inlumi blog

    Will Spectre Meltdown your EPM environment?

    Will Spectre Meltdown your EPM environment?

    February 19th, 2018

    The year 2018 kicked off with major global IT disruptions, aptly named “Meltdown” and “Spectre”. These are vulnerabilities discovered in the CPU architectures of all major processor manufacturers. They are considered a significant security risk and can have a direct impact on system performance. For EPM clients, the recent news of vulnerability fixes causing performance issues are as worrying as the vulnerabilities themselves.

    Hardware and operating system fixes will need to be applied to mitigate the worst of the potential flaws. The flaws are linked to how processors optimise their queries. The fixes are required at both the hardware (firmware/microcode) level and operating system level, and they will more than likely have some impact on performance to some extent.

    At the inlumi labs, we have been doing some testing on what our clients may expect from a possible performance impact on their Oracle EPM systems. To date, few server manufacturers have released stable firmware patches for their servers. However, Operating System vendors were quick to release their patches in January, so these are the patches we have had most experience with so far.

    To test the OS Spectre/Meltdown patching effects, inlumi ran a series of Oracle EPM benchmarks, both on fully physical environments and fully virtualised environments. On the Physical environments, we saw that the Windows operating system patches slowed down HFM by an average 3 to 5%, while the Virtual environments saw a much more varied performance impact of between 1 and 10% depending on the activity being carried out by the system.

    One thing is for sure: patching is inevitable on all systems, and we are awaiting the release of the CPU microcode firmware upgrade to get a better indication of what the eventual full impact will be on EPM systems.

     

    Every quarter, inlumi’s experts test Oracle’s CPUs internally within EPM lab environments to assess their impact on the various EPM products. Do you want to receive notifications about the latest CPUs and expert advice on which updates to apply to your environment? Contact us.

     

    About the author

    Kieron Cassidy

    Kieron Cassidy
    Infrastructure Practice Lead at inlumi
    kieron.cassidy@inlumi.com

    Kieron Cassidy is the Infrastructure Domain Lead at inlumi with over 22 years of IT related experience and 18 years specialising in EPM/CPM technical support, implementations, migrations, performance tuning, load testing, infrastructure design and security. Before joining inlumi, Kieron worked as a Mechanical Design Engineer, IT systems integrator and spent time as an Support Specialist with Hyperion Solutions.