The SPARC T5 Servers have landed

At last, the SPARC T5 servers are announced! They are worthy heirs of the SPARC T-series, and even more powerful than their successful predecessors the SPARC T4

Before we'd go into the technical details, here is a very important message: 

Having announced the T5 servers doesn't make the T4s go away. It is not a platform replacing technology, but a platform extending one! Oracle is going to offer SPARC T4 and T5 servers side-by-side!

Here's a short overview of the complete SPARC serverportfolio: 

Having said that, let's dive headfirst into the details to soothe the techcrave: 

What's new with the SPARC T5 servers?

  • The more obvious updates:
    • One CPU has 16 cores 
    • The cores run at 3.6GHz
    • Servers with up to 8 sockets 
      • that is, up to 1024 parallell threads in a box!!
      • 8 sockets wiht glueless interconnect, mind you, no interim hops between the sockets!  
    • up to 4TB memory per server
  • More detailed information:
    • Cache doubled to from the T4's 4MB to 8MB L3 cache 
    • PCIe Slots upgraded to PCIe 3.0 doubling throughput of I/O
    • CPU Modules are hot-pluggable on the T5-4 and T5-8 servers 
    • Crypto performance is more than double to that of a T4 
    • The T5 is using the 28nm technology (T4 was built with 40nm) 
    • Advanced Power Management 
    • T4 had ExpressModule PCIe, T5 has standard lowprofile PCIe Slots
  • We sticked to the many T-Server goodies though: 
    • OVM for SPARC (aka Logical Domains, the possibility to partition the T-SPARC servers to several virtual machines running completely independent Solaris installations/versions) 
    • HW Cryptoengine (encrypt your DataBase data, ZFS filesystems, SSL, support your iSCSI traffic with HW-implemented algorithms) 
    • Solaris 10 and Solaris 11 support 
    • The CPU Cores are the S3 cores we learned to appreciate in the T4s
    • OnChip PCIe controllers 
    • Out-of-Order, dual-issue instructions

Oracle has released 1-, 2-, 4- and 8 Socket servers, the T5-1B (blade form factor), the T5-2, the T5-4 and the T5-8. These have been delivered as per the SPARC Roadmap, which Oracle has committed to not to deliver later than defined. 

These expand the range of the SPARC T-servers, starting with 4-core Netra SPARC T4-1 all the way up to 128 cores SPARC T5-8. 

These are the servers you are looking for, may the force be with us to feed these massively parallell enterprise beasts. 

Questions? Do ask! Like: 
Q: You didn't mention yet the M5...? 
A: I didn't dare to put too much awesome into one single post. Allow me to come back and report in another one :) Yes, it has up to 32 Sockets, 1536 parallelly running threads, and up to 32 TB RAM. Yes it runs Hard Partitions, LDoms, Solaris 10 and 11 :) 


How many I/O Domains we can create on the T5 servers? Like in T5-8 full and T5-1B??

Posted by guest on November 08, 2013 at 10:12 PM CET #

The definition of I/O domains is to have native access to I/O devices (network, FC, IB, disk) (*)

That is, depending on your LDoms setup you would get different answers. I am going to answer your question along rootcomplexes. Every T5 chip has 2 rootcomplexes, managing PCI slots directly. On a T5-8 this would make 16 rootcomplexes, that is, one PCI slot for each LDom, that is, you would have to:

a) either mix virtual I/O for some devices in the LDoms
b) consider very well what kind of PCI cards would you use

On a T5-1B you have a single chip, that is, you can have two rootcomplexes.

But these are two extremes. What are you planning? What are the design goals? I always recommend going with a mixture of LDoms and Solaris Zones if you are planning your platform, for maximum scalability.

(*) Yes, SRIOV confuses this definition

Posted by charlie on November 12, 2013 at 02:47 PM CET #

I need to replace M5000, M8000 and M9000 Servers. Oracle DB running on these servers. I am planning to propose T4 and T5 Servers. I am little bit confused about sizing and Which Server I opt, I mean T4 or T5.

Do we have any guidelines for sizing..


Posted by guest on December 31, 2013 at 08:59 AM CET #


replacing Mx000 Servers can be done with T5, M6 or even M10 Servers, the decision
has to be based besides the DB requirements on the level of OS instance
separation in virtualization, availability requirements, future growth, and of
course the capacity/performance of the platform you are refreshing.

I recommend you to talk to your local systems presales techconsultant about all
the situation, there can be dozens of reasons that move the decision from one
solution to another (T5 or M6 or M10).



Posted by charlie on January 10, 2014 at 09:17 PM CET #

Also, here's a comparison of SPARC CPUs/Servers:

Posted by charlie on January 10, 2014 at 09:18 PM CET #

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This is the Technology Blog of the Oracle Hardware Presales Consultant Team in Vienna, Austria. We post about our technology fields: server- and storage hardware, operating system technologies, virtualization, clustering, datacenter management and performance tuning possibilities.


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