Oracle CEO Larry Ellison says its new SPARC T3-based servers, based on Sun technology, run Oracle databases faster than anything ever before. The software giant (ORCL) completed its $7.3 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems earlier this year, putting it in direct competition with hardware and server makers IBM and HP.
And now, it seems Oracle is ready for heavy-duty, high-performance action in the server market. At a December 2nd customer event, Ellison introduced the SPARC Supercluster and Solaris-based Exalogic Elastic Cloud System, highlighting plans to cut the trend of customer defections and reinvigorate revenues from Sun hardware.
Oracle's SPARC Supercluster is billed as a complete infrastructure solution including software, servers, networking and storage, and optimized for running Oracle database RAC environments. Based on the architecture used in Oracle's new TPC-C world record, the SPARC Supercluster solution utilizes SPARC servers, FlashFire, InfiniBand QDR, Oracle Solaris, and the ZFS Storage Appliance.
Sunnyside Up for Data Centers
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 designed for large-scale, mission-critical deployments. Oracle tuned the hardware to run Java and non-Java applications.
The 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.
NewsFactor checked in with analyst Charles King at Pund-IT, for his take on the news. King said the performance benchmarks that Oracle is reporting are impressive indeed, however, he cautioned, he's not going to be "jumping up and down" until he sees a third party replicate the numbers. Still, King said, the new products represent a strong stake in the ground for Oracle, in light of Sun's recent losses in revenues and market position.
On the upside, 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 last week, he said, demonstrates 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 of 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."
In response to Ellison's performance boasts, the Wall Street Journal quotes a prepared statement from HP, characterizing the former Sun computer business as inferior and suggesting that Oracle has used outdated benchmark numbers for HP to make its latest comparisons.
"Customers aren't fooled by outdated benchmarks, no matter what Oracle says. H-P's market share results prove it."