Monday Jul 11, 2016

SPARC M7 [and now S7]: Are You Kidding Me!?

Our ISV partners are beginning to ask us if we ARE kidding,  as we continue to produce a plethora of evidence demonstrating the performance, security, throughput and many other advantages of Oracle's SPARC M7 systems, including the newly announced SPARC S7 systems.  Hearing things like 2x more cores, 2x more threads, 4x larger cache per core, 4x more I/O bandwidth... can tend to lose their meaning after awhile. 

Does combining software and silicon really amount to that big of a difference!? 
And just what do those "x" factors equate to when it comes to real world application of these new SPARC M7/S7 systems?

We'll let you be the judge --
here is a compilation of what evidence we have to date. 

Analyst Reviews:

- Edison: Security & Performance Advantages with Oracle Software in Silicon
- Enterprise Strategy Group: Oracle M7 Enhances CPU-level Security
- ESG: I May Be Losing My Mind – I’m Believing In Oracle Hardware
- Forbes: The Breakthrough Technology That Will Turbocharge Big Data And Cloud Computing
- Forrester: Oracle Delivers “Software on Silicon”
- IDC: What If Oracle Is On To Something?
- Ovum: Oracle's latest Sparc refresh puts software in silicon
- SiliconANGLE: Oracle debuts first systems with 10-billion-transistor SPARC M7 chip
- The Next Platform: Oracle Takes On Xeons With SPARC S7
- Wikibon:
Software-in-Silicon Drives Oracle SPARC M7 Processors

World Records:

- Infosys Finacle Sets a New Record on Oracle SuperCluster M7 (Press Release)
- SAP Two-Tier Standard Sales and Distribution SD Benchmark: SPARC M7-8
- Siebel PSPP: SPARC T7-2 Beats IBM
- SPECvirt_2013: SPARC T7-2 for Two- and Four-Chip Systems
- SPECjbb2015: SPARC T7-1 for 1 Chip Result
- 20 World Record Performance Benchmarks

ISV Video Testimonies:

- Siemens Eyes Dramatic Increase in Speed of SPARC M7 Servers
- MSC Software Sees Amazing Throughput with Oracle's SPARC T7
- The Advantage of Running Temenos on Oracle Engineered Systems
- Quartet FS In-Memory Analytics Java Advantage on SPARC

ISV Evidence:

- Unbeatable Scalability of SAP ASE on Oracle M7
- SAS and Oracle SPARC M7 Silicon Secured Memory
- Amazing Results on SPARC T7 by MSC Software
- SPARC T7 - Minutes to Seconds!
- Siemens Teamcenter on SuperCluster M7 with 10,000+ Concurrent Users
- Unbeatable Scalability of SAP ASE on Oracle M7

Customer and Partner Quotes (in Press Release):

- AsiaInfo: "able to shorten time to find and fix bugs by 3 days. "
- B&H Photo Video: "run 83x faster on SPARC T7"
- BPC: “excited to see dramatic performance increases"
- Capitek: “the only effective method of protection against dangerous programming vulnerabilities"
- Informationsverarbeitung für Versicherungen GmbH (ivv): "will dramatically increase the speed of services"
- MSC Software: “able to deliver better core-to-core throughput than an Intel Xeon X5 v3 server"
- QuartetFS:  “... our queries running an amazing 6-8 times faster. "
- SAS: "detected difficult to find run-time errors far more quickly than other products"
- Siemens PLM Software: “the new Oracle SPARC M7 servers showed dramatic performance improvements"
- Software AG: “achieved an amazing 2.8X performance increase"
- University Hospitals Leuven: “SPARC is the only suitable platform that meets our application needs"

Customer References:

- University Hospitals Leuven Provide Electronic Health Records in Real Time
- B&H Photo Experiences up to 83 Times Faster Results with Oracle SPARC T7 Servers (video)
- ivv Runs Applications 1.8x Faster, Cuts Compliance Reporting Overhead 10x

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/S7 system running Oracle Solaris.

Try it -- we think you'll agree.  We are NOT kidding around!

Wednesday Jul 06, 2016

SPARC Cryptographic Accelerators — Securing the Cloud

The significant volume of data being harbored on a global basis presents a massive target for today’s increasingly sophisticated IT hackers.  Securing this data represents one of the largest challenges facing businesses today.  Check out map.norsecorp.com to see an interesting view of the frequency by which these attacks may be taking place.  Not a pretty picture...

As businesses are moving rapidly to virtualized cloud computing infrastructures, many organizations are hesitating to move their strategic enterprise workloads over due to concerns about the security of that data.  Today’s standard encryption models fall far short — and often enterprises are not willing to pay the performance penalty for turning on security encryption.

Enter SPARC M7/S7 Integrated Cryptographic Accelerators

Oracle has taken a very different approach to this problem with the SPARC processor.
The SPARC M7 processor has 32 integrated cryptographic accelerators (highlighted in yellow) on board. Think of them as mini data traffic cops who only do encryption.
There are as many crypto accelerators as there are CPU cores on the M7/S7 chip. 



The incredible efficiency of this design is that these cryptographic accelerators can rapidly process data for encryption while the SPARC M7/S7 processor cycles are available for use by the database and other applications.  These traffic cops don’t care about what is going on over there, they only care about processing encrypted data.  FAST.

As a result, each processor core contains the fastest cryptographic acceleration in the industry, allowing IT organizations to deliver end-to-end data encryption and secure transactions with near - zero performance impact.  And no additional hardware or software investment required.  Data encryption can be  enabled by default, without compromise in performance, using wide-key cryptography accelerated in hardware.

Want to see how this works?
watch this  4 minute video of the SPARC M7/S7 Integrated Cryptographic Accelerators.

Need evidence?
AES Encryption: SPARC S7 Performance, Beats Intel E5-2699 v4 Per Core Under Load
SPECjEnterprise2010: SPARC S7-2 Secure and Unsecure Results
SHA Digest Encryption: SPARC S7 Performance, Beats Intel E5-2699 v4 Per Core Under Load
SPARC M7 Arrives, Breaks Records

Want to test for yourself?
Go to SWiSdev.Oracle.com and leverage Oracle’s Software in Silicon Cloud to gain access to this technology today, along with numerous FREE developer resources.

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.

Wednesday Feb 03, 2016

SPARC T7 - Minutes to Seconds!


We are not kidding.

SPARC M7/T7 results are now coming in from our partners and the results are truly worth noting. 
Here is one more example to add to the list.

Hangzhou New Century Electronic Technology Co. Ltd. (NCI), located in Hangzhou, China, is an Oracle partner specializing in systems integration, hardware and software distribution, and technical support services for the tobacco industry.  They develop and distribute an integrated management and control application called "The Tobacco Business Operation & Maintenance Platform v4.0", which is a widely recognized solution based on Oracle’s Java EE architecture.  This platform provides the tobacco industry with a unified platform for operations, management and safety, and includes cloud compute & big data analysis functionality.

As the story has been going with the SPARC T7, NCI heard about the highly acclaimed analyst reviews, 20 new world record benchmarks, the numerous customer quotes (B&H Photo Video: "run 83x faster on SPARC T7"), and decided to try out the powerful T7-2 server on the Tobacco Business Operations & Maintenance Platform.  Their objective was to run tests to measure the performance results comparing the Oracle Database 12c with the IBM DB2 Database, both running on the Oracle SPARC T7-2 servers.


Hardware Components:
The hardware configuration included two Oracle SPARC T7-2 servers with 512GB of memory to deploy Oracle Database 12c RAC, and two Oracle SPARC T7-2 servers with 512GB of memory for deployment of Oracle Weblogic 12c Cluster.  A single Oracle FS1 Flash Storage System was used to deploy Oracle RAC ASM, and for operation and maintenance of data storage. 

Software Components:
The software configuration included Oracle Solaris 11 as the operating system; Oracle Database version 12.1.0.2.0; Oracle WebLogic version 12.1.1 for the middleware; and IBM DB2 Database version 10.5.0.3.  

Test Results: 8 minutes to 7 seconds!
Running the same series of SQL statements on the IBM DB2 database took just over 8 "minutes",
when the same exact run on the same hardware took just under 7 "seconds" with Oracle Database 12c.
The tests were run with the Oracle Database In-Memory option enabled and utilized the SPARC T7  Data Analytics Accelerator (DAX) co-processors.  These results were compared to the exact same hardware configuration running the IBM DB2 Database.  The test database file size in both cases was 256MB.  This was a test to see if the Oracle on Oracle solution could demonstrate a significant advantage.

Are you kidding me!?

NCI realized two primary factors were responsible for that dramatic advantage of the Oracle on Oracle solution:

1) Data Analytics Accelerators (DAX) are individual co-processors on the SPARC T7 chip which perform query-related operations directly through the hardware, thereby improving Oracle Database performance significantly. NCI was able to utilize DAX hardware acceleration for the Oracle Database 12c in-memory database operations on this test, thereby relieving the SPARC T7 cores from this analytics workload.

2) Oracle Database In-Memory is a new option with Oracle Database 12c which works with DAX on the SPARC T7 chip to transparently accelerate analytic queries by orders of magnitude.  Oracle Database In-Memory optimizes both analytics and online transaction processing workloads (OLTP), delivering outstanding performance for transaction processing while simultaneously supporting real-time analytics for business intelligence.

A couple of notes on this test:
1) The SPARC M7 DAX functionality is used by default when Oracle Database In-Memory Query Accelerator is enabled.  No additional administration is required to turn this functionality on.
2) The database file size of 256MB is a very small size and not applicable to most use cases.  A larger database would yield even better performance results.
3) Oracle offers a tool called the In-Memory Advisor which could be used here for assessment of the workload and recommendations regarding how to optimize the Oracle Database performance.  See the Oracle Database In-Memory Advisor White Paper for details.

More Information:
For more information, details and system sizing help you can contact the team via isvsupport_ww@oracle.com

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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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