Oracle forges the path to the cloud

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26 October 2015 | 0

The future is cloud and the cloud of the future will be built upon new platforms with innovations that start with the silicon.

These were the overarching themes from the opening keynotes of Oracle OpenWorld 2015.

Executive chairman, and now chief technology officer (CTO) Larry Ellison, was joined on the stage by Intel CEO Brian Krzanich, to deliver a vision for the future of cloud.

Krzanich said that the we are currently in one of the most innovative periods in data centre history, which has required an intense programme of feedback and consultation with owners and operators to identify and tackle the key challenges of business today.

The complexity, cost, rigidity and inefficiency of legacy IT architectures were all identified as areas to be addressed, but also as enterprises move to the cloud, that transition needs to be made easier, to a more secure, robust, flexible and available environment.

Cloud goals
Krzanich said that Intel and Oracle had worked very closely on solutions to meet these challenges. This resulted in a set of goals for cloud: make it easy, make it perform, make it compelling and make it secure.

Under these headings the two companies have created various initiatives. The Cloud For All initiative aims to make cloud adoption easier, bringing hyper-scale advantages to all enterprises. The OpenStack innovation centre has thousands of nodes available to properly test scalability for real workloads. It can create true software defined infrastructure solutions, demonstrating the efficiency of a variety of workloads in the cloud.

Another initiative, Project Apollo, is a scaled version of Oracle’s Cloud Data Centre. The project explored reducing complexity and increasing the performance of cloud-based environments. A project Apollo custom solution achieved 1.5 times the raw performance of existing solutions, with 10 times better performance predictability. The project has provided a range of documentation and blueprints for organisations to create new architectures for cloud computing.

Oracle on Intel
Mark Hurd, CEO, Oracle, spoke about Oracle’s own hardware, built on Intel technology, that saw Siebel run 10 times faster, finance systems run up to 15 times faster and supply chain solutions up to six times faster.

Oracle and Intel now provide a free of charge proof of concept service to facilitate organisations in seeing the performance benefits of running their workloads on an Intel-based Oracle stack.

Krzanich went on to outline how Intel has developed new memory and solid state drive (SSD) technologies that provide next generation performance for the cloud.

3D Cross Point is a “radical advance in memory technology,” he said. It is up to 1,000 times faster than NAND, with 1,000 times the endurance and 10 times denser than DRAM. It has a seven times improvement in IOPS, and eight times better latency.

Preformance gaps
3D Cross Point will, said Krzanich, “help close today’s performance gaps”.

The memory technology is fast, inexpensive, low latency storage that allows processors to perform at their fullest potential, he said.

This technology has also been adapted for SSDs, with the new Optane line, where there is now little performance difference between memory and hard drive. 3D XPoint DIMMs will make 6TB of memory available to servers, combined with the Optane SSDs.

These raw performance improvements will facilitate real-time analytics, capitalising on developments such as SQL streaming for Apache Spark, requiring no new skills from developers, thus “making a platform and a playground for data scientists,” said Krzanich.

All of this will be secured through the underlying Trusted Analytics Platform, facilitating fast, secure, collaborative work, without the need to move data between analysts.

Ellison said in the new world of cloud, there will be a transitionary period for enterprise.

“We are going to have a decade or two of coexistence between public and private cloud, and we have to handle that transition gracefully.”

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