What is most valuable?
Workload offloading to the cell layer : Exadata is Oracle's engineered system which SW and HW are compatible and contains many layers (compute nodes – networking – storage or cells), so compute nodes receives request or transactions then offload their processing to the cell through InfiniBand switches and this storage or cells contains high speed flash memory and Exadata driver software that has many features that provide high performance.
High availability of each component and everything is redundant: as I mentioned before Exadata conations many layers each one of them is redundant for example at least there are two clustered compute nodes contains databases homes, instances, binaries...etc. these clustered nodes are active/active, so if one of the go down the work will continue so this is High availability and redundancy for compute nodes layer, this similar to InfiniBand Switches and storage failure groups.
Smart scan feature and the flash memory: it is part of Exadata driver software which is preinstalled on cells storage which provides the compute node with the required selected data or rows only not the whole tables as normal ASM, so filtering is done at the level cell by using the flash memory.
How has it helped my organization?
- Exadata accelerates the performance to whole applications in the environment at least by 2-3x times than the old hardware.
- One consolidated environment for all Oracle databases.
What needs improvement?
- The integration between Exadata and Enterprise Cloud Manager should be included out of the box by default and should be agent-less, just discovery only; or, add an embedded and dedicated monitoring and management UBI tool for all HW and SW of Exadata.
- Enhance the monitoring and alerts part related to Exadata with EM.
- All firmware, OS, cells SW, etc. (quarterly patching for Exadata) upgrade and patching should be easily done through EM.
- Physical KVM is required, as in the old version; Cisco management switch is the only single point of failure.
For how long have I used the solution?
I have used it for three years.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
Some steps failed during the deployment by using one command utility to do all deployment steps by one command; so, we divided the deployment steps, then solved each issue separately until we successfully finished the development.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We have not encountered any stability issues; it is a stable box.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Until now, we did not scale.
How are customer service and technical support?
Customer service is 7/10. Technical Support
Technical support is 6/10.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
We previously used normal HW, then moved to VMware, then moved to Exadata to get good performance and consolidated platform for DBs.
How was the initial setup?
The initial setup is clear but you have to be careful while filling out the OEDA (Oracle Exadata Deployment Assistant) tool as it will generate an XML file that contains all of the required configurations for everything, like networks, storage, clusters, etc.. This file will be used during the initial setup.
What about the implementation team?
We implemented it through the vendor; I rate their level of expertise about 7/10.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
At first glance, it is expensive because it contains many HW and SW components and provides high availability, as you have to buy licenses for DB, RAC, packs, and Exadata drivers SW per disk. But, if you are going to use it in a consolidated way for all Oracle databases, I think the price will be reasonable, as you have many DBs. There are many sizes for Exadata, so you have to choose the suitable one for your organization according to proper sizing. For licensing, the minimum license number is 8 cores, which are available for Exadata X5-2 and X6-2.
Which other solutions did I evaluate?
Before choosing this product, we also evaluated HPE HW including flash memory and SSD disks, but it was more expensive at that time.
What other advice do I have?
The team should be familiar with RAC; some HW and network knowledge. The team should understand the new Exadata SW related to the cell layer.
Consider the COD feature to pay as you go. Integrating Exadata with Oracle Cloud Enterprise Manager gives you the power of monitoring and managing the box. You can also enable the notification mailer through EM or cell.
Which version of this solution are you currently using?