By "Josh Rosen, X86 Product Manager-Oracle" on Jul 07, 2015
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.