Oracle Exadata Review

It makes it possible to deliver high performance Oracle OBIEE applications. It needs to be changed to be a true appliance so you don’t have to manage individual components inside it.

What is most valuable?

The performance.

How has it helped my organization?

It makes it possible to deliver high performance Oracle OBIEE applications to our customers.

What needs improvement?

They need to reduce the cost. It needs to be a true appliance so you don’t have to manage individual components inside it. It needs to provide a better maintenance process, which means no downtime, and true rolling upgrade.

For how long have I used the solution?

We used Oracle Exadata from 2010 to 2015.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

I have deployed OEM 11g and 12c in High availability mode and was not too complicated to implement. I have not tried HA with 13c. However, installation for all the releases have been fine.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We've experienced no issues with performance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had some challenges on scalability. That time the only choice we had was to upgrade to a full rack from a ½ rack. However the newer version of Oracle Exadata has flexibility to upgrade. It can add database servers or storage servers not require to add ¼ or ½ racks.

How are customer service and technical support?

6/10 - not because of people, but technology and architecture. A few times we had issue to completely fail a drive before we can replace it.

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

We had been using Oracle RAC on EMC disk array with Dell servers until the performance cannot really meet Oracle OBIEE application and some data warehouse applications’ performance requirement. We did look at Netezza and Datallegro, but they didn’t run the SQL that compatible with Oracle. By then Oracle Exadata seemed the only logical option for us. We also had a business reason to purchase Oracle Exadata at that time.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was pretty smooth and straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We had Oracle team to setup the device.

What other advice do I have?

The device performed very well, but the biggest challenge for us was the maintenance. Any firmware, code or OS upgrade took long time, which requires a downtime window. The rolling upgrade would even take longer so we never tried it. I heard that the new version of Exadata should be improved in this area, but we have moved off Oracle Exadata platform. The DR is another challenge since ideally you would want have to a Exadata at DR site, which in most cases is cost-inhibitive. I would say that make sure you can do rolling upgrade for minimizing the downtime, and find a cost effective DR solution especially if you use HCC (Hybrid Columnar Compression).

Which version of this solution are you currently using?
**Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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