Friday Feb 27, 2015

Introducing Oracle's Netra Modular System (NMS)

Introducing Oracle's Netra Modular System (NMS), a new systems architecture which merges bladed system concepts with rack mount server architectures, to create a new innovative next generation platform. We are really excited to finally announce this product which has been under development for several years. Where to begin? One of the driving design objectives has been to realize all the benefits that people like with bladed systems, like ease of scale with plug and play bladed servers; but to eliminate the constraints and issues that people have with bladed systems, such as limited blade area, cooling issues and technology evolution challenges. I'm happy to say that we've achieved that goal and then some. 

We also wanted to create a new architecture which addresses the new challenges in today's modern data center. Rapid scale, both physically and virtually is required. In Netra's traditional market, communications network data centers, an extension to commercial data center virtualization called Network Functions Virtualization is the hot topic for new infrastructure roll out. Using this approach to implementing traditional communications network functions holds the promise of providing much greater flexibility and rapid scale of network services while reducing hardware device costs as some functions become software based on general purpose servers. We believe Netra Modular System is a very attractive foundation platform for Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure.

You can see a demonstration of Netra Modular System at Mobile World Congress 2015 in Barcelona, Spain, Hall 3, Stand 3B20 - between March 2-5, 2015.

Sunday Sep 07, 2014

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.

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

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

Monday Mar 04, 2013

Oracle x86 Systems – Putting the Infrastructure in IaaS (Part One of Three)

Recent IDC cloud research shows that worldwide revenue from public IT cloud services will reach $72.9 billion in 2015, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.6%. Specifically, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) will have shown a 33% CAGR dating from 2011-2014. There are various forces driving this meaningful growth, and different sources all agree that the SMB-Cloud Market will likely grow to over $50B by 2014, with the Enterprise space reaching $20B. Small- and medium-sized businesses are migrating to the cloud to reduce the operating and capital expenditures associated with hardware and software, as well as costs associated with support and maintenance.  Enterprise customers are also taking advantage of the cloud, but in a different light. Enterprise customers are segmenting their IT into portions that generate revenue and portions that are considered standard IT, and capable of being moved to the cloud. The common theme is that companies want to simplify their IT and focus their internal resources on areas that allow them to meet the expectations of their internal and external customers, as well as keep pace with their competition.

Oracle understands these needs and offers a complete ecosystem of solutions jointly designed with their x86 portfolio of systems to offer its customers meaningful innovation centered on delivering business value and the most efficient path to the cloud. Oracle’s IaaS solution includes their x86 standalone servers, the innovative Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, the choice of operating systems in Oracle Linux or Solaris, virtualization software with Oracle VM, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c for complete system management, and the newly introduced Oracle Virtual Networking, which combines hardware and software for tremendous reductions in Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

Figure-1. Oracle Optimized Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure

Oracle x86 Red Stack 

Oracle’s IaaS x86 Block has been implemented in conjunction with Oracle’s middleware and applications by several cloud solution providers, including dcVAST, an IT and Managed Services company serving customers ranging from middle market to Fortune 500 organizations. Prior to 2011, dcVAST has a mixed solution consisting of Oracle software, Red Hat Linux (RHEL), along with HP and Dell servers virtualized using VMware. However, they encountered several challenges including a lack of service flexibility, limited scalability, ineffective solution support, and rising costs associated with VMware and RHEL. This complexity led David Cintron, vice president of Managed Services at dcVAST, to migrate their IaaS services to Oracle’s enterprise cloud infrastructure architecture, which provides a single-vendor solution for the entire hardware and software stack, and is designed for rapid deployment. The solution dcVAST implemented to replace the complex and mixed vendor installation consisted of Oracle’s x86 blade systems, Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, Oracle’s Fabric Network and Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c for ubiquitous management.  Cintron points out, “The fact that Oracle VM and the Hypervisor are included means there is less cost to our customers. Also, our engineering staff finds the Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center, which includes a patch management tool, especially useful. Without it, we would have had to buy another product or cascade into operating system management around Red Hat. We need to run a supported Linux environment and be able to rely on security and patch fixes, and now this is part of the solution with Oracle hardware. This is a valuable added benefit for us and our ability to service our customers.”

Oracle Enterprise Manager Stack for x86 Systems

Six months after implementation, the Oracle solution is on track in delivering 50 percent TCO savings based on the low acquisition cost and ongoing operational efficiencies. Only with Oracle’s x86 systems with a support contract, do customers receive their choice of Oracle Linux or Solaris, Oracle VM, and Oracle Enterprise Manager Ops Center 12c at no additional cost, offering valuable savings for customers to reinvest in revenue generating activities. Don Swanson, CEO of dcVAST, explained, "The Oracle Optimized Solution for Enterprise Cloud Infrastructure provides a customizable solution that can be tailored specifically for our clients running Oracle systems. It delivers smoother deployment and increased functionality of Oracle ATG Commerce and cloud services. If customers are running Oracle software and they are moving to the cloud, this is the solution they should be using because true to form, Oracle runs better on Oracle.”

Now that you have been introduced to Oracle’s IaaS architecture for public or private clouds, look for part two and three of this topic, where I will cover deeper insights into the innovations found within each architectural element, and how they integrate to provide a differentiated solution, aimed at helping customers meet the ever growing demands on their cloud implementations.

Edgar Haren is a Principal Product Director at Oracle for Oracle’s x86 systems and solutions. He previously spent several years in product development and marketing focused on High Performance Computing. Edgar has 19 provisional patents and public disclosures focusing on server power solutions, mobile power, wireless audio, direct audio, USB switching, physical security, video projection and ergonomics.

Thursday Sep 27, 2012

SPARC Servers at Oracle OpenWorld

SPARC Server Sessions at OpenWorld

There is plenty to learn about the SPARC servers at the Oracle OpenWorld. The SPARC server sessions offer depth and breadth in content selection to satisfy everyone's need from the one who is technically oriented to the one who would like to understand more about the business value of SPARC technology. And, there is always more. Keynotes, Oracle innovations and many product demonstrations are only a few of many other opportunities to interact with the product experts and executives to establish greater insight to the Oracle SPARC technology.

The Oracle SPARC Servers

Oracle's SPARC servers running Oracle Solaris are ideal for mission-critical applications that require high performance, best-in-class availability, and unmatched scalability on all application tiers.

With a robust roadmap, Oracle assures the highest levels of investment protection through 100% SPARC/Solaris binary compatibility, proven by hundreds of thousands of deployments over more than 20 year. 

Sunday Sep 02, 2012

Introducing Oracle System Assistant

by Josh Rosen

One of the challenges with today's servers is getting the server up and running and understanding what all of the steps are once you plug the server in for the first time.

So many different pieces come into play: installing drivers, updating firmware, configuring RAID, and provisioning the operating system. All of these steps must be done before you can even start using the server.

Finding the latest firmware and drivers, making sure you have the right versions, and knowing that all the different software and firmware components work together properly can be a real challenge. If not done correctly, such as if you separately download disk firmware or controller firmware that doesn't match the existing OS drivers, you could experience bugs, performance problems, and incompatibilities. Gone are the days of having to locate the tools and drivers media that shipped with the server only to find out that newer versions of software and firmware are available on the web.

Oracle has solved these challenges in the new X3-2 family of servers by introducing Oracle System Assistant. Oracle System Assistant is an innovative tool that is built-in to every new x86 server. It provides step-by-step assistance with configuring the server, updating firmware and drivers, and provisioning the operating system. Once you have completed all of the steps in the Oracle System Assistant tool, the server is ready to use. Oracle System Assistant

Oracle System Assistant was designed to be easy and straightforward. Starting it is as simple as pressing F9 when the server is booting. You'll need a keyboard, monitor, and mouse or you can use the remote console feature of Oracle ILOM (Integrated Lights Out Manager) to access a virtual KVM to the server from any machine. From there Oracle System Assistant will walk you through each of the steps necessary to set up your server.

After configuring the network settings for Oracle System Assistant, the next step is to check for any new software or firmware for the server. Oracle System Assistant connects back to Oracle using your My Oracle Support account and downloads any updates that were made available to you for this specific server.

This is where you really start to see the innovation that went into Oracle System Assistant. Firmware for Oracle ILOM and BIOS, operating system drivers, and other system firmware (including for option cards and disk drivers) come as a single bundle, downloading as a single unit, that has been engineered and tested to work together by Oracle. Oracle System Assistant figures out the right combination for your server, so you don't have to.
Now that the server has the latest firmware, Oracle System Assistant will next walk you through configuring the hardware. From Oracle System Assistant, you can configure many Oracle ILOM settings, including the network settings and initial user accounts. This ensures that ILOM is accessible and ready to use.
OSA ScreenshotOracle System Assistant is where all parts of the server come together. In addition to communicating with Oracle ILOM and interacting with BIOS, Oracle System Assistant understands and can configure the storage subsystem. Before installing the operating system, Oracle System Assistant can detect the storage configuration and configure RAID for all disks in the system.

At this point, the server is ready to be provisioned with the host operating system. You can use Oracle System Assistant to provision a supported OS, including Oracle Linux, Oracle VM, RHEL, SuSe Linux, and Windows. And by using Oracle System Assistant, you can be sure that the proper OS drivers are installed for each of the installed hardware components.

With Oracle System Assistant, initial setup of the server has never been easier. If we can innovate around problems and find solutions to make our servers easier to manage, this reduces IT costs and makes managing servers simpler. I think with Oracle System Assistant we have done just that.

Josh Rosen is a Principal Product Manager at Oracle and 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 integrates cloud applications and platform services together. For more information about Oracle (NASDAQ:ORCL), visit


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