Oracle Exadata Express Cloud Service Review

Plenty of features, unique functionality, and priced well

What is our primary use case?

  • For our customers who are currently running this solution, my first client's use case is they are moving their data to this solution.

  • The second case is customers who are running a large number of database servers that want to consolidate them for better performance are switching to this solution because it has a better value proposition than Exadata on-premises.

  • The third case is if customers are running some customer-facing critical applications and performance is an issue, it is best to move to this solution. However, their compliance authorities have to allow them to go to the cloud, if they are not allowed, we suggest Exadata on-premises.

What is most valuable?

  • What is most valuable about this solution is there is no comparative solution by any other vendors. If you look at the SAP side with the HANA database package I do not see any other comparative product with this one. If customers are running a large number of databases on different Unix servers, they can use this solution running on Oracle Linux. The performance will be excellent and is the most important thing. The performance is key and this is where this solution scores.

  • Having the prediction happen in the modular format allows you to start with a lower version of Exadata and then you can keep on upgrading it as per your requirement. 

  • It is important that the solution is mainly based on Oracle Linux allowing for everything to be fine-tuned. The hardware, network, IO, operating system, database, and everything else works seamlessly together.

What needs improvement?

The customer's default choice is the on-premise version of this solution. Only when Oracle or the partners like us, can explain to customers the cloud value proposition, and if the compliance authorities allow, they can look into this cloud solution. It will take some time for Oracle to change its perception of customers' de-facto standards. Exadata used to be treated as a black box, which is not the case now. The customer is aware of what is happening inside, how the configurations have been made, and what patching has been applied. Oracle needs to market the cloud version better.

In the future release, if large enterprise customers are running this solution they should have OCI, PaaS, and SaaS all combined together. This would allow them to have the security of all three. Then the various departments can provision as per what meetd their requirement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for approximately three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable. We have customers who are running their mission-critical applications on Oracle Cloud, OCI Cloud, or Oracle Cloud Infrastructure with PaaS. Additionally, we have customers who are running their core ERP application on the SaaS. It is very stable and Cisco is committed to the service availability. The is one of the biggest things as compared to any other vendor. We have not faced a major problem, any downtime, customer losing data, or any similar situation.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The solution is scalable. The whole idea of the cloud is to allow the ability to start small and then you can expand. Additionally, depending on the environment, you can switch it on or switch it off, if it is a UAT test environment or something similar. If it is a production, you can always scale up because provisioning of additional hardware is very fast on Oracle Cloud. The provisioning for the additional resources can be done within a couple of hours, and that is where the scalability comes into the picture. This reduces the project implementation time also because you do not have to install anything from the beginning, you only need to select the infrastructure and it can be provisioned very fast.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have been using Oracle for our customers since 1994. We use Metalink and depending on the product, the support qualities are great. The good thing is that if customers are running Oracle Linux or this solution and then Oracle on Oracle, you can raise a single SR. That is not the case if you are running Oracle on Red Hat or Oracle on another platform because then you have to manage two different vendors. Having just one SR ticket you can raise it on Oracle Linux and sort out the problem with Linux, Oracle, and with Exadata with middleware. They have simplified the process a lot and the support has been good.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is straightforward. With Cloud Services or Exadata on-premise, once the initial configuration has been done this is when the real work starts. We have to consolidate the databases, fine-tune them, implement GoldenGate along with it, or whatever else is required. It takes some time because it is not a small implementation. We have not been faced any major issues with Exadata implementations.

What about the implementation team?

We do the implementation of the solution ourselves.

What was our ROI?

The typical ROI consideration is the license of your organization which you can do when you are consolidating your servers. Imagine a customer who is running a number of Unix servers and they have been underutilized, but you have spent a lot of money on the license for Oracle because of the usage, for example, the number of CPUs. When you consolidate the servers to Oracle, it gives you a considerable value proposition with a high ROI. 

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

The price of this solution is very comparative to others on the market. There is no direct comparison between this solution and with something else because I do not see any other similar product. If you compare this solution with the on-prem deployment of the application on a Unix server, there is a huge value proposition because of the speed and scalability because of how we can reduce your costs by optimizing some of your infrastructure on the cloud services. Having the ability to switch off and on and bring your own license policy, is one of the biggest advantages. 

If someone quotes you for this solution it may sound high, but when you have looked at the configuration, the return of investment, and the whole picture it changes your perspective. Your current investment is protected because they have the bring your own licenses policy. There is a huge value proposition.

What other advice do I have?

My advice to those wanting to implement this solution is they have to understand the value proposition of Exadata itself over the legacy Unix servers which are coming towards the end of their life cycle. If you have a large number of databases, spending a considerable amount of money on the licenses, and annual technical support you need to see how you can consolidate. You need to figure out how can provide the right resources for the right application. 

You can enhance your position by considering this solution because you get everything that you get in Exadata on-premises. Additionally, it is a cloud service and managed the way any other server which is managed in the cloud operates. You receive all the cloud advantages plus you get all the Exadata advantages. If you better understand the Exadata value proposition and the cloud value proposition and add these two together you will the benefits of this solution.

I rate Oracle Exadata Express Cloud Service an eight out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

Hybrid Cloud
**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: partner
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