Following up from John Fowlers Oracle Systems / Storage Product Briefing on Tuesday, 10th August it was exciting to see the focus on application performance and tuning for SPARC: “2x plus performance improvement every 2 years”.
This kind of performance increase is a big stake in the ground to show the intention to dramatically improve SPARC servers and systems that Oracle sells. This was shown further by the intention to increase cores, threads, memory, TPM and Java Ops Per Second by 2015 as shown in the below slide:
So how do you get this kind of performance increase for the systems? First you have the individual component engineers who design the components and applications firstly to be best of breed and secondly to work together with other Oracle engineers to reduce complexity, improve execution and focus on the sum being larger than the parts of the whole.
How do they do this? I’m not an engineer, so don’t know the answer, although reading through blogs.sun.com and blogs.oracle.com, shows me the passion and desire radiating from all of them – which undoubtedly helps.
Another key component is the OS, Solaris and one of the recent nuggets of gold: DTrace – which allows developers and administrators to get answers about the behaviour of applications and the operating system using a dynamic tracing framework. While first being created for Solaris and OpenSolaris, there are now ports to Mac OSX, FreeBSD and Linux. Check out the following resources for more info:
- BigAdmin DTrace page
- DTrace whitepaper & instruction (pdf) page
- Lots of videos and demonstrations @google
- Binary compatibility with older Solaris releases
- Trusted Extensions
If your current server or operating systems don’t have some of these features or an aggressive roadmap, isn’t it time to look around and see what alternatives there are that can dramatically increase your performance.