Oracle on Thursday announced a new SPARC Supercluster and the Solaris-based Exalogic Elastic Cloud System. As it executes new products based on Sun Microsystems technology, Oracle hopes to stem the tide of customer defections and reinvigorate revenues for the division.
Oracle's SPARC Supercluster is billed as a complete infrastructure solution for running Oracle database RAC environments. Based on the architecture used in Oracle's new TPC-C world record, the SPARC Supercluster solution utilizes new SPARC servers, FlashFire, InfiniBand QDR, Oracle Solaris, and the ZFS Storage Appliance.
"The SPARC Supercluster is a new family of general-purpose machines that includes software, servers, networking and storage," said Oracle CEO Larry Ellison. "The combination of Oracle's world-class software and the latest hardware innovations represented by the new SPARC T3-based servers runs Oracle databases faster than anything ever before."
Oracle's Sun Innovations
Oracle also announced Oracle Exalogic Cloud T3-1B, a new model that aims to bring the strengths of SPARC Solaris servers to Oracle Exalogic Cloud-engineered systems. The new product is deigned for large-scale, mission-critical deployments. Oracle tuned the hardware to run Java and non-Java applications.
Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud T3-1B combines SPARC servers running Oracle Solaris 11 Express with InfiniBand-based I/O fabric, the Oracle WebLogic Server, and other enterprise Java-based Oracle middleware products. Oracle said it's optimized for multi-threaded applications, making way for customers to see increased performance for multi-threaded enterprise Java software, such as Oracle WebLogic Server.
"With the SPARC Solaris model of Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, customers who have standardized on SPARC Solaris can easily obtain the extreme benefits of Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud and consolidate their data center while leveraging their existing investment and skills," said Hasan Rizvi, senior vice president of Oracle Fusion Middleware.
Convincing Sun Customers?
As Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, sees it, the performance Oracle is reporting is impressive. However, he's not going to be jumping up and down until he sees those performance benchmarks replicated by a third party. Still, he said, the new products represent a strong stake in the ground, especially for a company that has been suffering some fairly significant losses in revenues and market position.
King said Oracle needs to give Sun customers "a good reason not to consider other platforms." A visionary high-performance high-scalability, bigger-fast-better solution like those announced Thursday, he said, demonstrate a level of commitment and investment to "reassure flighty customers that the ship is stayed, back on track, and that things will progress."
"That said, this kind high-end, hugely scalable very large system is typically not the kind of product that constitutes any vendor's bread and butter," King said. "The bread-and-butter systems are at the end in the volume space. It will be interesting to see the follow on systems for this and how Oracle intends to proceed, not just with these systems, but also with next-generation."