Tuesday Mar 01, 2011

Talend Integration Suite optimized on Solaris

Continuing with the spirit of the Tunathon program --an innovative enginneering program to study and tune application performance on Solaris, run at Sun Microsystems in the early 2000's--, we at ISV Engineering are still running today "Tunathon" projects with our partners, i.e. tuning their application on Solaris --we have about 5 in flight right now. Tunathon efforts are in fact more and more relevant as computers are becoming more complex, scalable and heteregeneous --think e.g. of a 4-socket quad-core dual-thread system with extra GPU engines. Developers have the impossible job to release new business logic in their code, faster and faster, while being fully optimized and scalable on systems that a developer never gets his hands on to test scalability to start with, anyway. And the programming frameworks, good for developer productivity and code quality, comes as additional layers that can make debugging and optimization a real nightmare.

Recently, Talend, a fast growing ISV positioned by Gartner in the “Visionaries” quadrant of the “Magic Quadrant for Data Integration Tools”, contacted us to report a serious performance issue at one of their customers, a large bank, using the Talend Integration Suite application on a large 32-way quad-core SPARC M-Series server. Although fully multi-threaded, the software simply did not scale on such a large system. We got on it right away, set up a 128-thread Sun T5140 system in our Lab to reproduce the problem, and took a closer look at the Java code…

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Monday Sep 20, 2010

Avaloq runs on Oracle Solaris x86

Financial Services is probably the vertical industry with the most successful early adopters of Solaris 10 x86 --like Murex e.g., a leading Risk Management vendor, with several customers in production with Solaris x86 today-- and remains a strong area for Solaris x86 adoption. It is now the turn of Avaloq, the Swiss market leader in integrated banking software, to announce that it has released its Avaloq Banking System on Oracle Solaris 10 x86-64.

"Oracle Solaris 10 x86-64 as an enterprise class Operating System is a decisive advantage for banks."
Klaus Rausch, CTO, Avaloq Evolution Ltd

If you are a Solaris Sparc ISV today, Solaris x86 is your safest and quickest path to leverage commodity x86 hardware and its price-performance advantages, where it makes sense --the traditional RISC architecture, the novel CMT architecture and the standard x86 architecture indeed all have different design points and each has the best price-performance when applied to the appropriate workload.

Safest because you retain all of the Solaris enterprise-class features that your customers love, notably the Solaris binary compatibility --the Oracle Solaris 10 Binary Application Guarantee Program still accepts submissions until May 2011 by the way. Quickest because you maintain a single source code, i.e. no porting is needed --check out the Oracle Solaris 10 Source Application Guarantee Program, also valid until May 2011.

If you are a Windows or Linux ISV today, Solaris x86 is probably your best bet to differentiate yourself. Whether it is with respect to virtualization with Containers, security with the ZFS filesystem, availability with SMF, Oracle Solaris 10 has an award-winning technology that can help you better meet the needs of enterprise customers. The Avaloq press release points particularly to the Solaris "optimisations for the new Intel processors [that makes Solaris 10] a secure, energy-efficient and highly scalable base for mission-critical IT systems which reduces a bank's TCO significantly."

Avaloq's Architect Martin Büchi is in fact talking at Oracle Open World 2010 today at 1PM PST. To discuss database application development. Still, if you happen to be there, ask him about Solaris x86.

Thursday Sep 10, 2009

Sun powers Symeos online identity management platform

"Thanks to Sun technology, we are continuing to bring innovative identity management solutions to market and driving growth."
Hervé Prot, CEO, Symeos

Specialized in Web services security, Symeos provides online identity management, federated authentication services and single sign-on technologies for customers across multiple industries, including banking and finance. With the support of Sun, Symeos has developed a new scalable identity management product called EGO to support the more than 10 million expected users.

Read the whole story at http://www.sun.com/customers/servers/symeos.xml  to learn how the combinaison of Sun systems, storage and software reduced the Symeos development cost by 60%, delivered a 99.999% infrastructure availability and improved Web application server performance by 92%. Symeos is a member of the Sun Startup Essentials program.

Friday Dec 19, 2008

Gigaspaces curbs latency outliers with Java Real Time

"Latency matters. Amazon found every 100ms of latency cost them 1% in sales. Google found an extra .5 seconds in search page generation time dropped traffic by 20%. A broker could lose $4 million in revenues per millisecond if their electronic trading platform is 5 milliseconds behind the competition."
Latency is Everywhere (...), High Scalability Blog, Todd Hoff

Sun customers can turn to Gigaspaces to hide the network latencies and dramatically increase the performance of their multi-tier applications. Since the release of Java Real Time System (JRTS) 2.0, Gigaspaces customers can now turn back to Sun to further decrease the application latency of their business-critical transactions. Today's proofpoint is covering some engineering work at Gigaspaces this year around JRTS 2.0 to meet the stringent needs of our Financial Services customers with respect to market transaction latencies.

Today, most banks have migrated their internal software development from C/C++ to the Java language because of well-known advantages in development productivity (Java Platform), robustness & reliability (Garbage Collector) and platform independence (Java Bytecode). They may even have gotten better throughput performance through the use of standard architectures and application servers (Java Enterprise Edition). Among the few banking applications that have not been able to benefit yet from the Java revolution, you find the latency-critical applications connected to the trading floor. Why? Because of the unpredictable pauses introduced by the garbage collector which result in significant jitter (variance of execution time).

"If you've got some trades going through at 10 milliseconds and some at 1 millisecond, that's a problem. Our customers don't like variance."
Steve Rubinow, CTO, NYSE

In the context of a customer proof-of-concept this summer and in the light of the 2.0 release of Java Real Time System --JRTS 1.0 had the bad prerequisite of source code changes--, Gigaspaces revisited the opportunity for Java Real Time to serve the low-latency requirements of trading applications. Gigaspaces XAP 6.5, Solaris 10 and both Java 5.0 standard and real-time JVMs were used for the benchmark. The test scenario included a trade matching engine and…

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Friday Oct 24, 2008

Fast, reliable, cheap: pick 2? ZFS brings all!

Today's post is the first instance of an on-going series of technology adoption proofpoints. They are short real-life success stories about our application partners leveraging Sun technologies and innovation to create value for the end-customer. They will be, for the most part, the result of our developer support work at ISV Engineering. Unless there had been some public coverage of that work, proofpoints will be anonymized; only the industry and application segment will be identified --so you can still relate them to your own market and customers. So there we go...

After a server crash at a major European bank, two companies got a phone call; Sun because the logo is on the box, and the ISV whose application --a SWIFTnet messaging platform-- was running on it. The call came very quickly because the crash had led to corrupted data. Our joint investigation showed that one VxFS extend --the bank was using the Veritas File System 4.1-- contained old/bad financial data mixed with correct data. The problem was believed to happen after a new VxFS extend was allocated but before its metadata was written. By default, VxFS does not zero newly-allocated extends. For business environments where data integrity is critical, Veritas recommends the mount -o blkclear option that guarantees that uninitialized data does not appear in a file. That solution induced however an 15% performance loss with the application, unacceptable for the customer, and increased disk footprint of the C-ISAM (embedded database) data files.

The Solaris 10 operating system and ZFS filesystem was tested as an alternative solution and used as is with no additional flag. Due to its guaranteed data integrity, application data was found 100% correct after a stringent series of (20) crash tests. The application performance increased by 10% with ZFS compared to VxFS. In addition, the application's cold recovery process, which is started after a power failure, was taking only 15 seconds on ZFS when all C-ISAM database files have been checked. Finally, it was demonstrated that the ZFS built-in snapshot mechanism could be used to implement a Point-in-Time solution eliminating the need of expensive storage with snapshot capabilities.

As a result of this joint engineering work, the ISV listed ZFS as the recommended filesystem to all its customers. Based on this recommendation, customers have migrated to Solaris 10, from earlier releases of Solaris on Sparc, or are planning to do it. Based on ZFS, which is an integral part of the (free) Solaris and OpenSolaris distributions, the ISV solution is more competitive, guaranteeing data integrity --equals higher availability-- and reducing cost of ownership --no VxFS license, no expensive storage-- while delivering full performance.

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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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