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!

Monday, 24 September 2012

The Business Case for Exalogic: A Customer Perspective at OpenWorld, October 1-5

Update: If you want to read a writeup of the session by on searchoracle

OpenWorld is once again upon us and I am pleased to be hosting a session with four customers on the business case for Exalogic. This session promises to be of interest to customers who are looking at investing in Exalogic and would like to hear their peers talk about how they have brought Exalogic into their datacenter and the business case to their CFO to do so!

The customers presenting include:

1. Claro is part of America Movil with some 313 million subscribers. When Claro talk about growth they mean 100% increase in transactions a year, or more! Sandro Trindade Ara├║jo will talk through how Claro moved to Exalogic for their Value Added Services Application and achieved a 3 month ROI!

2. Allegis is a staffing company and as staffing companies do, tends to run very large payrolls, getting ever bigger! Guy Myers will talk through how Allegis is managing the problem of keeping ever tighter processing windows with Exalogic. 

3. Nintendo, well not much really to say, Wii! Dave Tempero, Chief Architect at Nintendo will talk through what they are getting up to with Exalogic and Exadata as part of a new project. Although he may not share anything more than the project being new, he will share some perspectives on why it makes sense to deploy new projects running Oracle and ISV applications on Exalogic. 

4. Cognizant's growth has been nothing short of astronomical. With growth come challenges related to ensuring adequate training for employees. In this session Aaron De Los Reyes will talk through how Cognizant deployed Exalogic for their E-learning application running internally. Some of the headlines include getting rid of 70 P-series servers with 1 Exalogic one, a 90% reduction in trouble tickets and 8x increase in capacity for compute node / server and a 4x improvement in response times for end users, What's more the business headlines are equally impressive - saving 7hours per employee per year! Times 150,000 employees


Come and hear more at the session:

Session:  CON9418 - The Business Case for Oracle Exalogic: A Customer Perspective
Date: Monday, 1 Oct, 2012
Time: 1:45 pm - 2:45 pm (PST)
Venue: Moscone South (306)

Look forward to seeing all of you there!

If you are interested in seeing a list of all the Exalogic sessions at OpenWorld are available at this link

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Brasil is Booming and it’s True

I just returned from a meeting-filled week in Brasil at Oracle Open World Latin America in Sao Paulo. This event brings together the best of OpenWorld to Latin America and features the usual star studded line up of product development and customer speakers. It was also a good opportunity to meet with friends and colleagues in Latin America and Brasil and spend some quality time with them in Sao Paulo traffic!

OpenWorld in Latin America, as in San Francisco, is co-located in time with JavaOne and I must say that the level of interest in Java was truly outstanding. In many of the sessions – including Mike Lehmanns WebLogic 12c Session – there was standing room only!

In a world in which we are constantly hearing about economic challenges and sovereign debt defaults, it’s nice to visit a country where there is tremendous energy, where it’s all about optimism and growth, and where road traffic is a impediment to economic activity!

The week was filled with meetings with prospective and existing customers who wanted to know more about Exalogic.   

The meetings with existing customers included a large E-commerce site that is rolling out their ATG implementation on Exalogic;  a Co-operative Bank that is re-platforming their middleware and SOA infrastructure on Exalogic, a telematics firm that is rolling out new applications; and, many more….

Some interesting conversations I had included:

       Mobile Operator
      Traffic on their mobile data network has increased by a factor of 7x since January and they are struggling to deal with 4 million prepaid top ups per day on their pre-paid mobile infrastructure.
      Their interest in Exalogic is to re-platform their entire provisioning and billing infrastructure to cope with growth

        Holding company with business ranging from Gas distribution, to broadcasting, to Education to Retail, etc
      Experiencing performance issues today and fear for the future given their Oracle Apps / E-business suite consolidation / single instance efforts which increase volumes significantly as more and more lines of business are brought online. Increases in things like number of invoices processed expected to factor 5x over the next 12 months. Response times for price calculations for example in one business unit alone, of 54 hours were a barrier to business!
      Their interest in Exalogic is to enable them to have a consistent, high performance platform that can fulfill their response times and tps requirements as they move more and more lines of business onto their E-Business suite environment

       E-commerce site
      Who said they were experiencing 100% growth in revenues year on year and need to be able to support this growth in time for the Olympics and the World Cup
      Their interest in Exalogic is based on the need to support lower response times for E-commerce and more transactions on less hardware

       Government Tax Department
      Who extensively use both commercial and open source software and are experiencing significant scalability challenges as the number of transactions that they have to process increases
       Their interest in Exalogic is to support higher volumes for their Oracle Forms (18,000 workstations) and WebLogic / Java infrastructure

       Managed Hosting / Cloud Service Provider 
      Who has managed hosting services today, and is looking at how they can move to an outsourcing model in which they can provide Cloud Services, but also application outsourcing. Their keen interest was to understand the way in which they should proceed - whether to replicate what Amazon is doing with EC2, whether to spin up a virtualized environment for commodity hosting of windows systems, or whether to focus on a premium segment of the market for outsourcing of application infrastructure for transactional applications
       Their interest in Exalogic and Exadata is to power their platform for hosting mainstream transactional applications that run their customers business - like E-commerce, online banking, etc. 

All the conversations we had in Brasil were focused on the need to power future growth. To deal with more transactions than ever before, the need to keep control of spiraling hardware and data center footprints as part of that expansion, and to set  course for a simpler future and align applications with underlying systems. Many customers were realizing that simply virtualizing the data center is not enough for transactional applications - they need to focus on the application and choose the right infrastructure for running those applications!

One notable take away for me  - apart from the fact that it's a LOONNG way back from Sao Paulo to San Francisco - is that all my discussions at OpenWorld with customers and partners were focused on the upside potential. 

On the future. 
On powering the future 
On a future that is lined with growth
On all that is possible. 


I really enjoyed the week there - a big thank you to my host Eudis for organizing a full and productive week!

p.s. Brasil is spelt with an "S" in Portuguese!

Tuesday, 25 October 2011

ExalogicTV is now Live!

OpenWorld was a fantastically busy and fun time for us - and so many innovations that were announced including Oracle Public Cloud which is built on Exadata and Exalogic.

Douglas Phillips who recently joined the team from VmWare kick started out ExalogicTV channel on youtube. It features some interesting 3 minute videos - well worth a look if you want to hear about Exalogic from those of us that are working on it!