Hoping to stem the tide of reported customer losses, Oracle on Tuesday rolled out its new Sparc T4 server line. Oracle claims the new line offers one of the largest generational performance increases in its history.
Oracle's Sparc T4 servers come preloaded with Oracle Solaris. The line is designed for enterprise users that run single-threaded and highly concurrent workloads. Sparc T4 servers let customers consolidate multiple application tiers onto a single server to reduce the complexity of systems.
"The Sparc T4 and the advanced clustering technologies it is offering is Oracle's answer to the need for a general-purpose computing platform," said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT. "From an engineering standpoint the performance is impressive if it proves to be accurate."
Stop the Bleeding
Oracle claims the Sparc T4 sets a record in enterprise Java environments and offers a 20 percent performance advantage per socket across the entire configuration.
What's more, the company said its Sparc T4 servers perform better than IBM Power7 and HP Itanium-based systems. Specifically, in data warehousing, Oracle said its new line delivered 2.4 times better performance per socket than the IBM Power 780, with 33 percent better price performance, and 5.7 times better performance and 2.6 times better price performance than HP Superdome 2 with 16 Itanium processors. However, those claims have not been verified by independent parties.
There's a subtext behind all these numbers, King said. Namely, convincing Sun customers to remain with Oracle. Although one might think Sun's acquisition by a firm with deep pocket would stem the tide of migrations away from its product lines, King said the movement away from Solaris and Sparc has accelerated since Oracle took over.
"Oracle needs to do something to stop the bleeding. The marketing jargon around T4 is all about offering better performance than IBM Power7 and HP Superdome," King said. "Certainly, I think Oracle would love to get some migrations heading back their way, but personally I think the realization for that goal is quite a way down the line."
Evaluating Server Systems
Beyond speed, the new Oracle Sparc T4 servers offer built-in virtualization, security and dynamic threads. Sparc T4 servers offer a framework for virtualizing both instances of Oracle Solaris, as well as lightweight virtualization for applications.
Oracle also announced new versions of three Sparc T4 server-based Oracle Optimized Solutions: Oracle Database, JD Edwards EnterpriseOne and Oracle WebLogic Suite. All three solutions promise either faster data warehousing or better performance than competing products in in-house tests.
"Performance is one thing, but as with any product that is tied up with a vendor's software, customers will need to be very careful to see exactly how software licensing impacts the overall cost of the system," King said. "That's an issue that's come up with Oracle in the past and it's one that other existing or potential clients will need to keep in mind as they begin evaluating these systems for purchase."
Posted: 2011-09-27 @ 7:58pm PT
Haha, every time Oracle releases a system it breaks every record in every book. The Sparc SuperCluster, or whatever they call it, probably broke the two minute mile in a distance race.
Look at the chip set! There is no way they are beating Power 7, much less IBM z196, in a fair hardware configuration. What is the big new advancement in T4? Hyper-threading. The Power chip had that capability generations ago. The new T4 "S3" core delivers a huge single-threaded performance boost over T3, but still only gets the T4 to single-threaded performance levels that Power and Xeon were showing 4 years ago.