What is our primary use case?
I was running an ERP system on Rackmount machines with critical databases on it. There is no way to scale-in and very expensive to scale-out as the system is growing countrywide. Replication between sites and branches not guaranteed. Also, the EOL of this infrastructure drives this huge change, and to avoid huge change management on the application point of view and the need to maintain the same database technology it was the biggest challenge that I ever faced during this times, moving from Version 9 to 11g and now to 19c.
How has it helped my organization?
It has improved the performance, now we run with more performance cores with less CPU to attend all the database demands. Reducing Time to Market, increase our ability to face the competition with speed and low cost. We improved the database availability while ensuring business continuity implementing efficient replication between main and DR site, so we decreased from one downtime in two months to zero downtime a year. So we can sleep as we are confident that data replication is running without any constraints. Multi-tenancy is one feature that can be used to guarantee the investment on this infra.
What is most valuable?
Business Continuity is the most valuable feature. The replication between the site via Data Guard is performing without any constraints, the agility to make tests of switchover, and back following disaster recovery procedure. The performance using this machine to providing database service is as easy as next to next database administrations. We can run AWR data collection for performance evaluation and problem-solving without any production performance constraints. Using Database partitioning and Cache Memory in each storage cell boost all we need as a database machine. The easy administration gives us time for training, improve our business understanding, and care about our competitors. Also, the container Database (CDB/PDB) together with other technologies (like Micro Services) can very improve the company core business.
What needs improvement?
The Oracle Support. I believe Oracle must improve its procedure to support the clients. The customer Ready Service must provide more use cases and benchmarks of their infrastructure to support client design decisions. Oracle must audit their partners regularly to guarantee they provide quality service even after been passed on partnership examination. Increase the FDP in the Southern Africa region can boost quality and competition on support service also increase product selling on these countries.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have been using Oracle Exadata for bout nine years.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
This machine are equipped with new edge of fault tolerance technologies ensuring business continuity. All servers have dual power supply and the hard drives are reliable. Following the Oracle procedure to assembly this hardware in your datacenter with clean power is one thing that guarantees the stability. Of course, a support contract must be signed off between client and oracle to predict all possible disruption on time.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
There are many models of this engineering system, starting from X2 in 2011 to the last version X8M, you can choose a quarter, half and full, depending on your workload and budget. Starting with the quarter size you can scale it by adding more servers and storage until Full version or adding another box.
How are customer service and technical support?
Every implementation is unique. I have been working with Oracle since 2005 and have not had issues regarding technical support. But Oracle must audit their implementation partners regularly to avoid major problems like a bad quality implementation that make clients raise a call.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is not so complex as it is done by Oracle Experts and is validated by the senior engineers.
What about the implementation team?
We implemented it through the vendor team. I worked with a very skilled personal, like project managers, ACS Support Leaders and technicians that have very experience in deploying this kind of systems
What was our ROI?
Using this infrastructure for a database as a service or Oracle Cloud at Customer/Service can be a good approx. to increase your ROI.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Going to EXADATA is not good advice for non-profit companies, like government institutions, all though this is a very safe infrastructure to guarantee security and availability for a long period. The OPEX must be well prepared for a period that can have all the return of the investment. Using EXADATA as a database as a Service (Multi-tenancy) can be an alternative to good ROI.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
We also evaluated Postgress.
Which deployment model are you using for this solution?