Oracle Hardware-Software System Enables High Availability for Applications

Oracle's Communications Service Availability Machine is aimed at enabling NEPs to create "zero downtime" applications for communications service providers.

Oracle is rolling out its latest integrated hardware and software platform, this one aimed at giving network equipment providers another tool for dealing with the growing demand for real-time applications on a variety of devices, including smartphones and tablets.

Network equipment providers (NEPs) can now deliver to communications service providers a solution that can handle such €œzero downtime€ applications as IPTV, policy control and charging, Oracle officials said in announcing the Oracle Communications Service Availability Machine March 6.

The system includes Oracle Communications Service Availability software running on the vendor€™s Sun Netra 6000 system and its Linux variant. Oracle€™s availability software came via its acquisition of GoAhead Software in September 2011. GoAhead offered carrier-grade software that helps speed the time to market€”and reduce the cost€”of services that need to be always available.

€œNEPs are moving to a standardized software and hardware platform that can deliver and manage highly available services,€ Nigel Ball, vice president of Oracle€™s Communications Industry Solutions, said in a statement at the time the deal was announced. €œThe addition of GoAhead technology will help us deliver a comprehensive, standards-based, carrier-grade platform that supports the delivery of new services in the call path of the network.€

The new offering also fits in with Oracle€™s push to offer tightly integrated hardware and software solutions that leverage Oracle software on data center hardware inherited when the software giant bought Sun Microsystems in 2010. Other examples include Oracle€™s Exadata database machine and its Exalogic cloud computing offering.

With the Communications Service Availability Machine, Oracle officials said they are aiming to help NEPs and communications service providers deal with the rapid growth in mobile broadband services, use of smartphones and tablets, and demand for rich media applications. The system will enable these parties to offer high levels of availability, and relieve NEPs from the need to custom-build such capabilities into each application, a time-consuming, costly and risky proposition, they said.

Now they can build the applications and rely on Oracle€™s system to deliver the high levels of availability, Oracle said.

€œWith increased adoption of real-time and near-real-time applications€”especially on smartphones and tablets€”service availability is a critical €˜must-have€™ requirement and business need in the communications industry,€ Oracle€™s Ball said in a statement. €œOracle Communications Service Availability Machine combines Oracle€™s hardware and software leadership, and proven service availability software to help NEPs bring service available applications to market quickly, with minimal project risk, while helping ensure zero interruption of the customer experience.€

Tech vendors throughout the industry are designing solutions aimed at addressing the back-end data center challenges presented by the rapid growth of Internet-connected users and devices. A study last year conducted by Cisco Systems has predicted that by 2015, there will be 3 billion people in the world using more than 15 billion Internet-connected devices, a trend that will put increasing pressure on data center systems and networks to ensure that service keeps up with the demand.

Most recently, Intel officials on March 6 rolled out their much-anticipated Xeon E5-2600 processors, which are aimed at data center systems and offer 80 percent more performance than their predecessors while improving energy efficiency by 50 percent. A wide range of systems makers€”including IBM, Dell, Hewlett-Packard and Cisco€”quickly embraced the new platform, unveiling systems running the chips.

In all, Intel officials said there were more than 400 designs being created based on the Xeon E5-2600 chips at the time of launch.