1 An Oracle White Paper December 2013 Powering Enterprise ecommerce with Oracle Exalogic and Oracle Exadata
2 Powering Enterprise ecommerce with Oracle Exalogic and Oracle Exadata Disclaimer The following is intended to outline our general product direction. It is intended for information purposes only, and may not be incorporated into any contract. It is not a commitment to deliver any material, code, or functionality, and should not be relied upon in making purchasing decisions. The development, release, and timing of any features or functionality described for Oracle s products remains at the sole discretion of Oracle. Any statements in this document about current support are accurate as of release date of this document and may not be accurate at any time after that date. For currently supported environments, see the official support matrix.
3 Executive Summary Around the world ecommerce is booming, with no end in sight. In June 2013, emarketer 1 projected global B2C ecommerce sales to top $1.2 trillion in 2013, with a double-digit annual growth rate for the coming years. This white paper explores three new trends driving many ecommerce technology decisions, and how Oracle s engineering innovations Oracle Exalogic and Oracle Exadata provide the ideal technology platform for ecommerce. The first trend is growing traffic volumes. Double-digit annual growth has been the norm in most markets for the past decade. China alone added 48 million new online shopping customers in Mobile devices and social networking sites are also increasing traffic. Of all the mobile device owners in Asia, nearly 75% shop online using smartphones and tablets 3. In the U.S., mobile commerce sales rose above $24 billion in 2012 and are expected to cross $40 billion in With online retailers beginning to leverage the power of social media, the number of site visits and conversions is increasing at a fast pace. Finally, traffic is increasing with previously isolated channels converging into a single channel. Organizations can no longer afford using different technologies for different channels e.g. instore POS, kiosk, mobile, etc. Increasingly, more and more organizations are moving towards Omnichannel by adopting a single core stack across all channels. The second trend is customers demanding better shopping experiences. Outages and poor performance are unacceptable and lead to lost revenue, damaged reputations, bad publicity, and even a loss in shareholder equity. A stunning 89% of customers will immediately take their business to a competitor following an unsatisfactory experience 5. To make matters worse, 26% of ecommerce shoppers post negative comments to social networking sites, so thousands of potential customers can hear about an individual s bad experience. The third and final trend is competition and global economic forces driving down margins, leading to a renewed focus on lowering costs. To remain competitive, organizations must have the ability to set up new environments, provision additional capacity, perform system maintenance and troubleshoot issues in a fast, simple, and inexpensive manner. Most important, unplanned outages should never occur and performance should always be excellent. 1 Higher/ f 4 Growth/
4 These trends highlight the single biggest challenge ability to do more with less the ecommerce industry will have to tackle in years to come. A vast majority of ecommerce merchants are constrained to continue running their business on custom-built enterprise Java applications and middleware. Oracle s engineered systems Oracle Exalogic and Oracle Exadata have been specifically designed keeping in mind this objective provide the best technology platform for enterprise Java applications with extreme performance, reliability, built-in elasticity, rapid deployments and zero downtime. Exalogic is Oracle s vertically integrated stack of hardware and software optimized for running enterprise Java applications and middleware. Similarly, Exadata is Oracle s vertically integrated stack specifically designed for Oracle Database. Exalogic and Exadata contain software, firmware and hardware including network switches, storage, flash, RAM and compute nodes, pre-integrated and optimized to work together, for all environments from development to production. Exabus (InfiniBand networking technology, related protocols, and Java APIs) connects all components within the system and between engineered systems. Furthermore, all software layers have been tuned and optimized to take advantage of the underlying hardware. Together, Exalogic and Exadata provide a market-leading platform for ecommerce that cannot be matched. This vertical integration of hardware and software leads to multiple benefits that could not be achieved through other means, including: Highest availability levels possible within a single data center Exceed customer expectations due to extreme performance, leading to customer loyalty and increased conversion rates Improve return on investment with reduced total cost of ownership Many ecommerce establishments running custom enterprise Java applications and Oracle middleware on Exalogic and Exadata have seen significantly higher uptime over many months, due to a more cohesive infrastructure with less moving parts, automatic failover and built-in redundancy at all levels. These e-retailers are realizing significant performance gains, without changing even a single line of code or SQL, simply because Oracle has made the very fabric that runs enterprise Java Oracle JRockit JVM, Java HotSpot VM, Oracle WebLogic Server, Oracle Coherence, Oracle Traffic Director, Oracle Linux, Oracle Solaris, Oracle Virtual Machine so much faster on Exalogic. And likewise with Oracle Database which runs an order of magnitude times faster on Exadata. The entire system is pre-built, integrated, optimized, tested, deployed and supported by Oracle. This dramatically reduces the amount of time, effort and resources required on-site to build, deploy and maintain systems of this size. Merchants can easily leverage this engineering marvel to drive better customer engagement, implement an Omnichannel strategy with a single core stack behind, rapidly provision flex-capacity to handle sudden traffic surges during special events and through the holiday season, and even run marketing campaigns that bring many thousands of new shoppers without the fear of outages. It is this level of availability, performance and elasticity that empowers online merchants to do more with less, thus making Oracle Exalogic and Oracle Exadata the optimal platform for ecommerce. 2
5 ecommerce Technology Modern enterprise ecommerce technology involves several disparate layers of hardware and software, mostly integrated onsite, working together to provide a robust and scalable solution. Deployment architectures for any major Java-based platform typically resemble the following: Figure 1 Enterprise ecommerce Deployment Architecture From application delivery controllers all the way down to storage, there are thousands of technology solutions and vendors out in the market. Oracle, however, with its market-leading offerings for every layer of the stack (shown below), is uniquely positioned in this space. With the addition of preintegrated engineered systems Oracle Exalogic for middleware, and Oracle Exadata for database Oracle has taken the concept of system integration to whole new level. Feature Product E-Commerce Oracle Commerce Application Delivery Controller Oracle Traffic Director Web Server Oracle HTTP Server Caching Oracle Coherence Application Server Oracle WebLogic Virtual Machine Oracle JRockit Operating System Oracle Linux Virtualization Oracle VM Database Oracle Database Networking Exabus (InfiniBand) Compute Intel Xeon Storage ZFS Oracle Exalogic Oracle Exadata Management Oracle Enterprise Manager Figure 2 Oracle's market-leading products for each layer 3
6 The enterprise ecommerce software space is largely fragmented. Though Oracle Commerce (Oracle s ecommerce solution comprising of Oracle ATG and Oracle Endeca) is the market leader, there are hundreds of ecommerce solutions, including custom homegrown applications, powered by enterprise Java. With Exalogic and Exadata, Oracle has extensively tuned all the layers networking, virtualization, operating system, java virtual machine, application server, caching, application delivery controller, and database that run underneath any enterprise Java application. While the traditional deployment architectures using enterprise Java technologies and middleware have proven to be sufficient in most cases, Exalogic and Exadata provide a totally new dimension, and bring benefits that are simply unachievable through other means. Oracle Exalogic Oracle Exalogic is a rack-based system consisting of hardware compute nodes (x86 servers), RAM, flash and ZFS storage, all pre-integrated and connected using high-bandwidth, low latency InfiniBand fabric and software Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software. Exalogic is engineered and optimized for running enterprise Java applications and Oracle middleware. Exalogic X4-2 is available in configurations containing 96 CPU cores (⅛ th rack), 192 CPU cores (¼ th rack), 384 CPU cores (½ rack), and 720 CPU cores (full rack), with the ability to seamlessly link up to eight racks of Exalogic using Exabus. Each configuration of Oracle Exalogic contains appropriate amount of RAM, SSD, and storage so that the system is balanced for optimal performance. Configurations below a full rack (⅛ th, ¼ th, ½) may be upgraded (e.g. ¼ th to ½) without any downtime as these leverage the same physical rack. Figure 3 Exalogic Elastic Cloud Software Exalogic contains a number of engineering innovations, including: Exabus: A defining feature of Exalogic is the elimination of I/O bottlenecks through an I/O subsystem called Exabus. This subsystem is a collection of technology including InfiniBand switches, gateways, host channel adapters, firmware, device drivers, operating system extensions and software libraries. This technology supports low-latency communication by allowing the kernel and operating system s TCP/IP stack to be bypassed using Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA). 4
7 Oracle Traffic Director (OTD): OTD is Exalogic s built-in Application Delivery Controller. This is the recommended entry point for all web traffic and takes care of load-balancing, failover, content caching and compression, security and monitoring. OTD is fully integrated with Exabus and hence supports low latency, high throughput application traffic workloads. OTD s native integration with Oracle WebLogic Server allows dynamic discovery and routing changes in case of server node failures and additions. OTD eliminates the need for costly, external load-balancing appliances. Oracle WebLogic Server Optimizations: Oracle WebLogic Server has been optimized heavily for Exalogic. Use of multiple parallel muxers with Sockets Direct Protocol (SDP) over InfiniBand provides low latency inter-jvm communication between servers. Servers can transmit data over InfiniBand which allows up to 64K maximum transmission units compared to 1.5K in traditional Ethernet. The scatter and gather I/O feature allows multiple small chunks (e.g. 4K) to be transmitted as a single chunk (e.g. 64K). Session replication performance improves drastically with the use of multiple replication channels, just-in-time (lazy) de-serialization of session objects and SDP-based data transmission. Use of hardwareaware thread management results in highly efficient self-tuning thread pools on Exalogic, allowing enterprise Java ecommerce applications to better handle sudden traffic peaks. Oracle Coherence Optimizations: Oracle Coherence in-memory data grid, Oracle s caching solution, has been extensively modified to leverage Exabus. Oracle Coherence uses the InfiniBand Message Bus (IMB) native InfiniBand Exabus implementation using Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA) for low latency, cluster communication by talking directly to InfiniBand drivers instead of using sockets. The Elastic Data feature transparently uses RAM and off-heap storage using SSD to support large data sets with minimal garbage collection latency. As a result, enterprise Java ecommerce applications can now retrieve data a lot faster from Oracle Coherence over Exabus. In addition, Oracle Linux, Solaris, Oracle Virtual Machine and Oracle s JVMs (HotSpot and JRockit) have been extensively tuned for the underlying hardware and software. These changes are fully transparent, so no special knowledge or hotfixes are required. And most important, existing enterprise Java ecommerce applications can take full advantage of these without any code change. Exalogic is managed and monitored as a single stack. Oracle Enterprise Manager allows comprehensive app-to-disk management for Exalogic. With Exalogic, patching and other maintenance becomes a lot simpler because Oracle provides consolidated patches from storage to operating system. Embedded hardware diagnostic capabilities allow Exalogic to phone home to file Oracle Service Requests in the case of hardware failures. Thus Exalogic allows for unparalleled management, monitoring and ease of maintenance. Internally, Oracle middleware product engineering uses Exalogic for performance testing, QA testing, and for all other hardware needs. Oracle also uses Exalogic as the foundation of its Cloud offering. Exalogic is easy to set up, and performs exceptionally well, which makes it optimal for a highly dynamic and complex environment similar to Oracle s. 5
8 Oracle Exadata Oracle Exadata combines Oracle s best-of-breed hardware and software, and is designed to optimize the Oracle Database. Exadata is the best database platform for ecommerce applications because of its performance, reliability, advanced connection capabilities to Exalogic, and overall low total cost of ownership. Enterprise Java ecommerce applications that use relational databases can run seamlessly with Exadata. Applications already using Oracle Database require zero code/sql changes to take advantage of Oracle Exadata optimizations. Exadata comes in eighth, quarter, half, and full rack configurations. An eighth rack of the X4-2 model contains a total of 42 cores, 1 TB of RAM, 3 storage cells (up to 9 TB usable high performance disk storage), and 4.8 TB of PCI-based flash. An eighth rack of Oracle Exadata is often sufficient for most ecommerce deployments. This dramatically improves database performance and throughput. Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and Oracle Database 12c are currently supported on X4-2. All features available in these two versions are available on Exadata. Multiple database instances clustered or otherwise can exist within a single rack of Exadata. A single database may also be split across two or more racks of Exadata in a RAC configuration for high availability. A database on Exadata may be replicated to another database for disaster recovery using Oracle Data Guard. Exadata can run the Oracle Database exceptionally well for the same reasons that Exalogic runs Oracle Fusion Middleware and enterprise Java applications exceptionally well extensive tuning, engineering the hardware and software to work together, and innovations that are only available with the stack. Exadata contains a number of innovations, including: Hybrid Columnar Compression. Traditionally, all columns for a particular row are stored sequentially within a single database block. This allows for fast record-oriented read access but allows for only minimal compression. The alternative is to store columns of data together, which allows for high compression but can create excessive I/O for multi-column access. Hybrid Columnar Compression permits data to be stored in a hybrid of both, which achieves the benefits of columnar storage compression and the performance of sequential row storage. Storage savings range from 5x to 20x with typical storage savings of 10x Smart Scans. In a non-exadata configuration, an Oracle database typically uses a SAN for storage. When a query is executed, all relevant rows and columns are returned to the database, with the database CPU performing the filtering and returning the resultset to the application. With Exadata, each storage cell contains 12 CPU cores and portions of the Oracle Database software, with the ability to perform data filtering at each storage cell. As a result, the database receives only the data it actually needs and applicable queries will be executed in parallel across each of the 3 storage cells, in the case of an eighth rack. This results in less data being sent to the database and less processing needed in the compute nodes Smart Flash Cache. An eighth rack of Exadata contains 4.8 TB of flash (PCI cards, not flash disks), which functions as an intelligent cache to offload physical I/O from the disks. All reads and writes are served from or committed to flash cache, with writes to disk occurring 6
9 whenever the database decides it is best to. With ecommerce applications being writeintensive, this is particularly useful. Smart Flash Cache allows up to 2.66 million random 8K read (and 1.96 million 8K write) I/O operations per second (IOPS) and can scan data at up to 100 GB/sec. This feature allows for at least 10x better performance when compared to a traditional disk Full Database Encryption. Hardware-based encryption may be used to encrypt a database running on Exadata. This is particularly important for ecommerce applications, where a database may store credit cards and other Personally Identifiable Information (PII). Moving encryption and decryption from software to hardware results in a 5x performance improvement. Data can be decrypted at a rate of hundreds of gigabytes per second Leverage Oracle Exalogic with Oracle Exadata While Exalogic and Exadata are outstanding on their own, they are even more powerful when linked together. Using the Active GridLink for Oracle RAC feature found in Oracle WebLogic Server, enterprise Java ecommerce applications on Exalogic can communicate with an Oracle database running on Exadata using Exabus, at a rate of 960 gigabits/sec with latency of 1.2 microseconds. Traditionally, application servers are connected to databases over gigabit Ethernet with milliseconds of latency. In addition to raw throughput and low latency, Exabus allows the TCP/IP stacks (and thus kernels) to be bypassed in both Exalogic and Exadata. Together, these optimizations result in 3x better OLTP performance. Figure 4 Advantage of Exabus versus standard hardware In addition to latency and throughput improvements, Active GridLink for Oracle RAC provides other functionality such as fast connection failover, runtime connection load balancing (balance queries across RAC nodes based on real-time load), and XA affinity (bind certain queries back to the same RAC node). Together, these features come together to provide the optimal database platform for ecommerce. Let s look at some of the benefits. 7
10 Benefit #1: High Availability With ever-increasing traffic comes the risk of unplanned downtime. Downtime comes from inadequate system capacity especially during traffic surges, integration problems between different layers in the stack, and over-utilization of shared resources. A number of ecommerce sites experience outages during traffic surges due to inadequate system capacity, often leading to embarrassment and loss of revenue. The driver for such traffic surges could be anything from marketing campaigns on social media that bring thousands of new shoppers to the site, to events like the soccer championship driving fans to buy merchandise of their favorite teams, or even the annual festive shopping season rush. Exalogic provides the necessary elasticity, with in-built redundancy at all layers, and intra-rack upgrades with zero downtime to help provision flex-capacity. Often, different software and hardware layers aren t well integrated. For example, database connections in the application server may try to use an Oracle RAC node in the database that is overloaded or has died. Without tight vertical integration between the application server and database (as we have with Active GridLink for Oracle RAC), there will always be a problem. Oracle has taken substantial measures to ensure that all layers of the stack work together seamlessly. Another cause of outages is over-utilization of shared resources. Traditionally, enterprise Java ecommerce applications have suffered from poor core to JVM ratios. Often, each JVM uses one or maybe two cores with 2 GB heap. Each JVM requires its own connections to the database, and its own fixed memory overhead. By consolidating smaller JVMs into much larger JVMs on Exalogic, shared resources are substantially less utilized. On Exalogic, there can be four or more cores per JVM with 16 gigabytes of high-speed RAM per core theoretically possible. Benefit #2: Exceed Customer Expectations ecommerce merchants invest heavily on performance tuning and optimizing their custom-built enterprise Java ecommerce applications, usually resulting in massive changes. Exalogic and Exadata take performance of enterprise Java to a level that is unattainable through other means. And vertical integration of software and underlying hardware is the key to performance. Naturally, Oracle has an edge over other vendors since we have market-leading offerings in every layer from storage up to application server, and from load balancers all the way back to the database. Online merchants can simply deploy their enterprise Java ecommerce application EAR on Oracle WebLogic Server deployed on Exalogic attached to Exadata (red stack shown below) to see a massive jump in performance. 8
11 Oracle Enterprise Manager Custom E-commerce Application (Java) Oracle WebLogic Server Oracle JRockit / HotSpot VM Oracle Traffic Director Oracle Coherence Oracle Database Oracle Linux / Solaris Oracle Virtual Machine 90% of all performance gains attribute to vertical integration of software and hardware below the e-commerce application Oracle Exalogic Oracle Exadata Intel Xeon Compute Nodes Exabus Network ZFS Storage Figure 5 Oracle s vertically integrated software and hardware stack drives high performance Oracle WebLogic Server, used in conjunction with Oracle Coherence caching solution and Oracle Traffic Director, on Exalogic with Oracle Database on Exadata provides twice the throughput that traditional x86 blades running commercial off-the-shelf application servers like JBoss and Websphere provide. Extreme performance with Exalogic and Exadata gives online retailers the ability to gain customer confidence by constantly beating their expectations. These retailers are able to offer great customer service, launch new features e.g. mobile applications, loyalty programs, additional payment and delivery options, etc. at will to engage their customers, build advanced personalization across multiple customer touch-points, run social media campaigns resulting in driving thousands of shoppers to the site, drive innovations, and much more. These merchants go on to experience improved customer loyalty and retention, often leading to higher conversion rates. Benefit #3: Improve Return on Investment Gartner attributes 71% of a system s total cost of ownership to staffing (system maintenance) and implementation (system build and deployment) 6. Exalogic and Exadata dramatically reduce the total cost of ownership by reducing the amount of on-site work and improving productivity. This allows 6 Philip Winslow, Dr. Exalove: How I Learned to Stop Worrying (about Sun) and Love Exalogic Too, Credit Suisse, Nov
12 organizations to focus limited resources on activities that contribute to the top-line revenue. For instance, resources can be freed up to implement Omnichannel strategy as opposed to tuning ecommerce applications, JVM and SQL statements. Figure 6 Bifurcation of enterprise IT spend By virtue of using Oracle s system engineering innovations, Exalogic and Exadata customers: a) Save time and effort which would otherwise be needed to design, procure, assemble, deploy, tune and test systems of this scale Figure 7 Lifecycle of engineered systems b) Enjoy free Platinum Support privileges proactive monitoring, Phone Home capability, specialized support team, quarterly patching, and enhanced service level agreements with their standard support contract c) Experience unmatched elasticity using Oracle Enterprise Manager s dynamic real-time, loadbased provisioning feature to manage flex-capacity needs, and 10
13 Figure 8 Oracle Enterprise Manager in action d) Realize massive productivity gains in ongoing monitoring and maintenance with Oracle Enterprise Manager s holistic application-to-disk management approach In addition to bottom-line savings through reduced total cost of ownership, Exalogic and Exadata drive significant top-line revenue growth due to increased conversion rates fueled mainly by extreme system performance and availability. According to the Aberdeen Group, a one second delay in page load time equals a 16% decrease in customer satisfaction, and 7% loss in conversions 7. According to Jupiter Research and Akamai, 33% of dissatisfied online shoppers attribute their dissatisfaction to poor performance and a further 40% of shoppers stated that high performance is critical to their loyalty 8. A customer experience study conducted by UPS and comscore shows slowly loading website pages being a major contributor to cart abandonments and subsequent loss of revenue 9. Exalogic and Exadata are ideally positioned to reverse these negative trends. According to the 2013 Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, the top 100 US e-retailers had average annual sales of $1.85 billion in Assuming a 5% revenue increase due to the improved conversion rates, using Exalogic with Exadata to power enterprise Java ecommerce applications, brings additional revenue of $92.5 million per year i.e. $462.5 million over five years. Revenue gain could be substantially f 11
14 higher in cases where Exalogic improves the performance of an otherwise-slow site, or permits advanced personalization that would not have been possible due to poor performance. This top-line revenue growth, coupled with the bottom-line savings can bring substantial return on investment for ecommerce merchants. Conclusion Oracle Exalogic with Oracle Exadata clearly emerges as the platform of choice for enterprise Java ecommerce applications new implementation, hardware refresh, and upgrades alike. With unmatched benefits highest possible availability, extreme performance exceeding customer expectations, and improved return on investment Oracle Exalogic with Oracle Exadata is truly the most optimal platform for ecommerce. 12
15 Powering Enterprise ecommerce with Exalogic and Exadata December 2013 Author: Sachin Pikle Oracle Corporation World Headquarters 500 Oracle Parkway Redwood Shores, CA U.S.A. Worldwide Inquiries: Phone: Fax: Copyright 2013, Oracle and/or its affiliates. All rights reserved. This document is provided for information purposes only and the contents hereof are subject to change without notice. This document is not warranted to be error-free, nor subject to any other warranties or conditions, whether expressed orally or implied in law, including implied warranties and conditions of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose. We specifically disclaim any liability with respect to this document and no contractual obligations are formed either directly or indirectly by this document. This document may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose, without our prior written permission. Oracle and Java are registered trademarks of Oracle and/or its affiliates. Other names may be trademarks of their respective owners. AMD, Opteron, the AMD logo, and the AMD Opteron logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Advanced Micro Devices. Intel and Intel Xeon are trademarks or registered trademarks of Intel Corporation. All SPARC trademarks are used under license and are trademarks or registered trademarks of SPARC International, Inc. UNIX is a registered trademark licensed through X/Open Company, Ltd oracle.com
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