By David Lawler
Join Larry Ellison announcing the next generation of Oracle Engineered Systems on January 21.
The old quandary of build versus buy is falling away as companies realize they don’t have time to assemble, test, and tune disparate pieces anymore. And they’re getting tired of the cost and complexity of integrating IT components themselves. That’s why the IT industry is graduating from an environment where customers need to integrate virtualization, networking, and cloud on their own, to one in which everything is included in a single, new-generation system. That’s true whether the IT is in their data centers or in the cloud.
To create a cloud, for example, you need a server for compute, a network, and a database, plus storage for big data. But within the cloud paradigm, users no longer need to think about these components from a siloed cost perspective. The shift to cloud changes the view of the platform from being about a box, to being about an environment from which you need to get usable work. From this perspective, customers can worry less about the cost of individual components and more about how these pieces are consumed as a whole. This directly ties into Oracle Engineered Systems, which are perfectly positioned to take advantage of the new way people are evaluating the cost of a unit of consumption, rather than merely the cost of the box.
Oracle customers get a more seamless technology experience because we engineer the hardware across compute, network, and storage so that it best suits a specific application—while at the same time, we engineer the application for that optimized hardware environment. Oracle Engineered Systems optimize the internals. Each system is developed, tested, and tuned as a whole and delivered to customers around the world.
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As a result, Engineered Systems can provide much higher performance per unit of consumption with higher reliability, at a lower cost.
Over the past decade, customers adopted virtualization to reduce server sprawl and gain higher utilization rates from their servers. Now they want to get the maximum utilization rate by getting as many applications as possible to run on the same machine. But if an application’s performance is slowed by 20 percent because it runs on a non-native virtualization engine, that performance overhead adds 20 percent to your cost. Since most applications run in a VM, CIOs are starting to do the math on buying and integrating virtualization software as a separate item.
We take a systematic view of virtualization, not a componentized view. Virtualization can’t be an afterthought—it has to be engineered in. That’s why we have multitenant virtualization in Oracle Database 12c. Likewise, Oracle Solaris has virtualization and application-driven, software-defined networking built in. Our focus on virtualization efficiency is showing results. Our customers report significant cost savings with our architectures, thanks in part to the lack of virtualization overhead.
When customers build a private cloud, they don’t want to be hung up integrating parts like an OS or a VM to make it work. With Oracle, they’re also saving up to $200 to $300 per VM compared to some of our competitors. When you add the cost of an operating system and hypervisor from elsewhere, that can be at least $500 to $600 per VM. Engineered Systems can therefore save money over building out the same capabilities with individual hardware and software components. Anything that saves money usually ends up being the winning and dominant technology. One of our customers has 2,000 VMs at a cost savings of $500 each. That’s a million dollars saved right there.
We’ve been working on Engineered Systems for more than seven years now, and the rest of the industry is saying, 'Wow! Wish we’d thought of that.’ It’s not just about building servers—it’s about engineering systems, and putting it all together with a strategy, discipline, and focus with one objective—driving infrastructure costs down and running software better.
David Lawler is the senior vice president of systems product management at Oracle.