For a long time now, many organisations we’ve spoken to have perceived Oracle hardware to be expensive. They all acknowledge that the servers are fantastic when it comes to quality, reliability and security, but the price tag has made them consider X86 alternatives for their critical systems. Well, good news, Oracle’s latest S7 server provides all of the things we love about Oracle SPARC servers without the high price tag. In fact, the new platform provides X86 economics and a whole lot more. The server can outperform its Intel equivalent, provides out of the box security (thanks to Solaris) and can run your Oracle software better than anything else on the market. You also get free virtualisation! It is great to see Oracle acknowledging the requirements of today’s businesses, providing true enterprise class systems at such a low price point.
'It is great to see Oracle acknowledging the requirements of today's businesses, providing true enterprise class systems at such a low price point'
Along with the S7 announcement came a new member of the Engineered Systems family, the Mini-Cluster. Oracle really know how to produce engineered systems and this is something that both IDC and Gartner have recognised in their latest converged systems reports. The new Mini Cluster is the smaller sibling of the SPARC Supercluster, which essentially provides a data centre in a rack thanks to the combination of SPARC Servers, Networking and Storage. The even better news is that you can now have all of the benefits of the SPARC supercluster once again at a considerably lower price point, than their traditional engineered systems.
The Mini-Cluster offers essentially three things: simplicity, security and efficiency. Simplicity stems from the fact that the platform can run any Oracle Database or Application straight out of the box, whilst also optimising workloads to get the very best from the software. From a security perspective, it is the same as the S7 server. Everything is on-chip encrypted with no performance hit at all. Add into that role-based access control, centralised key management and full auditing capabilities (including PCI reports as standard), and you have one of the most secure platforms in the market. This does not take into account the enhanced security features within Solaris. Finally efficiency - the platform comes with 1TB of memory, 16.8TB of raw flash storage and 48TB raw disk storage which largely meets most needs. If you have requirements greater than this you can always look at the other members of the Engineered Systems family. For me the Mini-Cluster is a real game changer. You get everything that the Supercluster offers at a fraction of the cost and the platform has been sized so that it will meet nearly every business need when it comes to running Oracle software. The only shame is that it was not launched sooner!
'This is the first time Oracle has offered this to the market and in fact none of the other “big four” Public Cloud providers currently offer this service'
So now onto the Cloud. Wouldn’t it be great if you could move your SPARC workload to the cloud? Well guess what? Now you can, with the launch of Oracle’s IaaS platform with added SPARC capabilities. This is the first time Oracle has offered this to the market and in fact none of the other “big four” Public Cloud providers currently offer this service. Now there are a couple of things to be aware of: At the moment the service is only offered from US datacentres, which for some organisations brings about issues of data sovereignty. This will change over time, but it is the first version of ‘Sparc-as-a-Service’. Secondly, there is currently only one size of offering available. The SPARC model 300 comes with 300 cores of dedicated virtual computing power (the clue is in the name) and 32TB of block storage, running Oracle Solaris 11 in Oracle Public Cloud. For many organisations this will simply be too big, but Oracle reassures us that other variations are being developed.
So that was a whirlwind tour of the new world of Oracle, and with OpenWorld around the corner the announcements will be coming in thick and fast. As always, Esteem will be present in San Francisco to hear all of the latest announcements first hand, so follow us on twitter to hear all of the latest news. Alternatively keep your eyes peeled for our annual Oracle update event later this year.
If you have any questions regarding these announcements, get in touch with our specialist Oracle team by completing the form below.
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