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:

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.


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