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Oracle Exalogic unveiled (kinda)

SAN FRANCISCO–As expected, new Oracle hardware — the Exalogic elastic cloud — got the spotlight at Oracle OpenWorld 2010.

Oracle CEO Larry Ellison touted the new converged hardware in dozens of slides claiming the system will do for application servers what Exadata did for databases–soup them up and make them scream. Pricing and availability information was not forthcoming but Ellison said an Exalogic machine costing $1,075,000 would have 40% more CPU capacity than a $4.4 million  IBM Power 795 server.

Many claims flowed:  Exalogic would enable companies to build private clouds within their firewalls and those “big honking clouds” would run an industry standard software stack. Except of course, when it’s not all that industry standard. Oracle now plans to maintain two Linux kernels. The existing Red Hat compatible kernel as well as the new-and-improved  Oracle Unbreakable Enterprise Linux kernel.

Exalogic will also come with two guest OSes–Linux (one of the above, I guess) and Solaris. Users can run one or both in any combination. It  will run Oracle VM.

It will pack 30 servers, an Infiniband internal network linking the servers, high-availability storage and “all the middleware needed.”

Each server comprises two six-core processors for a total of 360 cores. What processor, you might ask? Excellent question and Ellison didn’t say. Not once did he mention that the machine would run 64-bit X86 processors as pointed out in the Exalogic press release

Expectations were that Oracle would announce SPARC-based data center appliances at the show. Ellison volunteered that Mark Hurd and John Fowler tomorrow  will unveil new eight-socket machines, with two TB of DRAM and 4096 CPUs. SPARC or Intel? Your guess is as good as any.

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