Thursday Oct 23, 2014

Power of SPARC T5 scalability unleashed

I was working with a leading asset management vendor in the financial server sector who is using Python for a considerable amount of their software, a typical three-tier architecture, Database, Business Logic and User interface using Python as the main back-end language. Performance was critical for both latency (fast individual query response) and total throughput (being able to service a large amount of queries in parallel).

This was an opportunity to validate the quality of the scalability advantage of SPARC processors, with their large amount of cores and threads within a single chip.

In order to test the scalability of the SPARC processor in a Python environment, I decided to use the standard Python benchmark which is available in all the latest Python distributions. By running multiple benchmarks in parallel, I could then plot the scaling factor to see how linearly the total throughput would ramp up as more cores and threads were utilized.

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Tuesday Apr 22, 2014

Parallel Java with Fork/Join on SPARC CMT

Java 7 Fork and Join allows an easy way to perform dividable work by executing parallel tasks on a single computing machine. This article introduced a fork/join example of counting occurrences of a word in all files/directories under a root directory. I thought to check how these forked threads scale on a T5-4 server. Oracle T5-4 server has 4 processors, each has 16 cores. CMT technology allows 8 threads contexts per core (each core includes two out-of-order integer pipelines, one floating-point unit, level 1 and 2 caches, full specs here).

It took 1131.29 seconds for a single thread to process a root directory with 1024 files, 1.25MB each. Increasing "parallelism level"  —using the Java fork/join pool terminology —up to 2048, doing the same work with fork/join took 7.74 seconds! Clearly it is worth setting the ForkJoinPool parallelism level manually to higher than...

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Thursday Mar 27, 2014

Solaris Studio 12.4 Beta is live

The Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 Beta release is out. Oracle Solaris Studio is a suite of compilers and code analysis tools that assist developers in creating highly optimized, robust, and secure applications for the Oracle Solaris and Linux Operating Systems. These tools help application developers achieve the best performance on Oracle's newest T-series and M-series SPARC servers, Fujitsu's M10 servers, and Intel-based servers. 

New features and enhancements in Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 include:

  • New C++ compiler and dbx debugger that support the C++ 2011 language standard
  • A completely redesigned Performance Analyzer UI that simplifies identification of key performance issues, plus remote data analysis, cross-architecture support, comparison of results, and improved kernel profiling
  • Code Analyzer for improving your application with static source-code checking, run-time memory access checking (including memory leaks), and identification of un-exercised code. Graphical user interface and command-line provide robust interfaces for reviewing results and historical analysis of data
  • Compiler and library optimizations for Oracle's SPARC T5, M5, M6, Fujitsu's M10, and Intel's Ivy Bridge and Haswell servers
  • Support for new OpenMP 4.0 standard including Region Cancellation, Thread Affinity, Tasking Extensions and Sequentially Consistent Atomics
  • Integrated Development Environment (IDE) that includes C++ 2011 support, improved response time, and a smaller memory footprint to efficiently handle very large source repositories.

Visit the Oracle Solaris Studio 12.4 Beta homepage and download the Beta release today!

Monday Feb 24, 2014

LDom Direct-IO gives fast and virtualized IO to ECI Telecom

ECI Telecom is a leading telecom networking infrastructure vendor and a long-time Oracle partner. ECI provides innovative communications platforms and solutions to carriers and service providers worldwide, that enable customers to rapidly deploy cost-effective, revenue-generating services. ECI Telecom's Network Management solutions are built on the Oracle 11gR2 Database and Solaris Operating System.

"As one of the leading suppliers in the telecom networking infrastructure, ECI has a long term relationship with Oracle. Our main Network Management products are based on Oracle Database, Oracle Solaris and Oracle's Sun servers. Oracle Solaris is proven to be a mission critical OS for its high performance, extreme stability and binary compatibility guarantee."

Mark Markman, R&D Infrastructure Manager, ECI Telecom

Not long ago, ECI was asked by a customer to provide a scalable solution with a smaller footprint, with a preference for a VM-like environment that can (...)

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Thursday Oct 25, 2012

Morgan Stanley chooses Solaris 11 to run cloud file services

At the EAKC2012 Conference last week in Edinburg, Robert Milkowski, Unix engineer at Morgan Stanley, presented on deploying OpenAFS on Solaris 11. It makes a great proofpoint on how ZFS and DTrace gives a definite advantage to Solaris over Linux to run AFS distributed file system services, the "cloud file system" as Robert calls it in his blog. Robert used ZFS to achieve a 2-3x compression ratio on data and greatly lower the TCA and TCO of the storage subsystem, and DTrace to root-cause scalability bottlenecks and improve performance. As future ideas, Robert is looking at leveraging more Solaris features like Zones, ZFS Dedup, SSD for ZFS, etc.
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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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