What is our primary use case?
Database Consolidation and Performance is best on this platform. It is tailor made to run the oracle database and hence the defaults on this device force you to choose oracle best practices. No more moaning by your storage admin that he wants to carve out the luns ,that he doesn't understand ASM stripe and Mirror Everything S.A.M.E and that he knows better what's good for the oracle database.Even the old x 2-2 can run version 18c of the database.
How has it helped my organization?
Ability to patch with no downtime and the ability to ensure all the prerequisites are satisfied without manual intervention saves time and effort and makes systems we deploy for our clients more secure. Licensing costs too are less for Oracle linux and for clients moving to the oracle cloud it is included in the price of the subscription. with the new Exadata cloud @customer offering there are even more ways to get the benefits of Exadata without lareg capital expenditure.
What is most valuable?
Ksplice, Prevalidated Oracle RPMS , the testing done with Oracle database and weblogic and the UEK kernel have made Oracle linux systems best for running large oracle databases and other packaged applications.Exadata's IORM and DBRM make it a great consolidation platform. its smartscan feature and flash cache are unparallelled in providing performance.
What needs improvement?
we do have a little trepidation with systemd as it does have a learning curve . Also changing to a binary logging format for us feels like retrograde motion , but sadly almost all linux varients have moved in this direction.
For how long have I used the solution?
Less than one year.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have encountered several predictive disk failures, but we never lost data because the machine detected the issue before the actual failure and alerted us and Oracle to dispatch a spare through ASR.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
No issues at all except when the code we were working with was not scalable (procedural PL/SQL and cursors). In fact, the RAC worked very well and we saw near-linear scale-up, and the license costs were dramatically less than a conventional solution.
How is customer service and technical support?
We have had great customer service. We had almost no issues with the machine as such except for some predictive hard disk failures and the machine never had a problem due to the redundancy, so there was zero downtime for any of the hard disk faults.
Majority of the cases we have had good support. We had a few small hiccups with ASR Auto Update as it twice lost configuration. However, we have since disabled that function and do the ASR updating manually after taking a backup. As this feature is not essential to the actual running of the machine, it never caused us any major issue.
Which solutions did we use previously?
The initial setup was pretty straightforward. We had undergone training so we knew what was required and hence there were no surprises. There was participation from the vendor team also.
How was the initial setup?
It was a vendor team who did the bare bones setup and then we did the actual deployment and migrations in-house. Our team is very seasoned. The vendor team was quite good and we had no issues with installation and initial configuration.
What about the implementation team?
As we have the capability and specialization to do the software implementation in house we worked collaboratively with the vendor team for the same. Vendor team was very knowledgeable.
What was our ROI?
We have realized a lot of tangible and intangible benefits from the machine. It would be difficult to put a dollar figure to it because the machine allows for things that simply cannot be done without it. So in that way, we can safely say that the machine paid for itself within the first 12 months.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
There are many new options available now, including IaaS and CoD. I would advise others to engage a third-party expert to ensure that they get the best deal. I did note that Oracle does tend to internally oversize things especially if they want to fill up a budget, and hence third-party oversight is essential.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
For us, we work with all vendors and every vendor has its good and bad qualities. We use all solutions and hence we know when to recommend the Exadata machine.
What other advice do I have?
I would always consider this solution when I want an integrated scalable best-of-breed solution for enterprise class Oracle database deployment. I have seen so much inter-vendor finger-pointing during SevOne outages to ever want to wander back into that uncharted wilderness.
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Oracle Diamond Partners. We also have alliances with Redhat .