Feeds

Larry Ellison loves the PC

Clusterific!

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Ageing Oracle boss Larry Ellison has declared his infatuation with the young PC.

Or more accurately, after years of dissing the PC as an unwieldy hairball and promoting his own alternatives, the old fox has realised he can make a mint by selling Oracle clustering on Xeon boxes. So the x86 version of Oracle will no longer be a second-class citizen. While Ellison threw barbs at IBM's Intel clustering at Oracle OpenWorld this week, Oracle was ushering customers into Intel Solution Centres to show off its Real Application Clusters.

And us, too, as it happened. The instance we saw in Reading's Winnersh Triangle was running Windows 2000 Advanced Server, although its equivalent in Munich runs Linux. (There are two more such centres, in Stockholm and Moscow). We were looking at $90,000 worth of kit, so its something that you'd reasonably expect to hold its own against 8-12 way Risc. At the heart of the demonstration cluster was a 4x4 700MHz Xeon. And having first checked that everything was earthed (this was the Vulture on Intel territory here) off we went unplugging cables. The target mean time-to-recovery is five minutes, depending on the load, but even with 12 CPUs worth of load generators, it picked up within 30 seconds.

All well and good. The really interesting aspect is that the system was based on standard white box kit, with the only luxury item on show being the Myrinet switch, which is $6000 plus the same again for each card. Oracle 9i RAC has only been certified for Compaq kit right now, with Fujitsu-Siemens servers in the pipeline, but Chipzilla stresses that a box can be replaced without expensive reconfiguration. And this, it reckons, is a recession beater.

The storage on view was provided by an EMC CLARiiON box which, although based on Linux, 9i talks to Network Appliance NAS boxes using Fast Tango. The roadmap calls for cluster file system support to be added to RAC.

RAC is based on Oracle Parallel Server, but much revised. The distributed lock manager is still there but there are caching improvements to minimize traffic between nodes.

Neither Oracle nor Intel cited bang per buck figures. Sun is the low-hanging fruit for Intel here, but that's isn't accounting for the deep price cuts Sun made when it introduced its new Daktari workgroup servers last month, nor the Jalapeno UlatraSparc IIIi, which is Sun's answer to getting whumped by Xeon at the low end. And so we left the Winnersh Triangle without disappearing... ®

Related Story

Cherrystone delay highlights x86 vs Risc war

Security for virtualized datacentres

More from The Register

next story
It's Big, it's Blue... it's simply FABLESS! IBM's chip-free future
Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
'Hmm, why CAN'T I run a water pipe through that rack of media servers?'
Leaving Las Vegas for Armenia kludging and Dubai dune bashing
Bitcasa bins $10-a-month Infinite storage offer
Firm cites 'low demand' plus 'abusers'
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
CAGE MATCH: Microsoft, Dell open co-located bit barns in Oz
Whole new species of XaaS spawning in the antipodes
Microsoft and Dell’s cloud in a box: Instant Azure for the data centre
A less painful way to run Microsoft’s private cloud
prev story

Whitepapers

Choosing cloud Backup services
Demystify how you can address your data protection needs in your small- to medium-sized business and select the best online backup service to meet your needs.
Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Storage capacity and performance optimization at Mizuno USA
Mizuno USA turn to Tegile storage technology to solve both their SAN and backup issues.