Oracle Exalogic Review

High-speed network and strong storage features allow our clients to concentrate on app development

How has it helped my organization?

This product offers a strong infrastructure with compute, storage, and network in a private cloud environment, enabling the organization to concentrate on business application development and improvement.

What is most valuable?

  • High-speed network
  • Strong storage features (ZFS)
  • High Availability out of the box
  • Integrated with a large number of products

What needs improvement?

With the shift to public cloud, and with Oracle releasing Oracle Public Cloud Machine and Oracle Private Cloud Appliance, the Exalogic X6-2 version was still released, but, clearer goals in the product roadmap are necessary to be able to affirm the improvements.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Initially, yes, there were stability issues. A number of redesigns were needed to stabilize the Hypervisor, control the stack layer, as well as the software defined network drivers (Mellanox bugs causing compute nodes to reboot). The latter was addressed by a heavy work initiative, but required a set of patching, impacting customers' system stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Just cost. To expand the hardware's capability requires a massive investment.

How are customer service and technical support?

Depends on the level paid for. The Platinum Services offered by Oracle's Advanced Customer Services offers a multi-level mechanism of automatic service request creation and advanced monitoring. When all of its support features are integrated with customer's incident and change-management systems, it is a very effective model, with a proactive hardware replacement component. In cases of hardware fault, there is automatic shipment of parts without much effort to get it quickly fixed.

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

VMware. We switched because of the capabilities offered with Exalogic for integration with other engineered systems, which increases the throughput capability and enables processing of bigger and heavier workloads.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward, but post-setup requires a very detailed and accurate design/architecture to avoid re-work in the storage and network layers.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing and licensing are two very delicate aspects when talking about Oracle, especially engineered systems. The prices are quite high compared with other similar products, so the CapEx analysis and investment return have to be very well studied.

What other advice do I have?

I rate this product eight out of 10. After years of stabilization (a lot of known bugs and issues with compute nodes rebooting due to InfiniBand HCAs and driver bugs, etc.) the product has achieved stability as a private cloud appliance.

Make sure you align the application and integration architecture with the sizing and the product's distribution. As its virtual datacenter is oriented to the network structure, once the VMs are created with an initial network configuration, it is not possible to change, despite destroying and recreating the VMs. This is acceptable in some cases, as long as the remaining automation process can reset the VMs.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner.

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