Oracle says it's finally done upgrading SPARC servers since Sun acquisition

Larry Ellison revealed that Oracle is planning to start moving many features of its software and database portfolio onto silicon and hardware.

CEO Larry Ellison at Oracle OpenWorld 2012 last October.

REDWOOD SHORES, CALIF. -- Oracle has unveiled its latest generation of SPARC servers for mission-critical applications, boasted to be running on the world's fastest microprocessor.

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Designed with cloud deployments in mind, the new midrange T5 and higher-end M5 servers have been built to enable "near linear scalability" from one to 32 sockets with a single common core, operating system, and common set of systems management and virtualization tools.

John Fowler, executive vice president of hardware development at Oracle, said plainly that the these servers are meant to take on "any workload" as well as be deployed to work together, mixed and matched across an enterprise.

CEO Larry Ellison offered a few hints about the new servers during last week's quarterly conference call with investors.

During that call, Ellison described the SPARC T5 as "the fastest processor in the world" for databases and Java middleware.

He added that Oracle's new T5 servers have up to eight processors, which are touted to be more than twice as fast as their T4 predecessors.

Even more importantly, Ellison stressed, the new M5 server, which has up to 32 processors, runs the Oracle database over 10 times faster than the similarly priced M9000 server it is replacing.

With the launch of the M5 server, Oracle is asserting that it has finished upgrading every server in the SPARC product line dating from the time it acquired Sun in 2010.

During the official unveiling on Tuesday at Oracle's headquarters, Ellison remarked that a lot of people thought the SPARC series was lagging at the time of the Sun acquisition in 2010.

Ellison boasted that Oracle took it, caught up, and surpassed the competition.

For example, the hardware giant asserted that the T5-8 is the fastest single server for Oracle Middleware with 12 times the cost performance advantage over the IBM Power 780 as well as seven times the price advantage over the same IBM configuration.

Looking forward, Ellison described that Oracle is planning to start moving many features of its software and database portfolio onto silicon and hardware.

In other words, Oracle is going to put database query and Java accelerators onto the chips.

"Software in silicon is redefining enterprise computing," Ellison summed up, also quipping that "modern hardware is 90 percent software."

Oracle's roadmap -- at least through 2014 -- includes upgrading the execution codes to free up cores so that other codes can execute, improving performance and efficiency overall.