Oracle Unveils SuperCluster T5-8 for Database Consolidation, Cloud

By Jeffrey Burt  |  Posted 2013-06-28 Print this article Print

When talking about their SPARC hardware portfolio, Oracle officials have consistently compared it to IBM's Power offerings. For the latest SuperCluster, they said it offers 10 times better price performance than a Power7+-based system.

The new SuperCluster comes at a busy time for Oracle, which on June 20 reported disappointing quarterly financial numbers. Since that time, the software giant grabbed headlines with its new partnerships with Microsoft and around cloud computing.

However, during June 20 conference call with analysts and journalists to discuss the quarterly and full-year financial numbers, company officials said they are confident that their hardware business is on the verge of a turnaround. According to President and CFO Safra Catz, hardware system sales of $849 million for the quarter were better than expected and the engineered systems continue to perform well.

For the fiscal year, hardware and hardware support revenues fell 14 percent, but CEO Larry Ellison noted that for engineered systems, sales were up about 50 percent. Ellison also noted that engineered systems now accounted for more than a third of Oracle's overall hardware revenue. The combination of the engineered systems with the release of the SPARC T5 and M5 processors in March could lead Oracle to see growth in the hardware system business in the current fiscal year, he said.

"Our only assumption for growth is … our engineered systems business, which has consistently grown and grew very rapidly this quarter," President Mark Hurd said during the earnings conference call. "We will continue to grow, and that alone will drive the overall hardware business into growth. If we recovered with our new SPARC line, if that recovers and also shows just a little bit of growth, the growth in hardware will be spectacular."

What also will help Oracle's hardware systems growth will be getting out of low-earning businesses, Hurd said. The company already has exited some of Sun's other businesses, such as commodity x86 servers, and has stopped reselling third-party storage systems from the likes of Hitachi and LSI Logic. The businesses that are left, including engineered systems and the SPARC server business, will help drive growth in the future, he said.


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