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The Fundamental Challenge of Computer System Performance

The fundamental challenge of computer system performance is for your system to have enough power to handle the work you ask it to do. It sounds really simple, but helping people meet this challenge has been the point of my whole career. It has kept me busy for 26 years, and there’s no end in sight.

Capacity and Workload

Our challenge is the relationship between a computer’s capacity and its workload. I think of capacity as an empty box representing a machine’s ability to do work over time. Workload is the work your computer does, in the form of programs that it runs for you, executed over time. Workload is the content that can fill the capacity box.

Liveblogging: Oracle OpenWorld 2010 Sunday Keynote (Exalogic)

Liveblogging announcements from Sunday’s Oracle OpenWorld Keynote.

It’s 5:36 PM now – stay tuned…

@fuadar: Exadata smoothie and java juice in moscone south #oow10

5:44pm: Larry couldn’t get his boat under the Golden Bridge — next yer he needs a smaller boat or rebuild the bridge? :)

5:50pm: Oracle Partners Specialization awards… oh well, why is Pythian not on stage with our 4 Specializations? :(

5:51pm: Wow… Ann Livermore, EVP of HP, is on stage… about HP Oracle partnership… I don’t supposed she will talk about Mark Hurd. :)

@gvwoods 40% of Oracle on HP

5:58pm: I was all pumped for Larry and getting bored now… come on already!

6:02pm: Hm… while HP is focused on services, I think Oracle’s strategy is to leverage partners for that. HP is pitching completely different approach then Oracle… and HP is talking about software they have… HP (h/w company) talks about their software at Oracle’s event (HP’s s/w partner)? Weird… Completely misaligned messaging!

06:07pm: @alexgorbachev: NOT INTERESTED in HP cloud solutions… audience is not even applauding – I hear snoring around… Give us Exalogic already!

06:07pm: Very interesting slides about HP storage – X9000 IBRIX (iBrick?) Indeed, NAS rocks for manageability

06:22pm: OK… pumping up again… I won’t be able to do it more than three times in a day! (my first pumped up state was at my presentation)


06:24pm: Damn… they did it again :( I was just getting excited… I wonder if there is any time left to announce anything. Is Larry sleeping or late by any chance?

06:28pm: @paulvallee: RT @DarylOrts: #oow10. 41,000 attendees: 36,236 are currently asleep. Thanks #hp.

06:36pm: Don’t know if I can be excited again… Trying really hard now… I think I manged – pumped up!

06:41pm: @oracleopenworld: OK, sorry for the false start, but here we go now #oow10 – Larry intro video and keynote NOW

@alexgorbachev: @oracleopenworld false starts like that can cause loosing a race! #oow10

06:45pm: Larry is out…

Larry clarifies what cloud computing it according to Oracle. Calls an “old SaaS Technology” and Amazon EC2 — “Innovative”.

06:51pm: @RoelH: @paulvallee Exalogic is on the machine in Larry’s back. #oow10

So Oracle’s definition of cloud computing is pretty much what Amazon.
Heh… I think Larry just stole slides from my presentation on Thursday!

06:54pm: Finally, Exalogic Elastic Compute cloud:
* Virtualization
* InfiniBand 40Gbit – so as expected no InfiniBand upgrade
* High performance storage
* 30 severs in “the box” (he calls it a box!)
* 360 cores (12 cores per server – I’m sure that’s 2 x 6 cores CPUs – expect Exadata v3 database server to use the same)
* Super simple patching – yes we like it!
* Guest OS’s – Linux and Solaris x86 (yay – I knew that)
* Apps hosted – WebLogic, Coherence, JRockit
* Virtualization is Oracle VM

Exalogic – Speed, Utility, Availability, Scalable, Manageable, Secure

Exalogic delivers 1 million HTTP requests per second.

960GB Solid state disks
1.2 microsecond latency
10Gbe connecton to data-center
40TB SAS disk storage
4TB read cache
72GB write cache

Tech geekery: “Looks like WebLogic has now node affinity working via UCP (instead of JDBC drivers) connecting to Oracle RAC – it can keep same web connection on the same RAC node.”

Exalogic will consolidate all apps that Oracle delivers (I guess if they run on Linux of Solaris x86).

1 Exadata rack and 1 Exalogic rack can run the whole Facebook according to Larry. I have troubles believing this but that’s a nice bold comparison.

You know what… it’s enough – off to ACED dinner – need to be at Pier 40 by 8pm.

High Performance Oracle 11g in the Amazon Cloud

Jeremiah Wilton will be presenting High Performance Oracle 11g in the Amazon Cloud at Collaborate 2010 – an updated version of his February RMOUG presentation.  For a preview, you can find both the white paper and presentation slides from RMOUG on our white paper page.  Currently scheduled for Monday, April 19, the session abstract reads:

Seminar: Deploying Oracle on Amazon Web Services

We are organizing a Seminar about Oracle on Amazon Web Services. This event will be held on June 16th and 17th in The Netherlands. The exact location will be will be announced later and more information will follow later.

Seminar Description

If you say the words “Cloud Computing” frequently in meetings and at the workplace, your colleagues will realize that you are very intelligent, and you will be promoted.  In addition, cloud computing improves upon traditional hosted infrastructure in many ways.  Deployment of new host resources takes only minutes. Applications can scale up quickly without costly hardware upgrades.  In this one-day seminar we will learn the pros, cons and details of deploying Oracle databases on the Amazon Elastic Computing Cloud. We will also learn how to leverage Amazon’s Web Services to maximize performance and availability using features such as RMAN, Data Guard, ASM and RAC.

Google Sync for Windows Mobile for Contacts and Calendar

Just started to use this new Google feature and installed for my Google Apps domain ( and it works great. I can now sync my Contacts and Google Calendar automatically. It uses the Active Sync utility from Windows Mobile and you have to enable this feature for your Google Apps Domain.

Now the only thing to do is the Tasks list from the mail view and I am all set </p />

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Using Amazon Cloudfront

Last year, a customer was running into trouble with static product images on their website. The images were store in an OCFS2 Filesystem and every so often OCFS2 would hang and the site became slowly unresponsive. We had talked a number of times about using a Content Delivery Network (CDN) to also improve the download streams to the client. The number of concurrent downloads from a domain is limited and different per browser. So increasing the number of domains for your site will help to improve the concurrent download. While we were discussing this (and after another problem with OCFS2) Amazon AWS sent out an email about the availability of Cloudfront. Here you can store static content and it will be cached in different servers around the world that are the closest to the browsers that request content from them. So we decide to implement this.