute hardware, virtualization, and operating system to networking, storage, database and applications.

[Read More]

Wednesday Apr 08, 2015

IEEE Presents Prestigious SPARC Milestone Plaque in Front of SRO Crowd

On February 13, a standing room only crowd approaching 200 attendees at Oracle’s Santa Clara Auditorium watched as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) presented the prestigious Milestone plaque recognizing the technological achievements of the SPARC RISC Architecture for innovation and excellence. After being introduced by Uday Kapoor, Director of Hardware Development for Oracle and IEEE member, John Fowler, Oracle’s Executive Vice President Systems, thanked IEEE for recognizing SPARC “as an accomplishment which belongs on the same list as the CD player and the light bulb.”

IEEE 2015 President, Howard Michel presented the award and talked about the significance of the SPARC architecture and its impact on the future, “Built upon the work of UC Berkeley in creating the RISC microprocessor, the SPARC architecture proved readily adaptable in meeting evolving needs. They demonstrated how engineers, scientists and technologists have contributed to our global community, helping to build today’s advanced world.”

Professor David Patterson, who led the early design and implementation of what eventually became known as the SPARC architecture, reminisced from the stage about its magical beginnings, “There was just a buzz in the room, everyone was talking and at that remarkable moment in time it was clear that a dozen Berkeley graduate students could build a better microprocessor than Intel could build.”

Co-founder and CEO of Sun Microsystems which successfully commercialized the SPARC architecture, Scott McNealy, could not attend in person but his prerecorded statement reminded the audience that by leveraging the SPARC processor, Sun became the fastest tech company (at the time) to grow from $0 to $1B.

Andy Bechtolsheim, Sun co-founder (left), and John Fowler, Executive Vice President Systems at Oracle standing next to the IEEE Milestone plaque recognizing the SPARC RISC architecture for excellence and innovation.

While most of the dedication ceremony focused on past accomplishments, John Fowler made it clear that the SPARC architecture is still a leading technology which continues to advance and improve, "Fast forward to now and M7 (Oracle newest SPARC processor) is in volume production: 20 nanometer technology, 700 (square) millimeters."

Immediately following the dedication ceremony, the IEEE Milestone plaque was unveiled in the Clock Tower on the Oracle campus where it now resides. Most of the attendees waited patiently in a long line to view the plaque up close and get pictures of themselves standing next to it.

View the video of ceremony:

Highlights: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yvb1WZzrmBM

Full ceremony: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RkoZtOtwnQ0

To learn about the most recent SPARC processor breakthrough, please visit Oracle Innovation Spotlight.

Monday Mar 30, 2015

Oracle Excellence Awards Recognize CIOs of the Year - What Do They Have in Common?

The 2014 Oracle Excellence Awards have named five CIOs of the Year who are featured in the latest edition of Oracle Magazine.

This year's winners have aligned business and technology to succeed in our fast paced, ever changing market. They have managed disruption to the benefit of their businesses. What do these CIOs have in common? They're visionaries who are focused on their customers and adopting technologies that will enable their businesses to thrive and innovate. All of these CIOs are doing this by leveraging an integrated technology infrastructure.

IDC expects the worldwide integrated systems market to grow from $7.3 billion in 2013 to $17.9 billion in 2018 and estimates that 15% of the IT hardware market (server, external storage, and networking) will be sold as part of an integrated system by 2018.

I'd like to congratulate the Oracle Excellence Awards CIOs of the Year and invite you to read their stories:

  • Nam-Seuk Han, senior vice president and CIO at SK Telecom —Asia Pacific
  • Jordi Fontanals, chief operations officer (and former CIO) of CaixaBank in Barcelona, Spain —EMEA
  • Yoshifumi Ozawa, general manager of the IT Solution Division at Mazda Motor Corporation —Japan
  • Patricio Melo, executive vice president of IT and operations at Banco Davivienda in Bogotá, Colombia —Latin America
  • Marty Schoenthaler, vice president and CIO at ADM —North America


Oracle integrates cloud applications and platform services together. For more information about Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), visit www.oracle.com.


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