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Guess That Means Oracle & HP Aren’t Friends Anymore

CEO Larry Ellison means to take market share from Hewlett-Packard, a once dearly held database partner

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison got up on stage late Thursday in a rare, practically giddy mood to say that he had found a softer, more vulnerable target than IBM – which he’s been targeting since he got his hands on Sun – and that he means to take market share from Hewlett-Packard, a once dearly held database partner whose ex-CEO now works at Oracle and whose current CEO he held up to ridicule and allegations of past improprieties during his wildly victorious courtroom soap opera with SAP.

Oracle needs to find market share somewhere because both Sun, and Unix in general, are losing out badly according to the latest server figures from Gartner.

So Oracle’s completely refreshed it Sparc server line – which everybody wondered whether it would actually do – and, as a result, based on a new TPC-C benchmark, it’s comparing its OLTP performance to a cheetah, IBM’s to a stallion and HP’s to a turtle.

Oracle was reportedly able to achieve a record 30 million transactions a minute on a newfangled soup-up Sparc Supercluster made up of 108 T3 Sparc processors with 1,728 cores, 13TB of main memory, 1.7PT of storage, 246TB of Flash memory and a 40 gigabit network running a standard Oracle database with a quadrillion rows.

The best HP has been able to muster is a real estate- and energy-hogging Superdome that scored four million transactions a minute a few months ago. IBM, which Larry allowed – my, my – has “good products,” can do 10 million with a special non-standard clustered version of DB2 running on a Power 7 machine, Ellison said. Oracle used a plain vanilla Oracle RAC database to set the new world’s record.

Of course this is all benchmark craft. Oracle doesn’t expect anybody to actually buy the benchmark machine that’s supposed to be capable of 43 trillion transactions a day but next year Oracle will be peddling three dumbed-down general-purpose commercial versions of these new Sparc Superclusters based on Sparc T3 and M5000 servers under a new so- called “Sun Rises” program.

The Superclusters, whose price is unclear, is a complete infrastructure solution for running Oracle RAC database environments. Besides servers, they include software like ZFS, InfiniBand networking, FlashFire storage and new Gold-level support.

Ellison claimed they have no single point of failure and are completely fault- tolerant. T3 chips can have up to 16 cores. T4 chips are reportedly running in Oracle’s labs.

Oracle also introduced a new Solaris 11 Express-running blades-based Exalogic Elastic Cloud box as an alternative to the x86 Exologic Elastic Cloud machine it wheeled a few weeks ago.

The widget, to be delivered in Q1 running with Solaris or Oracle Linux, is supposed to be good at running middleware like Oracle WebLogic Server and is advertised as the “fastest Java machine in the world.” (Larry quickly pointed out that all Oracle Fusions apps are pure Java.) It also runs non-Java apps and is supposed to be optimized for multi-threaded programs.

Ellison said it’s “not a born-again cloud” whatever that means.

It offers on-demand capacity and multi-tenancy, scales and when the job is done returns the resources to the pool. It’s targeted at enterprise-wide data center consolidation and consists of a rack of 1U machines with dual six- core processors, solid-state drives and an InfiniBand I/O fabric, as might be expected since Oracle is partial to InfiniBand.

Oracle also announced a new high-end Sparc Enterprise M-Server server line bearing a new 3GHz Sparc64 VII+ processor from Fujitsu with a maximum 12MB of L2 cache, double what’s been available, offering a reported 20% performance increase. The boxes, up to the 64-socket M9000, are jointly designed, manufactured and branded.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at)sys-con.com or paperboy(at)g2news.com, and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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