Today, at the annual german partner satellite day, portrix received an award as Oracle’s Specialized Partner of the Year for the Travel and Transportation industry. Being recognized like that is a huge honour for us as it shows that others are seeing us in the same light as we see ourselves.
So what exactly is our offering for the transportation industry? First of all, our software global price management (GPM) ensures the highest level of transparency and easy implementation when calculating shipping rates for LSPs. The software manages all existing rates that LSPs may have with their forwarders includig all additional costs and surcharges and calculates and compares the shipping rates over different routes and carriers. The software is a huge success and we have already sold and implemented this to a number of LSPs.
In addition to providing a business benefit to our customers, we are also very proud of the technology behind it. We integrate tightly with the Oracle 11g database. Two examples are Total Recall and Advanced Queueing. Total Recall allows us to setup flashback archives on our core tables and keep this historical data for several years. Not only is this important for compliance reasons but we also use this technology in our application to provide views at older versions of data or even perform Rate Retrieval queries as if done at a past point in time. You can hear more about this at my presentations for the DOAG and UKOUG conferences later this year.
In order to provide the highest levels of performance for sometimes very complex data structures, we do a lot of caching of java objects within our application servers. And while caching is as easy as storing things in memory, knowing when you need to invalidate or refresh that cache is vital, especially in an environment where several app servers or even other apps might modify your base data. This is where we utilize advanced queueing to push messages from the database to the servers whenever critical data changes so the app knows when to refresh the cached data. I hope I can find time to give you some simplified code examples later.
But the database is not our only point of contact with the red stack. In addition to providing the software for our customers to be operated in their datacenter, we also run it in our own datacenter in a SaaS model. That platform is implemented completely on the red stack including Solaris 11, Sun Fire Servers and ZFS unified storage appliances. Our internal deployments for development and the SaaS platforms rely heaviliy on Solaris zone virtualization allowing us to clone and deploy a number of servers on a single box. Building these zones is heaviliy scripted and upgrading our software version (or patching an application server) is usually done by creating a new zone and replacing the old one instead of touching the existing installation. This way we know that we can reproduce the exact setup later. Solaris 11 also offers great features in terms of analyzing application performance, including DTrace.
Everything is complemented with ZFS storage. Hybrid storage pools (combining flash and disk storage) work great in our environment where we need to keep (but rarely touch) a huge amount of historical data. Snapshots and Cloning enable us to make copies of complete databases for staging, testing and development purposes with very little time and effort.