The most valuable feature is definitely the performance. However, it's also a platform for both performance and consolidation. Once you start leveraging Exadata with Database In-Memory and Multitenant, you've got a really solid platform for database enterprise computing.
Improvements to My Organization
If you have server footprint reduction or consolidation as a requirement, then you can consolidate several databases and configurations onto one platform. Combine that with performance, it becomes a great avenue for cost reduction in terms of OpEx and CapEx. Exadata cannot be one-dimensional solution, performance, consolidation, and scalability must be part of the overall solution.
Room for Improvement
I think Oracle Enterprise Manager has come a long way with monitoring and managing Exadata, but getting the patching down would go a long way. I think the patching is still lacking quite a bit. If we can get the patching and upgrade in place, that would make a huge impact in overall supportability. I realize there is new OEM functionality recently introduced to support this, but it needs to be flushed out and tested.
It's been great. The stability has really, really improved a lot over the last couple of years.
It's been fantastic. With all the additional flash, with the faster CPUs, the faster disks, it's really come a long ways. The introduction of the X6 is also going to be an interesting avenue.
Customer Service and Technical Support
Tech support has been really good. That goes a long way because you have some comfort, stability in the fact that you've got somebody that you can lean on. You don't always have those skill sets. Since we're a services company, we do have those skill sets in that area, but most customers may not have that.
These guys are very well versed in the technology. They understand not only the storage software part of it, but the database as well as the hardware aspect of it -end to end. The most surprising aspect of Exadata is really the support.
It is quite difficult, but again since we're a services company, we're pretty well versed in it. We actually help customers do that end-to-end. Not only do we help bring Exadata in, we help do the installation and configuration and migration to the Exadata, as well as sustainability for future.
It takes a lot of planning depending on your downtime for conversion, depending where [platform] you're coming from. All those things play a big part in what tools you use and how you use them.
Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing
It is an expensive stack, so there's those things to keep in mind. The upside is that once you've bought into the technology, you have to embrace it , if that's the direction you want to go.
It is really good for what it's supposed to do. It's a great technology for Oracle-based solutions. There's pluses and minuses in everything. Any time you get an engineered system like that, you have to be geared for organizational [boundary] changes. Understand how the technology is supposed to work, how it's going to change the way you do your day-to-day business.