Tales from Oracle OpenWorld 2015: Day 2 (Monday)

October 2015

Oracle OpenWorld kicked off in earnest today, with over 65,000 people descending on the Moscone Center for their dose of Oracle knowledge! If you couldn’t make it in person, here are the Cintra team’s hottest topics of the day:

Monday Morning Keynote:
This morning’s keynote was largely in line with Larry Ellison’s presentation the previous evening, however there were some interesting predictions cited, as follows:

  • By 2025 (predictions)
    • 80% of Production workload in the Cloud
    • 100% of Dev / Test in the Cloud
    • 100% of Enterprise Data in the Cloud

Whether you believe this or not, it certainly directs our focus towards the Cloud as an architecture component that can no longer be ignored. Cintra will be presenting on exactly this topic on Thursday afternoon.

ZFS Storage Appliance Updates:
We attended a technical deep dive on some new ZFS capabilities and support best practices, and thought it would be worth sharing a couple of the more interesting points:

Firstly, a new software release is now available, which provides significant benefits in terms of encryption, storage quotas, replication and migrations. This should be considered by anyone running a ZFS Storage Appliance, regardless of make or model.

Oracle also stressed the benefits of combining a ZFS Storage Appliance with Database 12c new features, particularly the Oracle Intelligent Storage Protocol (OISP) and the combination of Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) and Automatic Data Optimization (ADO). These three features combine to provide the ultimate Information Lifecycle Management policy, moving your data automatically from your prime real estate storage to lower tiers, with the ZFS performing its own internal tiering between storage devices based on the Oracle database’s requirements.

Of course, Cintra have a blueprint for these configurations, so get in touch if you’re interested in setting it up and we can help you implement these features smoothly!

Exadata Updates:
A number of “new” Exadata features and capabilities were mentioned today, some of which have been available for a few months and which Oracle were essentially just reminding people of, and some of which made us sit up and pay attention! Here’s a quick synopsis:

  • New Exadata features
    • Smart Analytics
      • Analytics queries run on storage cells
      • Approx 100x faster analytics than traditional commodity hardware platforms
      • Columnar flash cache (5x faster analytics)
      • JSON / XML storage offload (3x faster analytics)
    • OLTP Benefits
      • New IB protocol reduces IOs to 250us latency
        • DB talks directly to IB bypassing OS
      • Sub-second IO latency capping to remove the risk of performance degradation in the event of a drive failure
    • Consolidation Benefits
      • Workload-aware CPU resource allocation
      • Zero overhead Xen VMs on Exa
      • IB partitioning within VM for network resource management
  • Coming soon on Exadata:
    • New version of Exadata coming in 2016, engineered specifically to leverage features of Database 12cR2
    • Analytics Benefits
      • In-memory columnar within storage cell flash
      • Aggregation queries executed within storage cells
    • Smart OLTP
      • Smart cache-to-cache block transfer
      • 2x faster disk recovery
    • Consolidation
      • Hierarchical snapshots
      • 2x number of application connections
    • Smart availability
      • Extended distance clusters (stretch clusters) will soon be possible with Exadata
      • 2 x faster software upgrades

Other nuggets from the show floor:
Of course, OpenWorld isn’t just about the sessions; there’s a whole exhibition floor out there with many vendors vying to tell you about their cool new wares. Here’s a few that caught our eye today:

  • Qlogic NPARs
    • New line of NICs with built-in QoS functionality
    • OS sees many virtual NICs set up on single physical card
    • Compatible with multiple VLANs and isolated for security
    • Great for OVM / VMWare – providing separation to allow running Dev/Test on same server as Prod
  • Huawei Servers
    • Low-cost Intel servers with very low heat/power requirements
    • Can run in very hot or unstable environments
  • SGI UV3 series servers
    • Many nodes in the same chassis combine to form a single physical server
    • Removes the need for clustering complexity, allowing one Oracle instance to span many physical nodes
    • Designed for high performance – 7GB/s throughput
    • Designed for In-Memory DB

As with everything at OpenWorld, there’s not enough time to write about every cool thing we heard today, but we hope the above gives you an idea of what’s coming on some of Oracle’s major platforms.

We’ll be back tomorrow with more news and updates!
Written by the Cintra Architect Team – October 2015