Monday May 30, 2016

SPARC M7 DAX – Stream Processing for Big Data

And now you know the rest of the story. – Paul Harvey

Paul Harvey was an American radio broadcaster who ended each of his ABC radio broadcasts with the tag line, "And now you know the rest of the story."  His idiosyncratic stories always seemed to dig up the details that nobody had heard.

In a similar fashion, the overwhelming growth of big data for enterprises today means that not only must you be able to analyze the rest of the information that truly counts, but that involves sophisticated search and machine learning algorithms over large data sets to find the important details that matter.

Oracle is re-thinking this challenge with their innovative approach to processor design.

In March 2016 Oracle announced a free and open API and developer kit for its Data Analytics Accelerator (DAX) in SPARC processors through its Software in Silicon Developer Program.  The SPARC M7 DAX is a unique innovation that accelerates a broad base of industry-leading analytic applications to help solve big data challenges.

DAX accelerators were specifically designed to accelerate analytical queries, and were initially supported in the Oracle Database 12c In-Memory option. This open API for DAX is designed to expand the existing program so application developers can leverage the DAX technology to accelerate a broad spectrum of software applications, including big data analytics, machine learning, and more.   Apache Spark's in-memory framework is an ideal showcase for demonstrating this kind of acceleration benefit of DAX (more detail:  Apache Spark and DAX).

Enter stream processing, which can be a game changer in a big data world. 
This technical article describes stream processing using the DAX APIs in detail:

Introduction to Stream Processing Using the DAX APIs

These DAX APIs allow you to use stream-processing techniques to analyze and act on real-time streaming data that is in-memory, by taking advantage of the DAX hardware acceleration on the SPARC microprocessor.  Stream-processing techniques allow efficient use of system resources by structuring memory operations as regular patterns that can be accelerated by the DAX co-processors.

The DAX co-processors enable direct execution of many of the DAX API operations, manipulating in-memory data streams directly and freeing the SPARC CPU for other tasks.   The DAX APIs will continue to evolve over time as more applications are developed and more analytic functions are added.  

Developers interested in accelerating analytics with the open API for DAX can register to access to Oracle’s Software in Silicon Cloud at: http://swisdev.oracle.com/.

This 5-minute video demonstrates how DAX work: Oracle’s Data Analytics Accelerators (DAX)

For more information, or to enter a discussion on this topic,
visit our Software in Silicon Community page on the Oracle Technology Network:
Develop the Next Generation of Analytics and Security

And now you do know the rest of the story!

Wednesday Mar 09, 2016

Amazing Results on SPARC T7 by MSC Software

More GREAT performance results on SPARC T7.

In this joint Oracle and MSC Software solution brief, Oracle’s T7 server with Solaris 11 is deployed to consolidate multiple instances of MSC's SimManager server, associated web application server, and a supporting instance of the Oracle Database 12c server, onto a single platform.

This demonstrated how a single T7 server can accomplish the work of a complex cluster of multiple x86 Lintel servers while achieving 75,000 simulations in a single day.

Not kidding.


Leo Kilfoy, General Manager at MSC Software, spoke to us on video at Oracle OpenWorld 2015 about the "amazing results" his company is seeing in recent tests on the Oracle SPARC T7 processor.  System throughput is peaking out at a 2x improvement over the SPARC and Intel processors they have used in the past and T7 is able to deliver better core-to-core throughput than an Intel Xeon X5 v3 server running a SimManager workload.

For more AMAZING results on SPARC T7/M7, go to: SPARC M7: Are You Kidding Me!?

For more information on work we are doing with SPARC M7/T7 and our ISVs, you can contact isvsupport_ww@oracle.com.

Tuesday Nov 03, 2015

OpenWorld 2015 Recap - Secure Cloud


Even if you attended all 5 days of Oracle OpenWorld (OOW) 2015 this past week, there was WAY more content and goings on over the span of 5 days than one could possibly hope to keep track of. 

But if I had to sum it all up in two words for our partners, it would be "Secure Cloud".

"We are in the middle of a generational shift in computing that is no less important than our shift to personal computing..."  Larry Ellison, Oracle OpenWorld Keynote

Looking like he was nearing his 40th birthday, a vibrant Larry Ellison kicked things off on Sunday night with a theme around Cloud, which pretty much set the tone for the week to come, and followed with more than a dozen announcements around Oracle Cloud services and capabilities.  The cloud drum beat continued throughout the week with pretty much all of the executive keynote presentations.  Here are just a couple of quotes I captured in the few I was able to catch:

- “cloud is the biggest change happening to infrastructure in 25 or so years...”  Dave Donatelli
 - “having a public cloud is a requirement for future success...”  Dave Donatelli
 - "we now have virtually 100% of our portfolio rewritten, rebuilt, and modernized for the cloud…” Mark Hurd


Mark Hurd's Monday morning keynote (Vision 2025: Digital Transformation in the Cloud) included a series of IT predictions for 2025:

 - 80 percent of all production apps will be in the cloud. (Today, Hurd noted, it's about 25 percent.)
 - 100 percent of dev tests will be in the cloud.
 - Virtually all enterprise data will be in the cloud.
 - Enterprise clouds will be the most secure IT environments.

So, lets pause here for a minute and look at just how dramatically this is changing business today.
I saw a presentation recently at an industry conference which underscored this perspective. 

4 simple examples -- think about this:

- the largest car rental company in the world has no cars (Uber)
- the largest retailer in the world has no stores (Amazon)
- the largest hotel chain in the world has no hotels (Airbnb)
- the world's most popular media owner creates no content (Facebook)

Clearly a significant power shift is taking place, and disruptors like Airbnb and Uber are leveraging IT to achieve incredible market caps and growth multiples previously unheard of!  This begs the question --- who is going to be around to supply the infrastructure for these clouds and how will they do it!?

Dave Donatelli even played into this point by highlighting key events in the IT industry that are happening because of this shift to the cloud:

- IBM sells its x86 server business to Lenova for $2.3B and pays GlobalFoundries $1.5B to take chip unit
- Dell, Riverbed, Veritas  — all go private
- HP splits in two in a sign of changing times for hardware giants
- Dell buys EMC for $67B (the largest tech deal EVER)

Larry Ellison's 2nd keynote on Tuesday afternoon delivered a compelling argument that Oracle is uniquely positioned to steal this show by focusing on the cloud and shifting the focus of infrastructure to security.   "The biggest concern we have as an industry is security", said Ellison, as he unveiled the new SPARC M7 software in silicon offering.  I would recommend watching the positioning Larry used in the first 30 minutes of this keynote to understand the importance of this theme around secure infrastructure:  The Secure Cloud by Larry Ellison



Wednesday morning then featured 2 keynote presentations which dug into the meat of this infrastructure strategy by Oracle.   John Fowler (EVP for Systems) and Juan Loiza (SVP for Oracle Systems Technology) reviewed this security strategy around Oracle's all-new family of SPARC systems built on the revolutionary 32-core, 256-thread SPARC M7 microprocessor with "Always On" Security in Silicon.  Don't miss the replay on this presentation (below), which provides a detailed overview of how the new SPARC M7 processor-based systems, including the Oracle SuperCluster M7 engineered system, SPARC T7 and M7 servers, and Oracle Solaris 11.3, are designed to seamlessly integrate with existing infrastructure and include Always On security for the cloud.  Here is a ~1 minute segment of John Fowler's representation of the Heartbleed and Venom threats and how SPARC M7's Silicon Secured Memory protection can prevent them.

- The New Era of Secure Computing and Convergence with Oracle Systems by John Fowler and Juan Loiza


Oracle has plenty of customer and partner testimonies on these new systems, 20 new world record benchmarks, and videos from partners and customers which demonstrate why these new servers are such a very big deal to the infrastructure needs of the secure cloud (summary blog).  But returning to Ellison's comments on Tuesday afternoon, the powerful message is around the dramatic innovations Oracle has made with software in silicon on the SPARC M7 processor, especially around the topic of Security.

At Oracle, we think the strategy of pushing software features into silicon is how to get ahead of the bad guys, and new features like Silicon Secured Memory (always on memory protection in hardware) is something our customers see as a clear differentiator for infrastructure in the cloud.  Security has become a #1 concern of our customers.  "We think that going forward, customers are going to be more interested in how a system and application runs encrypted, than you are going to want to know how it runs in the clear, because that's how you are going to be running your datacenter."   John Fowler, EVP, Systems

Why not TRY OUT M7 and see for yourself?
Oracle now offers partners, customers and university researchers access to a Software in Silicon Cloud, which provides developers a secure and ready-to-run virtual machine environment to install, test, and improve their code in a SPARC M7/T7 system running Oracle Solaris.

Try it -- we think you'll like it!


Monday Oct 20, 2014

Why Should Your Oracle Database Run on Oracle Solaris 11?

Answer:  because it runs faster, is more secure, is more scalable & highly available, and because it simplifies management.  


If you would like to know more, a new white paper (Oracle Solaris 11 is a state-of-the-art platform for deploying Oracle Database) has been published which details how Oracle Solaris 11 brings distinctive benefits to Oracle Database deployments, including deployments of the latest release, Oracle Database 12c. It describes Oracle Solaris 11.2 enhancements, which help to improve database scalability, availability, security, and manageability, and describe in detail how Oracle Solaris 11 and Oracle Database optimizations bring specific benefits for database deployments on SPARC servers.  [Read More]

Friday Jun 06, 2014

SPARC T5-4 Engineering Simulation Solution

A recent Oracle internal performance evaluation for computer-based product design demonstrated that Oracle's SPARC T5-4 server running MSC's SimManager simulation software with Oracle Database 12c consolidates the work of multiple x86 servers while delivering better overall performance.   Engineering simulation solutions have taken the center stage in helping companies design and develop innovative products while reducing physical prototyping costs, and exploring a larger design space, resulting in more design possibilities.

For this solution, a single SPARC T5-4 server running Oracle Solaris 11 was deployed to consolidate the MSC SimManager server, the Oracle Database 12c server, and the web application server onto a single platform. An automotive design workload was deployed to demonstrate how the SPARC T5-4 server can be used to consolidate the work of multiple x86 servers and deliver better overall performance while reducing complexity and achieving optimal product designs. 

A joint Oracle/MSC Software solution brief describes this in more detail:  A Simplified Solution for Product Lifecycle Management MSC SimManager on a SPARC T5-4 Server
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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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