Oracle Exadata Review

We're able to add more users, and queries get executed very quickly for data warehousing compared to our previous solution.


What is most valuable?

  • Smart Flash Cache
  • Storage Index
  • Smart Scan
  • Hybrid Columnar Compression
  • Oracle ASM
  • Security with encryption
  • Oracle platinum support

How has it helped my organization?

We were using a normal RAC on a Linux server for online applications and Oracle on the same platform for data warehousing. After moving to Oracle Exadata, we were able to add more users, and queries get executed very quickly for data warehousing, around one quarter to half the time when compared to our previous solution under normal conditions.

What needs improvement?

  • Shared RAM for multiple instances
  • Hardware update in terms of storage
  • Ability to migrate a database to Exadata from a normal environment

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for five years, including in my previous company.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

During migration, we approached transportable tablespace and Oracle database along with GoldenGate.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's been able to scale for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

10/10 because we have Oracle Platinum Support.

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

Previously, we used SQL tuning, server tuning along with network tuning with huge storage and higher CPUs. It was a management decision, along with our recommendations, to move to Exadata.

How was the initial setup?

It was a complex setup because we were implementing the online application as well as data warehousing on the same machine. Lots of planning took place before moving to Exadata, and we did regression testing for each application on an Oracle provided Exadata machine. After verification from our application team and management, we verified our test results.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house with help from Oracle.

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

It's too costly.

What other advice do I have?

I have seen, and it's my personal experience, that if your application runs on half a rack don't go for a full rack. After all, you can upgrade from half a rack to a full rack if needed, and there is no point to move directly onto a full rack.

Check with Oracle and do testing on the lower version rack first. Although sales people from Oracle will convince you to go for a higher version, which is not needed unless your design, architecture, and applications needed .

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

author avatarit_user403353 (Senior DBA and Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees)
Consultant

My thoughts related to:

ROOM FOR IMPROVEMENT -
The notion of a shared RAM for multiple instances is not possible for non-RAC databases.However this is already being supported indirectly in RAC databases. In the case of RAC databases multiple instances are spread across multiple nodes and the cache fusion technology stitches the RAM of the individual instances to some extent. This is entirely independent of Exadata. However in Exadata the connectivity between the various nodes is over InfiniBand and is a huge plus.

There are quite a few techniques to migrate data from one database to another database - data pump, transportable tablespaces, database link. The same can be used for migrating to an Exadata environment.

VALUABLE FEATURES -
The Oracle platinum support is already factored into the annual support contract and I believe is not an explicit valuable feature. This is true for any Engineered systems from Oracle.

author avatarit_user3309 (Presenter at a consultancy)
Consultant

With regards to "Ability to migrate a database to Exadata from a normal environment" in Room for Improvement

What did you try? I found a simple CTAS worked just fine. The Transportable TS and GoldenGate were just too much trouble setting up. Going from AIX to Linux also was an issue with the Endian conversion.

As for shared RAM, what are you trying to achieve? Oracle 12 is likely what you are looking for.