Intel & Oracle: 21 Years Of Partnering To Deliver Innovation

As this year is heading to a close, it will complete 21 years of partnership between Intel and Oracle.  For over two decades both firms have worked together to drive increased performance for Oracle Database on Intel’s CPU architecture.  In addition, Oracle and Intel have worked together to deliver innovation and hardened reliability for Oracle Solaris.  However, what may get overlooked is Oracle’s commitment to the x86 architecture and Intel’s family of processors, through the continued development of Oracles x86 servers. 

As mentioned above, one such example of this long standing partnership comes in the form of the advanced fault management capabilities of Oracle Solaris on Oracle’s x86 hardware.  This enhanced system monitoring comes as a result of years of cumulative engineering investments made across multiple product families and generations. Combined innovations in Oracle Solaris FMA (Fault Management Architecture) and hardware design have resulted in a synergistic progression of new features that benefit end users.  Oracle understands that organizations want a holistic approach to fault management in which all aspects of server health are examined together. This approach prevents system administrators from having to mine and collate error conditions from lots of different sources, such as operating system logs, device-specific tools, and service processors.  Oracle Solaris FMA was instrumented with diagnosis ability for correctible memory errors for DIMMs, correctable errors (CEs) for CPUs, and fault detection for PCIe errors. For CEs, the component can be off-lined by Oracle Solaris FMA if the CEs occur too frequently. Also, Oracle Solaris FMA captures error state for CPU uncorrectable errors and reports them upon the next server reboot. Oracle’s x86 systems, all of which use Intel Xeon processors, were used to develop the integration between Oracle Solaris FMA and Intel Xeon processors, as well as the testing to ensure maximum visibility into each system.  Lastly, these benefits are only available on Oracle x86 systems, as 3rd party solutions cannot offer this level of integration between the operating system, service processor, and core computing components such as the CPU and memory.

Oracle’s ground breaking Engineered Systems offer innovation through the integration of software and hardware to deliver unrivaled customer value.  This disruptive design strategy, has created an entirely new market segment and system classification, and at the heart of these solutions are Oracle’s stand alone x86 servers.  Oracle’s Intel Xeon based systems are the foundation for the majority of Oracle’s Engineered Systems including Exadata, Exalogic, Exalytics, Oracle Database Appliance, Oracle Big Data Appliance, Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, and the newly introduced Oracle Virtual Compute Appliance.  Oracle’s x86 servers offer the industry’s leading reliability and performance through hardening in these apex solutions, however they are also the computing backbone for Oracle’s cloud services and daily operations.  Oracle conducts 3.2 billion business critical database transactions per hour, across 20,000 Oracle x86 servers, as well as servicing over five million users through Oracle On Demand.  This level of reliability is the reason so many customers use Oracle’s Engineered Systems and stand alone x86 servers for their mission critical or revenue generating IT resources.


Oracle’s hardware strategy will continue to be focused on enhancing the performance of Oracle software for greater business value to its customers. As Intel continues to refresh its enterprise class family of processors, customers can count on Oracle to follow the refresh schedule through deployment of Intel’s CPUs in Oracle’s stand alone servers, as well as its portfolio of x86 based Engineered Systems.  Look for additional blogs to come, detailing how Oracle offers great database performance when running on Oracle Linux and Oracle x86 systems, and a deeper dive into the additional features of Oracle Solaris on Oracle x86 servers.

Edgar Haren is a Principal Product Director at Oracle for Oracle’s x86 systems and Oracle’s Virtual Compute Appliance. He previously spent several years in product development and marketing focused on High Performance Computing. Edgar has 8 provisional patents and 11 public disclosures focusing on server power solutions, mobile power, wireless audio, direct audio, USB switching, physical security, video projection and ergonomics.