What’s flexible, 42U high, weighs 1,971lbs and contains 512 cores of the world’s fastest processors for crushing Oracle 12c database workloads?
If you answered Oracle’s new Exadata X6-8 Database Machine, you would be wrong. The Exadata X6-8 contains 576 cores of Intel processors, doesn’t include an integrated virtualization stack and can’t run your general compute needs side by side with your database requirements. Nope, this particular honor goes to Oracle’s SuperCluster M7 containing Oracle’s latest threat, the SPARC M7 processor (See: http://www.cptech.com/blog/oracle-sun-microsystems).
What very few people know or appreciate, is that every Oracle SuperCluster ever made contains the exact same InfiniBand enabled Exadata Storage Servers that provides the secret sauce the success of the Exadata lineup depends upon. Without Exadata Storage Servers, Oracle’s Exadata solution would just be a generic Oracle RAC database anyone could build.
Besides the benefits of Oracle’s SPARC M7 processor and the potentially lower database licensing costs associated with using this database optimized CPU, what are some of the other reasons why customers would select SuperCluster over Exadata.
SuperCluster offers the following advantages that are currently not available in Exadata solution.
- It provides SPARC M7 processors for superior encryption, Security in Silicon as well as SQL in Silicon features not found in the Intel CPU’s used for the Exadata solution (See: http://www.cptech.com/blog/oracle-sun-microsystems).
- It provides fully integrated, hardware based virtualization capabilities of Oracle’s SPARC M7-8 server to provide superior multi-tenancy options with LDOM and Zones combinations that Exadata could only dream of.
- It provides superior node scalability and contiguous CPU and node memory for database workloads that require vertical vs horizontal scalability.
- It provides support for multiple simultaneous database versions including older versions not currently supported by Exadata.
- It can leverage your existing SAN infrastructure with the optional addition of Fibre Channel Host Bus Adapters. Exadata can only leverage Exadata Storage Servers and ZFS Appliances for its storage requirements.
- It provides a robust platform via virtualization for running any SPARC based application stack under Solaris 10 or Solaris 11. Exadata can only run Oracle 11gR2 or Oracle 12c databases.
- It can leverage Solaris Cluster with cluster agents to provide high availability capabilities for a pretty comprehensive list of applications offerings including custom apps.
Exadata still has advantages over SuperCluster that you should be aware of before making your final decision.
- SuperCluster comes with a ZFS Appliance in addition Exadata Storage Servers, thus robbing critical rack space for additional Exadata Storage Servers. If you are looking to run a single Exadata like Oracle RAC infrastructure and need the most Exadata Storage Server capacity in a single rack, you might want to continue Exadata over SuperCluster because of loss of space for the ZFS Appliance that you might only have minimal use for.
- Exadata can come in very small Quarter Rack (88 cores) and Eighth Rack (44 cores) versions (Note: Exadata X6-2 only). The smallest configuration available for SuperCluster 7M is a Half Rack (64 cores) version.
So if you are an existing Exadata customer or considering becoming one, you absolutely must consider SuperCluster M7 for both its superior capabilities as well as tremendous potential to save considerable monies on licensing costs over Exadata.