Things are heating up in the appliance world. Oracle's CEO Larry Ellison took the lead at the keynote of Oracle OpenWorld to announce the launch of 'Exalogic Elastic Compute Cloud' (EECC), which is a slick new box that contains both a full server and storage hardware.
The EECC even comes with an optimized, pre-tuned web server and hypervisor software. Ellison got a laugh by introducing the product as 'a honking big cloud in a box'. This apparently shifts his previous criticism of the terms 'cloud computing' and 'private cloud' by using more or less the exact same terms to sell a physical appliance.
The "secret sauce" of the Exalogic, according to Ellison, is the device's 'coherance' software, which syncronises the memory systems of the 30 servers to create the functional effect of a single, unified memory system.
A complete Exalogic rack offered 2.8TB of DRAM, 960GB of solid-state disk and 40TB of SAS disk storage. Customers can buy the device in a quarter-rack, half-rack or full-rack and up to eight boxes could be linked together to operate as a single "compute cloud".
Ellison said the hard drive in the machine is striped and mirrored in such a way that there is "no single point of failure on Exalogic. You can't lose any data, its fully redundant." ("Can't" is one of those words that often comes back to haunt you, but it does seem that Oracle has buttoned this device down pretty thoroughly. – Ed.)
In addition, Oracle also anounced the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel for Oracle Linux, a custom Linux offering that's based on the 2.6.32 Linux kernel. Linux is a fast-rising star in the Oracle word due to its inherent security, low cost, and the ability to customize it to fit any imaginable need you might consider.
To quote Oracle:
The new Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is the result of the combined efforts of Oracle's Linux, database, middleware, and hardware engineering teams, and is:
- Fast—More than 75 percent performance gain demonstrated in OLTP performance tests over a Red Hat Compatible Kernel; 200 percent speedup of Infiniband messaging; 137 percent faster solid state disk access
- Modern—Provides optimizations for large NUMA servers; improved power management and energy efficiency; fine-grained CPU and memory resource control
- Reliable—Supports the Data Integrity Extensions and T10 Protection Information Model, to stop corrupt data from being written to storage; hardware fault management improves application uptime; low overhead performance counters for tracing
- Optimized for Oracle—Built and tested to run Oracle hardware, databases, and middleware with the best Linux performance and reliability available