Friday Mar 28, 2014

Webcast: Modernizing IBM AIX/Power to Oracle Solaris/SPARC

As I've mentioned before at least one or two times, this is a great time to take a look at moving from IBM POWER servers to Oracle Solaris and SPARC systems.  We'll be discussing this very topic in an upcoming webcast:

Modernizing IBM AIX/Power to Oracle Solaris/SPARC
Wednesday April 2, 2014
10:00am (PT) / 1:00pm (ET)
REGISTER NOW

Oracle's Ken Kutzer and Randal Sagrillo will give an overview of not only what the benefits are of moving to Oracle's systems, but what the simple transition process is to get there.

Meanwhile, while you're waiting for Wednesday, here's a video to check out.  Learn how one company used Oracle's SPARC servers with Oracle Solaris to architect a more robust cloud solution, at a lower cost, compared to x86 servers with Red Hat Enterprise Linux:

Tuesday Mar 04, 2014

Making the Move From AIX/POWER to Solaris/SPARC

Last month was the fourth anniversary of Sun becoming part of Oracle, and it’s been four years marked by a crazy pace of development. Our Santa Clara campus is packed to the brim with our systems hardware and software teams, and they've been busy:

Oracle Solaris 11 and 11.1 have built on the rock-solid reputation of Solaris as the heart of enterprise computing, and introduced unique and innovative cloud technologies, and the SPARC team has been nothing short of amazing, moving through several generations of processors in a very short period of time.

The end result is fantastic engineered systems such as the Oracle SuperCluster M6-32, or if you're looking for something more on the building-block side, the SPARC T5-2. Not to mention our storage offerings, where Oracle Solaris sits at the heart of the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance.

And where things have really sped up: our ability to work every day to design and execute solutions hand in hand with the Oracle database, middleware and applications teams.

Needless to say, we don’t have any plans to stop.

At the same time... we can’t help but notice what’s going on over at IBM.  A lot of stuff seems to be going up on the auction block. And we're not sure if they have any plans to stop that, either.

So, this seems like a good time to note some of the things we’re doing to make it as easy as possible to transition from the AIX/POWER world to the Solaris/SPARC world.  First off, we have a white paper:




Simplify the Migration of Oracle Database
and Oracle Applications
from AIX to Oracle Solaris





There's a web site with even more resources:

http://oracle.com/aixtosolaris


That's where you'll find information on why making the move to Oracle Solaris / SPARC systems is such a good idea, see what the business and performance advantages are,  learn how to plan your move and find out how Oracle can help. The bottom line: if you're going to run Oracle workloads -- or any other mission-critical workloads, you should run them on Oracle.

Oracle Technology Network also has a great AIX-to-Oracle Solaris resource page.

And on the Oracle Learning Library, there's training information on migrating from IBM AIX-based servers. 

If you want a bit more color commentary, Giri Mandalinka has an interesting take on this (provocatively titled "AIX Customers: Run for the Hills").  On the Oracle Hardware blog, Kelvin talks about how to "Migrate from AIX to Oracle Solaris in 4 Easy Steps". And over at the OTN Garage, Rick Ramsey has a "just smell those hydrocarbons" pic of a '68 Dodge Charger heading up a list of "Oracle Solaris 11 Resources for the AIX Sysadmin" .

Wednesday May 15, 2013

New White Paper Compares SPARC/Solaris to Power/AIX Costs. Guess Who Wins?

One thing that's been clear since the launch of Oracle's new Sun SPARC T5 and M5 systems: it got IBM's attention. Judging from their response, they seem to be... I'm going to go with concerned.

And as I've said before, I don't blame them. A company with a long history behind them, they've made undeniable contributions to the industry, and things were looking good for their enterprise server business, buoyed by the performance of their Power7 processor. But their progress in that area seems to have slowed a bit.  So: concerned.

This report isn't going to help that feeling.

The Edison Group has just released a white paper: Enterprise Server Infrastructure Cost of Ownership: Oracle SPARC T5-2 with Oracle Solaris 11 versus IBM Power 750 Express with AIX 7.1. Spoiler alert: the Oracle systems do better. Key findings:

  • Over a five year period, the Power system solution has a total cost of ownership 59 percent higher than the SPARC T5 solution.
  • There's even more of a disparity in cost of acquisition, where the IBM solution is twice as expensive right out of the chute.

One of the things I found notable was their discovery that Oracle SPARC systems in the field are much more efficiently virtualized than IBM Power systems, with an average of 20 virtualized instances per system as opposed to IBM's 12. This goes against perceptions I've encountered with some people, but is not surprising to me, since Oracle Solaris virtualization is well integrated with the OS, and is extremely efficient in terms of application performance. Of course, it doesn't help IBM's virtualization case that for a system of the class being compared, PowerVM Enterprise Edition will run you an extra $13,440 per server. That's the kind of thing that drives down technology adoption.

Even more interesting: that IBM server with 12 virtualized instances incurs operational and technical services costs that are 28 percent higher over five years than an Oracle server with 20.

There are lots of other worthwhile nuggets in the paper. If you've got services to deploy, you absolutely should give this a read.

Download the white paper (PDF)

Thursday Mar 28, 2013

Boom!

The big SPARC launch took place earlier this week. As usual with these events, it was a lot of fun to attend, even if no gimongous tents were involved. I was standing in the back, next to the control booth; as the music went up and the lights went down, next to me, the technical director quietly says into her mike, "Go." And this happens:

And that was pretty cool. But was that the "boom!" I'm referring to?  Nope. That looked more like this:


(Note: Subtitle does not refer to me)

So that's quite a "boom." With the launch of the new SPARC T5 and M5 series of servers, we've set over a dozen new performance records, and shown that back in 2010 Oracle did indeed establish a SPARC roadmap that it could execute on.

Needless to say, IBM has kicked up quite a fuss about this. I would too, if I were them; they thought they had this thing licked. And a pretty funny tweet related to that:

But--the thing I noticed was that as much as IBM tried to talk down the performance specs we demonstrated, they were noticeably silent about what, if any, advantage they might have in the software space. And of course, that includes the OS. When I talk to customers, the truism is almost always that when they use IBM systems, they don't do so because of AIX, but despite AIX.  (Remember "Watson"? Do you know what IBM operating system IBM doesn't run on it?)

Meanwhile, Oracle Solaris remains the gold standard for enterprise OSes.  "If it has to run, it runs on Solaris" is the catchphrase in data centers all over the world. We were flattered when IBM embarked on what some called "Project Copy Solaris," a few years after Solaris 10 came out, but couldn't help but notice they didn't quite hit the mark.  And now Oracle Solaris 11.1 is the current release, and we've done a lot more that no one else seems to be finding the recipe for.

And of course, we've got a big advantage, that we've encapsulated as: Hardware and Software, Engineered to Work Together. Over the last few years, we've been able to demonstrate more and more what that means: at Sun, obviously we did a lot of work to make sure SPARC and Solaris were in sync, but meetings with the Oracle software teams were special events, held only a few times a year, and preceded by phalanxes of lawyers engaging to make sure everyone knew just what could and couldn't be discussed.

That's been replaced by something called: "going to work together every day." And it's paying off. And we can prove it.

We've got some new pages that go into more detail about what's new with Oracle Solaris. Maybe this will be a handy "cheat sheet" for OS developers at other companies. The first site talks about how we've optimized Oracle Solaris to get the most out of this new generation of SPARC processors; the other talks about how the continuous co-engineering process between Oracle Solaris and Oracle database works to the benefit of both.


Tuesday Feb 26, 2013

Since You Asked... A Couple of Oracle Solaris Resources

OK, you didn't ask (unless you in fact are Adix or Mark), but someone did -- as part of today's Twitter activity, we got to bring up two resources that I thought were worth sharing more broadly.

Mark was asking about moving from AIX to Solaris, and it turns out we have a recent document on just that: the IBM AIX to Oracle Solaris Technology Mapping Guide, subtitled "Preparing for the Move to Oracle Solaris 11". This is a 55-page technical white paper identifying and comparing the differences between AIX 7.1 and Oracle Solaris 11.

During today's webcast on Oracle Solaris on Oracle's x86 systems, we mentioned the bidirectional connection between Oracle Solaris and our x86 systems' service processors, and Adix wanted to know more.  There's a white paper on that, too: Oracle’s x86 Systems: The Best x86 Platforms for Oracle Solaris, where it covers, among other things, the "Oracle Solaris–Aware Service Processor" .

If you missed the webcast, by the way, it should be available for replay starting tomorrow morning it's now available for replay.

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