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Oracle remains on-track to release its highly anticipated new SPARC Supercluster mission-critical systems powered by next-generation SPARC T4 central processing units that promises to be times more powerful than existing fault-tolerant systems in calendar 2011. In addition, the company plans to unveil a number of other proprietary products.

"In Q2, we will accelerate the trend [of transition away from selling low-margin commodity servers to selling high-margin engineering systems] when we introduce four brand-new engineered systems products. [...] The largest of these new-engineered systems is the fault tolerant SPARC Supercluster, featuring our new SPARC T4 microprocessor that runs up to five times faster than a T3 microprocessor it replaces," said Larry Ellison, chief executive officer of Oracle, during a conference call with financial analysts.

Sun/Oracle SPARC T4 is a vastly different processor compared to the T3. The new chip will have eight cores (down from sixteen on T3), but will sport improved per-core/per-thread performance compared to the T3 along with other improvements. Oracle itself calls the chip “highly-threaded server-on-a-chip with native support for heterogenous computing” and projects clock-speeds of 3GHz and higher.

Provided that the new SPARC T4 processor is really five times more powerful than the predecessor, the next-generation SPARC Supercluster can become a serious rival for competing fault-tolerant systems in terms of performance. However, Oracle primarily expects its existing customers to upgrade to the next-gen business critical systems that "deliver extreme high performance".

"The SPARC Supercluster runs the Oracle Database applications faster and less expensively than anything available from IBM. Thus, we expect that many customers in our large SPARC Solaris installed base will be upgrading to SPARC Superclusters," added Mr. Ellison.

Other new products to be released in Q2 FY2012 will be feature-rich Solaris 11 operating system and the ultra high-performance Exadata flash disk storage system.

Tags: Oracle, Sun, Sun Microsystems, Sparc, SPARC T4

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