Oracle Essentials OpenWorld 2010 Update

By Robert Stackowiak
October 10, 2010

Through this blog, we've provided a series of updates since Oracle Essentials: Oracle Database 11g was published in 2007. Once again, Oracle OpenWorld 2010 provided a series of significant announcements. We'll briefly highlight a few of them here as a further update to the 4th Edition of the book and our subsequent blogs.


The Oracle Exadata Database Machine

Referenced now as the "Oracle Exadata Database Machine", Oracle announced two new node types at OpenWorld 2010. These announcements continued Oracle's series of introductions of Exadata platforms that began in 2008. All of the platforms are designed to be tightly integrated and optimally performing Oracle Database 11g and Server / Storage platforms.

The newly named X2-2 nodes contain dual processors as before, but the nodes are now based on Sun Fire X4170 M2 servers. The processors are 6-core Intel Xeon X5670 CPUs and the memory footprint per node is 96 GB. A Full Rack continues to contain 8 such database server nodes so there are a total of 96 Intel processor cores in the nodes in a Full Rack. There are also 14 Exadata Storage Server Cells with each Storage Server Cell now based on a Sun Fire X4270 M2 Server and each containing two 6-core Intel Xeon L5640 processors. So in a Full Rack, there are 168 cores of processing power in the Exadata Storage Server Cells. As before, 12 disks of 600 GB or 2 TB in raw disk capacity and four 96 GB Flash Fire SSD cards are in each Cell. Quarter Rack and Half Rack configurations also remain available. As Half Racks now also contain a third 40 Gb / second (bandwidth) InfiniBand switch, multiple Half Racks can be linked in addition to Full Racks. The nodes now include 10 GbE Ethernet ports.

A second node configuration was unveiled, the X2-8, based on the Sun Fire X4800. Each node is a large SMP node and two are contained in a Full Rack. The X2-8 nodes contain 8 Intel Xeon X7560 CPUs that are 8-core and also contain 1 TB of memory per node. So, there are 128 cores of processing power and 2 TB of memory in a Full Rack's Database Server X2-8 nodes.

Oracle also announced continued improvement in the software used to manage the Exadata Database Machine. Enterprise Manager Grid Control features what is now called a "Quality of Service" interface. Automatic Service Requests (ASRs) to Oracle Support can now be generated by the database server nodes and Exadata Storage Server cells if components fail.

Exalogic Elastic Cloud

Oracle announced Exalogic, a platform designed to speed middle tier applications servers and Java-based applications. Featuring an optimal platform design to address such applications, Exalogic can be connected via a high-speed InfiniBand connection to Exadata and provide a server-storage combination that can serve up applications deployed for private and public clouds. Performance speed-up is achieved partly because of tight integration between the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud software and the Exalogic hardware platform. The application grid software footprint also includes WebLogic Server, Coherence, and Hotspot and JRocket Java Virtual Machines.

A Full Rack configuration is in a similar cabinet footprint as Exadata but contains more Intel Xeon CPUs that total 360 cores along with 2.8 TB of total memory, 960 GB of Flash Fire SSD, and 40 TB of high performance storage. As with Exadata, there are also Quarter Rack and Half Rack configurations available. Connectivity to users in the outside world is provided through 10 GbE Ethernet ports.

Operating Systems

Solaris Express Version 11 was announced by Oracle at OpenWorld 2010. Oracle also announced its intent to deliver Solaris Express Version 11 for database server nodes in the Exadata Database Machine (offered as an alternative to Oracle Enterprise Linux) and also for Exalogic.

Oracle announced a new Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Oracle Enterprise Linux that is offered as an alternative to the current kernel that provides Red Hat compatibility. It was stated that such a kernel was needed was to support the new and emerging multi-core processors from Intel, such as the eight core processors in the Oracle Exadata Database Machine X2-8 nodes.

Fusion Applications

Oracle unveiled the forthcoming Fusion Applications, the next generation of its ERP applications and CRM applications. Thus, many organizations will consider Fusion applications for future potential migration of their current E-Business Suite, PeopleSoft, JD Edwards, and Siebel applications.

The Fusion Applications, in version 1, were described as addressing the following areas: financial management, human capital management, sales and marketing, supply chain management, project portfolio management, procurement management, and governance, risk and compliance. Noteworthy is the integration of the modules in such a way as to enable business process flows between them and extensive transactional business intelligence built in. These capabilities were demonstrated at OpenWorld.

Summary

There were many other highlighted announcements at Oracle OpenWorld 2010 including discussion of SPARC directions, delivery of a Java Roadmap that included support of vector graphics, and new performance increases in MySQL version 5.5. However, for audiences of the Oracle Essentials book, the continued development of tightly integrated Oracle software and hardware platforms for transaction processing, data warehousing, and server and storage consolidation should have drawn your attention.


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