Oracle Exadata Review

Exadata is fast, but things are different. There was a significant learning curve involved in getting it to run our heavy-duty reports.


Valuable Features:

It's a fast solution, though it does take some work to ensure that queries are offloading using bloom filters, etc.

Improvements to My Organization:

It replaced a legacy database (SAND) and was part of a major overhaul. It didn't change the way the company worked per se, but it did force the creation of an Exadata compatible reporting framework, and it was that framework which enabled a leaner rewrite of the existing reports and provided a basis for new ones.

Room for Improvement:

As soon as your joins get complicated, things start to go wrong. You lose much of the offloading and start spilling into temp space. We were reporting on billions of rows and it was a constant problem so a custom reporting framework had to be created. Parallel queries need to be carefully managed and the DBAs need to be right on top of the resource manager, as if you aren't managed properly as a user, you can end up waiting behind others. 

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

We've had no issues with stability.

Scalability Issues:

We've had no issues with scalability.

ROI:

There was quite a learning curve despite knowing that "things are different" with Exadata.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

I do know it's eye-wateringly expensive and that we struggled to get it to do what we wanted it to do.

Other Advice:

I'd be interested to see how the run times stack up against Hadoop or similar - but once you've spent the money, there's no going back!.

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