Oracle this week said that it had ported its Oracle Database 19c Enterprise Edition, the current long-term support release of Oracle Database, to Ampere's Altra processors that use the Arm instruction set architecture (ISA). The move marks a milestone both for Ampere and Arm ISA as Oracle is one of the most widely used enterprise software suites.
Separately, the company said that eventually it might ditch x86-based instances running Database on processors from AMD and Intel from its data centers in favor of instances enabled by Ampere CPUs. Oracle hopes that by tailoring its Database software for Ampere's single-thread CPUs, it will tangibly increase performance efficiency of its data centers. Furthermore, Ampere, in which Oracle is a lead investor, could also implement tweaks into CPUs to better run Oracle's Database.
"It is a major commitment to move to a new supplier. We've moved to a new architecture and we've moved to new supplier," Larry Ellison, Oracle's founder, said at an event hosted by Ampere, reports Reuters. "We think that this is the future. The old Intel x86 architecture, after many decades in the market, is reaching its limit."
Oracle Database 19c Enterprise Edition is now certified for work on Ampere Altra-based servers for both on-premises deployments and in the cloud by subscribing to Oracle Database Service using OCI Ampere A1 compute instances enabled by Ampere Altra on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI). It will continue to be offered on AMD and Intel-powered instances probably for years to come. But with Arm-based Ampere servers, Oracle hopes to offer "highly economical price points."
Oracle's OCI Ampere A1 can be used in a flexible VM format ranging from 1 to 57 CPU cores, each with 8GB of memory (maxing out at 456GB), 1 Gbps of network bandwidth for each CPU core (up to a total of 40 Gbps per VM).
Oracle's Database enterprise database management software is used by large businesses, banks, government agencies, retailers, and manufacturers for running online transaction processing (OLTP), data warehousing (DW) and mixed (OLTP & DW) workloads. The software has been in development since 1979 and supports a wide variety of hardware and software platforms, including IBM's Mainframe and Power-bases systems, x86 CPUs from AMD and Intel, Sun's SPARC processors, Intel's IA64 (Itanium) chips, and now Arm-based Ampere Altra SoCs.
"Today's announcement highlights the broad architectural shift across the market to Ampere processors that meet the demands of both modern cloud and on-premises environments," said Jeff Wittich, Chief Product Officer of Ampere. "With the Ampere Altra family of processors, customers of the world's most popular database — Oracle Database — now have a high-performance, energy efficient architecture built with sustainability in mind for organizations of all sizes."
While running Database on energy-efficient cloud-native Ampere's Altra CPUs promises to make a lot of economic sense for Oracle, OCI still needs to offer high-performance computing (HPC), and Dense-IO instances for those who need maximum performance and ultra-fast local storage. So, this week the company announced OCI Compute E5 HPC and OCI Compute E5 Dense-IO instanced based on AMD's 4th Generation EPYC processors with their vast core counts and rich I/O capabilities.