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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle's New SPARC Supercluster 

Expert Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonDecember 6, 2015

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison recently debuted a new enterprise system called the SPARC Supercluster.  The system combines Sun Microsystems processing power with the Solaris operating system and ZFS storage technology.  Oracle claims testing on the SPARC Supercluster recorded an astounding 30 million transactions in the database per minute.  This is triple the speed of the old benchmark of 10 million set by the DB2/P7 cluster from IBM.

They have melded the best technologies in the field and pushed the performance of the combination well beyond the old limits of enterprise systems.  The SPARC Supercluster is designed as a complete infrastructure for running RAC systems, and it moves data at speeds up to 40 Gigabytes per second.  The hardware configuration that shattered IBM's old record was a single SPARC Supercluster with 108 SPARC T3 chips, for a total of 1,728 processor cores.  The system also has 13TB of memory, 246TB of flash storage, and 1.7 petabytes of total storage capacity.

SPARC Supercluster T3 Processor (Source: Oracle Corporation)

"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 database faster than anything ever before." 

SPARC based Sun M-5000 Server (Source: Oracle Corporation)

Oracle purchased Sun at the beginning of the year in a $7.4 billion takeover and appears to be showing its commitment to the Sun Microsystems hardware it acquired by introducing Solaris servers powered by the new 16-core Sparc T3 processor.  Only time will tell just how well the SPARC Supercluster will perform outside these first-party benchmarks, but it seems that Oracle's innovations have the potential to make a tremendous impact in terms of speed and ease of data retrieval. What this could mean for consumers is ultimately faster and more stable interfacing of information all wrapped in one neat package.  The SPARC Supercluster is expected to be available in T3-2, T3-4 and M5000-based configurations in 2015.

Oracle Press author Don Burleson, a full-time DBA since 1983, notes that the Oracle Sun merger will bring synergy to melding hardware and database software: 

"There have been operating systems (SUSE) that are optimized especially for Oracle as well as database server that are built for pushing data, but we have never been able to get them all from a single vendor with single source support," said Burleson. 

"There is a huge benefit to having a single vendor to prevent the inevitable "blaming" that happens when something goes awry."

"Just as IBM offered soup-to-nuts processing in the mid 20th century mainframes, this new supercluster offering promises to offer the same benefits as IBM for single source hardware, OS and RDBMS software, and application software, the entire application stack," concluded Burleson.


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