Oracle SuperCluster Review

Highly integrated system but has limitations connecting with other vendors' products

What is our primary use case?

Right now, it's just being built. It's for our financials system, so it'll be running Oracle Financials.

How has it helped my organization?

Because it's classified as an engineered system, it's all integrated, it's all supported by one vendor. We don't have to go to multiple vendors for support, it's all integrated under Oracle. So it's one place to call, one place to support it, which of course, has advantages in terms of not having to engage multiple vendors.

What is most valuable?

I think it's a highly integrated, powerful system that will support thousands of users, so that's why it was selected.

What needs improvement?

One of the limitations we see is its integration with other things, like other brands of storage or networks, or other brands of databases. So if it had capabilities to integrate really well with DB2 or SQL Server or Hitachi SANs, those sort of things, that would be a real benefit. Right now, it's fully supported only under all Oracle infrastructure.

For how long have I used the solution?

Still implementing.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's not yet in production,so we're hoping it will be very stable. We have some Oracle Exadata which is very stable, so we're assuming it will be a stable solution.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Within the same infrastructure it's scalable but, as I said, its integration with other systems in our datacenter is where there's more of a challenge.

How is customer service and technical support?

I haven't personally used tech support but I know there has been a lot of technical support sessions with Oracle on the build-out. I believe that's gone really well.

Which solutions did we use previously?

The old system was getting old. We were on Solaris 10, not even Solaris 11, so it was just a matter of needing a replacement of the infrastructure.

When selecting a vendor, important criteria include their having a significant marketplace share. You don't want some minor player. You want somebody who can provide really good technical support 24/7, has excellent response time, and the ability to provide replacement hardware quickly, with four-hour response times. So you're usually limited to the big spenders, like Oracle and IBM and HPE. Those are the main considerations: the support, technical expertise, and the ability to actually deliver on what they're selling.

How was the initial setup?

I am not involved in the setup, but I think it's fairly specialized infrastructure because it's highly integrated, so it does require Oracle engineer expertise to do the build-out. It's not something you can put together yourself. It requires the vendor to be deeply involved in the setup and configuration and the install.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I'm not entirely sure who was on the short list. I think one of the critical requirements was that they be certified to support Oracle Databases, so that reduced the list a bit. And, obviously, Oracle being the makers of their own database system, was the prime candidate for that, in terms of the solution.

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it as a seven out of 10. The reason it doesn't get a higher mark is because of the challenges in integrating it with other infrastructure in our datacenter. If it's not Oracle, it's more of a challenge to integrate with it. That is unfortunate because we have a heterogeneous infrastructure environment where we have many brands and models of infrastructure. Ideally, we would want to utilize everything and not have the solution be isolated and not able to talk to anything else. So interoperability is a really big benefit for us. And the SuperCluster has some limitations in that regard.

In terms of advice to a colleague, again, the important aspect is the interoperability with other brands of hardware, like for storage and for network and for databases and so on. If you have a need to connect to a lot of stuff, you should perhaps look at other systems as well, not just Oracle SuperCluster, because it's very Oracle focused.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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