SuperCluster, the Forgotten Engineered System

By Mark Benson, Esteem's Director of Marketing & Alliances

Whilst talking to a friend the other day, our conversation moved towards the current Engineered Systems portfolio. After going over the main flagship products, I asked about the SuperCluster as it appears to be a forgotten Oracle system and neither of us understood why we don't hear about the platform anymore.

I was fortunate enough to be at Open World when the SuperCluster was launched and I remember watching the presentation thinking that this platform would be a game changer. The SuperCluster addressed the limitations of Exadata allowing you to run older versions of the database on the latest SPARC servers and allow you to run any application, even if they were on a legacy version of Solaris. It had plenty of general purpose storage, but also had the ability to add extra Exadata storage cells if you needed a performance boost. It truly was a 'datacentre in a box', offering all the advantages of SPARC and ZFS without the limitations of its siblings in the engineered systems family. As with Exadata when it was launched, it became Oracle's flagship product. So what has happened?

Today the product is better than ever, it has the fastest CPU in the market and if you are running Oracle databases you get the advantage of all of the software-in-silicon functionality. You also have market-leading security, with end-to-end encryption at near zero impact to performance. For me, in the right situation, the platform is the best option out there. If you're replacing legacy SPARC servers and storage (at the same time), then why not take a single appliance that does everything in one? The best thing is that it is engineered, it turns up ready for you to plug in and get going without the configuration headache.

The problem is that Oracle, like other vendors, has a tendency to focus on the latest product and it steals the limelight, whilst the rest of the portfolio is left somewhat in the shadows. This is where we as resellers really come into our own. We have a holistic view of vendor portfolios and long memories. I'm sure the SuperCluster will have its ten minutes of fame once again, and we will all be talking about it as the solution to everything. I just hope it doesn't go the way of the loom band!


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