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 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

Conclusion
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 http://www.oracle.com/benchmarks.

Benchmark Disclosures
1) SPEC and the benchmark names SPECvirt_sc are registered trademarks of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation (SPEC). Results from http://www.spec.org 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.

Friday Apr 04, 2014

Abu Dhabi Police Implements Oracle SuperCluster T5-8 for Oracle E-Business Suite

Abu Dhabi Police has been working on revamping their IT infrastructure to bring the best-in-class technologies. They selected Oracle SuperCluster T5-8 to implement a large-scale consolidation of Oracle E-Business Suite and Oracle Enterprise Database instances, consolidating data center environments for rapid deployment. Oracle SuperCluster T5-8 was the optimal, integrated solution. Abu Dhabi Police decided on an "Oracle on Oracle" approach--running Oracle software on Oracle hardware--which provided Oracle Database RAC, Solaris zone clusters for Oracle E-Business Suite, migration of database to 111gR2 database instances, and supporting applications. Oracle Consulting Services managed the complete end-to-end migration.


The work done in this project demonstrates how Oracle software on Oracle hardware delivers a compelling value proposition to customers that are seeking to run their most critical processes with the lowest risk, while having the best total cost of ownership in the market. Abu Dhabi Police is implementing a complete and high-level model that will enable them to be ready for future growth, hosting all their existing database instances and applications.

Oracle identifies, integrates, and conducts full Oracle stack testing, resulting in documented practices for deployment and Oracle E-Business Suite tuning. This has been tested to result in up to a 3x reduction in data center footprint as compared to the competition, and reduce total cost of ownership by up to 3x.

What benefits can you derive from running Oracle software on Oracle hardware?


Christine Kipp (christine.kipp@oracle.com) 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.

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

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

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