Oracle Exadata Review

It aptly addresses the problems of database consolidation. No more arguments about running mixed workloads together.

Valuable Features

The following features of Exadata are the most valuable to me:

  • Cell offloading
  • Smart Scan
  • Flash Cache
  • Infiniband Fabric
  • IO Resource Manager
  • Hybrid Columnar Compression
  • Storage Indexes

Improvements to My Organization

The Exadata database machine is a perfect solution to cater to the needs of large data warehouses. It aptly addresses the problems of database consolidation and marks an end to the argument of running mixed workloads together. With Exadata, we were not only able to consolidate our large data warehouses in a single machine, but we also stabilized the peak workloads. The throughput issues simply vanished with the features like Flash Cache and Infiniband Network Fabric.

On the operational fronts, Exadata streamlines the tasks and responsibilities in a distinctive manner across the levels of an enterprise IT structure. Solution architects act as machine administrators and make sure that the machine is being used in optimal way. At the same time, database administrators, being the familiar heads, don't find much change in roles. Overall, Exadata justifies the total cost of ownership (TCO) by balancing the capital and operational expenses - thereby achieving a higher ROI.

Room for Improvement

Starting from Exadata X5, virtualization is supported. The feature, though, for some reason, is not much talked about. If Oracle starts promoting OVM and VMWare on Exadata through white papers and case studies, I'm sure it will enable new IT setups in practice. For instance, virtualization support can enable ETL nodes to be resident with Exadata.

Use of Solution

I have been using this solution since 2012 (four years).

Deployment Issues

I did not encounter any issues with deployment.

Stability Issues

I did not encounter any stability issues.

Scalability Issues

I did not encounter any scalability issues either.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Customer Service:

I rate customer service 8/10.

Technical Support:

I rate it 8/10. My experience with Oracle Support has been moderate. Many times, I find support engineers working on an SR seem to be in a hurry to change the status to 'customer working'. In the past, I've asked them to understand the issue over a call (rather than adding updates) and then suggest the solution.

Implementation Team

A vendor team with good expertise implemented the solution.

Other Advice

Find the appropriate workload for the machine. Looking at the data sheet, Exadata is a beast meant to solve bigger problems. You will not be able to gauge its benefits with nuggets of data.

**Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: I used to work for the vendor
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