Oracle DB 12c runs best on Sparc

Oracle's vision of Engineered Systems is transforming into reality with every new product that Oracle is launching. Oracle Database 12c, which was launched in 2013, is an example on how Oracle software is optimized for Oracle Solaris SPARC. Oracle Database 12c is co-engineered with Solaris engineering team and Oracle’s world record SPARC T5 servers have best performance and maximum ROI.

Independent Software Vendors (ISV) who are developing applications using both Oracle DB 12c and Solaris are taking advantage of one core technology, one operating system, one virtualization tool for all the range of SPARC servers. An ISV application can boost its performance, flexibility and security just by using SPARC high numbers of cores and big memory, combined Oracle 12c/Solaris/SPARC multi-tenancy,  zones and LDoms light-weight virtualization technologies, SPARC and Solaris build-in encryption, etc.

Let’s take a look at how all this is translated into technical features. What makes Solaris and SPARC servers the best infrastructure for Oracle 12c enterprise databases?


  1. Oracle Solaris Dtrace is integrated into Oracle 12c and provides end-to-end view for I/O operations taking too long. This way, a database administrator can trace I/O requester, I/O device and the exact time spent in each layer: database, OS and the storage device. This is an ideal tool when the storage is a raw device. During runtime, data is collected and stored into V$KERNEL_IO_OUTLIER. With simple queries, any DBA can get information if there is a problem with the storage device or the HBA connector.

    These are the fields of V$KERNEL_IO_OUTLIER:

    Column Description
    TIMESTAMP Number of seconds elapsed since 00:00 UTC, January 1, 1970
    IO_SIZE Size of the I/O, in KB.
    IO_OFFSET Offset into the device of the I/O
    DEVICE_NAME Name of the device to which the I/O was targeted
    PROCESS_NAME Name of the process that issued the I/O
    TOTAL_LATENCY Total time in microseconds the I/O spent in the kernel
    SETUP_LATENCY Time in microseconds spent during initial I/O setup before sending to SCSI target device driver
    QUEUE_TO_HBA_LATENCY Time in microseconds spent in the SCSI target device driver before being sent to the Host Bus Adaptor
    TRANSFER_LATENCY Time in microseconds spent in the Host Bus Adaptor and physically transferring the I/O to the storage device
    CLEANUP_LATENCY Time in microseconds spent freeing resources used by the completed I/O
    PID Process ID that issued the I/O

    For an ISV, this tool helps to root-cause a problem when a customer is complaining of poor application performance. Without the need of root passwd, one can visualize the entire I/O path from process name to storage partition.


  2. SGA online resizing without reboot is new with Oracle Database 12c and only on Solaris 11.1. Combined with Solaris zones and resource management, this feature allows fast start-up of Oracle instance and dynamic memory resize. When running in a complex, virtualized environment like cloud, this feature helps avoiding disruptions of database services and easy SGA adjustment when database is under heavy use. Solaris 11.1 has implemented a new Optimized Shared Memory (OSM) interface which replaces DISM.

  3. Oracle 12c new multi-tenancy feature running over Solaris virtualization (Zones or/and LDoms) is a powerful and dynamic infrastructure for cloud. You can install and run multiple versions of database and OS on the same server. What an economical architecture to support old and new versions of different applications! And if you have Solaris ZFS as the underlined filesystem, you can take advantage of its snapshot capabilities and easily move zones, in just few seconds, to a different server. Due to Solaris 11 network virtualization, complete isolation is guaranteed between applications running on different zones even if the zones are using the same NIC of the server. This way you get maximum consolidation! This architecture is ideal for a development environment when multiple customer configurations should be supported. Solaris network virtualization can help to mimic complex customer network configurations, all in just one box.

  4. End-to-End Encryption with No Additional Costs when running Oracle 12c on Solaris SPARC. SPARC servers like T5, have an encryption engine on each core that will accelerate all of the most common bulk encryption ciphers like AES and DES. SPARC T5 also supports asymmetric key exchange with RSA and ECC and authentication or hash functions like SHA and MD5. ZFS encryption is supported from Solaris 11 and when running on SPARC T5-2 achieves ZFS File System Encryption Benchmark World Record. Oracle 12c is using Fast Oracle Database Advanced Security Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (12.1) introduces a unified key management interface for Transparent Data Encryption (TDE) and other database components. This eases key administration tasks, provides for better compliance and tracking, and improves separation of duty between the database administrator and security administrator.

  5. Oracle has a strong Solaris SPARC roadmap investing in silicon leadership. Next generation of SPARC servers will have software-on-silicon capabilities that will dramatically improve database performance. Due to Oracle Solaris commitment to application backward compatibility, ISV applications will improve their performance just by supporting Solaris SPARC.

It's very simple to get your hands on all this technology. As an Oracle ISV partner, check that your company is an OPN member at the Gold level. Then, request your free access to the Oracle Solaris Remote Lab, our cloud infrastructure to run Solaris SPARC and x86 virtual machines. It provides templates with Oracle Database, Weblogic or Solaris Studio pre-installed! Look at the following whitepaper and/or video to quickly learn what is and how to access Oracle Solaris Remote Lab. See you there!

Oracle Database 12c Runs Best on
Oracle’s SPARC Servers with Oracle Solaris
Co-Engineered for Performance and Efficiency

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How open innovation and technology adoption translates to business value, with stories from our developer support work at Oracle's ISV Engineering.

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