Monday Dec 08, 2014

The Best Infrastructure for Your Private Cloud

There is still a Conventional Wisdom in IT that the way to architect private clouds is to use generic X86 servers, with open source software such as Red Hat Enterprise Linux, and virtualization software such as VMware. Oracle's technology creates a New Wisdom, in which a better infrastructure for building private clouds provides higher efficiency, more agility and flexibility, and ultimately better value.

Oracle's winning technology acts on three areas:

  • decreases the overhead on creating and running Virtual Machines (VMs), through a layered virtualization model
  • increases the number of VMs supported per server, while eliminating oversubscription, through processors with high hardware thread density
  • increases the agility and flexibility of managing Virtual Machine life cycle, while allowing for compliance guarantees

This blog entry describes in more detail how this is accomplished.

Tuesday Nov 25, 2014

The Best Virtualization and Life Cycle Management for Private Clouds

Virtualization started as a means for server consolidation in order to obtain better efficiency in IT infrastructure. Cost savings came from increased system utilization and reduced server hardware needed to support multiple workloads. However, as private clouds were increasingly deployed in modern data centers, there has been a sharp increase in the number of Virtual Machines that are managed. Many of these clouds have been architected with a hypervisor model supporting many operating system copies. This model actually creates issues of poor efficiency and high management overhead. In other words, IT managers are back again looking at the issue of how to improve the efficiency in their clouds. 

This blog entry describes how Oracle's layered virtualization model, and state-of-the-art life-cycle management, provides the ideal foundation for building efficient private clouds.

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

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

Benchmark Disclosures
1) SPEC and the benchmark names SPECvirt_sc are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). Results from 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.

Wednesday Apr 03, 2013

Unleash the Full Power of Oracle's new SPARC T5 and M5 Servers with Sun ZFS Storage Appliance

FDR wasn’t talking to storage architects when he famously said “We have nothing to fear but fear itself,” but with Oracle’s launch of powerful new SPARC servers, he could have been.  Just think, the SPARC T5-8 server packs up to 1,024 threads and 4TB of memory into 8U of rack space – a capability that up until a couple of years ago was reserved for the world’s fastest supercomputers. As a result, storage architects are concerned that their legacy NAS and SAN systems won’t be able to keep up with these new computational powerhouses. Is their fear justified?

The answer is an unequivocal “Yes, “but they can do something about it.

Over the years I’ve seen lots of companies stick with existing storage when they move to new, more powerful servers.  I understand the reasoning – they’re just running the same applications and databases, so they don’t need new storage.  But their users won’t use the applications in the same way  as before even if that was the plan.  For example, business intelligence apps will run faster, so end-users want to analyze larger problems or run more predictive models,  putting unforeseen pressure on the storage systems, which can easily lead to fear. 

To assuage your fear, you need to ensure that your new SPARC T5 servers are complemented by equally powerful storage systems that can keep up with the I/O loads the servers generate and yet be agile enough to change when application requirements dictate. The good news is that Oracle has a storage solution that meets these needs.

Oracle’s Sun ZFS Storage Appliance are specifically engineered to support the new SPARC servers with more compute threads to serve more concurrent I/O requests, more memory and Flash caches to efficiently serve massive numbers of VMs, and more memory bandwidth to move data through the system as it is needed.

And, it doesn’t stop there. 

Many of the SPARC T5 servers that we ship will run Oracle Database, and Oracle’s efforts to engineer hardware and software together extend beyond the database and the server to include the three-way optimization of Oracle software, Oracle servers, and Oracle storage.  

It only makes sense that Oracle would be able to engineer the best storage for Oracle Database and SPARC T5 systems.  There are many reasons why this is so, but three of the ones we highlight in our press release are:

1. Oracle Database benefits from high levels of parallelization in both SPARC T5 server and Sun ZFS Storage Appliances. 

2. Sun ZFS Storage Appliances are the only NAS systems that support Oracle Solaris Cluster and work with SPARC T5 systems to deliver sub-second application failover for mission-critical applications that experience a server or software problem. 

3. Sun ZFS Storage Appliances deliver multi-faceted I/O stack optimization for Oracle Database that that increase performance and simplify the creation and development of both production and test and development environments. 

The bottom line is that you can update your compute infrastructure independently of your storage and risk the consequences, or you can incorporate Sun ZFS Storage Appliances and get the only storage specifically engineered to optimize SPARC T5 environments.

To find out more about the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance and how it supports Oracle Database environments download the Transforming Business with Oracle Optimized Storage for Oracle Database 11g white paper and see how Oracle IT Relies on Sun ZFS Storage Appliance to power the Oracle Cloud.


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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