Dal Dato alle Decisioni, per il Mio BusinessVar Red Srl, Via L. Giuntini, 40 50053 Empoli (FI)Tel. 0571 9988 Fax 0571 998062 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.orgPart. IVA e Cod. Fisc. e n. Iscrizione al Registro Imprese di Firenze 06302350480Capitale Sociale € 10.000,00 i.v.www.vargroup.itOracle Launches T5 and M5 Servers: A New Generation ofOracles SPARC/Solaris ServersApril 05, 2013 - IDC LinkBy: Jean BozmanOn March 26, 2013, Oracle Corp. announced its T5 and M5 servers — all based on thecompanys SPARC processors and all running the Solaris operating system. Theannouncements showed dramatic performance gains for SPARC, with 16-coremicroprocessor technology based on three years of IP (intellectual property) developmentat Oracle, following Oracles acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc. in January 2010.The SPARC systems launch focused on midrange and high-end servers, all of them built onmicroprocessor technology acquired from Sun, adding new T5 and M5 processors designedby Oracle, and fabricated by TSMC in Taiwan.Performance for the T-Series and M-Series processors is much faster than for older SPARCprocessors, which had eight cores. Oracle said that the T5 processor is twice as fast as theT4 processor that was introduced in the second half of 2011 and is widely sold. The T5 willbe used in systems with up to eight sockets. It said the larger M5 systems, shipped with16 to 32 sockets, will support 10 times faster Oracle Database performance than older M-Series servers.During the launch event, Oracle said the new microprocessors far outpace previous SPARCtechnology, making Oracle much more competitive against its two major rivals in the Unixserver space — IBM and HP. Importantly, Oracle also compared the T5 and M5 systemswith previous Oracle models. To demonstrate the improved performance for the newgeneration of SPARC processors, Oracle highlighted a series of benchmarks that it haspublished through third-party benchmarking groups (e.g., TPC and SPEC).
Dal Dato alle Decisioni, per il Mio BusinessVar Red Srl, Via L. Giuntini, 40 50053 Empoli (FI)Tel. 0571 9988 Fax 0571 998062 e-mail:email@example.comPart. IVA e Cod. Fisc. e n. Iscrizione al Registro Imprese di Firenze 06302350480Capitale Sociale € 10.000,00 i.v.www.vargroup.itThe technology refresh is based on 16-core SPARC microprocessors that run at 3.6GHz,with the effect that they now run Unix server workloads much faster than before. This isimportant for the installed base of SPARC servers, which is extensive worldwide. Due tothe binary compatibility that has historically been built into every generation ofSPARC/Solaris servers, new T5 and M5 models will run older applications without change.Even so, Oracle made clear that it will continue to sell the T4-based servers, which havesold well, because customers may want to match other T4 units.Highlights of the Oracle T5 and M5 announcements included the following: A range of four T5-based models. Based on Oracle-designed T5processors, these include the 1-socket (T5-1 blade), 2-socket (T5-2), 4-socket (T5-4), and 8-socket (T5-8) models. The T5 is a 16-core processor,with eight threads per core. In addition, T4-based servers will continue to besold for some time to come. Oracle has said that the T4-based servers had afast ramp and that they continue to generate volume shipments for SPARCservers. Two M5 servers — one with 16 sockets and one with 32sockets. Based on Oracle-designed M5 processors, these will replace olderM-Series servers, which were often deployed as Unix mainframes, given theOLTP and database workloads they run. Oracle will build 32-socket models,and customers will specify which capacity they want to buy. Description of future ASIC processors. This technology leverages ASIChardware to accelerate software operations. They will include processor-based accelerators for database and Java workloads and are due to ship in2014.Product Transitions in ServersIn its March 20 earnings call, Oracle had noted the announcements to come in thefollowing week and said the new servers would be key to a turnaround in Oracleshardware business. That is much needed because Oracle hardware revenue — inclusive ofservers and storage — has declined by more than 20%, year over year, in Oracles fiscalQ2 FY13 and Q3 FY13. The anticipation may have been one factor in the hardware decline,especially for high-end M-Series deals that were delayed or closing later than originallyexpected, Oracle executives said.
Dal Dato alle Decisioni, per il Mio BusinessVar Red Srl, Via L. Giuntini, 40 50053 Empoli (FI)Tel. 0571 9988 Fax 0571 998062 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.orgPart. IVA e Cod. Fisc. e n. Iscrizione al Registro Imprese di Firenze 06302350480Capitale Sociale € 10.000,00 i.v.www.vargroup.itAs noted in the March 20, 2013, call, Oracle believes the technology in which it hasinvested since its January 2010 acquisition of Sun Microsystems is about to pay off in anew round of stronger hardware sales. "We expect the turnaround really to begin in Q1,not in Q4, because we have this large introduction of new systems," said Oracle CEO LarryEllison. "Next year will be a big growth year for our entire hardware business — theSPARC line and all of the engineered systems." He noted then, "With the delivery of theM5 servers next week, Oracle will have finished upgrading every server in the SPARCproduct line, dating from the time we acquired Sun."Density in Server Design in the MidrangeReducing the distance between system components is always a good thing when it comesto computer design, and that is true for all vendors. Not only does it boost performanceand throughput, but it also reduces the amount of datacenter floor space needed,compared with older models with less density. That phenomenon allows high-end serverfeatures to flow to midrange price levels, in a cascade effect that is driven by reducedprice/performance.Oracle is leveraging these design principles in its T5-8 model, which is an eight-socketserver for consolidating application and database workloads — and for running newworkloads. Due to the improved price/performance in the new SPARC servers, comparedwith earlier models, Unix server customers will be able to move workloads from largerSMP servers to the T5-8, reducing the footprint in the datacenter for those workloads.Reduction in server footprint size will translate into operational cost reductions related toworkload consolidation and power/cooling for SPARC servers.The new M5 servers will support dense processing in smaller spaces within the datacenter.They have any-to-any connections between all processors, arranged in a "mesh"architecture, and they support electrical isolation within processing "cells." The isolation isimportant for protecting workloads, by preventing them from interfering with one another.The prospect of being able to buy a technology refresh for the M8000s and M9000s, whichwere introduced with quad-core SPARC64 VII processors in July 2008, may have been afactor in slowing M-class shipments in Q3 FY13 shipments, Oracle executives said in theMarch 20, 2013, financial earnings call.
Dal Dato alle Decisioni, per il Mio BusinessVar Red Srl, Via L. Giuntini, 40 50053 Empoli (FI)Tel. 0571 9988 Fax 0571 998062 e-mail:email@example.comPart. IVA e Cod. Fisc. e n. Iscrizione al Registro Imprese di Firenze 06302350480Capitale Sociale € 10.000,00 i.v.www.vargroup.itIDC notes that Oracle brought the M5 to market a bit earlier than had been originallyexpected, based on the road maps shown at Oracle OpenWorld two years ago. And thatmay transform the relationship with Fujitsu Ltd., which had built the earlier M-classmodels and the SPARC64 processors on which they were based. IDC expects both Oracleand Fujitsu to sell SPARC-based servers but to build their own M-class models based ontheir respective SPARC technologies. The servers will be sold under their own brands.Separate from Engineered SystemsThe SPARC systems product launch completes the process of updating the server line,following Oracles acquisition of Sun Microsystems in January 2010. Oracle has invested inthe SPARC technologies it inherited from Sun to update all of its general-purpose servers,which run SPARC and the Solaris operating system. IDC estimates that there are hundredsof thousands of SPARC-based systems still in active use worldwide, providing a broadopportunity for technology refresh and workload consolidation.They will be sold as part of a broader portfolio of server systems, including the OracleEngineered Systems, most of which are based on x86 architecture and run Oracle Linux.These include the Oracle Exadata, Exalogic, and Exalytics products — and the Oracle BigData Appliance and Oracle Database Appliance products. The only SPARC-basedengineered system is the SPARC SuperCluster, which combines aspects of the Exadataand Exalogic engineered systems. To date, more than 5,000 engineered systems havebeen sold worldwide, according to Oracle.Competitive AnalysisOracle stands to improve its competitive position in the Unix server marketplace, given itsCY12 market share of 19%, statistically tied with HP but less than IBM, which had 56%market share, by factory revenue, in CY12. In 2012, the worldwide Unix server marketgenerated $9.1 billion worldwide, which has declined in recent years from levels of $12billion, or more, in the years prior to 2007. Reasons for the decline include platformmigration, the aging out of older Unix SMP servers, the effects of the economic downturnon IT budgets, and the rise of x86 architecture in datacenter infrastructure.
Dal Dato alle Decisioni, per il Mio BusinessVar Red Srl, Via L. Giuntini, 40 50053 Empoli (FI)Tel. 0571 9988 Fax 0571 998062 e-mail:firstname.lastname@example.orgPart. IVA e Cod. Fisc. e n. Iscrizione al Registro Imprese di Firenze 06302350480Capitale Sociale € 10.000,00 i.v.www.vargroup.itWith this launch, Oracle emphasized its direct positioning against IBMs Power Systems,especially the midrange and high-end models. This toe-to-toe competition will likely beenergized by both Oracle and IBM, which compete in both the server and database(DBMS) market spaces. They are the two largest Unix/RISC server providers worldwide,because SPARC and POWER are RISC processors. However, when looking at the overallUnix server space, IDC notes that IBM, Oracle, and HP, which builds its Unix servers onIntel Itanium processors, are still the top three Unix server providers worldwide — as theyhave been for some time.Fujitsu Ltd. is in fourth place in the worldwide Unix server market, based on factoryrevenue market share. The M5 announcement underscores how the long relationshipbetween Sun and Fujitsu, which began in the 1980s, is changing over time. What was notmentioned is that Fujitsu also sells M-class servers worldwide, based on Fujitsus SPARC64processors, and will continue to do so.Due to these Unix server competitive dynamics, customers can expect to witness anacceleration in advertising via print, and Internet, in 2013. The ads will likely focus onperformance and benchmarks and customer success stories. But customers can alsoleverage this intense competition in their favor to drive down acquisition costs, by invitingcompetitive bids from multiple vendors, in a dynamic that once was seen in the plug-compatible mainframe (PCM) marketplace in the 1980s and 1990s.ConclusionOracle has invested deeply in improving the performance of the T-Series processors itdeveloped following its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in 2010. It has pushed itsengineering efforts to release new SPARC processor technology — providing a much morecompetitive general-purpose server platform. This will provide an immediate improvementfor its large installed base, even as it lends momentum to a new round of competition inthe Unix server marketplace.For longtime Sun customers, the technology refresh will be welcome, leading to improvedSPARC server sales right away. But Oracle can be expected to look far beyond its owninstalled base, planning to grow its total available market (TAM) by taking share from itslongtime Unix competitors, IBM and HP. Now that the new T5 and M5 technology is ready,IDC will watch with great interest in coming quarters to see whether the T5 and M5
Dal Dato alle Decisioni, per il Mio BusinessVar Red Srl, Via L. Giuntini, 40 50053 Empoli (FI)Tel. 0571 9988 Fax 0571 998062 e-mail:email@example.comPart. IVA e Cod. Fisc. e n. Iscrizione al Registro Imprese di Firenze 06302350480Capitale Sociale € 10.000,00 i.v.www.vargroup.itannouncements will lead to near-term market share gain and to a long-awaitedturnaround in Oracles hardware business.Subscriptions CoveredOperating Environments, Enterprise Servers: Technology Markets, Datacenter Trends andStrategiesPlease contact the IDC Hotline at 800.343.4952, ext.7988 (or +1.508.988.7988) or firstname.lastname@example.org for information on applyingthe price of this document toward the purchase of an IDC or Industry Insights service or for information on additional copiesor Web rights. Visit us on the Web at www.idc.com. To view a list of IDC offices worldwide, visit www.idc.com/offices.Copyright 2011 IDC. Reproduction is forbidden unless authorized. All rights reserved.