Oracle Database Appliance Review

This box allowed me to consolidate the three most critical databases in one single reliable server.


What is most valuable?

We value the following features:

  • Performance (we used a bare-metal configuration so I don't know about using it as a virtual environment).
  • Easy management (it saves a lot of installation and patching time).

How has it helped my organization?

This box allowed me to consolidate the three most critical databases in one single reliable server (it is actually two nodes in our machine).

What needs improvement?

The following issues need attention:

  • I would be happy to see the Oracle Auto Service Request (ASR) pre-installed in it instead of installing it in a separate machine.
  • The Oracle Integrated Lights Out Manager (ILOM) is quite slow. Sometimes the page takes ages to open.
  • The shutdown procedure in this box is different from many other servers that I worked with. For example, when you shut down the server, you see the LEDs of the storage part still on, and there is no button for that part to turn the power off. You can only unplug the power socket!

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using the solution for two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We didn't encounter any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There was a little scalability issue. We noticed that the storage dedicated to the system in one node was less than the other. We therefore needed to expand it. We needed Oracle support to do that for us but it was online and streamlined.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is very good, but not excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I didn't use a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward but we had issues that needed Oracle support to fix for us.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Frankly I have no clue about pricing. The organization didn't have any issue about paying for the licenses.

There is one thing that you need to be aware of. When you buy this box, you buy licenses for a specific number of CPU cores. When you set up the box, you define how many cores you want to enable. If the number of cores that you enable is different from the number of cores that you have in your license, it will be so hard to fix it (according to the Oracle representative claim but I am not sure about that.)

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated RAC servers from other vendors.

What other advice do I have?

The biggest disadvantage of this server is its availability when you patch the whole machine, i.e. when you patch the entire ODA firmware, not the databases within it. When you do this kind of patching, you must restart the entire server and plan for downtime.

This box has a network subnetting IP address pre-configured in it for internal communication between the nodes.

If your network has the same network subnetting IP address, you must change it in your network. This box (as of x4-2 and I don't know about the new models) doesn't allow you to change its internal subnetting IP address.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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