Saturday, 4 April 2015

The Enterprise Cloud

Peter Magnusson, who runs Oracle Cloud, alerted me to a talk that he did at the Swedish IT Institute recently. The focus of the talk is on the key differences between the consumer cloud and the enterprise cloud.

While I have had many discussion with enterprises and government over the last few years about Cloud - and specifically about why the model implemented by the Googles and Facebooks of the world, is not fit for them - Peter expresses succinctly the view that the requirements and the use cases for consumer and enterprise are radically different, as are the ways in which you go about building each of them.

Peter's talk is online - go and listen on youtube.
Also at

Would be interested to hear what people think!

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Exciting Year Ahead for Cloud Application Foundation, Exalogic and Java in the Cloud

During the Christmas Holidays, I spent some time thinking through some work priorities for 2015. The team is delivering a host of new product releases. These are the fruits of multiple years of fundamental innovations and collaboration by multiple teams that I have the opportunity to manage and work with. 

Some great innovations we have planned include: 

Exalogic Elastic Cloud X5-2 - marking the next generation of Oracle Engineered System for running Java, Oracle Middleware and Oracle Applications with breakthrough performance and scalability and integrated app to disk manageability. For more see this post.

Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software 12c - this long awaited release of the next generation of Exalogic Software features the same technology stack as Oracle Cloud - specifically the Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service implementation provided on the public cloud. This innovation offers customers the opportunity to realize hybrid cloud, today. As part of our next release, customers will get access to the Java Cloud Service, on premise with Exalogic. Other PaaS services from Oracle Cloud will follow. Intrigued? See this video.

Weblogic Server Multi-tenant - tired of virtual machine hangover? 1000s of virtual machines to manage? Weblogic's next innovation is multi-tenancy built directly into the Java EE runtime. What this means is faster startup times, more efficient memory utilization resulting in smaller server footprints, and a significant reduction in the number of Weblogic domains to manage. 

Java Cloud Service - in addition to the Java Cloud Service currently available, new capabilities to be introduced include Java Virtual Machine as a service which will give the ability to run any framework on top of standard JVM. This capability will give customers the ability to bring any server-side Java application to Oracle Cloud and benefit from the built-in deployment and manageability enhancements. 

2015 indeed marks an exciting time for the team! 

p.s. Usual caveats apply regarding dates for shipping software. Please see Oracle's revenue recognition policy below.
The preceding was intended to outline our general product direction. It was intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle’s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle.

Saturday, 24 January 2015

Exalogic Elastic Cloud 12c Software and Exalogic X5-2 Hardware Launch

We're excited to announce the release of the first of two fundamental innovations in Oracle Exalogic - our planned 12c Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software and our new X5-2 hardware, the latter of which is available immediately.
Beginning with software, we're seeing a massive shift from traditional pure virtualization to cloud. In our 12c release, Exalogic is aligning with Oracle's public cloud to offer the same IaaS and PaaS layers, with Java Cloud Service being offered as our first PaaS solution. By adopting the same IaaS and PaaS layers, we're able to offer our customers the exact same experience whether on or off premise. Performance continues to be a defining characteristic of Oracle Exalogic, with workloads having 5-10x greater performance and throughput compared to traditional systems. 
To see how we got to this point, let's look back at the 1990s.That era was characterized by big monolithic apps running on large, non-virtualized servers. This is known as "Generation 0." In the 2000s, many workloads were virtualized. This is known as "Generation 1." While an enormous evolution over physical, virtualization didn't change the equation all that much - in fact it made it worse. Rather than having one large server, there are many smaller virtual machines. The maintenance problems only multiplied as it became easier to provision virtual machines.
In today's world, cloud is beginning to take over and Oracle is the leading vendor in the transition to cloud. Cloud is known as "Generation 2." Cloud offers virtualization as well but it offers a number of new features that make it distinct from Generation 1. Cloud offers simple provisioning, elasticity to support ever-changing workloads, automated backup/recovery/patching and more. Resources - from compute to network to storage to Java - are offered up as services, with the consumer of the services detached from the back-end work required to offer and maintain the services. As much as possible, end-consumers provision some software, with the hardware behind the software being provided, configured, updated, backed-up seamlessly. Cloud is often consumed off premise, but with the introduction of Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software 12c, customers will be able to consume the same IaaS and PaaS services in Oracle's public cloud, or on premise on Oracle Exalogic hardware.
Exalogic X5-2 is the next Generation of our hardware platform, built to support Generation 2 (although the 12c software will support existing hardware platforms). Ahead of defining specifications for the platform, we performed extensive research to look at how we can continue to have a balanced architecture to support the workloads our customers have. Thinking of Exalogic X5-2 in the context of a Generation 2 cloud model, high density of virtual machines on each individual server is a prerequisite, in addition to a shared network, storage system and most important, high I/O throughput (which is achieved through Exabus on Exalogic). In order to deliver on a balanced architecture, we've increased the density of cores per compute node up to 36, meaning customers can have up to 1,080 physical cores in a single rack of Oracle Exalogic X5-2. There are a number of other enhancements including a move to DDR4 to provide faster memory, an increase in SSD per compute node to 800 GB, and an 800 GB write cache in our storage appliance. Collectively, these changes make Exalogic X5-2 the best available hardware platform for Generation 2 computing. 

Want to know more about what customers are doing with Exalogic? Listen to these two customers speak about their use of Exalogic a the X5 launch. Aaron de Los Reyes speaks about 9x reduction in hardware footprint and 50% operational cost savings.  Did you know that Exalogic also powers the heart of Silicon Valley? City of San Francisco's Dennis McCormick speaks about their use of Exalogic and Exadata.
To learn more, have a look at the Elastic Exalogic Elastic Cloud X5-2 launch video.

Monday, 7 October 2013

Middleware and Applications Optimizations for Exalogic

At Oracle OpenWorld this year, I had a lot of customer discussions. One of the most recurrent questions was about the work we have done in our software stack to make Oracle Middleware Applications and ISV Applications run faster and with greater throughput. With this view, I wrote an easy to read non-exhaustive summary that highlights some of these:

Oracle WebLogic Optimizations on Exalogic
Applications using WebLogic benefit from a number of optimizations for thread efficiency, faster interprocess communication and higher message throughput.  An optimized work scheduler for Exalogic balances the number of threads per core available on Exalogic systems, providing better application processing efficiency.  WebLogic Server has changed to use shared byte buffers instead of array copies when passing data, improving application interprocess communication performance and a 66% reduction in number of objects created. This reduces heap usage and results in fewer expensive garbage collections for Applications. WebLogic also optimizes socket calls to reduce lock contention on Exalogic, allowing fewer threads to process a larger number of message requests.  

Oracle Coherence Optimizations on Exalogic
Applications using Coherence benefit from optimizations to increase scalability and lower the latency of data grid operations. Coherence takes advantage of a new low-level Java API, InfiniBand Message Bus, to provide a native InfiniBand Exabus implementation that uses Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) , zero-copy data transfer, and other optimizations for low latency communications. As a result, applications that store state and data in Coherence can see 4-6x improvements in performance of these operations.  The Elastic Data feature of Coherence uses Exalogic SSD storage or SSD-backed SAN to support larger data sets than would be possible with in-memory alone, allowing applications to access more cached data on fewer Exalogic compute nodes.   Through Exabus optimizations and Elastic Data, Oracle Coherence on Exalogic provides the next generation of massively scalable, low-latency data and state management for applications.

Oracle Tuxedo Optimizations on Exalogic
(only for PeopleSoft).
PeopleSoft applications using PeopleTools 8.53 and higher benefit from a new implementation of JOLT over SDP (Sockets Direct Protocol), which runs natively on the Infiniband/Exabus fabric eliminating I/O bottlenecks between PIA web tier and App Server.  These applications also benefit from self tuning of bulletin board locking mechanism, where Tuxedo dynamically manages number of times an application loops waiting for a user mode semaphore based on current workload, resulting in efficient CPU consumption and improved application performance.

Oracle JRockit Optimizations on Exalogic
On Exalogic, the JVM makes more efficient network I/O calls using collections of chunked data resulting in higher throughput for Java applications. The JVM optimizes object management with fewer copies resulting in reduced garbage collection and less heap size resulting in better Java application performance.

Exalogic Exabus
Applications running on Exalogic utilize Exabus, the underlying Infiniband fabric, which provides low latency and high throughput eliminating I/O bottlenecks in every application layer. Applications components are typically deployed in more than one server and Exabus provides low latency for I/O across nodes on same Exalogic rack. Access to ZFS storage device over Exabus greatly reduces latency for log file writes and other file access operations. For applications running on Exalogic and accessing database tier on Exadata, Exabus delivers faster I/O, reduces CPU usage on both the mid-tier and DB-tier and provides higher connection pooling efficiency.

Oracle Traffic Director
For applications deployed on Exalogic, Oracle Traffic Director (OTD) is a fast, scalable entry point for all HTTP and HTTPS traffic to application servers and Web server components. OTD acts as a high performance SSL/TLS termination point for HTTPS requests reducing processing overhead for back-end servers. OTD caches content reducing load and improving performance. OTD compresses HTTP data improving response time for clients with slow connections.

Oracle VM for Exalogic
Exalogic Oracle VM can be used to sub-divide a physical compute node into multiple virtual machines to increase application deployment efficiency while maintaining application performance. Oracle VM has been engineered for tight integration with Exalogic Exabus I/O backplane using a technique called Single Root I/O Virtualization (SR-IOV) ensuring Oracle VM significantly outperforms comparable hypervisors from other leading vendors. The benefit of this approach is unmatched application performance. In an Exalogic configuration, the impact of virtualization on application throughput and latency is negligible.

Oracle SOA Suite
Long running processes - whether they are complex orchestrations or BPM workflows require data persistence in order to preserve process state. Traditionally a database system is used to persist process state. With optimizations in SOA Suite process state is now managed in Oracle Coherence - which is an in-memory data grid. Coherence has been optimized to run on Exalogic through a native RDMA-based data replication protocol. The use of Coherence together with the optimizations of Coherence on Exalogic enable long running processes in SOA Suite to benefit from 17x throughput improvements.

In-Memory Modules for Oracle Applications
Many processes in packaged applications make extensive use of a backend database for both online as well as batch data processing. With In-Memory Modules, Oracle Applications deliver new functionality that natively leverages the capabilities of the engineered systems - Exalogic, Exadata and Exalytics in order to transform data processing on disk to parallel in-memory data processing enabled by a high throughput low latency network (Infiniband). Examples of In Memory Modules for Oracle Applications include In-Memory Performance-Driven Planning, Consumption-Driven Planning, In-Memory Sales Advisor and In-Memory Project Portfolio Management (the list keeps growing).

Monday, 28 January 2013

Westpac, Claro, Hyundai, Netshoes and Exalogic

Hot on the heels of previous posting, we now have some more postings on customers use of Exalogic:

  • Claro Improves Partner SLAs 7x with 5x Through-Put Gains with Exalogic - See the video here.  Video talks about Claro's VAS Implementation running on WebLogic Server with 125 million Transactions daily
  • Hyundai Kia Motor Saves Millions with Its Document Management System Running on Exalogic. See video here.
  • We also have a video with the CEO of Netshoes who implemented ATG Web Commerce on Exalogic re platforming from JBoss to WebLogic as part of the move which only took a few weeks! The video is in Portuguese, so better get your dictionary out! 

These great studies show continued stream of Exalogic customers going into production with great data points. 

We also had a great Press Release about Westpac in Australia:

  • Following on from a lengthy proof of concept, Westpac decided to re platform their single view of customer application on Exalogic and Exadata. The performance numbers that Westpac achieved were truly impressive: 40x improvement with 50% cost savings! You can read more about this by reviewing the press release


Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Exalogic Customers Speak!

Hot on the heels of some great customer case studies at OpenWorld (if you missed it, here is a write up on my session), it's great to see a steady and increasing flow of Exalogic customers who are talking about their positive experiences on video. These are some recent ones that are now online!
  • Allegis Accelerates HR Processing for 130,000 Contractors with Exalogic - video
  • STERCi Reduces Operational Risk for Financial Institutes with their Payments Application on Exalogic - video
  • Ingersoll Rand Achieves 40x Gains In Order Processing with Exalogic - video
  • UL Standardizes ERP Processes on Exalogic for 60,000 Manufacturers with Exalogic - video
Big thank you goes to our Maketing and Production teams who have put these together!

We have some very exciting go lives over the Xmas period which we will talk more about in the New Year!