Feeds

Oracle and Sun taunt IBM with Sparcs

Throwing down another gauntlet

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

If Oracle keeps saying that it wants to be in the server and storage hardware business long enough, maybe some people will start believing it.

Ahead of its Oracle OpenWorld customer event, which is being held from October 11 through 15 in San Francisco, the company has been running advertisements that poke a stick at IBM, which is shaping up to be Oracle's biggest and most important IT rival if the $7.4bn (net about $5bn) acquisition of Sun Microsystems is approved by the antitrust authorities in Europe.

Two weeks ago, as El Reg already reported, Oracle said that it was determined to show that Sparc-based servers could best Power-based servers running Big Blue's own DB2 database on the TPC-C online transaction processing benchmark. A test, by the way, that Sun has shunned since 2001 since its iron did not scale as far as IBM Power boxes or Hewlett-Packard Itanium machines and, more importantly, since Sun had been charging way too much for its UltraSparc-III and UltraSparc-IV servers.

But Oracle threw down the right hand gauntlet at IBM's feet, suggesting that it would show on October 14 that Sun iron plus Oracle's databases would be able to deliver many millions of transactions per minute (TPM for short, and two digits of performance at that) compared to the 6 million TPM that IBM's top-end 64-core Power 595 (using 5 GHz Power6 chips) currently delivers.

It is a fair guess that Oracle and Sun will try to demonstrate that a cluster of quad-socket Sun Fire 5440 servers, using Sun's latest 1.6 GHz Sparc T2+ processors can deliver a lot more oomph.

By my back-of-the-envelope calculations, ten T5440s could deliver maybe 16 million TPM in a single rack without clustering overhead (that's ten separate images of the TPC-C test), and maybe 12 million or so once clustering for a single system image and other overhead is taken into account. It would also be very interesting to see Oracle and Sun to trot out the F5100 Flash Array, which El Reg has discovered is in the works. The F5100 is a 1U container that packs 80 flash modules and that sports four 3 Gbit/sec SAS channels to link it directly to servers, delivering 4 TB of capacity and over 1 million I/O operations per second. Such a machine would let a T5440 server just scream on the TPC-C test. Maybe enough to knock down the number of servers required, in fact. (My estimates above assume a fairly large number of 15K RPM disk drives per T5440.)

Today, Oracle and Sun are throwing down the left gauntlet at IBM's feet with yet another ad:

Oracle Sun IBM Second Gauntlet

This one even quotes Oracle chief executive officer, Larry Ellison, as you can see. And presumably - at least as far as Oracle is concerned - lays to rest any nagging issues Sun's customers might have about Oracle commitment to a hardware business that it has never really played in before. To be fair, Oracle has played hardware vendors against each other brilliantly, but that is not the same thing as bending metal and baking chips.

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Docker's app containers are coming to Windows Server, says Microsoft
MS chases app deployment speeds already enjoyed by Linux devs
IBM storage revenues sink: 'We are disappointed,' says CEO
Time to put the storage biz up for sale?
'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
Facebook slurps 'paste sites' for STOLEN passwords, sprinkles on hash and salt
Zuck's ad empire DOESN'T see details in plain text. Phew!
Windows 10: Forget Cloudobile, put Security and Privacy First
But - dammit - It would be insane to say 'don't collect, because NSA'
Symantec backs out of Backup Exec: Plans to can appliance in Jan
Will still provide support to existing customers
VMware's tool to harden virtual networks: a spreadsheet
NSX security guide lands in intriguing format
prev story

Whitepapers

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.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
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.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.