Oracle has been in the news lately for effectively axing Solaris (and ZFS) development. We know there are STH readers and sysadmins everywhere upset at this move. Also this week, we saw the new Oracle Server X7-2 line on the company’s website. We were amused with what we saw in the data sheet, Solaris support.
Introducing the Oracle Server X7-2 Servers
The Oracle X7-2 server is a 1U design that utilizes the Intel Xeon Scalable (Skylake-SP) platform. Processor support is interesting. One can use either one or two CPUs. Instead of utilizing the entire Xeon Scalable line, Oracle lets you chose between Platinum, Gold and Silver CPUs. The Actual SKU list is just four CPUs deep:
- Intel Xeon Platinum 8160 processor: 2.1 GHz, 24 cores, 150 watts, XCC, 33 MB L3 cache
- Intel Xeon Gold 6140 processor: 2.3 GHz, 18 cores, 140 watts, XCC, 24.75 MB L3 cache
- Intel Xeon Silver 4114 processor: 2.2 GHz, 10 cores, 85 watts, LCC, 13.75 MB L3 cache
- Intel Xeon Gold 6128 processor: 3.4 GHz, 6 cores, 115 watts, XCC, 19.25 MB L3 cache
Other than the Intel Xeon Gold 6128 these are not the low core count high-frequency SKUs. The higher-end Platinum SKUs such as the Intel Xeon Platinum 8180 and 8176 are not available. Nor are the M series SKUs so the platform is limited to 1.5TB RAM.
Remember when Sun used to make groundbreaking server hardware with crazy options?
Oracle’s Newest Server Supports Oracle Solaris
Here is the head scratcher. Oracle made huge cuts to the Solaris team last week. One would imagine a new server platform is one where customers may want support from the Solaris team.
Behold, according to the Oracle documentation, if you want to run Solaris on a brand new platform after the development team was cut, with lower-binned CPU and memory options, Oracle supports Solaris (accessed September 7, 2017):
If you want to run Oracle Solaris on x86, we may suggest getting older Xeon E5 V4 era hardware. Oracle is not offering CPU SKUs with ground breaking performance. At least the E5 V4 generation (Broadwell-EP) has seen bug fixes over time. That KB article was modified on September 5, 2017 several days after the Solaris staff cut news broke.