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Oracle Hardware

Oracle To Halve Core Count In Next Sparc Processor 200

angry tapir writes "Oracle will halve the number of cores in its next Sparc processor and instead improve its single-thread performance, a weak area for the chip but one that's important for running large databases and back-end applications. The next Sparc chip on Oracle's roadmap, the T4, will have eight cores on each chip, down from 16 in the current Sparc T3."
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Oracle To Halve Core Count In Next Sparc Processor

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  • and? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @08:03PM (#34481592) Journal

    Not trying to be a smartass, but does it really even matter? Hasn't almost everyone already decided to move away from Sun/Oracle, excepting those with a tremendous investment in that area? Can their sales really do anything except go down on the hardware side? And reducing the number of cores can't help, as cores is now the buzzword, just like megahertz was back in the Pentium days. Even AMD had to fudge the model names back then to get people to buy the processors, which admittedly were faster per Mhz than Intel, but customers looked at raw numbers. I would think that cores would be the same, even with a more sophisticated buyer.

  • by multipartmixed ( 163409 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @08:16PM (#34481692) Homepage

    Does it maybe mean more register windows?

    Because that would certainly help things like Java, and presumably oracle.

    Anybody know how often a large query spills registers?

  • Re:and? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Pharmboy ( 216950 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @08:24PM (#34481748) Journal

    At the very least, Oracle has introduced a great deal of uncertainty into Sun products, so you have to ask "What does Sun hardware offer than other hardware doesn't?". With all the bad press, they have an uphill battle converting people to Sun from other platforms, and for those who have a choice, what *exactly* is the big benefit that can't be purchased from someone else for less? Obviously they will sell some product, (and yes, there is obviously some benefits to some customers, but not all) but I don't see how they are going to grow any new significant market share. There is a lot of options out there, and it isn't that expensive to throw a lot of cores at a problem. Any purchaser has to be wary and consider other options with a more open mind.

    The problem is that Oracle is *perceived* to not be that concerned about the Sparc platform, whether it is true or not. If the public (or at least the ones making the buying decisions) thinks that they will just be phasing it out or letting it die on the vine, it doesn't matter if it is true or not. I just think Oracle has done a terrible PR job during the whole Sun transition and it will bite them in the ass over the next few years. They certainly haven't made ANY new friends.

  • Re:and? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by dogsbreath ( 730413 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @09:15PM (#34482146)

    Not trying to be a smartass, but does it really even matter? Hasn't almost everyone already decided to move away from Sun/Oracle, excepting those with a tremendous investment in that area?

    I agree. That boat sailed about two years ago for us and we were a major Sun shop ( > 10,000 servers four years ago ). We are now almost exclusively VMware on Intel blades, mostly from IBM, or IBM P systems with IBM o/s. Vendors that were Solaris have moved to Linux. We briefly considered x86 Solaris but there was too much uncertainty with the on-again/off-again support for that platform.

    Oracle DB is still at the core of our internal corporate computing because of an excellent licensing deal but we use alternatives for consumer facing services.

    IMHO, the Sparc64 is hellishly expensive for the performance provided and the iron in the rack is heavy and power hungry. Nobody likes the M series servers. We don't like buying it, we don't like racking it, and we don't like what it does to our data center power distribution configuration.

    The T series are not badly priced and are excellent low power consumption web servers but suck at anything that is single threaded. Almost all application software is effectively single threaded: either there is an explicit single execution path or the app has attempted threading but the threads depend on a core path that is single threaded. Usually I can get a brand name Intel multicore box that provides 4x the execution performance at a lower cost, ... and with 3 yr onsite h/w service thrown in.

    Everything about Sun h/w is out of sync with what customers want.

    Oracle is almost clueless when it comes to hardware sales and development. Try ""... you get a redirect to the Oracle home page and then you have to search for a link to the server product lineup. It's almost as if they are hiding the fact that they have a hardware product to sell. I don't think the Oracle brain trust knows what to do with Sun h/w and the Solaris o/s.

    Oracle is a single core product software shop. That's their whole corporate culture and they don't really do other things well. What were they thinking when they bought Sun's h/w division? Possibly they could have just bought the rights to Solaris and developed it for the x86 h/w and made something of it. An argument could be made for the similarity between db and os development. But h/w? It's a black hole for Oracle. SPARC is dead. Write it off.

    Now if IBM had bought Sun and turned their R&D folk loose... there would have been hope for Solaris. Too bad so sad.

  • Re:and? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by dogsbreath ( 730413 ) on Tuesday December 07, 2010 @10:03PM (#34482434)

    I don't think losing some grumpy OpenOffice and OpenSolaris users qualifies as "everyone has already decided to move away from Oracle".

    The original statement was "Sun/Oracle" not "Oracle" and was referencing h/w sales.

    Four years ago, we (network/connectivity company) spent over $50 million annually on Sun servers (h/w only, support was on top of that). That is now almost zero. We still buy lots of servers but they are almost all x86 blades. Sun h/w just can't compete in any of the import aspects that affect h/w purchase decisions (performance, power consumption, stability, reliability, capital cost, support cost, TCO, lifetime cost, transition costs). Java is a non-issue and has nothing to do with server purchasing decisions. I know we are not alone in dropping Sun as a vendor.

    Note that we were a dyed-in-the-wool Sun/Solaris shop with a terrific core of dedicated Sun/Solaris admins. Nice thing about all that expertise is that, technically speaking, they had little trouble transferring their skill sets to other h/w and o/s platforms. Hardware and o/s vendors were happy to provide transition training. The cost of transition was a blip in our annual spend. Almost no one wants to go back even though Solaris is a superior o/s in many ways (io performance, network stack, scheduler, SMP).

    It will be interesting to see what Oracle reports on Sun h/w sales.

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