The Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud

Everybody likes talking about the weather. In the computer world that seems to mean talking about cloud computing. The latest cloud on the horizon is the Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud, announced yesterday (Sept 19th) at Oracle OpenWorld 2010.

The Exalogic Elastic Cloud is targetted at Enterprises that want to create their own private clouds. Exalogic installations consist of up to eight 42U racks. Each Exalogic rack contains hot-swappable compute nodes, a disk subsystem, multiple 1 and 10 Gigabit Ethernet ports, and a high-bandwidth InfiniBand interconnect for connecting the components to each other and to other Exalogic racks or to Exadata Database Machine racks. Exalogic configurations are designed to be redundant.

Each 1U "node" in an Exalogic rack consists of two Xeon chips. Each Xeon chip is a 6-core processor running at 2.93 GHz. Each node has redundant InfiniBand connections. Each node also contains two solid-state disks (SSD) for the operating system and for local swap space.

An full rack would contain 360 CPU Cores, 2.8 TB (TeraBytes, 1 TB = 1024 GB ) of RAM, 960 GB of SSD, and 40 TB of SAS (Serial Attached SCSI) disk. Sorry though, there's no video card so you can't use this for your desktop.

Due to the use of the InfiniBand interconnect the components of an Exalogic installation can be interconnected in numerous ways. This allows the system to be subdivided as needed for configuring your private cloud. InfiniBand is referred to as a switched fabric communications link, it uses switches to interconnect different components connected to the fabric. InfiniBand grew out of the merger of "Future I/O" (Compaq, IBM, and HP) and "Next Generation I/O" (Intel, Microsoft, and Sun) in 1999.

Exalogic systems run either Oracle Solaris 11 or Oracle Linux 5 (Red Hat Enterprise Linux). The management software is called the Oracle Elastic Cloud Software and it uses the Oracle WebLogic Suite. The Suite includes:

  • Oracle Coherence - Java based data caching, data replication, and distributed computing services.
  • Oracle JRockit - a Java Virtual Machine (JVM) developed by Appeal Virtual Machines, later bought by BEA Systems.
  • Oracle HotSpot - another JVM developed by Sun Microsystems.

For more information, and to read Oracle's name a few more times, see the whitepaper Oracle Exalogic Elastic Cloud: A Brief Introduction.

Mitch Frazier is an embedded systems programmer at Emerson Electric Co. Mitch has been a contributor to and a friend of Linux Journal since the early 2000s.

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