Stokes up IBM, HP rivalry with Exalogic Elastic Cloud launch
Oracle has unveiled Exalogic Elastic Cloud, a combination of hardware and software that marks the company’s entry into the "cloud in a box" arena alongside fellow computing giants HP and IBM.
Announcing the new product during his first keynote speech at Oracle OpenWorld 2010 in San Francisco, CEO Larry Ellison said Exalogic is "one big, honkin’ cloud", containing 30 servers with each containing two six-core processors totalling 360 processor cores capable of handling 1 million HTTP requests per second, a 12x performance improvement for Internet applications.
Oracle also claimed 4.5x improvement for Java messaging applications, to over 1.8 million messages per second. These benchmarks were tested against an x86 running a standard set up, the company said. Ellison said that two stacks running together could handle Facebook’s traffic requirements.
It runs a choice of either the Linux or Solaris operating system and contains "all the middleware a company would need to run its apps," Ellison said. Speaking to CBR, Rick Schultz, vice president of Technology Product Marketing, said that the company is not looking to introduce Windows as another alternative OS on its platform. This differs from IBM, which is said to be offering Windows support on its zEnterprise mainframe.
"There is no demand for Windows at the moment," Schultz told us. "A huge number of our customers are running Linux or Solaris. If the demand was there from our customers we’ll look at it. It’s not to do with control – we can tweak as we want."
Exalogic Elastic Cloud is built using industry standards, which Ellison said gives Oracle ample opportunity to test the system before it is deployed. It also means that any bug in the system encountered by one customer can be patched and sent out to all other customers, something that is difficult to do when many customers are using unique configurations, Ellison said.
Patching was a big part of Ellison’s speech about Exalogic Elastic Cloud. He said that any issue, whether it’s related to the OS, apps or middleware, can be patched via a single file, something that makes managing the whole system much easier.
The system also includes something called Remote Telemetry, which automatically notifies Oracle of any potential problems with the system. The fact that every customer will be using the same system means that fixing the issue is a much simpler task, Ellison said.
There is no single point of failure on the system so if one VM goes down the stack will continue to operate. This means that the system is fully redundant and no data will be lost in the event of a problem.
Ellison said that Exalogic Elastic Cloud is the first product to demonstrate Oracle’s new tagline: Hardware and software engineered to work together. The new product sports both the Oracle and Sun logos.
In terms of pricing, Oracle compared the Exalogic Elastic Cloud to IBM’s Power795. A full rack Exalogic deployment without additional software comes in at $1.075m compared to $4.4m for the equivalent Power795 offering. Oracle said that it will release more detailed pricing when the system reaches general availability, which the company said will be within the next 12 months.