Oracle Launches Telco-Oriented, Carrier-Grade Blade Server

by Andy Patrizio

Upgrade to the Netra line of blade servers for telcos makes them more suitable for mission-critical functions.

Oracle has announced the availability of the Sun Netra 6000 server, a family of carrier-grade servers designed for the telecommunications industry. These servers are built on the Oracle Sun Blade 6000 blade server design and contain modifications and tuning specific to the telco industry.

The Sun Netra 6000 adds carrier-grade qualities such as Network Equipment Building System (NEBS) certification and extended lifecycle support important to telcos. NEBS certification is required for telecommunications central office deployments and previous versions of the Netra were not NEBS-certified.

The Netra is designed to support media services delivery and Operations and Business Support Systems (OSS/BSS), something new to Netra, noted Mark Butler, director of product management for Netra Systems at Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL).

"For the traditional Netra customers, we weren't able to scale to this level of app before. It didn't have an enterprise class carrier grade for OSS/BSS types of apps. We had general commercial apps instead. There was a real need for this level of support as these IP-based telco networks are expanding and the data they have to handle is increasing," he told InternetNews.com.

The Sun Blade 6000 supports processors from Intel (NASDAQ: INTC) and AMD (NYSE: AMD) as well as Sun's own UltraSparc. The Netra 6000 systems for now come with UltraSparc T2+ processors running the Solaris operating system, with the potential for Intel-based servers in the future.

Each chassis can hold up to 10 blades, with up to 128 threads per blade, and each blade can hold up to 256GB of memory.

Oracle said the system is designed to handle the most demanding workloads, including multi-threaded Web applications and advanced IP-based telco Web services. Butler said the new Netras will go into areas like media delivery, billing support and operations support; areas not previously served by Netra that need the processing power and memory that the blades offer, said Butler.

"These are really going more into network data centers where the strong point for Netra in the past was in the central office," he said.

Looking ahead, Butler said Oracle plans to further bring together the Sun and Oracle hardware and software lines.

"We anticipated a lot of synergies and we're finding that as we come together. So we formed a nice relationship between the Netra product line and our communications business unit in hopes of bringing something unique to the market, not just by throwing the two products together but by integrating and tuning rather than the two separate products on their own," he said.

Andy Patrizio is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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This article was originally published on Tuesday May 18th 2010
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