Recommended Reading: Symantec/Intel Architecture Compares to Flash Array Architecture for Oracle Databases

It certainly is worth looking at the latest white paper from Symantec and Intel.  They have dropped a small bomb on the flash array party. In a white paper, Software-defined Storage at the Speed of Flash, the duo provide a look at a nice Oracle database architecture where they show both price/performance advantages and comparable performance to flash arrays from Violin Memory, EMC and a CISCO solution.  Two Intel R1 208WTTGS 1RU servers were outfitted with four Intel P3700 Series SSDs, 128 GB DDR4 Memory, Symantec Storage Foundation Cluster File System 6.2, Oracle 11gR2 and Red Hat Enterprise 6.5 OS. The two servers are interconnected with high speed dual-port Intel Ethernet Converged Network Adapter. The white paper goes into quite a bit of detail and offers a nice chart comparing the converged solution with the flash arrays solutions.screenshot_475



Recommended Reading : Reference Architecture for Oracle on Cisco UCS Server and Tegile

There is a nice reference architecture white paper which provides a lot of details into setting up an architecture that supports Oracle Database deployment and operational details on infrastructure consisting of Cisco UCS servers and Tegile Hybrid Arrays. Select the item below to see it.

screenshot_414In addition, there are a number of new flash arrays – the following brief discusses Oracle and these new arrays :



Improving Performance on Solaris, Linux and SmartOS

For many commercial companies the center of the Solaris world is at Oracle. However, for many of us that have lived and breathed Solaris, that center has shifted quite a while back to Joyent.  Oracle’s high licensing costs around a Solaris x86 license makes it uninteresting to many. Meanwhile, Joyent offers an open-source version of Solaris that actually offers a number of significant improvements. Joyent’s SmartOS has become one the most innovative operating systems available on the scene today.  A derivative of OpenSolaris – it has vastly improved on it, creating an excellent cloud-centric operating system with a wealth of features.  Improved are all the compelling Solaris technologies – zones, ZFS, dtrace, SMF, etc – but more important is how they have added new technologies (KVM) and offered a wealth of new features. One of the big wins with SmartOS is improved performance.  If you are interested you can find more information on SmartOS here :


One of the areas where Solaris and SmartOS excel is dtrace – a framework that allows  observation of the running operating system and it’s applications and processes at a very deep level. On more than one occasion I was able to observe the details of applications running in production by using dtrace.  It is typical to see huge performance wins by using dtrace to diagnose performance issues or simply examine running applications.  Twenty examples of performance wins – with the bulk coming from use of dtrace :



Brendan Gregg is a performance guru and he is really well worth listening to. One of the more interesting articles he has written compared Solaris Zones, KVM and Xen and looked at in detail at them.


He recently presented SCaLE 12x and his presentation is, as usual, informative. Discussing what Linux can learn from Solaris-based systems and vice-versa when it comes to performance.
Brendan Gregg has written a number of books on the topic of performance.  He co-authored a book on DTrace :

bgreggdtraceand also authored a comprehensive book on performance :



Recommended Reading: Exadata X3 – Measuring Smart Scan Efficiency With AWR

Ran across this on twitter. If you are interested in getting datapoints on Oracle Exadata there are some nice new data points from Trivadis that are certainly worth reading.  Keeping in mind that this is Exadata X3 (1/8 rack = 2 servers) and that Exadata X4 is now available. The report is in PDF format.




Recommended Viewing : Oracle’s New In-Memory Servers Shifts The Discussion

Oracle has shifted the discussion on in-memory options and systems.

First, they announced an option to run their databases and applications in-memory. They are noting that this will accelerate performance :

  • 100 times queries with real-time analytics
  • two times increase in transaction processing rates
  • row insertions will happen three to four times faster
  • compatibility with existing applications
  • architectural scale-out

A nice write-up describing this from Rachel King.

Second, new hardware.  Think of a server that holds 32 SPARC 3.6Ghz processors – each with 12 cores (and 96 hardware threads per processor), it holds 32 TB memory. This is the killer server Oracle announced.  The M6-32.  The interconnect architecture provides a 384 port silicon switching network with monster bandwidth.  Three numbers Larry Ellison showed in his announcement of the new systems, the Oracle M6 offers 1 TB per second IO bandwidth, 1.4 TB per second memory bandwidth and 3 TB per second system bandwidth.


Reference Architectures : MySQL Reference Architectures for Massively Scalable Web Infrastructure

Oracle has a whitepaper titled, MySQL Reference Architectures for Massively Scalable Infrastructures.  They highlight reference architectures for small, medium, large and extra large (social media).   They cover a variety of MySQL related best practices. One has the feeling that if another company (Joyent or Percona) had written this – it would have included a number of other aspect such as virtualizing MySQL, etc.  It is a well-written overview of considerations that should be examined in deployments.


If you are looking for more detailed information, this whitepaper is more of a higher level view of best practices around architectures.  A different more detailed reference and interesting benchmarking of MySQL replication on multi-threaded slaves shows a 5x performance improvement – this is more of a single data point on MySQL replication that is of interest to me.