Oracle Exadata Review

It's not "one size fits all"

Whoever is the "Oracle Support" that does the initial setup seems to think that one-size-fits-all is the solution to every application environment. Still seems to be the approach of the 1980s that if the menu comes up then the setup is complete. For all the money and hoopla it is a disappointment to have to struggle with memory issues when doing simple tasks like adding large number of partitions.

There should be an option at install time to deal with DW and OLTP environments. I dont think that the training provided for "Exadata Support" persons is adequate to make the configuration modifications. So the "user" of the Exadata is left to deal with a machine configuration suitable for "oranges" when it is really "apples" that are needed.

Once again it all boils down to how much the organization wants to own the Exadata environment. Not taking a hands-on approach to monitoring and fine tuning based on "experience" is not making the best use of the resources. But there appears to be a trend towards "leaving everything vanilla".

**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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author avatarit_user6336 (Principal Technical Consultant at Khwarizm Consulting)

Actually I am disagree with the last part of training. I had been delivering the training for Exadata and current for Workshop ED1 of X2-2 trainees had an extensive hands on of reconfiguring the Storage on both physical and flash disks. ASM and DB security isolation worked fine by the trainees. Data build loading throb DBFs worked an excellent way and some of the tardiness found it a simple task to do it without intrupting DW queries like their normal procedures they used to do.

author avatarit_user3309 (Presenter at a consultancy)

I am not questioning the content and delivery of your training (cto6336)!. I am only questioning the observed outcomes from the Exadata training that I have experience with. If after the training, the "DBA" comes out with a fear and apprehension of doing anything other than compression to solve all known problems to mankind, then I think the training has failed. There have been many White Papers from non other than Oracle, which says things are different between a DW/BI and an OLTP environment. Also if there are partitions then there will be row movement. I am not sure if Exadata magically, if at all, deals with these when there is compression. Also if there is compression then there is a throughput penalty when we are doing migration from 10gR2 into Exadata. What happens when we have predefined tables with compression and we are trying to use transportable tablespaces. Do the predefined compressed tables remain on the target or will the whole thing fail? When we do data migration using simple CTAS having compression at the target will slow down the process. When there are only 6 hours of downtime available after which we have to resume data loading it becomes a crucial issue not to have anything take up more time.

The "fear and inability to think differently" after coming back from an Exadata Training ==> because Oracle Support will not allow it, is not the expected outcome from the course and neither is it going to make for the best deployment of Exadata expensive as it is.

Also to not even have the willingness (or perhaps in our case the knowledge) of making use to the Terabytes of ssd drives to put some high read tables is not what I would have expected from the Exadata training.