Oracle Corp’s. Exadata X9M online transaction processing database is like an automobile on the professional racing circuit. Every few months, Oracle takes the race car into the garage for fine tuning and it comes out with even faster performance around the track than before.
Nearly one year after introducing the X9M, Oracle has teamed up with Advanced Micro Devices Inc. to leverage the chipmaker’s EPYC processor and extend the capabilities of its enterprise database.
“We think AMD’s chips provide outstanding performance, both for OLTP and for analytic workloads,” said Juan Loaiza (pictured, left), executive vice president of mission-critical database technologies at Oracle. “X9M is faster, has more capacity, lower latency and more IOs, pushing the limits of hardware technology. It’s really that simple.”
Loaiza spoke with Dave Vellante, industry analyst for theCUBE, SiliconANGLE Media’s livestreaming studio. He was joined by Mark Papermaster (pictured, right), EVP and chief technology officer of AMD, and they discussed details around the latest Exadata X9M news and how the partnership will provide distinct advantages for both companies.
Enhancing Exadata performance
AMD is using its third generation of Zen processors, CPU architecture originally released in 2020. Zen 3 utilizes 7 nanometer technology, which allows more transistors on a piece of silicon and therefore more processing power.
“Zen was architected to bring high performance back to x86,” Papermaster said. “It uses a 7 nanometer CPU, a core designed to bring throughput and really high efficiency computing to deliver raw capabilities. It’s got anywhere from 128 to 168 PCIe Gen4 IO connectivity so you can really attach all of the necessary infrastructure and storage that’s needed for Exadata performance.”
AMD’s Zen architecture has been a key factor in the company’s penetration of enterprise markets. When AMD unveiled its EPYC 7003 processor last year, based on its Zen 3 architecture, it was characterized as “the world’s highest performing server processor” by one of the chipmaker’s executives.
AMD has now extended this technology through its partnership with Oracle to address enterprise workload demands. This includes finding ways to optimize latency within remote direct memory access, or RDMA, and improving throughput for database processing, according to Papermaster.
“We learned from the Oracle team where bottlenecks could be, where tuning could boost the performance,” he said. “We have thousands of parameters that can be adjusted for a given workload. That’s the beauty of the partnership”
Scale and flexibility
One of AMD’s learnings is that providing capabilities to meet enterprise workloads demands takes a careful balancing of technology parameters. Businesses want to be able to scale up or down as needed, and AMD’s Infinity Fabric helps manage performance needs.
“We have a high-performance fabric that connects those together so as the customer needs more cores; we can scale from 8 to 64,” Papermaster noted. “As you add more cores, you want the scale to be as close to linear as possible. That’s a differentiation we have, and we enable it through a balance of CPU, IO and memory that we designed.”
That flexibility can come in handy for enterprise users of Oracle Database services. What about for those who would prefer the use of Oracle Autonomous Database, designed to ease the development and deployment of application workloads?
“Both of those will take advantage of the tremendous performance that we’re getting now,” Loaiza said.
When Oracle makes a major performance announcement for its Exadata platform, the company invariably compares itself to other cloud providers. Oracle’s approach is to differentiate itself through key changes in architecture and quantifiable enhancements in storage and memory, according to Loaiza.
“Our architecture is fundamentally different. We’ve architected our database for this scale-out environment,” Loaiza said. “We’ve moved intelligence into storage. We’ve moved remote direct memory access, persistent memory into our product. At some point, they are going to realize you really need RDMA, you need more direct access to those capabilities. We are well ahead.”
AMD believes that the latest enhancements for Oracle’s Exadata X9M will move it forward on the innovation scale as well. While not going into specific detail, AMD’s CTO made it clear that the chipmaker’s work with Oracle will lay the groundwork for future progress in EPYC processor technology.
“Given the deep partnership that we’ve had on Exadata X9M, it’s allowed us to inform our future designs,” Papermaster said. “Fourth generation is well underway and incorporates learning that we’ve done in partnership with Oracle. It’s going to have even more throughput capabilities. It’s going to have expanded memory capabilities because there’s a Compute Express Link that is going to expand even more memory opportunities. It pays forward.”
Here’s the complete video interview, one of many CUBE Conversations from SiliconANGLE and theCUBE:
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