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Oracle takes on IBM in mission critical systems space

Posted: 30 Oct 2015     Print Version  Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Oracle  IBM  Intel  server  microprocessor 

During the recent Oracle OpenWorld, Oracle unveiled five servers and a separate server partnership with Intel. The servers are based on its latest SPARC M7 microprocessor, while the partnership tackles mission critical systems favoured by IBM.

The Oracle-Intel partnership, dubbed "Exa your power," is free proof of concept study on migrating users from IBM Power Systems to Oracle's cloud. Thousands of computers are running Oracle technology on "large and costly" IBM systems, Oracle CEO Mark Hurd stated. The Oracle-Intel architecture would have Oracle Engineered Systems powered by Intel Xeons cores.

The Oracle-Intel play is interesting for several reasons. The companies both want to be in the public cloud and see IBM as a competitor, but Oracle's servers could also compete with Intel's x86 offerings.

SPARC servers

SPARC servers. Source: Oracle

There are five M7 microprocessor-based servers:

1) SPARC T7-1 server offers a single processor with 32 cores in a 2U chassis with up to 512GB of memory. T7-1 has up to eight 2.5in hot-swappable SAS HDD/SSD drives, up to four NVMe SSDs and six PCIe 3.0 slots.

2) SPARC T7-2 has two processors with a total of 64 cores in a 3U chassis and up to 1TB of memory. It supports up to six 2.5in hot-swappable SAS HDD/SSD drives, up to four NVMe SSDs and has eight PCIe 3.0 slots.

3) SPARC T7-4 server has two or four processors and up to 128 cores in a 5U chassis with up to 2TB of memory. The sever supports up to eight hot-swappable SAS HDD/SSD or NVMe SSD and has 16 PCIe 3.0 slots.

4) SPARC M7-8 server can have up to eight SPARC M7 processors in a single physical domain. The server scales up to 4TB of memory and has up to 24 PCIe 3.0 (x16) slots.

5) SPARC M7-16 server offers one to four reconfigurable physical domains, up to 16 SPARC M7 processors and 512 cores capable of running more than 4,000 simultaneous hardware threads. The server scales up to 8TB of memory and has up to 48 PCIe 3.0 (x16) slots.

While these servers are in direct competition to IBM and Intel, they're servicing a shrinking market. Oracle is likely trying to keep its existing customers on SPARC, said Moor Insights & Strategy analyst Gina Longoria.

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