Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer Review

Good performance, improves efficiency, easy to manage, and automatically updates with zero downtime


What is our primary use case?

We have migrated Core Banking, DWH, ODS, and several other production environments to this platform. Our goal was to successfully migrate those mission-critical Oracle Databases to the Exadata Cloud at Customer machine. It was a cross-platform migration with IBM to Oracle, Power to Intel, and AIX to Linux. We have used XTTS (Cross Platform).

We have used the cross-platform transportable tablespace method for this migration, and have accelerated it by using RMAN incremental backups to minimize the migration downtime.
We did a lot of performance testing and verified it before the migration.
We spent time readying for the migration improvements too.

How has it helped my organization?

Oracle Exadata has improved our organization in the following ways:

  • We have reached the required disk capacity.
  • We have decreased the cost of maintenance and admin operations.
  • We have gained more efficient support (Single vendor support, automatic zero downtime upgrades, and fast support services).
  • We have gained the ability to use an Exadata machine without having a need for Exadata Installation & Maintenence-specific knowledge.
  • We have decreased the Data Center cost. We hosted this machine by getting a Data Center service from a trusted vendor. As Oracle does the machine-specific operations remotely, we didn't have to host the machine in the customer environment.
  • We have migrated mission-critical databases to Exadata and gained significant performance in our OLTP and Batch jobs.
  • Gained the ability to use capacity-on-demand + CPU bursting.
  • Increased the efficiency of operations (provisioning + patching) using CLOUD GUIs delivered with the Exadata Cloud at Customer machine.
  • Gained some licensing advantages and additional database options automatically.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that it is based on Exadata infrastructure, which is Oracle 's leading engineered system that is trusted, fault-tolerant, and has unique performance features.

The responsibility of the Virtualization (hypervisor) and hardware levels of Exadata Cloud at Customer (ECC) belongs to the Oracle Corporation. Customers are safe in a manner and they don't need to have extra skills for managing the Exadata hardware and virtualized tier. 

Patching and imaging in the hypervisor level are done by Oracle. Customer doesn't need to think about hardware failures and replacements. This means that the patch levels in the infra stack are up-to-date most of the time. These activities are done with zero downtime.

The machine and this cloud model itself has licensing advantages. All of the database options can be used at no cost, including partitioning, RAC, and so on.

Oracle Support services support the customer in any case. There is a big knowledge base in Oracle Support for both Exadata and Exadata Cloud at Customer solutions.

Several migration methods are available. Once migrated, you get all the benefits of Oracle's leading engineered system.

What needs improvement?

As a customer, you can't see the boot messages of your virtualized guest machines. There should be an improvement for this. Customers should see their VMs while they are booting and they should have control during that same time. They may provide input or see kernel messages that might be present and preventing the boot in some cases.

The release schedule for this machine should follow the release schedule of Exadata (on-premises) very closely. For instance, the new image versions. In short, we don't want to wait for a long time to have the newest Exadata image version to be available on Exadata Cloud at Customer.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been working with Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer (ECC) for two years. 

We have been with the on-prem non-cloud Oracle Exadata for 7 years now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable and It is fault-tolerant in any means. As mentioned, this solution is based on Exadata infra, and we know that, both the hardware and the software stack even in the traditional Exadata is fault tolerant and stable.

This machine (ECC) is a solution in the Cloud at Customer model and it is managed by Oracle.

In the background, the machine has a virtualized environment based on a customized Oracle VM Server and a hypervisor (Xen based in Exadata X7 Cloud Customer).

The customers are responsible from the Guest VMs where databases are running. So Oracle is responsible anything below the Guest VMs..  Oracle is responsible from almost all the infra, from hardware to hypervisor. From Cell Management to the management of the virtualizated stack.

This means, the solution is managed by the vendor, actually by the experts in Cloud Ops (Oracle).

When we put these things together (Exadata infra + Vendor's expertise of management and optimization), we can feel safe with it. 

It is stable, configured with best practices, optimized by vendor, supported by vendor and managed by vendor (at least most of the stack is managed by Oracle)

When we look at the Guest VMs, we see Oracle RAC, Grid Infra and Database stack of Oracle. So these are the most powerful solution in Oracle Software stack and they guarantee both continuity and recoverability. The software stack in the Guest VMs are also delivered with the best practices. You can povision your new environments manually or using the Cloud GUIs of the solution.. For instance you can provision an already configured(with best practices) database home or a database itself using Cloud GUIs of Exadata Cloud At Customer machine.

You can have one or more clusters (in terms of Oracle VM Clusters) as well as Oracle Real Application Clusters to support your high availability needs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable. It is based on Exadata infrastructure, so it is based on a scale-out architecture.

How are customer service and technical support?

We are satisfied with the support services. both global Oracle Support (Through Oracle Support website) and local Support. (oracle Presales teams)

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

We are using lots of different solutions in Oracle environments.

Customers choose this Exadata Cloud at Customer machine because it decreases the maintenance costs, provides Exadata infrastructure, and supplies extra options at no cost.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is done by Oracle. After this, you just provision new databases using GUIs or migrate your databases using a supported migration method. It is all straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented the solution on our own, but got advices from the Vendor when needed. 

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

The machine and the cloud model itself already have licensing advantages.

Actually, we can use almost all the database options without paying any licenses.

Ofcourse customers need to do their licenses properly and decide on the ECC configuration to go with.

The solution is based on capacity-on-demand feature.. So the customers can increase their Cpus  according to their needs. Customers also have the ability to use the Cpu bursting options to increase their Cpu resources for a temporary time window.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We did evaluate other solutions, although they were on-premises solutions mostly. However, Exadata Cloud at Customer was more promising in terms of decreasing costs, increasing performance, and ease of manageability. 

What other advice do I have?

The initial setup of the machine is done by Oracle, but it takes some time so plan your migration project accordingly. A proper sizing may be one of my advices for the customers.

A good and detailed project plan for the migration is also important.

Customers who don't have any Exadata field engineers or Exadata admins in their staff may choose this machine. This machine gives you an Exadata without requiring lots of Exadata-specific expertise.

Customers who want to run their databases on the cloud, but can not migrate because of regulations, can use this machine. This machine provides a cloud infra in your own data center.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Platinum Partner of Oracle.
Add a Comment
Guest
1 Comment

author avatarErmanArslan, Oracle ACE
Top 5LeaderboardReal User

The product name should be "Exadata Cloud At Customer"..
Please update it accordingly and delete this update.