A quarter-century ago, Sun Microsystems (now Oracle) developed and introduced the Sparc processor. For the uninitiated, Sparc stands for scalable processor architecture and was born in an age of mainframe dominance, but quickly rose to become the computing standard for large enterprise computing systems. Sparc is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year and Sparc processor-based systems have played a role in delivering IT-led growth of many industries like telecommunications, government, healthcare and financial services. “For a number of years, the Sparc platform has been the industry standard for running mission-critical applications,” says Venkatesh Krishnan, vice-president, systems business, Oracle India. Responsible for growing Oracle’s hardware business and delivering on the company’s systems strategy in India, Krishnan joined Oracle in 2011 from Sun Microsystems, as head for industry verticals—systems. He has been instrumental in growing Sun’s servers and storage business for 10 years, including sealing strong partnerships with large customer organisations in BFSI, telecom and Central government verticals. He speaks to Sudhir Chowdhary on Sparc’s legacy for the IT industry, and Oracle’s plans for continuing the evolution of Sparc in the future. Excerpts:
Sparc processor completed 25 years of existence this year. What do you think is the impact of the Sparc technology on the IT industry?
More than two decades ago, Sparc and Oracle Solaris combined to give birth to an enterprise computing system that offered better performance, availability and scalability than anything the competition had to offer. Sparc successfully challenged the dominance of mainframes by delivering performance that was orders of magnitude ahead of the competing platforms. Throughout its history, Sparc processor-based systems have played a role in delivering IT-led growth of many industries like telecommunications, government, healthcare and financial services. For a number of years, the Sparc platform has been the industry standard for running mission-critical applications. The impact of Sparc on the industry was captured succinctly in a tag line of ours—if it has to run, it has to be on Sparc.
The combination of Sparc with Oracle Solaris was also a bold step in complete integration of software and hardware that is the distinguishing feature of Oracle’s strategy.
Today, full-stack integration is an essential part of any Sparc system, and these are the industry’s most reliable, scalable, and secure systems for mission-critical enterprise applications and cloud.
The platform has continued to evolve ever since and successive generations have continued to provide superior performance for enterprise customers along with reliability, availability, and scalability—the