Oracle has given its Exalogic Elastic Cloud platform a software overhaul, adding virtualisation and private cloud computing capabilities, along with impressive claims for performance gains over the first generation of the product.
The Exalogic Elastic Cloud, introduced in 2010, is an integrated system built from a cluster of x86 servers with an Infiniband network fabric, running an Oracle software stack based on Solaris or Linux and optimised for Java and Oracle business applications.
Available from today, the Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software 2.0, adds mission-critical virtualisation support in the shape of Oracle VM 3.0, Amazon-style APIs for provisioning infrastructure-as-a-service.
It also features Oracle's Traffic Director load balancer, and one-click deployment of complex application stacks using a tool called Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder.
"The focus for this release is around making Exalogic the premier choice for running business applications, both Oracle applications and those from independent software vendors," said Ajay Patel, vice president of product management at Oracle.
Patel said that the design goal for Exalogic was to provide a platform for running any Java application, but that support has now been extended to C, C++ and Cobol, to support "any modern enterprise application that you have out there."
He claimed that on average, Oracle is seeing "10x performance gains for any Oracle application or Java-based applications" with Exalogic Software 2.0, much of which can be attributed to the software.
However, although Patel said there is "no hardware refresh as such," he explained that Oracle tries to keep up with the refresh cycle of the individual components that make up Exalogic, such as the x86 servers, which are now based on Intel's latest Sandy Bridge Xeon chips.
"But you'll see that a lot of the performance improvements are due to the IP [intellectual property] and how we integrated the layered product and middleware," he said.
With Oracle VM 3.0, the Exalogic platform now offers "near physical" performance when handling virtual workloads,
"We now allow you to take your major business application, whether it is Oracle Fusion, E-Business Suite, JD Edwards, Siebel, and move it from a physical to an Exalogic virtual environment without seeing any performance degradation," Patel told V3.
Likewise, Oracle Virtual Assembly Builder now offers customers the ability to package up complex multi-tier distributed applications, which might have a web component, application server components and a back-end database, into assemblies to make deployment and lifecycle management simpler.
Also new in this release is Oracle's Traffic Director, a load balancer and application delivery controller capable of dynamically managing traffic or workloads in the Exalogic infrastructure, and which is implemented as a virtual appliance.
The Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software 2.0 is available to both new and existing customers, the latter of whom can simply upgrade, according to Oracle.
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