Larry Ellison at Oracle made some really exciting announcements yesterday on SPARC and Solaris! It's definitely worth registering and watching the event to find all the details. But here are the high lights:
- SPARC SuperCluster
- SPARC ExaLogic
- Oracle Beats IBM on TPC-C Benchmark at 30M Transactions per Minute!
- SPARC T4 Processor
- SPARC64 VII+ (M3) Processor
Honestly, I don't think I've seen Larry soo excited! So basically Oracle now has several pre-configured SPARC based appliances that can run Solaris 10 or Solaris 11. The SPARC SuperCluster can be used for databases or general computing, while the SPARC ExaLogic can be used for the Oracle Fusion middleware products. There will be three SuperCluster configurations, one based on the SPARC T3-2 servers, the second based on the SPARC T3-4 servers, and the last one based on the M5000 servers. The SPARC ExaLogic product is based on the SPARC T3-1B blades. All of the configurations leverage the same management tools, Infiniband fabric, flash storage, flash cache, and the ZFS based 7000 series arrays as the x64 ExaData and ExaLogic configurations in place today. As a result, the SPARC SuperCluster and the SPARC ExaLogic systems can scale big time!
I think the important thing to keep in mind here is that the SPARC T3 processor obviously can pack a bigger punch than HP or IBM and with a much smaller foot-print and cost. Considering that it now has the TPC-C and the SPECweb top spots, it'll be harder for the FUD spreaders to say that SPARC is slow or out-dated. Clearly betting on the whole CMT concept has paid off and forced the industry to follow.
The SPARC T4 processor was announced in this event as well. As many have speculated these processors will have 8 cores and focus on improving single-threaded performance by a factor of 3. These should use the new VT (Yellowstone) core that Sun talked about in the past that will start out with 8 cores and 8 threads. These should go beyond the 2Ghz clock rate. It's great to hear that these processors are already in the labs and will come out next year. It would appear that Oracle is ensuring that Sun engineers and TSMC get things tapped out in a reasonable amount of time. If that means that the T4 servers will come out next year, then I would expect that we'll see the T5 servers in 2012/2013 time-frame. All together, this is great news and I can't wait to get my hands on a T4 box!
The SPARC64-VII+ or SPARC M3 processor as Larry likes to call it, was also announced. This is nothing new if you attended the Oracle OpenWorld 2010 event like I did. This brings a 20% boost in performance with a higher clock rate (up to 3Ghz finally!) and 12MB cache! Of course this upgrade is available on the M4000-M9000 servers, with full backward compatibility. As pointed out by Fujitsu and Oracle, this is the 4th generation processor upgrade for the M-series servers, which is definitely a lot of investment protection.
Now for some goodies!
- SPARC T3 Architecture Guide
- M-Series Architecture Guide
- HA with M-Series Guide
- 3D View of the SPARC T3-1 Server
You can also read what the Register had to say on this here and here.