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Oracle Exadata OverviewUNIXBusinessApplication

Oracle Exadata is the #2 ranked solution in our list of top Data Warehouse tools. It is most often compared to Teradata: Oracle Exadata vs Teradata

What is Oracle Exadata?

Oracle Exadata Database Machine is a modern framework, engineered to run databases and to scale out database servers.

The main benefit of Exadata is speed. It hosts operating systems, CPU memory, and hard drives. It runs all types of databases, including online transaction systems, processors and data warehouses, while solving poor performances of old database architecture.

The Oracle Exadata Database Machine features a simple and fast database storage system that protects and backs up your critical data. It accelerates data warehouse performance for faster access to business information. It is ideal for companies looking to build up their infrastructure from scratch.

For more information on Oracle Exadata Database Machine, visit Oracle.com

Oracle Exadata Buyer's Guide

Download the Oracle Exadata Buyer's Guide including reviews and more. Updated: October 2021

Oracle Exadata Customers

PayPal, EBS, Organic Food Retailer, Garmin, University of Minnesota, Major Semiconductor Company, Deutsche Bank, Starwood, Ziraat Bank, SK Telecom, and P&G.

Oracle Exadata Video

Archived Oracle Exadata Reviews (more than two years old)

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ITCS user
President of the Board at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Real User
Top 5
Has good storage optimization, hardware actualization and internal communication network

Pros and Cons

  • "The most valuable feature is that you have the same familiar environment of an Oracle database but with the additional performance you get from this architecture."
  • "It's too expensive per terabyte. It's complex."

What is our primary use case?

We are service providers and provide this solution to our customers. We deploy the on-prem deployment model.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is that you have the same familiar environment of an Oracle database but with the additional performance you get from this architecture.

What needs improvement?

There is no room for improvement because everything that they could solve, they have. It has good storage optimization, hardware actualization, and internal communication network. They made improvements in whatever they could. 

The problem with the Oracle Exadata is that it is a dead-end of technology. The supplier's market is dying, so they have no future. For analytical purposes, companies are now using analytical databases. So they're using databases like MPP, multi-parallel processing databases, things like Greenplum, and Teradata. Exadata has no future. It is going into history. Five years ago, it was top technology. Now, they don't have a future.

It's too expensive per terabyte. It's complex and hard to expand.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this solution for seven to eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is really tough because it's scalable as much as an appliance is scalable. If you want to scale it, you need to add an appliance itself. You can buy one-eighth of a rack, one-quarter, one-half of rack. If you still want to extend capacity, you need to buy another module that is another eighth or quarter or half and you need to install it into a rack. It's quite complex. This is one of the reasons why appliances are not that popular anymore because modern databases are on hardware and you just put on another server, another node. It's quite expensive, compared to the commodity hardware.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is quite complex because it's an appliance. It's a big box with all the processing power and storage that you need to order and get installed. It's pretty complex.

You need to do the installation which is done by Oracle. It's not just software, it's an appliance. When customers want to buy it, I need to order it. They want it a lot faster and it's actually quite expensive. If Oracle or Oracle partners have this appliance in stock it can be quick but if it's ordered through a manufacturer it can be lengthy. 

What other advice do I have?

I would rate it an eight out of ten.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Jesus Carroll
Data Engineer at Prodxia
Real User
Top 20
It provides efficient runtime processing, but I would love a diminished logging service

What is our primary use case?

Omnichannel multiprocessing.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides efficient runtime processing.

What is most valuable?

Hybrid columnar compression.

What needs improvement?

Try to diminish the logging service.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.

What is our primary use case?

Omnichannel multiprocessing.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides efficient runtime processing.

What is most valuable?

Hybrid columnar compression.

What needs improvement?

Try to diminish the logging service.

For how long have I used the solution?

Less than one year.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Learn what your peers think about Oracle Exadata. Get advice and tips from experienced pros sharing their opinions. Updated: October 2021.
542,267 professionals have used our research since 2012.
AM
GIO IT Infra Build Er. DBA at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The reports are always readily available.

Pros and Cons

  • "The technical support team are real professionals. I admire their technical skills and supports. Their supports are really admirable."
  • "We had issues with system restoration."

What is our primary use case?

My primary use case is for EIMS (Enterprise Information Management Systems). We run this in the night time, and every day in the morning. Then the reports are readily available, so there is zero failure.

How has it helped my organization?

This improves the way our organization functions because it is on X86 machines. The X86 machines and also because the internal fiber channels are internally integrated, but while you want to have it in the network because integrating with the network, that is the external network(the tape drives and all). Those things are really cumbersome.

What is most valuable?

The reports are always readily available. The backup solution that is the data file system is available for a 30 day insert. There is really no other software solution that gives us the same quality backup and restoration like this.

What needs improvement?

We have had issues with system restoration. If there is a system fail, the internal drives are useless. We need Exadata to integrate with that one, and to restore it back. But there should be something in place in case of system failure. One of the systems should have the facilities to troubleshoot from the other nodes to this note remotely. Or, even if not remotely, just to troubleshoot at least among the thrusters. 

There is no system collectively. Let us say this system failed; do we have any disks? Total disks, let's just say 100 disks. Five disks are failed. 100 disk measuring is not data top. If mirroring is that, like we can HRCMR. Let's say IBM CRM are CTC shadow image, REMC like that, the storage level they are giving the facilities inserted data mirroring, so immediately we can bring the DR. But internally, the Exadata doesn't have such features. Maybe they can think through that mirroring of collective system. Insert automatic measuring. If we have a collective recovery, let's say system-to-system, that DR solution, though they are giving a data guard, we have to set it up into the second system and the Data guard is a software solution. There is a really high skill required for a DBA to bring up the database. So a non-skilled person, like the storage engineer, can bring up for shadow images. HRCMI, HRCMR, like that. But in the case of Oracle, you must be really specialized to to bring up the data guard.

In addition, they should insert automatic measuring. AM is, let's say, one table fail. Okay, you can recover it. Or one disk failed, then they can troubleshoot it. But automatic recovery, fine, but if we have a collective recovery, let's say system-to-system, that DR solution, though they are giving a data guard. We have to set it up into the second system and the Data guard is a software solution. There is a really high skill required for a DBA to bring up the database. For a non-skilled person, like the storage engineer can bring up for shadow images. HRCMI, HRCMR, like that. But in case of Oracle, you need to be really specialized to  to bring up the data guard.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is really super-stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scale is somewhat limited. The existing axis can only have four blades.  So, there are limitations. The storage is around 200TB to 400TB, which is not infinite storage.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support team are real professionals. I admire their technical skills and supports. Their supports are really admirable.

How was the initial setup?

We had very complex situation, actually, with our Exadata migrations. Due to the shortage of our manpower, one of our engineers and one and also Oracle did migrations. During the migration phase, they have a lot of discussion and talks and deviation. But, they had someone help us migrate excellently. Because we have a data that's set up and also because it is not one-to-one relationships. End-to-end relationships, we had it over there. Database level, not table level. Database level, we have physical data within some other machine. The secondary data will be here. The data guard will be inside the Exadata, and the Exadata itself have the data guards and it's really nurtured relationships further, but some start up guys also have come back to the preparatory work center. 

All in all, in Oracle, you need a skill set for implementation. I don't say it is difficult, but you need a skill set for it.

What was our ROI?

When considering a product, I make sure that I have:

  • Manpower resource available.
  • The number of DBAs available in the market

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

The price is very high. But, it is worth it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Practice Director at Forsys Inc
Real User
Unified,Integrated,scalable appliance with all components supported by one vendor ,Oracle

What is our primary use case?

Extreme Bare metal Performance for the business to scale up as per the heterogeneous database loads

How has it helped my organization?

Our business cycle has benefited greatly with Exadata as our as operational efficiency has improved by 200%.

Also, our business analytics platform performance has improved by 300%.

What is most valuable?

  • Exadata Smart Flash Cache - caches database objects with flash memory operations
  • Integrated appliance with all components supported by one vendor, Oracle

What needs improvement?

  • It needs built-in big data features.
  • I'd like to see smart auto-healing features with machine-learning libraries.
  • Less power consumption would be nice.
  • It needs integrated cloud software to enable cloud connectivity.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no issues scaling it for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

oracle customer service is the best in the industry.

Technical Support:

Technical support for Exadata is the best in the industry.

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

Traditional Oracle RAC to Oracle Exadata RAC due to have scalable and robust database consolidated platform for upcoming release 12.2, which has ability to consolidate multi character set with in single container and heterogeneous data guard support.

How was the initial setup?

It was a bit complex to fit in with our business requirements initially, but post implementation it was great. and will work as most stable and scalable database ever run on Linux with various complex work loads.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it in-house and advisor for major global exadata deployments

What was our ROI?

300%

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

Oracle need to reduce the licensing cost to get more market penetration and offer as Open Financing Option.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes with SAP HANA and other relevant platform for Analytics

What other advice do I have?

I would truly recommend this to all SMEs and Big Enterprises for consolidating databases with a unified next-generation platform.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Currently pursuing specialized Oracle Exadata Partnership and I am a technical reviewer of Oracle Exadata Expert's Handbook Paperback.
it_user521901
Head Of Section Of DB Ms Support And Deployment at Sportmaster
Consultant
Provides scalability and high performance; our business solutions run more quickly

What is most valuable?

Scalability and high performance, real high performance.

How has it helped my organization?

The most basic business solutions run more quickly.

What needs improvement?

I don't know. We've only just started using it. It's a new solution for us.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We can extend the data without any trouble, just put something new in and go on. That's great. There's no problem of that kind with this solution, for us.

How are customer service and technical support?

Good quality support.

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

We just switched from another older version of Exadata to the newest one.

How was the initial setup?

It's complex. We integrated an existing solution to Exadata.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Our short list was HP and IBM. We went with Oracle because we needed a unified solution like Exadata. No one else could provide a solution with this performance, for us.

What other advice do I have?

When looking at vendors to work with we look for good, fast implementation of the solution, reliable support, and lower cost.

It's a good solution for a data warehhouse, analytics, etc. It's just a good, reliable solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Kamal K.
Exadata Certified and Oracle Certified DBA Consultant at a tech vendor with 1-10 employees
Consultant
It provides fast communication between the storage and database.

What is our primary use case?

performance

What is most valuable?

This is an engineered system by Oracle. It provides very fast communication between the storage and database. A lot of data processing is done at the storage level.

How has it helped my organization?

This makes the queries and processing much faster than before; reports can run within minutes rather than hours.

What needs improvement?

Cost is very high. It needs to be made affordable to grab more customer base. A lot of the technical enhancements are being made by Oracle regularly. Now, it is available on the cloud also.

If you deploy a normal server setup with SAN or direct disks, the cost is very low. Exadata machine is supplied by Oracle and hardware also maintained by Oracle. They charge as per their standards and pricing. Its quite costly in that regard.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for five years, since about the time it was launched.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues. In fact, scalability is one of its prime features, it is very flexible.

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support is, as usual, good from Oracle.

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

Earlier, we used SAN and the traditional servers. That was also good and time-tested for decades. This is all together a new concept.

How was the initial setup?

It was a normal Oracle database setup.

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

The price and license costs are high as compared to the normal database setup. It depends on the client's requirements and size of the databases. Clients/ buyers have to take the call.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other options were available in this category at that time or even now.

What other advice do I have?

You should evaluate your requirements and budget.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521898
Head of Oracle DBA at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Good storage performance, our business applications run very fast

What is most valuable?

Exadata storage is very fast and it gives really good performance. Sometimes people buy a good server with a lot of CPU, pay a lot of money, but they have very poor storage performance and then they don't get enough performance from their system.

Exadata really gives good storage performance and our business applications run very fast.

What needs improvement?

It's perfect. I don't know what to improve in Exadata.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable. In the last five years there was was just one occasion of downtime because one cell went down and because we had low free disk space. It was a little problem but it was solved.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I don't think it's so scalable because Exadata is a box. You can't do anything with this. It's a box, use it, that's all.

How is customer service and technical support?

Support is much better for Exadata than for other products. Very fast response and sometimes much faster than for other systems. 

Sometimes if we have a bug on another database, we duplicate the database on Exadata, repeat the bug and they make a patch much faster.

How was the initial setup?

We didn't set it up, Oracle set up Exadata. It's not permitted to set up Exadata by yourself. They bring it to you. It's ready for use.

What other advice do I have?

I totally recommend buying Exadata. It's very good product. I haven't ever seen anything better than Exadata for Oracle Database.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521760
Enterprise Architect at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Performance means we can switch datacenters within a reasonable time, and be fully live

What is most valuable?

Performance.

Excavation is purely for the storage of the data warehouses. It does what it needs to do. It performs. We have an active-passive DR. We tested it, it works. We can switch datacenters within reasonable time and go completely live in another data center on the technology we have.

How has it helped my organization?

We bought the whole stack, so we have extra discs. We have one month to show that an application doesn't work. We found out that installing and running the software on Oracle, was better than on the other platforms we used before.

What needs improvement?

Off the top of my head I can't think of anything.

For how long have I used the solution?

A year and a half to two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No downtime.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

In my eyes, it is going to meet the company's needs moving forward.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have some very good internal guys who handle most of the issues. Actually, we haven't had many issues at all.

What other advice do I have?

No vendor is reliable. We say there's a difference between proven in PowerPoint and proven in practice. We always find out in practice if it really works.

Personally, what I like to see is somebody who understands the business. What I see is that a lot of vendors are mainly focused on technology and not on the business functions you want to build. I believe that technology can be bought while the intellectual property is in the business services that you deliver to an organization. That's what I look for.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521679
Sr. Director Technical Services at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Database in a box; we can scale heavy workloads and consolidate lighter ones

What is most valuable?

The fact that it's an engineered system. It's a database in a box, storage, the networking, the compute engines. All of it's in one nice neat package. My DBAs like administering it. My application owners like its reliability on the back end.

How has it helped my organization?

Our ability to scale heavy workloads and our ability to consolidate lighter workloads and reduce our sprawl through the data sector.

What needs improvement?

Price. Extremely expensive. Maintenance is about industry average. They've got a pretty good upgrade roadmap. But it's been an expensive ride for us, but also a necessary one.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Very stable. No major issues. No downtime that was a result of bugs or some kind of defect in the platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has scaled well.

How is customer service and technical support?

As a member of IT management with business units breathing down our neck, when there is an issue we always feel the support can be faster but I don't get a lot of complaints. It's good support. Like everything, it could be faster. We'd want to be faster.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward for us because we used an integrator partner to put it all in for us, and then our administrators stepped in and took over.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're constantly looking at other products. We went with Exadata because we needed some muscle on the back end for an ERP implementation. We've been through Exadata first-generation, and right now we're putting in X6s. We've had X2s, X3s, X4s, and we're actually installing X6s right now as we lifecycle through.

What other advice do I have?

It's a great investment for the large enterprise. I think with Exadata in the cloud, that's coming, that we're starting to look at - and they're obviously trying to push here at the conference - I think it'll open itself up to a lot of other customers that probably wouldn't have gone with such an expensive on-premise solution. We're excited about that, too. 

I would definitely recommend it to any colleagues.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521562
Lead Administrator
Vendor
We have been able to consolidate databases in one box, with intelligent storage

What is most valuable?

It enables us to consolidate, that's one thing. We have consolidated five databases into one box, so that definitely a cost-savings there. We migrated from ODS to X5-2, so that is one thing.

The second thing of course are the extra features like the storage indexes. In short, the main feature that we take advantage of is the intelligence within the  storage which makes it no longer a "dumb storage" server. That is another main thing.

We did some PoC tests with our own data, and we were really getting 10x using Hybrid Columnar Compression, unique to Exadata, so some cost savings there.

Those are the things. Performance has gotten better, less footprint, and consolidation.

For how long have I used the solution?

Including the migration, it's around a little more than a year now.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It has been pretty stable. We haven't seen many issues. Yes, we have hit some bugs, but otherwise it's pretty stable. It's a lot of mature boxes now. It's, again, an X5-2; it's mature enough.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have a half rack now. If we at all feel like we need more compute, we can definitely add on more racks. So scalability, definitely a yes.

How are customer service and technical support?

It is excellent. In our organization, my team did the first migration, so it was all new to everyone. From the installation team to internal support teams, and my team which is the application DBAs, which really worked on the migration. Checking stuff and letting us know if there were any changes to be made; for all of those, even with the migration, we got excellent support.

That was part of the agreement between the parties, that they would help us with the first migration.

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

We were using ODS.

What other advice do I have?

Personally, my requirements when looking for in a vendor: Definitely one is they have to be leading in that technology in the industry. The vendor should also make me want to use the latest proven technologies, we cannot take chances with that. Whichever is the case, whatever we are using a product for, that particular product has to be the industry best. That is one thing.

Another thing is definitely that it needs to be a known partner like Oracle. They know the people we know, so that gives comfort that, middle of the night, if you have an issue, you can call this person. In short, proven support.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user522228
Oracle DBA at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
it's just given me a better customer experience, one vendor to go to for support, one vendor to get patches.

Pros and Cons

  • "They just have a lot of products, and they work well together."
  • "It would be nice to have a single click button to, say, migrate my VMware VM into the Oracle VM, or vice-versa."

What is most valuable?

They just have a lot of products, and they work well together.

I think it's free. That's one more thing.

I think it's better than the VMware from that perspective. I think it has improved quite a bit in the last 12 months. They're still lagging behind, but I like the new features they're introducing. I think that's why I'm one of the applicants for the product.

How has it helped my organization?

My organization is supposed to integrate Oracle products with our line of products too, so it doesn't really improve, but I think it's a synergy between the two companies, to be able to bring in the products from two companies and make it a better solution. I think there's a lot of synergy between the two for that.

What needs improvement?

Yes. Backup recovery, snapshot technology integrated with the hardware array, DR solutions, more of migrating VMs between different ones.

It would be nice to have a single click button to, say, migrate my VMware VM into the Oracle VM, or vice-versa. That is not available right now, and even the procedures there is really complicated, time-consuming.

Those are a lot of things we talk about with the Oracle VM engineers. They said they're short of resources, they can only prioritize certain things. I'm still hoping that they'll come out soon.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is. Especially the new version, 3.4.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I have not been playing with the scalability, but I know they can scale pretty high. Especially I know they use it within their own MiniCluster product, and a lot of their appliances. I have no doubt it can scale.

How are customer service and technical support?

Yes, I have actually. Kind of hit and miss.

It depends, I guess, on the support engineer really. I think I got more misses than hits.

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

No. It's just my focus of work. I'm supposed to work on Oracle products and their VM solutions, Oracle VM.

I do use the VirtualBox, but that's not enterprise grade, I don't think. Customers in an enterprise environment would not deploy VirtualBox for productions, but they would go with the normal VM for that.

How was the initial setup?

Yes, straightforward.

The documentation is clear. The time to implement is really short. You put the CD in there, and you just kind of follow the prompts and you're done pretty much. I like that aspect of it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

If I were a customer and I had to choose, honestly there's only two other solutions out there, either VMware or Oracle VM. I think Hyper-V is too narrow-focused, so it would be out of my choices.

Again, if I wanted to choose between the two, if I'm not already a VMware customer, I would definitely go Oracle VM, especially when I run Oracle products already. Oracle databases, or middleware stuff.

I think it's just given me a better customer experience, one vendor to go to for support, one vendor to get patches. I believe that they can offer better integrations in the future. At least that's what I'm hoping for.

What other advice do I have?

They have to look at their existing infrastructure, what they have, and what makes sense.

If they already have a big presence of VMware, it won't make sense to start with Oracle VM products. If they are just starting out, and want to test the waters and see what features, I would definitely recommend Oracle VM first. It does offer a lot of features that VMware does, with the right parts.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user517464
User at a consultancy with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Reduces cycle time for batch processing.

What is most valuable?

Performance and storage is good.

How has it helped my organization?

Reduces cycle time for batch processing.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better application performance.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this for six months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were no real deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues so far.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Customer service is excellent. Technical Support: Technical service is excellent.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I

What is most valuable?

Performance and storage is good.

How has it helped my organization?

Reduces cycle time for batch processing.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see better application performance.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this for six months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were no real deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no stability issues so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues so far.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is excellent.

Technical Support:

Technical service is excellent.

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

We did not use a solution previous to this one.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward, but porting applications to Exadata was complex.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented through Oracle.

What was our ROI?

Our ROI was $500K savings.

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

These are on the high side.

What other advice do I have?

We were really impressed with the performance of the applications.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521775
Dev Lead PeopleSoft FIN at a religious institution with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
I like the storage cell because of the amount of RAM and memory. It doesn't transfer as much data out as other systems do.

What is most valuable?

I like its reliability. I like the storage cell because of the amount of RAM and memory. It has the ability to do a lot of things, so that it doesn't transfer as much data out as other systems do.

How has it helped my organization?

Once we went to Exadata, we started doing statistics on a weekly basis. Between the two of them, things have stabilized quite a bit; didn't need as much tuning, and so it required less DBA time to do that. DBAs were freed up to do other work.

What needs improvement?

We have a 2X. Because I don't know what the 6X does, I don't know what additional features I’d like to see them include in future releases.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's very stable and very reliable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I work with the PeopleSoft systems on the databases and it's doing just fine. I don't have to scale out.

How are customer service and technical support?

I don't believe we’ve had to use technical support. We had a little bit of help at the beginning to get everything installed; after that, it just ran.

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

Someone in the upper management decided to spend some money, and we had the machines; he said use them.

How was the initial setup?

I was allowed to help with some of the initial setup. Most of it was handled by the DBA core team; what I did was give some ideas on how we ought to do some things.

What other advice do I have?

What size of database are you working with? What kind of reliability and stability do you need? Is the cost worth what they would get out of the stability.

I like the Oracle database. I find Oracle as a whole has a very stable database. As far as the Exadata is concerned, as I’ve mentioned, I didn't have a choice in the matter. Nonetheless, if given my druthers, I would stick with it because it is reliable, even though it is kind of expensive.

My rating reflects its reliability. If I was rating it just on cost, I would rate it much lower.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user515163
Sr. Programmer at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Smart scan and smart indices are the most valuable features. I would like to see improvement in retail store response times.

What is most valuable?

Smart scan and smart indices are the most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

It improved the query performance.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see improvement in retail store response times.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were deployment issues, but the dev team fixed them.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: I would give customer service a rating of 7/10. Technical Support: I…

What is most valuable?

Smart scan and smart indices are the most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

It improved the query performance.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see improvement in retail store response times.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were deployment issues, but the dev team fixed them.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no issues with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I would give customer service a rating of 7/10.

Technical Support:

I would give technical support a rating of 7/10.

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

We did not use a previous solution.

How was the initial setup?

The installation was straightforward with Oracle support.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented with Oracle.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user517551
IT Specialist with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
The solution offloads the storage. This gives us better performance without impacting the CPU.

What is most valuable?

The solution offloads the storage. This gives us great performance without impacting the CPU.

How has it helped my organization?

We have improved the average response time between 36% and 85%, depending on the database after migrating to Exadata.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this for 18 months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were no deployment issues. However, the process of configuring with OEDA requires a lot of information beforehand.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We only had a few stability issues with unexpected reboots.

How is customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service is very good.

Technical Support:

Technical support is very good.

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

Exadata has great value. The storage CPUs do not count on the Oracle Database licenses.

If you are acquiring a larger configuration, I would advise you to consider getting two smaller ones, so you can:

  • Get more memory
  • Get additional, separate environments if required by your scenario. (You cannot virtualize OS on Exadata.)

Maybe you should not license every Oracle product if you do not need them on every database.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user701433
Senior Oracle RAC / Exadata Administrator at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
Provides terrific performance and huge space savings in compressed backups.

What is most valuable?

Smart Scan, HCC Compression, Storage Indexes, Flash Cache, Flash Log and the two server types, i.e., High Performance and High Capacity are the most valuable features.

How has it helped my organization?

It provides terrific performance, huge space savings in compressed backups and lesser backup duration with parallelism.

What needs improvement?

Gathering various logs during the performance issues needs to improve.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Initially, we did experience stability issue but thereafter, it was well-stabilized.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

An excellent support is provided by Oracle, it is based on the support model paid for.

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

Previously, we were using the standard UNIX clustering servers. Performance and scalability are the reasons as to why we switched over to this solution.

How was the initial setup?

The vendor does the setup.

What other advice do I have?

This is a really good solution. Initially, query issues are expected but once stabilized, an amazing performance is expected.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user515226
DBA Manager at a comms service provider with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It helps analyze network performance.​ I would like to see improvement in terms of upgrades.

What is most valuable?

Stability and performance.

How has it helped my organization?

Provides data analytics and helps with warehouse needs. It helps analyze network performance.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see improvement in terms of upgrades.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were deployment issues with the upgrade process. There was conflicting documentation and varying responses from Oracle support.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were stability issues during upgrades.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: I would give customer support a rating of 5/10. The FEs are usually good…

What is most valuable?

Stability and performance.

How has it helped my organization?

Provides data analytics and helps with warehouse needs. It helps analyze network performance.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see improvement in terms of upgrades.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

There were deployment issues with the upgrade process. There was conflicting documentation and varying responses from Oracle support.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There were stability issues during upgrades.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

I would give customer support a rating of 5/10. The FEs are usually good and proactive.

Technical Support:

Technical support varies wildly.

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

We used a plain database before this.

How was the initial setup?

We needed Oracle support for all of the setup steps.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user687189
Co-Founder/CTO/Chief Architect at a tech services company with 11-50 employees
Consultant
By going to Exadata platform, we forced the best practice to a single stack version.

What is most valuable?

The Exadata system is specifically optimized for database workloads. But
the key [Exadata specific] features that we leverage for our workloads is
Exadata Smart Scan, Smart Flash Cache, Hybrid Columnar Compression, and of
course all the 12c Oracle Database which are integrated with Exadata stack;
e.g, Multitenant/PDB.

How has it helped my organization?

We have consolidated a large portion of our disparate database deployments
from across the enterprise onto the Exadata. This has saved us and our
customers Capex and datacenter floor space. But more importantly, it's
forced us to rationalize and standardize on a specific software stack. For
example, earlier we had eight or nine different versions of Oracle Grid
Infrastructure and Oracle Database. By going to Exadata platform, we forced
the best practice to a single stack version.

What needs improvement?

The key areas of improvements are better documentation, Exadata hardware
stack monitoring, and improved awareness (self-tuning) application/SQL for
Exadata. For monitoring, most of the admins had difficultly with the OEM
Exadata Plugin, and thus we wrote our own monitoring. In addition, most
customers have custom network configurations, these don’t always fit into
the Exadata “out-of-box” supportability. Oracle ACS had to work
particularly closely with Network team to resolve firewall, port-forwarding,
DNS name resolution issues, etc.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have had issues with storage cells failing and rebooting, but with proper
configuration and redundancy decisions (upfront) we barely noticed the
event. Nevertheless, when we had component failures it was difficult to
diagnose and triage.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, this is one issue we didn’t encounter. We decided on the appropriate
Exadata configuration and we deployed and consolidated. Moreover, Exadata
has Elastic configurations as well. Nevertheless, there are some internal
areas where the admins need to set and rationalize perception. Some SQL
is poorly written and even Exadata can’t fix that. The perception is that
Exadata is a single “red” pill to cure bad code, that’s just not the case.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle Exadata Tech Support has been great. We had many issues with Oracle
ACS and Platinum Support; specifically around the areas of scheduling
patching and upgrades. For these reasons, we ended building that skillset
in house.

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

We had disparate configurations, ranging from IBM AIX P-series, HP systems,
and older Solaris systems. We began our consolidation approach and
standardized on the Exadata for our Oracle Database 11.2 and above systems.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup required a lot of planning from all stack parties. All
features and configuration need to be discussed upfront. However, with
detail planning, the execution and deployment, via “OneCommand” process, was fairly straightforward.

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

This is where the Exadata hangup occurs. Not only are users paying for
Oracle EE and options such as RAC, and most of the must-have features such
as Advanced Compression, and Partitioning; but also the Exadata Storage
software. Add in the Support costs for all that storage. However, Oracle doesoffer “capacity on-demand” options, which do mollify the compute
licenses (not storage licenses) to an extent.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we looked at Hyper-Converged Systems and UCS compute with
All-Flash-Arrays. And we did buy those systems for specific applications
that didn’t fit the Exadata solution.

What other advice do I have?

Understand pricing and cost of skillset acquisition. In addition, define the
organizational layout for supporting the Exadata, since Exadata is a
“converged and engineered system” per se.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user693849
DBA - Oracle Exadata at a healthcare company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Exadata comes pre configured, just need to create your databases and load your data.

How has it helped my organization?

Database consolidation driving hardware and licensing cost reduction.

What needs improvement?

Complexity comes from patching the whole stack (firmware to database). If you have subscribed to a platinum support contract, Oracle will do it for you.

For how long have I used the solution?

5 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, the whole stack is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No, it scaled linearly as claimed by Oracle pre sales.

How is customer service and technical support?

The Exadata support team is good, they will never let you down.

How was the initial setup?

Exadata comes pre configured, just need to create your databases and load your data.

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

Public price is high, as usual with Oracle. You need to make a deal with Oracle sales.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No.

What other advice do I have?

You should carefully plan your Gridisk/ASM disk layout, One big +DATA and +RECO, or one by database. Also think about your ORACLE_HOME: just one or many? Having several Oracle_Home gives you flexibility in patching (you can stop only one database) but increase DBA works, several Oracle_Home to be patched.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 11-50 employees
Vendor
We can consolidate all our databases into a single box.

What is most valuable?

The fact that we can consolidate all our databases into a single box is a cool feature. The extreme performance of Exadata is something that was worth paying for. Exadata performs at least 5-10 times faster than databases on conventional storage.

How has it helped my organization?

Previously, we were always facing performance related issues for the hundreds of internal applications running on our databases. That part has reduced quite dramatically. Seldom, if ever, do we encounter performance bottlenecks.

What needs improvement?

We did not see the volume of compression claimed by Oracle (10x-50x) on a table that had completely unique data. The table itself was about 140 GBs in size and we hardly got a compression of around 10%. We had elaborate discussions with Oracle about this, but we were not entirely convinced by the explanations provided by Oracle. This is something that needs to be looked into.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this product since December of 2013.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We did not encounter any issues of stability on Exadata.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There were no problems with scalability at all.

How are customer service and technical support?

I would rate technical support as very good. We always received excellent technical support whenever we required it.

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

We were using an HPE solution, but as we were outgrowing our storage requirements, we explored other alternatives. Exadata seemed a very logical choice for consolidating all our databases in one place.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward as Oracle was involved in the setup from the very outset. We did not face any issues during the setup.

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

My advice would be to have a licensing expert with you to study and analyze the licensing policy before you commit to the investment. There are a whole lot of technicalities in the fine print that may not always be apparent to the non-initiated.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated EMC Storage and Greenplum.

What other advice do I have?

My advice would be to go with Exadata. It is definitely worth the investment.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are a Platinum partner of Oracle..
JR Shaik
Database Infrastructure Cloud Architect-Oracle,AWS Migration,Upgardes(Cassandra,Postgres,Hadoop BI) at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
The storage cell offloading software is the most valuable feature. We saw a 50x performance gain for migration.

What is most valuable?

Exadata storage cell offloading software is the most valuable feature.

How has it helped my organization?

With Exadata database migration we saw a 50x performance gain.

What needs improvement?

  • DevOps and built-in AI libraries to overcome storage.
  • Oracle data-file high water mark and self healing, self scale up, scale down.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using Exadata for eight years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not experienced many issues with stability, except with some cell node bugs.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We didn’t have scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

They have an extremely great Oracle team.

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

Traditional RAC to optimize all-in-one appliance hardware, database, software, network, storage.

How was the initial setup?

Setup was straightforward.

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

Oracle should offer free cell node licensing to encourage current RAC clients to switch.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We explored Teradata, Cisco and EMC appliances.

What other advice do I have?

Negotiate with Oracle for licensing and consolidation of licensing.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user515445
Manager
Vendor
Decreases the time to do the payroll.

What is most valuable?

Speed and stability.

How has it helped my organization?

Payroll used to take two and a half days. It now takes one or two hours.

What needs improvement?

The Oracle support team needs to understand the product better than the customers do.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for one and a half years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had no deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had minor stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: Customer service was OK. Technical Support: Technical support was OK.

Which

What is most valuable?

Speed and stability.

How has it helped my organization?

Payroll used to take two and a half days. It now takes one or two hours.

What needs improvement?

The Oracle support team needs to understand the product better than the customers do.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for one and a half years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had no deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We had minor stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had no scalability issues.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Customer service was OK.

Technical Support:

Technical support was OK.

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

We switched due to our corporate growth and our performance needs.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We did the implementation in-house.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated EMC and SSD storage arrays.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Software Engineer at a retailer with 10,001+ employees
MSP
We tuned so much code by using all the techniques and it is working fantastically.

What is most valuable?

  • Oracle OEM
  • Analytic functions and Window functions
  • Parallelism
  • Hints to the optimizer
  • Gather statistics
  • Extended Statistics

How has it helped my organization?

We tuned so much code recently by using all the techniques above and it is working fantastic.

What needs improvement?

The Oracle tuning advisor could have been available to Developers so that they can send the advises to DBA's.

For how long have I used the solution?

2 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Nnope. It is usually we forget to mention the Schema names before the deployment and it fails when DBA's runs with Super user.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Some time in Last junuary we had an issue with when we upgrade the database and the queries are started running very slow and we have changed the way of running statistics with Oracle recommendations and it started running fine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Nope not yet but we might have plans to move it to Cloud. we are not really sure. We have our own data center and we never had any problems with Scalability

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It is good and sometimes we don't get exact recommendations even though we give all details but it was satisfactory.

Technical Support:

it is good they are knowledgable enough to answer our questions.

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

We never used any other solutions before and we are only using Oracle form the beginning.

How was the initial setup?

Nope. it was quite easy.

What about the implementation team?

We have implemented through PWC. but it was pretty stable.

What was our ROI?

More performance techniques and latest updates that we are really existed about.

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

Pricing is fine because we are seeing an excellent results. we could have get the same things for lower prices but the Oracle service is really good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes. 1. Performance, 2. Scalability 3. Cost

What other advice do I have?

Oracle solutions are excellent and evolves according to the customer needs. Whenever there is a bug we recommend to the customers directly so that they are aware of whats going on rather they find out them selves. This helps service improvement as well customer relations hips.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Rajinder Sachdeva (Pmp, Oracle Certified Master.)
Infrastructure Architect at a tech services company with 1-10 employees
Real User
I find the Storage Base Indexes, Caging and Hybrid Column Compression most valuable.

What is most valuable?

Storage Base Indexes, Caging and Hybrid Column Compression.

How has it helped my organization?

Put all the List of Value tables on Flash Storage for fast Reading in Oracle ERP, Performance Improved.

What needs improvement?

eAM, Inventory, Financial and Procurement and HR

For how long have I used the solution?

6 Years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: 7 out of 10 Technical Support: 7 out of 10

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

IBM AIX P5

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward

What about the

What is most valuable?

Storage Base Indexes, Caging and Hybrid Column Compression.

How has it helped my organization?

Put all the List of Value tables on Flash Storage for fast Reading in Oracle ERP, Performance Improved.

What needs improvement?

eAM, Inventory, Financial and Procurement and HR

For how long have I used the solution?

6 Years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

7 out of 10

Technical Support:

7 out of 10

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

IBM AIX P5

How was the initial setup?

Straightforward

What about the implementation team?

In-house

What was our ROI?

Saved 48 CPU licensing after consolidation on Oracle Exa-data

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

Little bit high, but it is worth it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Capacity Planning is Key

What other advice do I have?

Best Solution for Oracle Databases

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Gurcan Orhan
Data Quality Software Development Manager at Yapı Kredi Bank
Consultant
Top 20
Performance is one of the key features, allowing us to bring in more data. It provides us with more subject areas for reports. And now supporting the Cloud service.

Pros and Cons

  • "It is a highly relevant option with extreme performance."
  • "I would like to see more database features and maybe more archiving features, because we need to do data archiving."

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the solution is that it is durable. It is a highly relevant option with extreme performance. The extreme performance is one of the key features when you're using Exadata. There are known points that you need to take care of, simply "beware of update".!

How has it helped my organization?

I'm currently writing a data warehouse on Exadata. Before this solution, we were aiming for this to be completed by 8 a.m., when our ETLs would finish. With the help of Exadata's special features, this was reduced to 3 a.m.

This solution allows us to bring more data within the same time period. It provides us with more subject areas that provide more reports to our users. Our ETL times reduced to 65%, then to 50%.

What needs improvement?

I would like to see more database features and maybe more archiving features, because we need to do data archiving. I would like to see additional database memory.

For how long have I used the solution?

My first implementation was in 2009 and still using.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There's nothing bad to say about Exadata. It's stable, durable, and always up and running. My DBAs do online patches and online backup.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product is scalable. We first started with the quarter rack, and then we expanded to the full rack.

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

Previous to this solution, we were using a normal Oracle RAC service. We were just waiting for this product to come out.

How was the initial setup?

The installation is easy because it comes out-of-the-box and you just start using it.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had already chosen Exadata, so we didn't compare this solution with many other products.

What other advice do I have?

Get the database on Oracle first. If you are in an Oracle stack, it would be much better to use the Oracle products. If you are driving a Ferrari, you wouldn’t put a Mercedes engine in it. If you are writing a query, you cannot rely on other brands.

I'm an architect, so when I look for a product, I look for performance.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user240024
Managing Director at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Oracle Exadata X6-2 is sized, tuned, and tested for all Oracle Database workloads, and includes unique software and protocols that make it the most powerful and efficient system for running the Oracle

Pros and Cons

  • "Exadata with the In-Memory option is several levels about SAP HANA."
  • "Sometimes it takes too long time to get help with technical issues."

What is most valuable?

Stability, high ROI and low TCO. Plus performance, of course. Being able to compress the data, especially in big size databases, has been extremely useful as HCC can deliver quite high compression rates. The business benefits of OES are as many as the pure technical benefits/features.

Exadata with the In-Memory option is several levels about SAP HANA.

How has it helped my organization?

In the past, Infrastructure units were mostly organized in teams like the Database team, the Storage team, the Backup team, the Unix team, the Monitoring team, etc. Now, with Exadata, they have become sort of obsolete. Only one unit is needed for administering the whole stack, which means a lot of savings on IT level.

What needs improvement?

The Initial investment price could use improvement. It is often the stumbling block. Many organizations have limited or small budgets for the initial investment. This has somehow changed with X5 when the entire Exadata configuration no longer needs to be licensed when using OracleVM.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used this solution since 2008. For the past 4 years, Exadata and more broadly speaking, Oracle Engineered Systems, are occupying almost all my working time so my exposure to the product is as much as one can get. My review answers also include my experiences with other Oracle products, including Oracle SuperCluster T5-8 and Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance X5.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Only during the first month or so of new generation Exadata machines, when the initial scripts have not been properly modified to reflect the new generation machine. Often, when proper sizing isn't done in advance, or even worse when sizing hasn't been done at all, the load can been too much for the servers. This is however an extreme case and has nothing to done with the Exadata frames.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No. Their stability, in fact, is the main benefit from Exadata. When Exadata is in production, what clients tend to agree upon is that stability is of paramount importance. Several clients have had absolutely no downtime after deployment. Downtime nowadays for most enterprises, to put it simply, is money. Not to mention the image and the reputation. This is so hard to be included in pre-TCO studies as estimating such losses is rather difficult. The stability that Exadata brings solves this major issue entirely.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No. It is quite simple to extend the configurations if needed, more databases can easily be added. With Exadata less memory is needed so we see clients running even close to 100 databases on a small 1/8th frame. With large databases, clients can sometimes run out of storage, but additional storage can easily be added with the help of storage expansion racks.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

The Platinum support has been useful to most of the clients. It helps IT organization eliminate the internal need to spend time and efforts on patching and monitoring the Exadata boxes. It allows them to concentrate on other tasks.

Technical Support:

Sometimes it takes too long time to get help with technical issues. At times, clients get frustrated with being asked the same questions multiple times. I would rate the Oracle technical support as good.

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

In the past, the complexity of building your own database environment was a long and tedious process. From deciding on the hardware and the operating system, to installation, patching, creating and configuring the database... It took such a long time that the benefits of the Exadata appliance are more than obvious nowadays. In a make-it-all-yourself solution, identifying the problems took a long time, and sometimes issues were never identified. The all-by-one-vendor approach has its benefits. Put all your eggs in one basket and watch that basket, is what I would say.

How was the initial setup?

It depends on who does the initial setup. The process is definitely straightforward and not that complex at all. For example, the Accenture Enkitec Group is strongly specialized in these types of setups.

What about the implementation team?

The Accenture Enkitec Group, with 450+ implementation, is by far the leading team in performing such tasks. There is a separate team within AEG specialized in patching and configuring Oracle Engineered Systems.

What was our ROI?

It varies from client to client depending on several factors but it is almost always when the cut-even period is approx. 12-18 months after the initial investment. The TCO of OES is much lower than similar systems like VCE’s Vblock, HP’s Converged system, and IBM’s PureFlex system, Teradata, etc.

The TCO of the Exadata Cloud Service is even better than the one of on-premise!

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

There is no single answer to this question. It varies from client to client depending on the size of the systems included in the setup.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

IBM POWER, SAP HANA, VCE Vblock and Teradata.

What other advice do I have?

If a company is looking into Oracle Engineered Systems, I would suggest first that a health check is performed on the current system, in addition to making a PoC on the (new) systems under consideration.

In the history of Oracle Corporation, there seldom has been a product so successful, complete and flawless. Client satisfaction is extremely high and stability of systems using Exadata is close to infinite availability.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Accenture is a diamond partner of Oracle. I received in April 2015 the top partner contributor in EMEA award for Exadata.
ErmanArslan, Oracle ACE
Sr. Director, Systems & Databases at GTech
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Thanks to Smart Scan, the amount of data transferred from storage to database nodes significantly decreases.

Pros and Cons

  • "Backup/Restore performance: Fast backups, fast restores (especially useful for creating clone environments)."
  • "Certification should also be improved. Today, Oracle doesn't certify applications with engineered systems."

How has it helped my organization?

We have implemented Oracle EBS on Exadata several times. We mostly used Exadata as the data layer. The most significant gain was in the area of performance. Performance increased significantly both for OLTP and batch works.

In addition to the performance increase, we saw a significant decrease in IT operations, because the necessity of SQL tunning is decreased, the total work that is spent on administration operations decreased, and so on.
Another significant gain was the efficiency of the administration. In Exadata environments, one database machine admin (or DBA team) could manage not only the database, but storage (cells) and the OS as well.

As the Exadata is hardened by Oracle and it is the most important one among the system in the engineered systems group of Oracle, we haven't seen any big Exadata specific problems that could not be solved, yet. The latest Exadata machine is generation 6 (X-6) so there is a current knowledge base.

What is most valuable?

  • Backup/Restore performance: Fast backups, fast restores (especially useful for creating clone environments)
  • Low Memory utilization on database nodes: The database performs less work, especially for I/O. This is due to the ability to offload processing from the database nodes (compute nodes) to the storage nodes (cells).
  • Decrease in I/O (from the perspective of database nodes): thanks to smart scan, the amount of data transferred from storage to database nodes significantly decreases.
  • High I/O performance: Due to Smart Scan, storage indexes and intelligent storage server nodes and storage server software(cells).
  • Decrease in database size and decrease in I/O: Due to Exadata specific compression techniques, database size decreases. In addition, the amount of I/O that is done for querying the same amount of data is decreased, as well. (This one also increases performance of the queries.)
  • Increase in redo write speed: Smart flash logs provide better LGWR performance, as LGWR writes redo data both flash and disk in parallel. It considers whichever of these writes completes first as done.
  • Smart Flash Logs are a new feature that comes with 11.2.2.2.4 cell software. They are not for reading. They are used like a circular buffer for redo writes. Smart Flash Logs can enhance the performance of an OLTP database.
  • Ability to prioritize I/O using IORM: IORM is used for managing the Storage I/O resources. We can manage our I/O resources based on the Categories, Databases and Consumer Groups. The hierarchy that we build, used to distribute I/O.
  • IORM must be used on Exadata if you have a lot of databases running on an Exadata Machine. IORM is a friend of consolidation projects, in my opinion.
  • Automatic SR creation using ASR: Decreases management costs. Oracle Auto Service Request (ASR) is a secure, scalable, customer-installable software feature of warranty and Oracle Support Services that provides auto-case generation when common hardware component faults occur. ASR manager can be installed on an external Oracle Linux or Oracle Solaris server. Also, you can use one of the Exadata database nodes for installing ASR manager (not preferred).
  • Implementing QOS for CPU using Instance caging: Instance caging can be used to limit the CPU usage in the database level. It is a good thing for building consolidation environment. It can be configured for preventing the non production residing on the same Exadata database machine to allocate the resources excessively, leaving no space in CPU queues for the production environments.
  • Fast support by Oracle: Maybe it is because it is an engineered system or maybe it is because of another reason, the quality and speed of Oracle support is very satisfactory.
  • Single vendor support: Software and hardware support by Oracle.
  • High Availability: It is a Highly available database machine. It provides built-in high availability, at both software (for example: Oracle RAC) and hardware levels.
  • Scalability: Exadata is a scale-out compute and storage platform.
  • Ability to create tablespaces and datafiles very quickly.
  • Offers a database environment built by Oracle: An Oracle database machine, that is built, optimized, certified and supported by the RDBMS vendor (Oracle). (Oracle RDBMS is the concern of this machine. Exadata is built for it.)
  • InfiniBand network for RAC private interconnect: InfiniBand functionality. CPU cycles of the servers are not used for InfiniBand transport.

What needs improvement?

Product specific documentation is satisfactory, but the interoperability documents should be improved. For example, there should be a step-by-step installation document for installing EBS on Exadata. Similarly, the documentation should be revised and Exadata specific notes should be added where necessary. We saw this need while installing EBS 12.2 database tier on Exadata. The document was written for the subject “Installing EBS 12.2 on Linux X86-64 (Exadata fits this category)". However; the OS RPMs that the document instructs to install, were not not present even in the latest Exadata. However, as Oracle says, Exadata has all the RPMs and they are up-to-date, so we were confused. We created several SRs, and even today it is not certain. We installed the RPMs specified in the document into Exadata. This was okay, but they may not even be necessary at all.

Certification should also be improved. Today, Oracle doesn't certify applications with engineered systems. We just check the RDBMS and OS certification to decide whether our application's database is cerfied with Exadata. This is actually enough for most of the cases. However, certifying specific data layers of certain applications (like EBS's database tier) on Exadata and adding some notes and recommendations (especially for performance) and restrictions (where necessary) can be a good move.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this since 2011.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any stability issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have not had any scalability issues. Oracle Real Application Clusters on Extended Distance Clusters is not supported with Exadata. So, basically, it is not supported to build RAC extended clusters on multiple Exadata machines. The good news is that RAC extended clusters will probably be supported with Exadata in Oracle Database 12.2 (12CR2). It is not certain yet, but it is expected, so we will see.

How are customer service and technical support?

Actually, a consulting company (Oracle Partner) giving the technical support of this product, we didn't encounter any problems by getting advanced support by Oracle and we didn't get any unrecoverable problems while implementing what we learnt from the user guides and Oracle support documents.
The technical support of Exadata is quite good (if it is given by the IT professionals who know what they are doing).

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

Our customers were using conventional converged infrastructures and standalone servers. The reason they switched can be explained with the following list of items:

  • Exadata is optimized by Oracle for Oracle databases.
  • All the costs, capabilities and expected results are actually already defined for Exadata. No big surprises.
  • Single vendor support for the whole stack.
  • Unique and innovative capabilities, such as Smart Scan, Exabus and HCC.

How was the initial setup?

Setup is straightforward. You just fill out a deployment form that Oracle sends you. By filling out this deployment form, you actually give all the necessary inputs for the deployment (such as IP addresses, host names, NTP server IP addresses, DNS server names, etc.)

Most of the time, Oracle field engineers, who are well-trained for deploying Exadata, do the setup on-site. After the initial setup, any experienced admin who knows Oracle RAC and Oracle RDBMS, can go further to provision databases (create databases, do performance related configurations and so on) on Exadata or they can even further migrate databases to Exacta.

After the first setup, Oracle still answers your questions and supports you to make sure that deployment meets the customer requirements.

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

I recommend a proper sizing. A proper sizing makes you decide how big (1/8,1/4 etc) your Exadata should be. In the sizing phase, you can also decide whether to license all cores, or reduce the number cores using capacity-on-demand features of Exadata, as well. This has a direct impact on licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In general, our customers are generally interested in Exadata. But, there are cases where the power of Exadata is just too much. Especially when the databases are not so big and when the transaction counts are low.

From an Oracle perspective, our customers also evaluate the Oracle Database Appliance (ODA). The decision is made according to the needs. If ODA is not enough for the customer’s needs, they consider Exadata.

What other advice do I have?

I recommend others to define their needs and the things they expect from Exadata. I strongly recommend doing a PoC to ensure that Exadata meets their expectations.

Of course, reviewing the Exadata related documents and real life stories will give a better idea about the tasks that are done for implementing an Exadata environment and the tasks that are done to get the most benefit from Exadata.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: My company is a partner of Oracle.
MA
System Admin at a government with 1,001-5,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Provides workload offloading to the cell layer.

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:

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.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user517617
Director at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Single appliance with no additional tooling required for deployment. The need for additional licenses for core Oracle products is an area for improvement.

What is most valuable?

Performance with use of storage compute.

How has it helped my organization?

Single appliance with no additional tooling required for deployment reduces overall maintenance and cost of ownership.

What needs improvement?

Cost, need for additional licenses for core Oracle products.

For how long have I used the solution?

Two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes, Cisco switch is not a standard within our company. Need to deploy with Oracle switch, after initial validation and setup, un-plug all network, replace the Cisco switch, and recable. This is time consuming and should not be required if Oracle would simply put in a different Cisco switch.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think

What is most valuable?

Performance with use of storage compute.

How has it helped my organization?

Single appliance with no additional tooling required for deployment reduces overall maintenance and cost of ownership.

What needs improvement?

Cost, need for additional licenses for core Oracle products.

For how long have I used the solution?

Two years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes, Cisco switch is not a standard within our company. Need to deploy with Oracle switch, after initial validation and setup, un-plug all network, replace the Cisco switch, and recable. This is time consuming and should not be required if Oracle would simply put in a different Cisco switch.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Yes, memory limitations, 756gb limits the performance of databases.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Platinum support services supplied with the Exadata is worthless.

Technical Support:

If I have an application down, we do not call oracle support as their response times to get a qualified engineer on the phone take 4+ hours. We solve problems ourselves.

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

ODA and standalone.

Scalability and consolidation.

How was the initial setup?

See the switch issue mentioned above.

What about the implementation team?

Implemented in-house with the assistance of Technologent.

What was our ROI?

Negative.

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

Total ROI should include the HW and all the associated SW licenses required. With an EXA, the cost to implement is prohibitive when also performing replication as you have to procure two of these very expensive boxes.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

ODAs.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521853
Database Administrator at Qualys
Vendor
If there are any patches or other updates, everything is combined as a single patch. We had lots of storage issues and disk failures.

What is most valuable?

I like mainly the performance. Also, we have enabled RAC clusters. That's one of the main things, as well as high availability. The performance and high availability are really awesome.

How has it helped my organization?

The main benefit is that everything is powered by Oracle; the whole box, hardware, software, and storage. So we have the flexibility of going to one vendor directly instead of going to multiple vendors if we had any issues. If we have a storage issue, we go to them. If we have a database issue, we go to them. And if there are any patches or other updates, everything is combined as a single patch. We can apply it and it's easy to apply with a single command and easy to coordinate and support.

What needs improvement?

In the current version we're using, we had lots of storage issues, disk failures, etc. We think in the future, we'd like to see that reduced. That will reduce the cost and everything for the client.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We had an issue where we had to increase the storage and we got the new cells from Oracle. Then we scaled outward.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have used technical support many times. Most of time it's okay, but sometimes there's a delay in the response. Then we have to escalate and get it done.

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

We didn’t have any previous solution. We had different vendors, like a storage vendor, and the DB software was from Oracle. As a security company, we want to maintain our compliance by applying the latest patches. That's why we chose this engineered system: so that we have a single vendor we can contact easily.

How was the initial setup?

For setup, we had a consultant come in. They trained us initially and helped us with the set up. Then, after that, we started working on everything.

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

It's very costly.

What other advice do I have?

I would suggest going with the product, but again it depends on the application, the budgeting and all that. The budget for the application depends on how critical the application is. If it's really critical and revenue generating, then I'll recommend going with this product. But if it is not so critical, then I'll recommend going with something is less costly.

Mainly, we already had experience with the Oracle database and that's why we chose this one.

Technical support is one of the things we look for in a vendor, because any issue we get we want to get a response as soon as possible. We also consider the stability of the product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user522231
Database Architect at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
It helped us with database consolidation. The storage nodes have multiple bugs.

What is most valuable?

Exadata has been very great for us in terms of database consolidation. We have been using Exadata because we have been upgrading our technology every single year. In the past, we were using a Sun server and managing that as an active-passive cluster.

There have been initiatives to convert the databases to Oracle RAC; so when Exadata came out, they didn't really have to do much of anything. The grid infrastructure and everything came built in with all the best practices.

One of the advantages we found was that we didn't really need to be the first ones to be hit by a bug. If any of our customers comes across a bug, we already had a patch ready for it.

We have the platinum service for the database. That comes in handy in terms of high availability.

With all of this, the storage and the compute nodes were built together so they have more knowledge of Oracle-related queries: whether it is a redo or an IO; or it's coming from an undo space or from a DML. All these kinds of things come in really handy for us in terms of making our database perform really well.

These are some of the advantages I think we got out of Exadata.

How has it helped my organization?

The high availability of the database improved a lot. Our customers who are using it seem to be very happy with the response times. We also have a hot standby in case you need to migrate or do an upgrade. Overall, the company itself was very happy after migrating to Exadata.

What needs improvement?

The mix and match of hardware is always a problem. If you start with a product here and you want to migrate it two years later, you don't get the same version of the hardware. It's always different when you mix and match hardware. For example, if one compute node is X3-2, another two compute nodes are X5-2, and the storage node is different, I think it's going to get complicated. I don't know how to resolve it.

It would be nice if there was a way that you could swap everything over to upgrade all the hardware to one piece where it matches everything, and have an automatic hardware upgrade available. This way, you could keep everything on the same hardware solution. I don't know if that is possible.

Their support needs improvement. Also, the model in which they operate with a complex architecture in terms of upgrading the hardware pieces and expansion of RACs. Even the storage is licensed, which is a bigger question mark.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Any mission can go wrong. Exadata is no exception to this. Of course, we had software bugs; it's Oracle. You can expect a lot of back and forth with the new versions of it. We had lots of stability issues in the beginning. One of the major issues was the Write Back Flash Cache. By default, the storage nodes come with write-through. That's not very good for your OLE DB because it's not going to hit your flash. It's going to directly hit your hard disk. That's not going to give you good performance. The implementation team did not do a good job knowing that it's an OLE DB. They did not enable the Write Back Flash Cache.

The first few databases that we migrated went really well; but when we migrated more databases, it started failing. We had a big problem. We had to enable the Write Back Flash Cache to restabilize it.

Of course, the storage nodes have multiple bugs in them. Constantly upgrading it is a pain because while we do have high availability, not all the patches are done in a rolling fashion. Some of them force you to do non-rolling patches, specifically the OJVM patches.

Those are some of the pain points that I can see with Exadata.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

So far, we don't have a big problem with scaling because we are happy with two node clusters. When we really need to expand, then we will need to cross that bridge when we come to it.

How is customer service and technical support?

It's always a pain working with the Oracle support team. I say this because not all tickets get resolved immediately. It can take many days. Sometimes it takes a week. This can also include the weekend. During the weekend, the support team is thin. I need to follow up many times and call their managers. We have to scream at them to get back to us.

It's always a little bit difficult dealing with Oracle support compared to other vendors. They are a bigger organization. It does become a little complicated with such a big organization. With other vendors, you can call and resolve things properly and easily. I think there are a lot of process-oriented delays when it comes to Oracle. That’s built in as part of dealing with a bigger organization.

Because the ticket is not handled by a single engineer, sometimes the other engineer needs to digest it first. For example, a person in the US could start to help us, and then hand it over to someone in the UK. When that persons gets on board, he takes some time to digest the previous engineer’s explanation, recommendations, and diagnosis of the problem. If it continues to be handed over, and if it goes on for days, each engineer needs to go through the entire history of the ticket. That is a pain.

In such cases, it is always better to stick with a particular engineer and to a certain time zone. This means that the solution will be delayed. It depends on how soon you want to get it resolved. You might want your account manager to put pressure on the support team.

I am hoping for smoother operations and coordination in the future.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup depends on the technical team. The ACS team at Oracle can help, but it depends on which engineer you get on board. If the engineer is new on the team, doesn’t completely understand it, and is simply following instructions according to a script, there is every possibility that it could go wrong, if we don’t have a core team at our end verifying each step.

It is very important that you be prepared, and that you know every single change that goes into it end-to-end, including the monitoring and enabling the ASR service if you are going to use the platinum service.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

A combination of pure flash storage and T4-4 servers are also extremely good in terms of latency times. It matches your TPS (transactions per second). Oracle had a little bit of an edge in terms of the best practices. Also, it's easier to debug and give us a solution because they can replicate the same issue in their environment. These are some of the slight advantages that Oracle Exadata has in terms of providing a solution more efficiently and quickly.

What other advice do I have?

We always believed that Oracle is a leader in improving technology. We always believe in their solutions. Oracle Exadata is a great product without a doubt. Our gut now says why not go like we wanted and migrate to Oracle RAC. We didn’t want to spend time to put everything together, the network, the storage, and so on. Why reinvent the wheel when every best practice is already there? The "gotcha" is that if you increase the number of cores, you must be prepared to pay for the license.

Those are things that we weren't initially aware of, but then it all came handy to us when we need to go with engineered systems. That's why our upgrade part on our infrastructure upgrade and Oracle engineered system are on the same plane, so we just used it.

Exadata is not for everybody. Initially, it was designed for data warehousing. It's not for OLTP data. They improved it to OLTP, and then you could consolidate and mix and match. For all the patches, be aware whether you really want to go with it and expand it. Use all due diligence in checking whether this engineered system is the right solution for you . You need to work with it and test it yourself to make sure that it is for you. There might be a better product for you other than Exadata.

If you do want to go with Exadata, you should consult with someone outside of Oracle to help you and verify whether this is a good solution for you. Do not decide based on marketing material or gimmicks.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521928
Data Center Manager at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
We have consolidated our infrastructure. It provides scalability, performance, and availability.

What is most valuable?

It's about consolidation of my infrastructure, scalability, high performance, and availability. These are the main factors that led me to choose this solution, as well as the cost. Exadata saves on my storage costs. All our costs were reduced significantly, and that was the reason why we went back to Exadata.

What needs improvement?

On the improvement side, they’re pretty much good. With the latest version, X6-2, we have enhanced the storage capacity. It was 4 TB each disk, now it’s 8 TB each disk; essentially same size appliance with more storage space. That request has been heard and we're able to mitigate that. Increased storage was one thing and they have definitely done better on the IO of flash storage. They implemented that; pretty much good stuff.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any major problems with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From time to time, we scale capacity up and out. In system engineering terms, we can scale up to limit. The kind of features we just set it up, I've been able to fit my requirements into that.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have Oracle’s Platinum support, which has been pretty good. However, the people are not always knowledgeable. I always rely on my best contacts in Oracle to get the right support. Even though we have Platinum Support, my last delay was my contacts in Oracle.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was very much straightforward. Not as much manpower is required as we used to need. Before, if you wanted to manage a server, you had to have a server administrator, the storage administrator, and a DBA administrator. Now all three functions are combined into one person. A data administrator can perform the role of storage administrator, your host administrator, platform administrator, as well as database administrator. It's like several persons reduced to one.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend this product if cost is not a factor. The implementation costs are, frankly, higher, but your return on investment over a period of time is less. If you're looking for that, then I would definitely advise to go for this product.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521580
Senior Principal Consultant at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
As an integrated system, it has a reduced footprint in the data center and is stable.

What is most valuable?

For me, the most valuable feature is the fact that it’s an integrated system of software and hardware together.

How has it helped my organization?

We see cost saving due to the reduced footprint in the data center and improved performance.

What needs improvement?

There has been great improvement from the X2 to the X6 versions. There is a lot of improvement every time. CPU power is always doubled every time and memory power is doubled, so they are on the right track.

Monitoring might be a good option for improvement.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have had no issues with scalability.

How is customer service and technical support?

We have opened tickets with Oracle technical support and so far, no problems.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at a custom-built solution.

What other advice do I have?

Engage me.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521541
Director of Information Technology at a tech company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
It has enabled us to implement business intelligence. They can make it faster and more scalable.

What is most valuable?

The scale of the product is the most valuable feature. We use it for data warehouse and for that, we need to process a whole bunch of data faster. That is one of the features that we use this product most.

We use it for bringing data from all the different systems into it and then process it there. It is relatively faster. I always want the fastest speed, but despite all the claims made, it is fast. This product meets our scale and volume requirements.

How has it helped my organization?

It has enabled us to implement business intelligence. That is the most important function that we are using it for. It has helped us line-up. Earlier, we used to take close to 24 hours in some cases. Now, it's a matter of a couple of hours.

What needs improvement?

They can make it faster and more scalable. Currently, it is not. Actually, we carried out a benchmark against another company's product. Oracle took about 14 hours and that company's product took only thirty minutes. It is like a day and night difference.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's pretty stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This product does not scale like we want it to.

There is another company that we use for this purpose and it does a much better job.

How are customer service and technical support?

It's pretty good. I don't have any problems in that area.

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

We were not using any other solution prior to this. The reason why we chose this product is because we had already invested in Oracle and they had this to offer, so we continued with it.

What other advice do I have?

If we needed to use it for batch requirements like before, it is still one of the best solutions. But, right now with the needs that we have, it isn't enough. If you are looking for batch processing, this solution is the way to go. However, if you are looking to do what we do, which not many companies do, then it is not suitable. We are into the internet business and we process trillions of records in a day all over the world. So, probably it is not for us. But for most of the companies, it is suitable. In my previous company, we had this solution.

Actually, the product rating all depends on the timing. Initially when it was bought, at the time, there was no other solution like this. At that time, I would have rated it higher. However, with our current requirements we need to be able to process billions of records in almost real-time, which this database doesn't meet.

Oracle products are pretty stable. They are leaders in database. As we looked into data warehouse products, they are the natural choice. We did not want to bring something new.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521661
DBA at a consultancy with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
The number one feature is speed. Patches are quarterly.

What is most valuable?

The number one feature is the speed; it's InfiniBand. We're serving almost 3.2 million people; it's an eligibility system. We add on 80 TB of data that needs to be churned and processed. Previously, we used Sun Solaris, and then we moved to a Windows platform. It was really bad. We started the load on Tuesday, and sometime around noon on Wednesday it finished. Sometimes, it would crash. Right now, it all finishes within 4.5-5 hours. If it starts at 6 o’clock, it’s done by 9 o’clock. That is one big advantage we see.

The standard Oracle things that we have, such as compression, are also valuable.
Now, all of our development to pre-production – everything – is in one single rack, which is easier for us to do. Production is on another full rack. That's what we use it for.

What needs improvement?

Pretty much whatever we need from the database side, it is there. There are specific things from the application side. I do not have a list; they do have a list of what you can't see from the database side. Pretty much what we are looking for is part of the 12c that is coming out. Most developers are used to Microsoft .NET and SQL Server. We are all cutting out Oracle, so there is a shift within the developer's mind; how am I going to use it; starting from the modeling to how to use it; key items; for example, I need to have a temporary table to create a gdd; there's an identity column in SQL that automatically fills in, and it used to have triggers.

The 12c is coming. There are some good features coming that I'm looking for. At a conference earlier this year, I was part of the session on what is new in 12c. I'm really excited about that.

We're doing real-time analytics, so one other thing is whether NoSQL is the best fit or not. We need to evaluate that, which we have not done yet. Pretty much, we are thinking that we have Exadata, so we want to use that product.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for 3.5-4 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is absolutely a stable solution. After we moved to Exadata, the stability has been good. Number one is, we used to go through Microsoft patching every month. With Exadata and Linux, we only have to do the firmware once per quarter. We try to coordinate that with quarterly Oracle patches. It isn’t really required; we only do it because we are behind two firewalls. We don't have to apply all the patches.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is absolutely scalable. We have five enterprise applications of our own. They're all public-facing systems. Going back to the performance, on any given day, anywhere between 5,000-8,000 internal people use it, and we do have a public-facing system. People apply for benefits, and it's entirely public, so they can use it. Compared to our previous system, if you look at the performance metrics, some of them show almost 30-40% improvement. Some of the batches are almost 70% improvement.

If you look at the backend side – logical export backups, RMANs, and disaster recovery; all of those things – there is a tremendous increase.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is pretty good. There are certain areas specific to the enterprise application where we might not be getting Oracle support. But for Oracle products, it is pretty good.

How was the initial setup?

We brought Oracle in to set it up, so it still is with Oracle. We didn't go through the entire setup process because Oracle was part of it. Oracle itself did it, so it was pretty easy for us. Again, one good thing is, we don't have to really worry about the patching, OS levels, and other stuff. It is pretty easy for us.

What other advice do I have?

There are still a few issues that we are working on, but from a performance point of view, ease of use, scalability and reliability, plus we took a performance option for the storage – we were at capacity, so now we are good with the capacity, too – overall, I feel like everybody is happy with the product.

When I am looking at vendors like Oracle, the primary criteria will be the support. When you go through an issue, we need an immediate solution; it’s a 24/7 application. We don't anticipate anything. For example, something like, when we were going through a patching, and suddenly I found an issue. I didn’t see it in my lower environments, and now my production is impacted. We created a severity one ticket. How soon? And can I trust it? That's number one.

There may be some custom solutions we may be looking at, but it's not part of the product. Depending on what type of solution it is, we might need additional support and also training. I think Oracle is growing. I've been using Oracle since 1991, so I know how much it grew outside the database. Training is one of the biggest issues that we are having. We moved from a Windows platform to a Linux platform. Also, how to manage the entire thing; Enterprise Manager completely changed. One is self-learning, another one is vendor-provided, low-cost training. Those are the things we are looking for.

On top of that, you can say there are certain things that can benefit us; there is a new release coming out. If they can provide another training session, like, "Hey, this worried us, and here are the documents." Something like that would really help our DBAs to be at the cutting edge, rather than they themselves having to explore. Those are all things.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521697
Database Engineer at a leisure / travel company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It has computing power at the storage level, which reduces latency.

What is most valuable?

Usually, the I/O operation is a more intensive and costly one. In any transaction processing, the I/O is a more expensive operation due to storage and better performance. That's where most of the latency and time would be spent in overall flow. Exadata has an additional service and computing power at the storage level as well which reduces this latency. Usually it's available only on the high-end machines.

Exadata as a platform is a complete solution, where you have CPU memory with an additional server and inter-cell storage. That's the beauty of Exadata; IOPS and good overall latency and that's why we like it. We use it for the transaction processing, especially for production.

What needs improvement?

In terms of improvement, related to other products when we were running down the physical servers, we ran into some issues. We are always on the latest stack so at this point of time we are self-sufficient. Once we deployed Exadata, we never had to look back, at least in recent times.

One improvement would be the limitation on the storage. For example, when we buy with a double or triple CN, it comes with some storage. Once we reach that point, we don't have any other option. This was in the old version. We don't know how it is improved in the current version; maybe there is a way to optimize it and we can have additional storage allocated. In the earlier versions, we didn't have this possibility and we need to upgrade to a later version of Exadata to get more storage.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have used this product for more than 4 or 5 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's a stable solution but it comes with a price. You get performance and there is a cost associated with the performance. The Exadata tool is best when you can afford. You get best quality, in terms of the overall product features.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It depends on each case, your use and the company. For us, it is scalable and working for our use.

For me, what we have right now is scalable and it is serving our purpose.

How is customer service and technical support?

They have a dedicated team exclusively for Exadata. Whenever we ran into some issues with the tool, they nailed it down. The support was good in Oracle because this is a prestigious product from Oracle. They have their support model.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521595
Sr. Oracle Database Architect at a financial services firm with 51-200 employees
Vendor
You can take an object, put it in the flash cache, and it runs fast.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the flash cache. Let's say you have brought it in at the application level. You don't want to change your code. You take the object, you put it in the flash, and it runs fast.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest benefit for organization is the performance. That's it. That's the endgame. We want to satisfy the client. When they click, they get it fast, and that's it.

Also, the fact that it reduces your IO because the storage and the server, everything's in the same box, makes it easier and faster.

What needs improvement?

Support.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Well, they give you a box. We haven't come to a case where we need to add more servers or nodes to it. For the moment, what we have is what we're using and it's doing what it's supposed to do.

Our main issue is the CPU; they can't cope with what we want. The application is CPU-bound. They have to find a way, talk to Intel, design something, so it's fast, so it can provide more CPU, more bang for the buck. It's expensive.

How is customer service and technical support?

It depends on what the ticket is about. It's easy to open a ticket. Now, to get solution on this ticket, that's a different story because they start asking for all the logs. You give them the logs, and they still want more logs; all this time, the problem is not resolved. That’s not particular to the Exadata platform; it's a general Oracle issue. It can be an arduous process.

Also, when you open the ticket, you don't get a senior guy right away; you get a junior person. You have to complain, and say, "Guys I know what I'm talking about, move it.", before they go to the next level. Then, you get who you want. That's another issue, but they have been there for many years. They need to improve their technical support.

How was the initial setup?

If you know what you’re doing, initial setup is no big deal.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also evaluated Superdome. We decided to go with the Oracle product because we are an Oracle shop. Oracle has intelligence on what it's doing. It integrates really well.

What other advice do I have?

The main thing I would tell people is, whoever is going to maintain it has to know what he's doing. When you spend your money and you don't have the good people, you don't get your money back. It's a waste of money. You have to know who you are putting on it, so they can give everything back to you. Otherwise, it's a good product.

It's a good product. It's stable.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521763
Senior Oracle DBA at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
Offloading is valuable. It integrates well with our other products.

What is most valuable?

Offloading is the most valuable feature of Exadata. It integrates well with our other products.

How has it helped my organization?

Conservation Performance

What needs improvement?

There are little things that need fine tuning, such as storage. It’s also missing some features that you would expect from a data warehousing tool, such as snapshots.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales well for our needs.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Teradata, but Exadata is perfect.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely take some courses on Clusterware, ASM,…

What is most valuable?

Offloading is the most valuable feature of Exadata.

It integrates well with our other products.

How has it helped my organization?

  • Conservation
  • Performance

What needs improvement?

There are little things that need fine tuning, such as storage.

It’s also missing some features that you would expect from a data warehousing tool, such as snapshots.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It scales well for our needs.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Teradata, but Exadata is perfect.

What other advice do I have?

Definitely take some courses on Clusterware, ASM, Real Application Clusters; those kinds of courses, advanced courses.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user522213
DBA at a religious institution with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Everything goes into one machine. Google searches help me more than Oracle support.

What is most valuable?

A valuable feature is that everything goes into one machine; Oracle and the applications, so that is a big advantage.

Sometimes, I don't see any difference between Linux servers and the Oracle ones.

What needs improvement?

We have only used this product for 3 years so I cannot say what exactly needs improvement.

See my Technical Support answer below.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using this product for about 3 years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is stable. Sometimes we need to do patching and they take the system down. For example, we did patching a couple of weeks ago and they took the system down. They said it's the OS patching although they did not inform us beforehand. They just went ahead and did it.

That's one thing about Exadata: Sometimes when there are errors, they have do the patching. We cannot just do it ourselves.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The product is scalable.

In my management, I have no say as what to buy. I'm just doing the work. They keep buying it, so we have to keep supporting it.

How is customer service and technical support?

The technical support is terrible. When I search on Google, I get more answers than from the Oracle support team. For example, when we reach out to Oracle and claim something is not working like we cannot get OEM to connect from the Exadata machine. I simply searched on Google and found the answer. The Oracle support team could not find the solution for 3-4 weeks. Finally, I searched on Google and I found the answer in less than 1 hour. The issue was that 1 of the files had no permission for OEM to connect. That's it. Google is good. I can search anything on Google, not Oracle support.

How was the initial setup?

As a DBA, we usually use it for the database upgrade which is straightforward. For the OS upgrade, it's mainly up to the Oracle support and the platform support to carry out the upgrade. We don't do it. We're even afraid to install any third-party/ other vendor's application on it, as it may be harmful.

What other advice do I have?

One thing that's good is that everything is into one machine; the database and the application that we are using. Oracle cannot blame the third-party vendor. It's an OEM problem, so Oracle itself needs to support this product. That's the only advantage that I see. Oracle loves to blame somebody else for their issues. That’s why I am not keen on this product.

I use a lot of Linux servers and they all do the same thing.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521679
Sr. Director Technical Services at a retailer with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It's one package. My DBAs like administering it. My application owners like its reliability on the back end.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the fact that it's an engineered system. It's a database in a box, storage, the networking, the compute engines. All of it's in one nice, neat package. My DBAs like administering it. My application owners like its reliability on the back end.

How has it helped my organization?

The benefits we see are our ability to scale heavy workloads, and our ability to consolidate lighter workloads and reduce our sprawl through the data center.

What needs improvement?

Price: It’s extremely expensive. Maintenance is about industry average. I think they've got a pretty good upgrade road map. It's been an expensive ride for us but a necessary one.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable; no major issues; no down time that was a result of bugs or some kind of defect in the platform.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has scaled well to your needs.

How is customer service and technical support?

As a member of IT management with business units breathing down our neck when there is an issue or something like that, we always feel the support can be faster but I don't get a lot of complaints. It's good support. Like everything, it could be faster. We'd want it to be faster.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was straightforward for us because we used an integrator partner to put it all in for us, and then our administrators step in and take over.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We're constantly looking at other products.

We ultimately chose Exadata because we needed some muscle on the back end for an ERP implementation. We've been through Exadata first generation, and right now we're putting in X6s. We've had X2s, X3s, X4s, and we're actually installing X6s right now as we lifecycle through.

What other advice do I have?

It's a great investment for the large enterprise. I think with Exadata in the cloud that's coming, that we're starting to look at and they are obviously trying to push at conferences, I think it'll open itself up to a lot of other customers that probably wouldn't have gone with such an expensive on-premise solution. We're excited about that, too. I would definitely recommend it to any colleagues.

We're very happy with it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521985
Technology Manager at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Speed is the most important feature for us.

What is most valuable?

Fast performance and tons of storage that we can have to put a lot of databases under the Exadata Server are the most valuable features in this product.

How has it helped my organization?

For us, speed is the most important factor. For our SLAs, we need to maintain the performance. Thus, performance is one of the main criteria for our applications and that plays a major role.

What needs improvement?

Performance is what we always tend to work on and it could still be improved. For example, if we get Echo Calls then the performance also shoots up.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have recently moved over to Exadata. Currently, we have not experienced any stability issues

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We are still moving. So far it is satisfactory, although we are not getting our work locked under.

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

We did look at other products but Oracle has its way of marketing. We had IBM as the other competitor, but I don't know whether they have any product equal to Exadata.

What other advice do I have?

Go for it if cost is not a factor.  It's been good; so far we have not experienced any issues.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521592
VP at a financial services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It is robust, stable, and performs well.

What is most valuable?

The best features are its robustness, stability, and performance.

What needs improvement?

Actually, I'm using the old version. The latest version is already out with all a lot of new features; so what I’m looking for is already there in that. Once we start using the new one, then we can come to know what additions we can put in.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is awesome. Oracle is our technical support; so when we need it, they are there.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is complex. You need Oracle technical support to do your initial setup.

What other

What is most valuable?

The best features are its robustness, stability, and performance.

What needs improvement?

Actually, I'm using the old version. The latest version is already out with all a lot of new features; so what I’m looking for is already there in that. Once we start using the new one, then we can come to know what additions we can put in.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It seems very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Scalability is good.

How is customer service and technical support?

Technical support is awesome. Oracle is our technical support; so when we need it, they are there.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup is complex. You need Oracle technical support to do your initial setup.

What other advice do I have?

I would certainly say if you're looking for something scalable or diverse, this is the solution.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user522177
Senior Database Administrator at a energy/utilities company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
I like the algorithms it uses internally for the database traffic to take different paths. Patching is the biggest issue we've faced.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is supposed to be speed. I like the consolidation with the memory, the SSD and the InfiniBand, and the algorithms that they use internally to take different paths through for the database traffic. All of those features are why we went with it.

How has it helped my organization?

We've just started to convert over and the performance out of it was not as much as we had expected. We're seeing only, probably, one-third faster than where we were at. I don't know if we'll get the benefit that we had anticipated out of it.

What needs improvement?

I think their platinum support needs to be improved. It's very difficult after you've got the product in-house. They’ve got great service up until you get the product. Then, you get the product, and trying to find someone to help you with configuration or setup, or even just opening up an SR, was not there.

With patching, it takes 6-8 weeks to get it onto their schedule, in order to get something patched. Then, it's rush, rush, rush at the very end. It's a big mystery as to what exactly are they doing. That's the biggest problem that we've had.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have not had any down time. We've run into bugs, which we had not anticipated. When we upgraded software, depending on the version, if you're not with the current patch release, you have huge problems. You can't even run. We can't even run our application right now because we ran into a patch problem.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

For as far as we've gotten with it, it has scaled to our needs; so far so good.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Before choosing this product, I did not evaluate other options. This was a CIO decision and we went with Exadata.

What other advice do I have?

You want to get everything set up before it comes in the door. While you still have that sales support with you, you want to get all of your additional support, because you have to be added in for the platinum support area. Get all of that set up before you get your product in.

It's not as good as we expected, but it's definitely better than what I've seen with other companies.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521637
Business Intelligence and Data Integration Manager at a government with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
As you're executing SQL, it's segregated out to a storage device. The database itself doesn't take that overhead.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is definitely the storage offload; the fact that, as you're executing your SQL, it's segregated out to a storage device, and the database itself doesn't have to take that overhead. We've noticed a huge improvement in execution.

How has it helped my organization?

It has definitely improved my organization, because it's an engineered solution. It's not pieces and parts from different vendors. Having the one-vendor solution that's fully supported by Oracle, it doesn't require us to have the number of staff that it used to in a more distributed environment. We've definitely got some efficiencies from a staffing model because of it.

What needs improvement?

I'd like to see them improve more of the reporting capabilities of Enterprise Manager for the Exadata plug-in.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's definitely been stable for us; over a four-year period, we had zero outages. It's been rock solid.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We’ve had experience scaling it. We started out originally with an X2, the second release of Exadata. A year ago, we expanded that with the new X5. We were able to take our existing procurement and expand it with newer hardware too.

How are customer service and technical support?

We definitely have noticed that technical support has gone down, unfortunately. The quality of support; it takes a lot longer to get tickets resolved than it did four years ago, when we first bought the Exadata. We're an engineered systems customer. That's supposed to have more platinum-level support model to it. We have not experienced that recently.

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

It was end of life for our previous hardware. We had to buy something. The Exadata just seemed to be a better solution.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup was very simple, actually. Getting all of the right network information was really the critical path for it, but once that was done, the actual install and configuration was very simple.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The replacement hardware was ironically Sun. Because Oracle procured Sun, they just became our natural progression.

When I’m choosing a vendor to work with, I look at the reliability of the actual hardware solution itself and then also the support. Even though tech support has not been very good for us, our Oracle reps have stayed with us and want us to be successful. They help us try and navigate the Oracle waters.

What other advice do I have?

Know what versions of hardware are out there, for any type of an engineered solution. Understand where there might not be redundancy in the solution, to know if that's going to meet your needs or not.

I have not given it a perfect rating because I probably wouldn't give anyone a perfect rating. It's met all of our expectations.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521874
Lead Performance Engineer at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Because of the built-in flash, IO latency is drastically reduced.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature of the overall system is the way it is engineered. It basically gives you the best performance. The most important thing that you will see in the database, especially an Oracle database, is the latency because of IO. Because of the built-in flash, the latency is really reduced quite drastically.

We do see very good performance, at least 30% better performance in our overall response time when we use Exadata.

What needs improvement?

It's very specialized hardware. It really meets very critical needs, but it is very expensive. When I was working for another company, which was a mid-sized company, they did not even consider Exadata just because of cost. Making it more cost effective might help them.

Other than that, from a technical point of view, I can't think of any area with room for improvement.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for one year.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I believe it's a stable solution because we haven't seen any issues, so far.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable, given the way you can add more and more Exadata to your configuration, but it gets expensive. However, I'm not the right person to comment on whether it provides enough value for the money.

How is customer service and technical support?

I don't know too much about their support because I'm not the person who directly interacts with Oracle support on any issues. Nonetheless, one thing I learned is, for any maintenance, we have to call an Oracle technician. That's in our contract and that gets expensive. For small and mid-sized companies, that might be a factor they might want to consider.

What other advice do I have?

If they are really looking for performance, and performance is the only thing that matters to them, while having a very stable system, this product is engineered within Oracle, who knows their database more than anyone else. A combination of hardware and software from the same vendor, it is specifically designed for Oracle Database, so I definitely recommend it, if it meets all their other cost and other requirements.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521958
Manager, Data Warehouse Development | Business Intelligence at a leisure / travel company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
High columnar compression and the flash cache are big for us.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable features are the high columnar compression and the flash cache. Basically, the whole I/O subsystem is valuable, but those two features are really big for us.

What needs improvement?

Pricing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for close to five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is very stable. We were on X2; that was not as stable. There were some battery issues with some of the flash cache cards. We're on X5 and X4 now and that's much better; many more IOPS, so that's been great.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is scalable, very much so. It will absolutely meet the company's needs going forward.

How are customer service and technical support?

The support for troubleshooting issues is OK; it's fine.

The support for patching – we have Platinum Support – is probably one of the worst I have ever experienced in my career. We've been trying to upgrade to the latest version of 11g R2 and we haven't done it. The last few times we've tried to do it, they were supposed to be able to upgrade without downtime, but the last two or three times, we've had downtime. We have very little trust in Platinum Support to do the upgrades.

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

Previously, we just used regular Oracle databases on standard hardware. Now, most of our products are on their own silo databases. Now, we're pushing them all to a single Exadata, using Exadata solutions.

How was the initial setup?

We actually contracted the initial setup out, as part of Oracle Platinum Support. We also have another third-party company that did more of the operations on it. When my team finally got to it, everything was set up. It's really a matter of deploying our application on there and then tuning it to be more Exadata specific; not a whole lot. Anything will run on it, but we take advantage of the high columnar compression and the flash cache storage.

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

As far as cost goes, it's really expensive. The huge price tag on it is the only reason why I have not given it a perfect rating.

What other advice do I have?

If you have the money, spend it; if it makes sense, obviously. If you're really I/O bound, it's a great solution; I/O bound from performance to storage. With the high columnar compression, we're getting close to 10X compression.

When I’m selecting a vendor such as Oracle to work with, I look for one with a good reputation and is reliable. Reputation comes on as willingness to work with you. I consider the features that are offered; is what they're offering now going to scale, obviously? Is what they're offering now going to still be supported in the future? There are compatibility issues and similar items. For example, with Exadata, I'd hate to be the one of only three companies on Exadata in the world and five years from now, nobody remembers what Exadata is.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521913
Solution Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It is easy to manage infrastructure as a whole.

What is most valuable?

One of its most valuable features is the ease of managing infrastructure as a whole; software and hardware coming together in one place to manage all the architecture, networking, hardware, software, storage, etc.

What needs improvement?

Every year, there is definitely some incremental improvement; faster storage, more compute nodes, better networking, etc. At some point, regarding the whole computation model, instead of just having more and more CPUs, the core itself probably needs to get smarter. Instead of saying, “Oh, it's 16 cores. Now, it's 32. Now, it's 64.”, I would like to see the 16 cores able to do smarter work. That's what I think. I can see it's kind of heading that way, so we might get some improvement in that space.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been using it for a little bit over three years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It's stable. We haven't had any, what I would call Sev 1-type, issues that have caused us a problem with Exadata.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It is a scalable solution. I think it's going to meet the company's needs moving forward, without problems.

How are customer service and technical support?

Between 1 and 10, technical support is 7 or 8. Time to time, we do run into some issues, here and there, where it takes us a little while to get through, to make sure that engineers understand what's going on. For the most part, we don't have any major hiccups, I guess. Sometimes, the issue is finding the right person, getting to the right person to have that conversation. Once you have that then it's fine, but getting to it takes a little bit of time.

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

We previously just had commodity servers that we replaced with Exadata for the ease of convenience.

How was the initial setup?

The initial infrastructure setup is straightforward because it is delivered in a box. It's all pre-configured for the most part. Again, I think it boils down to how each company does it after it's deployed at their site. That's where it gets a little bit challenging and that's where you have to put a little bit of effort in to make sure you lay it down right.

What other advice do I have?

I would definitely recommend Exadata to someone in a similar job role as myself at a similar-sized company, but I would also them to understand the need of what they’re trying to do and not necessarily go to Exadata just because it's nice. They need to spend time on what they want to get out of it. Yes, it's a nicely engineered system but they also need to evaluate cost versus benefit. It's not cheap, I can tell you that.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user522234
Senior DBA at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
The smart scan functionality offloads workloads to the cell server. Queries work faster.

What is most valuable?

Its most valuable feature is the smart scan functionality. It allows for the queries to work faster. It offloads the stuff to the cell server, so it provides better performance.

How has it helped my organization?

I like the consolidation of all the components in one feature. I like the fact that it's very specialized and you can go ahead and utilize it, out of the box. It is intuitively different than a normal database solution; you have to actually design for it. For example, you get rid of indexes instead of creating them. It's a little different; you really need to get up to speed on what the functionality is in order to optimize it. There are a few different things that you can use, such as compression; you can use all kinds of different features that it has.

What needs improvement?

A lot of the extra features they're adding are wonderful, but they're always putting a price on it, for example, the in-memory thing. For certain things, such as Exadata, we're going to stay with on-premises because of regulations. It feels like for anything new, it's almost like they want another license fee; that's the down side.

Maybe they could make the licensing not so bad. If you're already buying something that costs a quarter of a million dollars up to a half a million dollars, maybe they could throw in some extra bang for the buck, some freebies.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is hardware; things break. It does have some redundancy in it, you will see a performance hit at certain periods of time, but I do like the fact that it does have a lot of failover.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is a little bit difficult, actually. A lot of people advertise it as being easy, but what happens is: when you have a previous version and you want to scale that version, they're already into a new version. It's almost better just to buy the new X6 instead of trying to expand your X3. If you want to do scalability, you have to do it immediately within a year; you can't wait.

How are customer service and technical support?

Actually, level one support is OK. It's no different than what most DBAs themselves can handle. Right now, we have a challenge with some wrong results on Exadata, and it's taking a number of weeks; we have clients that are very upset. I would say technical support is a mix. It depends on how difficult the question is, and if it was encountered before. If it was encountered before, really fast. If not, you have to go to development and it can take a while.

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

We did not previously use a different solution. It's a data warehousing product. I know you can use it for online transaction processing, but it's perfectly wonderful for data warehousing. It has a tremendous increase in performance; it's like night and day. We still have some people that are on old systems that we're moving and it's like night and day. You can put really lousy code on it and make that code run good. I'm not saying the code was lousy; I'm just saying that Exadata handles the code differently. If you know how to optimize it, you have to optimize it, though. If you try to put the old code on, don't make your indexes invisible and don't understand how it works, you can actually cause a degradation in performance. You need someone on staff or Oracle help with the understanding of what the differences are, so that you can really make it work for you.

How was the initial setup?

I have a huge background in UNIX hardware, networking and database. For me, it was extremely straightforward. For someone who has just one job function, for example, just a DBA, it would be very challenging. I work with some people for whom it is extremely challenging because they don't have the other aspects; they only understand database and that's a problem if you want to work in Exadata.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

In the past, we were looking at EMC solutions; the flash, the different disks and so on. It still wasn't able or capable to function the way that the Exadata does. That's why Exadata won out, but Exadata could probably improve itself by using some of that state-of-the-art flash in the product more. They could even improve on the design by using more up-to-date disks and technologies, that are out there now.

When I’m selecting a vendor such as Oracle the most important criteria for me are reputation, stability, performance; that kind of criteria.

What other advice do I have?

If a friend asked me about Exadata, I would encourage them to go with it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521757
CIO Group Services at a insurance company with 5,001-10,000 employees
Vendor
It combines hardware with the software that we use from Oracle.

Valuable Features

It is fast and integrated. It combines hardware with the software that we use from Oracle. It's a complete stack, not only for the hardware but the full implementation and delivery, so it’s really good for IT.

Improvements to My Organization

We have seen performance and reliability benefits. It's also beneficial from a cost perspective.

Room for Improvement

We are using it now predominantly as a hardware stack managed by our company. We would love to see it more as a service; a database-as-a-service offering.

Stability Issues

It is very stable; no stability issues.

Scalability Issues

No problems with scalability.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The SRs that we raise are not always resolved in a timely fashion. Often I'm unhappy.

Initial Setup

At this moment in time, it is pretty much a straightforward, almost-manual installation. We're looking for some automation around it.

Other Solutions Considered

We also looked at other organizations or vendors, as well. We also looked at the database appliance from Oracle.

We decided to go with the Exadata product because of the size of our company.

Other Advice

The Nike one: Just do it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521970
Unix/Linux Platform Architect at a financial services firm with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
It provides performance for our highly critical applications.

Valuable Features

It provides performance for our highly critical applications.

They seem to be doing real well with keeping up on the performance and everything, especially what I have seen with the new chipset that is being offered. I can't really think of anything that they are not doing that they should be doing.

Room for Improvement

It can be difficult to patch and maintain because there are so many databases running on it.

Use of Solution

We have been using Exadata for about five years.

Stability Issues

We have had no down time with it, but it can be difficult to patch and maintain because there are so many databases running on it.

Scalability Issues

It is an absolutely scalable solution.

Customer Service and Technical Support

The support is very good.

I'm not involved in operations that much, but from what I understand, they get back to us; they always find the right person.

Initial Setup

Oracle comes in and does the initial setup.

Other Advice

I recommend it for highly critical, performance-sensitive applications. You have to do a TCO on it because it is a fairly expensive solution. There has to be a cost-benefit analysis done on that.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user521646
Director - OSP/Engineered Systems at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Consultant
It provides performance and reliability.

Valuable Features

Oracle Exadata provides very good performance and reliability. It's a highly reliable system and provides maximum performance.

Improvements to My Organization

The business outcomes are much faster; end users are very happy so they can focus on their day-to-day work rather than waiting for the computer, the response from the system. In many customer cases, reports that used to take 10-12 hours get completed in 1-2 hours, a massive reduction. A business cycle that used to take about 3-5 days to turn around can be turned around in 1 day, so that's where we optimize our business utilization; much more efficiency.

Room for Improvement

A major concern from customers is that it's very costly, but if they think about the total cost of ownership over 3-5 years, I think the total cost attests to the business readiness and it doesn't come out to be very costly.

Stability Issues

Exadata is pretty stable. There are built-in high-availability features. For example, every component – including the power supply, the fan, the CPU, and the memory – is redundant; you're buying a highly available system.

Scalability Issues

It absolutely scales to our customers’ needs. You can start with a two-node configuration, and you can go as high as eight racks, I believe, connected together with eight nodes, so you can scale up to 64. That number might have changed recently. You can scale it very well.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Technical support is fantastic. Oracle supports Exadata customers as the top tier, and you get support when you need it. Oracle has separate Exadata support. Once you buy Exadata, you go to that dedicated team and the turnaround is very, very good.

Initial Setup

Initial setup is complicated and you need to engage Oracle to do that. Obviously, nobody else can do that. It's complicated, but it's a part of the process.

Other Advice

It's a very good product. I think if you have a business use and can justify the cost, go and buy it. You'll never regret it.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior DBA and Architect at a tech services company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
The SuperCluster provides Oracle Exadata functionality along with virtualization at the firmware and the OS kernel layers.

What is most valuable?

The system is engineered to run both databases and enterprise applications unlike other engineered systems, which are either tailored only for databases or only for applications. The ability to consolidate all of the databases is a big plus.

The SuperCluster provides best of both worlds – Oracle Exadata functionality along with virtualization at the firmware and the OS kernel layers.

On the Exadata side the features most valuable are – Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) for both Data Warehouse and OLTP workloads, Storage Indexes for Smart Scan, ability to use Flash Cache for DB storage, and more.

How has it helped my organization?

With SuperCluster and Exadata, all of the servers and storage are integrated within the same rack. This reduces the configuration and setup time, increases performance, and makes maintenance and patching easy. We are able to consolidate all of the databases and application stack on a single SuperCluster with Exadata.

What needs improvement?

In the area of Solaris zone-level virtualization, it would be good to have memory capping as a tool for memory management. Currently for 11g databases running on Exadata with smart scan against hybrid columnar compressed (HCC), tables could result in errors. It would be nice to have a patch rather than the current solution of upgrading the databases to 12c.

For how long have I used the solution?

Currently, we have a Half-Rack SuperCluster with 2 SPARC T5-8 Compute Nodes and 4 Exadata Storage Servers. Current version of Exadata is 12.1.2.1.3. The compute nodes are running Solaris 11.2 with Oracle11g 11.2.0.4 databases. We've been using it for close to three years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We had few issues while deploying DB zones. This virtualization has to be carried out differently when compared to DB LDOM virtualization.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no major problems so far with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no major problems so far with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Overall it has been good so far.

Technical Support:

Overall it has been good so far. In the case of engineered systems like SuperCluster/Exadata, the patching has to go through the support team and there is definitely room for improvements in this area.

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

Previously, we had multiple servers both with and without physical partitioning. The storage for all of the servers had to be zoned to a SAN. The servers and the storage previously were from different vendors and we had to integrate those. Other product offerings were evaluated, but with all of those we had to explicitly integrate the compute, storage, and networking components. In addition, we could not get the benefits of database optimizations with Exadata and have to pay the penalty for virtualization overhead and network traffic between compute and storage layers.

How was the initial setup?

There is a certain degree of complexity with respect to the initial design of the Exadata storage cell disks and grid disks to meet the customer’s application needs. This especially true when migrating from an existing setup. Care has to be taken with regard to the initial domain configurations since this will determine the LDOM and zone-level virtualization. The Exadata disks have to be exposed to both the DB LDOMS and DB Zones.

What about the implementation team?

The initial setup was from the vendor team (for any engineered systems from Oracle). But later we had to continue the setup to cater to our application and business needs. Prior to the implementation, all of the IP allocations are to be completed for the three layers – Client/Public network, InfiniBand private network, and the Management network.

What was our ROI?

At this time, I do not have the actual numbers but would rate the ROI is pretty good.

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

In the long run one can consolidate the various DB related licenses. The number of cores required to run the DBs and applications is much lower on a SuperCluster with Exadata, thereby leading to fewer licenses and reduced cost. Since the entire stack is owned by one vendor (in this case Oracle) the core factor for licensing is 0.5 leading to fewer licenses for the software components.

What other advice do I have?

The SuperCluster in addition to Exadata storage also comes with ZFS storage cluster. Since the compute nodes, storage and networking components are fully integrated with InfiniBand I/O fabric this provides very high performance between various components. Also, it has built-in hardware encryption to provide data security.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Database Development Leader at a tech company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
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
ITCS user
Team Leader at a tech consulting company with 501-1,000 employees
Consultant
HCC provides different levels of compression to reduce space allocation and to decrease I/O.

What is most valuable?

Oracle Engineered Systems are the best solution for Oracle and non-Oracle applications: hardware and software are combined together to ensure high availability and maximum performance. Oracle Exadata contains all the advantages of standard Oracle Database, but on top of that there are exclusive features such as IORM (IO Resource Manager) and HCC (Hybrid Columnar Compression). IORM (in combination with Database Resource Manager (DBRM)) permits you to isolate I/O requests to avoid I/O saturation. HCC provides different levels of compression to reduce space allocation and to decrease I/O.

How has it helped my organization?

Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic are standard-based. Customers can easily migrate their existing applications based on Oracle Database and Oracle WebLogic: they can take advantages of Engineered Systems with minimal effort during the migration process. Customers can benefit from high performance without modifying Java or SQL code and they can decide to use specific features after migrating to Exadata/Exalogic. Also, Engineered Systems can be used to consolidate complex environments: for example, our customer was able to decommission about 20 blades, using a single 1/8 Exalogic x4-2. Finally, Exadata and Exalogic simplifies patching/upgrading process, unifying firmware upgrades, ILOM upgrades, OS patching, Database/WebLogic upgrade/patching in one "single-vendor" activity.

For how long have I used the solution?

We installed the first Exadata in 2011.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The most critical issue was due to a bug with SDP (Sockets Direct Protocol): after connecting Exalogic and Exadata to the same Infiniband fabric and after enabling SDP listeners on Exadata compute nodes, we faced unexpected and random crashes of database hosts. Fortunately, we discovered that SDP caused the reboot, so we disabled it. We permanently resolved the issue with the latest firmware of Exadata, and after that we can take advantage in terms of performance, of SDP protocol.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We used to perform upgrades of Exadata from quarter to half in order to increase CPU/storage capacity. When Exadata hardware is too old (for example, if you want to upgrade from Exadata X3-2 quarter to half, adding x6-2 hardware), you should evaluate the possibility of installing a new Exadata and using Oracle Data Guard to move Oracle Databases.

How are customer service and technical support?

6/10

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

There was no solution in place previously.

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

Using Exadata and Exalogic, you can get the best performance optimizing the number of CPUs, saving costs on software licensing. Also, if you consolidate your environment using Engineered Systems, you can save money on hardware (storage/compute capacity).

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No other options were looked at.

What other advice do I have?

As best practice, before starting the installation you should have a look at the Oracle Documentation. Oracle provides a "Getting Started Guide" to get up-to-date checklists to verify requirements (for example IP addresses, name syntax, etc.) and to be sure your infrastructure is ready for the installation. Also, we recommend to install Oracle Enterprise Manager as a monitoring solution: it is fully integrated with Oracle Exadata and Oracle Exalogic, you can monitor hardware (compute nodes, switches, ILKOM etc.) and software (operating system, Database, WebLogic, business applications etc.).

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Bridge Consulting is partner with Oracle since the beginning in 1998. In 2013, we won an award for the best partner in Italy for Engineered Systems. We are certified in many specializations: Engineered Systems, Database, Middleware and Business Intelligence.
it_user436146
President at a tech consulting company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
Having the disk, all the memory, and all the networking, makes it a lot simpler to administer.

Valuable Features:

The place where I've used it are mainly on the data warehouses with larger implementations, and having everything in one enclosure is really a lot nicer. Having the disk, all the memory, and all the networking, makes not just the implementation easier, but as you're running it, a lot simpler to administer. Because we're asking it to handle everything, it's a simple solution to administer and support. It also has plugins that makes it easier to monitor.

Improvements to My Organization:

Definitely having the ability to have one machine do everything has been the biggest improvement for us organizationally. From the administration side, it helps. If one or two admins can handle it, they don't have to go all over the place to, such as to the storage team, the network team, or anywhere else because they can do a lot of things internally. Definitely, we've seen cost, time, and HR savings with several implementations.

Room for Improvement:

Sometimes pricing can be a bit of an issue, especially if customers don't know exactly what they're getting. Maybe they've gone through the whole process and they didn't get the right size or the right amount. I've worked with several customers who had implementations that were too small and then had to upgrade, as well with others who were overpowered with their implementations.

Deployment Issues:

The deployments have been issue-free.

Stability Issues:

We haven't really had any stability issues. The experiences we have had were when there have been hardware failures, but a Oracle took care of that pretty quickly. Our customer had databases and memory modules die and everything kept running. With the failures we've seen, it's stayed very consistent on the ones we've done.

Scalability Issues:

If it's done with the right specs in mind, it seems to scale pretty well. We haven't really had any scalability issues.

Initial Setup:

Exadata is pretty much set up when it ships. Afterwards, you just have to copy data over and it's ready to go. So the setup is fairly easy and straightforward.

Other Advice:

Definitely do a POC on it. Work closely with Oracle Professional Services to help you with the right configurations.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
it_user452355
Senior Principal Consultant at Viscosity
Video Review
Consultant
Key benefits include consolidated databases into one platform and one environment.

Valuable Features:

Some of the features which are specific to Exadata, like histories, offloading and accurate processing. One of the customers we work with had mostly thousands of batch jobs, which used to take, 30 to 40 hours, with the Exadata, and re-architecturing some of those solutions on the Exadata, moving them. It turned out to be running in one hour, or less than one hour. It's a huge, huge performance gain. And in the end, the company realized the return on the investment they have made into Exadata.

Improvements to My Organization:

Some of the key benefits with our customers moving to the Exadata, they can get it consolidated, all the databases into one platform, one environment. And other advantages, you get a lot of the new features out of the box of the Exadata itself. We don't have to shelve around a lot of different parts of the machines, the networking component, the storage components, you know, all together, one into one machine, into the Exadata. It's a huge, huge advantage for the customers, right? They don't have to look into the history, they don't have to look into the database machines, you know, networking part of it all income passes in one machine. And Oracle has engineered it specifically for the purpose of data. Optimized the database solutions. So once you move it, you get the benefits of your query optimization, your history optimization, your machine data with computer optimization. Everything is blended into one machine.

Room for Improvement:

The key features with the Exadata is offloading the query processing, some of them, at the storage level. That's where Oracle has to make it smarter. I think it's already smarter, the Exadata storage. I can't think of a specific feature that can put in, but that's where I think there's room for more improvement.

Adaptability is a little bit challenging for the customer because of the licensing and the pricing. That's where I think they can make a big difference.

Scalability Issues:

It's a product which Oracle has built with scalability in mind. You can have Exadata hooked up with another Exadata. You have a really high bandwidth network, they call it Infiniband. So you can extend it horizontally as much as you want. So there's a huge, huge opportunity to upscale it and Exadata itself comes in two different flavors, like quarter rack, half rack, full rack. So you can choose and pick, based on your need of the scalability and the future need of how your workload and other things are going to be in future.

Implementation Team:

You've got to have some basic understanding of networking, storage, some kind of background in the database. That's where it makes it very easy for you to step in and do the initial set up of configurations. Of course, there are certain sorts of specific tools and utility from Oracle which you have to be aware, you have to talk to Oracle very proactively. Make sure you know all the requirements, you need to do the initial setups. You are aligned with the people in Oracle and you plan it. You know, planning is the key, and if you have those basic understanding of storage, database, the networking, those things. It really makes it easy for you to step it into the initial setup planning.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

I think it comes to pricing. I know a lot of people don't have the better understanding of the licensing and other things. That's where it effectively comes, in the initial logistics of dealing and getting it.

Other Advice:

I think it's a great solution for all the existing Oracle clients and if they really want to move ahead with the next generation of the Oracle Database, that's the solution to go for. Consolidate everything, move ahead with this. You get a better performance, you get better management, you get less people to manage the things, the room of errors are really less because you have specialized people, less people, and it's very valuable.

Rating: so I'll say that in terms of the rating it will fall in 8 to 9. In terms of the ease of maintenance, you have all the tools and everything Oracle provides. So you don't have to poke around and see what's where, if somebody should come, so where you have to go. If we're really good, you know the Exadata, you know what you're looking for, you talk to Oracle, get those tools, do it. In terms of the performance, you don't have to waste your night, day and night. It's a lot things come built in with the Exadata itself in terms of the price.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
it_user452334
Manager, Principal Consultant at Pythian
Video Review
MSP
It's cost-effective for a lot of organizations. I would rate highly some of the specialized mechanisms that Oracle has put in place.

What is most valuable?

It's pretty simple in my opinion. It's called out the box, and it's called support. Sometimes with the engineered systems based on the support agreement that you have with the vendor, sometimes you hear about problems with your system from them rather than your applications experiencing some issues, and you're having to log a support ticket with Oracle. I think that's huge.

How has it helped my organization?

The thing that attracts them to the two products but mainly the Exadata is the storage technology is revolutionary whether it's the only solution of that flavor on the market or not, I'm not familiar with. It's the storage solution, it's the speed, and it's the high availability. If somebody wants 5 or 6 9s worth of availability, a very good place for them to be is with one of Oracles engineered system solutions.

What needs improvement?

As is always the case with Oracle, when some late-breaking fancy technology gets under their radar, self-invented or perhaps something that they're picking up that they'd like to compete with from another vendor, they're all over it. I can't specifically think of anything myself. Outside I guess of speed and maybe the other two things I could think of are speed and speed, but I'm not suggesting that speed is an enhancement because there's anything wrong with the speed of the system now, but of course we always like to do things in four nanoseconds rather than seven.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I think I would probably give it a capital S. People here peripherally hear about informational stuff that may be going on in the cluster, but as far as catastrophic events that may happen with the cluster, a lot of them in some way, shape or form are not far from self-healing. I think that's a huge advantage of an engineered system.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

If you buy a quarter rack, you feel like you need more computing power, you upgrade to a half rack. You go to a 3/4 or a full rack. It's basically I guess we used to call it plug and play except a lot of us found it in the olden days, it was plug and pray. I think they've got that one licked to the max.

How are customer service and technical support?

Sometimes it's them calling us on behalf of one of our clients, but I would find that once one figures out the best way to work with their support organization in general, but their engineered systems support organization in particular, I can't think anything outside of a world class organization. I would admit that I don't have a lot, if any, experience with the competition, but I don't feel like I need any experience with the competition because of the way they do support those two products.

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

A lot of the times it ends up being complaints from the user community, and difficulty with strategic activities that the system performs. If you're running a commercial off the shelf application against these engineered system, sometimes it's a little more complex to work with a third party vendor, to speed things up. Mainly it's complaints from the user community. You and I both know that if something takes four seconds all the time and takes seven seconds some of the time, all the people are going to remember is the seven seconds.

What about the implementation team?

I haven't done it on a hands-on basis, but I believe that what I mentioned at the beginning about out of the box is just that. Oracle from my recollection first tried to venture into some form of engineered system in the '90s with HP. It was a red box that you basically took out of the carton and plugged in. I think that's pretty much close to what once you brought it onto the network, exactly what you're going to do with their systems, so I thinks it's plug and play.

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

Choosing a vendor: obviously cost, high availability, and the strength of the rack technology. It's a corner of the Oracle technology that basically not exactly gets reinvented, but the new features and the new ways of going about to do things and the capabilities of failover and all that is a huge concentration as the product matures, not that it is immature. I think that's a primary reason that people might consider looking at this. There's absolutely no doubt, it's not far from an upgrade basically being done on the fly. There's so many things that can be done online. The plague of course of the '90s and the early-2000s was downtime.

What other advice do I have?

Rating: I'd call it about a 12 out of 10. Of course you have to be able to afford the box. You have to be able to afford the configuration that you're going to be getting into. It's cost-effective for a lot of organizations, but I would rate the technology very high. Some of the specialized mechanisms that Oracle has put in place, especially with respect to Exadata and the late-breaking version of Exadata in particular.

As I said before, I'm not intimately or even somewhat peripherally familiar with the competition, but these guys know what they're doing, and my experience has been in the past that if Oracle ever plays catch-up in a technology spectrum with the competition, watch out. We all know that it's now cheap. It's affordable for a lot of organizations. If cost is going to be something, it's going to ultimately drive an organization's buy or no buy decision. The benefit after the money is spent and an ongoing outflow of cash to the vendor, if it makes business sense for somebody, I don't think they can be in a better place.

Make sure it's the right solution. Make sure that you do indeed need their real application cluster solution, which we affectionately call rack. Make sure it's right for you. It sounds corny, and it's sounds like a cliché, but it applied when I got started in IT in the 1800s, and it still applies. If it's cost-effective, go for it.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're partners.
it_user448662
Director, IT at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
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).

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
CTO/Architect at Viscosity North America
Consultant
Once you start leveraging it with Database In-Memory and Multitenant, you've got a solid platform for enterprise.

Valuable Features

The most valuable feature is definitely the performance. However, it's also a platform for both performance and consolidation. Once you start leveraging Exadata with Database In-Memory and Multitenant, you've got a really solid platform for database enterprise computing.

Improvements to My Organization

If you have server footprint reduction or consolidation as a requirement, then you can consolidate several databases and configurations onto one platform. Combine that with performance, it becomes a great avenue for cost reduction in terms of OpEx and CapEx. Exadata cannot be one-dimensional solution, performance, consolidation, and scalability must be part of the overall solution.

Room for Improvement

I think Oracle Enterprise Manager has come a long way with monitoring and managing Exadata, but getting the patching down would go a long way. I think the patching is still lacking quite a bit. If we can get the patching and upgrade in place, that would make a huge impact in overall supportability. I realize there is new OEM functionality recently introduced to support this, but it needs to be flushed out and tested.

Stability Issues

It's been great. The stability has really, really improved a lot over the last couple of years.

Scalability Issues

It's been fantastic. With all the additional flash, with the faster CPUs, the faster disks, it's really come a long ways. The introduction of the X6 is also going to be an interesting avenue.

Customer Service and Technical Support

Tech support has been really good. That goes a long way because you have some comfort, stability in the fact that you've got somebody that you can lean on. You don't always have those skill sets. Since we're a services company, we do have those skill sets in that area, but most customers may not have that.

These guys are very well versed in the technology. They understand not only the storage software part of it, but the database as well as the hardware aspect of it -end to end. The most surprising aspect of Exadata is really the support.

Initial Setup

It is quite difficult, but again since we're a services company, we're pretty well versed in it. We actually help customers do that end-to-end. Not only do we help bring Exadata in, we help do the installation and configuration and migration to the Exadata, as well as sustainability for future.

It takes a lot of planning depending on your downtime for conversion, depending where [platform] you're coming from. All those things play a big part in what tools you use and how you use them.

Pricing, Setup Cost and Licensing

It is an expensive stack, so there's those things to keep in mind. The upside is that once you've bought into the technology, you have to embrace it , if that's the direction you want to go.

Other Advice

It is really good for what it's supposed to do. It's a great technology for Oracle-based solutions. There's pluses and minuses in everything. Any time you get an engineered system like that, you have to be geared for organizational [boundary] changes. Understand how the technology is supposed to work, how it's going to change the way you do your day-to-day business.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We're a reseller and partner.
it_user436020
Lead Oracle Database Administrator at a insurance company with 10,001+ employees
Vendor
Smart Scan gives us the ability to perform a large amount of processing on the storage side.

Valuable Features

The most valuable feature would be Smart Scan because it gives us the ability to perform a large amount of processing on the storage side, cutting down on I/O tremendously. That's one of the big features that really drew us into jumping on Exadata.

We also like having the ability to have a lot of flash storage where a lot of our data can be in-memory, which speeds up transactions and processing.

Improvements to My Organization

As with any organization, before we embark on anything, we have to look at the ROI as well as the ability of a particular tool. Exadata helps us to consolidate and manage our databases as one with much faster processing. This, of course, is the key in speeding up our ability to do work and provide customer service. We're a mutual fund company, so speed is really key in providing satisfactory customer service. Exadata really gives us the key factors from an IT perspective, which are performance and availability.

Room for Improvement

There's a lot with Exadata that can be done on a black-box level which depends entirely on what the vendor is able to do for you, which is good from a certain perspective. But we hope, as this technology matures, Oracle allows customers to have a little more hands-on customization of some certain elements to better suit their environments. So we're looking forward to the ability to do greater customizations to suit our business needs.

Deployment Issues

Deployment wasn't difficult and we had no issues with it. Oracle had a bad rap in the past with customers who had bigger systems. They didn't provide them with enough assistance in order to assimilate new products and tools. But now, they've done a pretty good job of creating a very thorough cookbook, which has helped a lot with issues they we and my peers at other companies have had. Some of the issues was in the way we set up our enterprises which made it difficult to bring in and assimilate new products, but Oracle has lately done a good job of smoothing that out.

Stability Issues

Exadata has been a very stable product once configured properly. We've had no issues with instability.

Scalability Issues

It's scaled to our needs.

Customer Service and Technical Support

We have premier-level technical support, so we have a pretty good relationship with them.

Initial Setup

I would describe the initial setup as being of medium complexity. We're a financial insurance company, so we always want to put in a lot of rigor, in terms of security and compliance. At times, it's not our own fault, but it's our devices, but at the same time, the price of being exploited is bigger than what it takes to ensure security and compliance. The issue has been really more of the rigor that we put in ourselves, and finding a way to allow those new products and solutions to work as they were expected through our hardening that we've done on our environment.

Other Advice

We want to stay at the front of the cutting edge, and we evaluate and realize that the benefit, the return on investment that Exadata brings for a company of our magnitude and size, is tremendous. We've exploited Exadata, and it's performed very well for us.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Oracle Database Administrator & technical Project Manager at a tech services company with 51-200 employees
Consultant
We have a complete HA environment with two Exadata machines across two datacenters.

What is most valuable?

The performance of Smart Scan, Storage Indexes, etc., and the High Availability features are all valuable to us.

How has it helped my organization?

We have a complete HA environment with two Exadata machines across two datacenters. We've able to use Data Guard to perform switchovers, perform maintenance, and do other tasks with little or no downtime at all.

What needs improvement?

The Lifecycle Management over the whole stack could be improved over what it already provides. The rolling upgrade feature on the database itself should be improved. It needs some Java updates as well as there is too much downtime related to Java issues.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using the platform for five years, and my customer is now buying Exadata X5-2.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We didn't have an issue with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

While we have am MAA environment, it is absolutely robust. We've had no issues with any instability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

There have been no issues scaling it for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Oracle Support Services should be improved. The customer has seen more and more discussions within the Oracle Support Groups indicating that support has done more and more finger-pointing, which doesn't help the customer to fix problems.

Technical Support:

5/10 - They have a lot to improve upon.

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

There was no solution previously in place.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was complex, but it was well planned by Oracle ACS.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it between Oracle ACS and an in-house team.

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

The pricing and licensing is really complex and you need to have a very detailed plan.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

The customer looked at a Hitachi solution.

What other advice do I have?

Start with a good POC and then make the decision.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We implement Oracle solutions for our customers.
it_user259971
ITA - Oracle Apps DBA at Tata Consultancy Services
Real User
Features I Find Valuable Include: Smart Flash Cache, Smart Scan and the Robust Storage.

What is most valuable?

  • Smart Scan
  • Smart Flash Cache
  • High Availability
  • Consolidation
  • Robust Storage
  • Computing

How has it helped my organization?

Because of Exadata Systems, we were able to consolidate all the applications databases into one, e.g, Oracle EBS, Siebel, Hyperion etc.

What needs improvement?

Exadata Linux systems have Intel CPUs inside. I would suggest that if Oracle could work together with Intel to have some more intelligence at the CPU level, then there would be nothing like it.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it since June 2013.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We didn't have any deployment issues.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

After three to four months we may need to perform a rolling reboot of the DB/storage servers.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I would say it's the best solution in terms of scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

8/10.

Technical Support:

9/10.

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

We used both EMC Storage and IBM Servers.

How was the initial setup?

The setup was simple, however, the database migration was a bit challenging, but there was no show stopper anywhere.

What about the implementation team?

We are a vendor TCS (Tata Consultancy Services) and have as a customer the Taj Group of Hotels (IHCL), where we deployed and implemented Exadata Systems.

What was our ROI?

It's almost 100%.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

  • IBM
  • HP

What other advice do I have?

Go for it if you are looking for consolidation/scalability.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: TCS is an Oracle Diamond Partner.
it_user419178
Sr Enterprise Database Admin at Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA)
Vendor
The High Availability and rolling upgrade features are the most important for us.

What is most valuable?

The High Availability and rolling upgrade features are the most important for us. They help us achieve zero downtime and increased performance.

How has it helped my organization?

The biggest advantage to our implementation of Exadata is that because it's an Oracle-engineered system, our database administrations don't have to worry about performance tuning. It's already optimally tuned and, when compared to other systems, it's really provided us with better performance.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've had no issues with deployment.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

It is brand new for us, and we are slowly getting other databases into it. So far, it's good, but we are not using 100% of them, so we still have to learn a lot.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It has the best scalability of all our Oracle products.

How are customer service and technical support?

We've created a lot of cases, so we're in touch with Oracle support frequently. The service is consistent across all our Oracle products because they're located in one place.

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

We previously used IBM InfoSphere Warehouse.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

Oracle provided us with an on-site consultant to perform the installation.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also looked at Microsoft SQL. We chose Exadata as we have other Oracle products, including Database.

What other advice do I have?

If you are buying Exadata, be sure to go with the latest version.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Analyst ( Senior Oracle DBA) at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
We're able to add more users, and queries get executed very quickly for data warehousing compared to our previous solution.

What is most valuable?

  • Smart Flash Cache
  • Storage Index
  • Smart Scan
  • Hybrid Columnar Compression
  • Oracle ASM
  • Security with encryption
  • Oracle platinum support

How has it helped my organization?

We were using a normal RAC on a Linux server for online applications and Oracle on the same platform for data warehousing. After moving to Oracle Exadata, we were able to add more users, and queries get executed very quickly for data warehousing, around one quarter to half the time when compared to our previous solution under normal conditions.

What needs improvement?

  • Shared RAM for multiple instances
  • Hardware update in terms of storage
  • Ability to migrate a database to Exadata from a normal environment

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using it for five years, including in my previous company.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

During migration, we approached transportable tablespace and Oracle database along with GoldenGate.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There have been no issues with stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

It's been able to scale for our needs.

How are customer service and technical support?

10/10 because we have Oracle Platinum Support.

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

Previously, we used SQL tuning, server tuning along with network tuning with huge storage and higher CPUs. It was a management decision, along with our recommendations, to move to Exadata.

How was the initial setup?

It was a complex setup because we were implementing the online application as well as data warehousing on the same machine. Lots of planning took place before moving to Exadata, and we did regression testing for each application on an Oracle provided Exadata machine. After verification from our application team and management, we verified our test results.

What about the implementation team?

We did it in-house with help from Oracle.

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

It's too costly.

What other advice do I have?

I have seen, and it's my personal experience, that if your application runs on half a rack don't go for a full rack. After all, you can upgrade from half a rack to a full rack if needed, and there is no point to move directly onto a full rack.

Check with Oracle and do testing on the lower version rack first. Although sales people from Oracle will convince you to go for a higher version, which is not needed unless your design, architecture, and applications needed .

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user406893
PL/SQL Developer at a marketing services firm with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Exadata is fast, but things are different. There was a significant learning curve involved in getting it to run our heavy-duty reports.

Valuable Features:

It's a fast solution, though it does take some work to ensure that queries are offloading using bloom filters, etc.

Improvements to My Organization:

It replaced a legacy database (SAND) and was part of a major overhaul. It didn't change the way the company worked per se, but it did force the creation of an Exadata compatible reporting framework, and it was that framework which enabled a leaner rewrite of the existing reports and provided a basis for new ones.

Room for Improvement:

As soon as your joins get complicated, things start to go wrong. You lose much of the offloading and start spilling into temp space. We were reporting on billions of rows and it was a constant problem so a custom reporting framework had to be created. Parallel queries need to be carefully managed and the DBAs need to be right on top of the resource manager, as if you aren't managed properly as a user, you can end up waiting behind others. 

Deployment Issues:

We've had no issues with deployment.

Stability Issues:

We've had no issues with stability.

Scalability Issues:

We've had no issues with scalability.

ROI:

There was quite a learning curve despite knowing that "things are different" with Exadata.

Cost and Licensing Advice:

I do know it's eye-wateringly expensive and that we struggled to get it to do what we wanted it to do.

Other Advice:

I'd be interested to see how the run times stack up against Hadoop or similar - but once you've spent the money, there's no going back!.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user396558
Sr. Lead - Infrastructure Design Database at a manufacturing company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
It's different from competitors in that it is not designed only for a specific application (as in SAP HANA), and is not only for a certain type of workload (as in Teradata).

What is most valuable?

Most, if not all of the time, a database workload is a disk I/O-bound, not CPU nor memory. The most time spent in a database operation is reading a data block from or writing a data block to physical disks. This is true for any type of workloads -- small or large block read and write, sequential or random access. The Exadata technology minimizes this bottleneck by utilizing

  1. Oracle's proprietary intelligent storage software which understands Oracle database I/O characteristics and thus is able to minimize number of disk I/O, and
  2. High-speed Infiniband network for storage network (40 Gb/sec throughput, 5 times higher than the typical fibre channel used for SAN).

How has it helped my organization?

There are several scenarios in which this technology can help. Most package (COTS) software are not designed, and therefore are not optimized, for a specific database platform, e.g. Oracle. Performance starts becoming a problem when the database size and workload (e.g. transaction rate) are high. Even if you, as a customer, have reached out to vendor support, chances are they are not going to customize their code just for one database platform, Oracle. They may help you to do small tuning here and there, but without optimizing the application code, the result is limited. Exadata comes as a quick fix in this situation. Oracle Exadata will sweep the problem under the carpet.

Secondly, most applications have a mixed-workload, not purely OLTP and not purely batch/reporting. Unfortunately in many aspects, database tuning for the fastest response (as in OLTP workload) and for the highest throughput (as in reporting/DSS workload) are a contradiction. Again, Oracle Exadata can be a quick fix by minimizing the number of I/O on a fast and high-throughput storage network. It helps on any kind of workloads.

What needs improvement?

With its value proposition, Exadata is being used to run mission-critical, 24x7 applications. Unfortunately, not all hardware in the Exadata rack are hot-swappable (such as memory, processor and battery maintenance in older models), and therefore business application downtime may be required for those hardware replacements.

Infiniband cabling work may need a complete downtime as well, for example, when we need to connect multiple racks.

For how long have I used the solution?

I have been working with Exadata, since its X2 generation about five years ago. Since then, I have worked with its X3, X4 and, currently, the latest X5 generation. Each generation comes in three models based on the number of sockets in each of database server, -2 (for example X5-2) and -8 (for example X4-8). I have not had a chance to work with the X5-8 model, which was released less than five months ago. However, there is no fundamental difference from the previous generation X4-8, other than more processing power and memory due to newer hardware.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

As in any technology deployment, software bugs and misconfiguration are possible. I have dealt with a few bugs and misconfigurations that have caused application downtime in the past.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

We have no issues with its stability.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You should start with a small footprint (for example, a quarter-rack Exadata) and then grow to a full-rack or even multi-rack Exadata. The only challenge is that by the time you need to expand, the Exadata generation may have evolved (every one to two years, so far). You may end up with a full-rack of Exadata that contains multiple generations, each with a different CPU, memory, and disk capacity. This may not be a big problem, but you have to come up with a strategy to distribute the workload.

How are customer service and technical support?

Oracle Exadata comes with Platinum Support, which is a premium support and includes regular (quarterly) patching/version upgrade activity and fault monitoring. I think this is a right approach by Oracle. As an engineered system, there is a lot of version compatibility between firmwares, operating systems, and softwares that must be taken care of for a patching and image upgrade. This definitely would be a huge responsibility if customers had to deal with this.

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

What everyone needs to understand is that Exadata is a database consolidation platform, and is not designed as a virtualization platform. Therefore, there are security considerations if you plan to use Exadata to host multiple applications that require certain levels of segregation at the network, storage, and operating system levels.

What makes Exadata different than competitors is that it is not designed only for a specific application (as in SAP HANA), and is not only for a certain type of workload (as in Teradata).

How was the initial setup?

It is called an engineered system, but there are options that Oracle offers to its customers. Customers need to complete a configuration generator tool called Oracle Exadata Deployment Assistant (OEDA). Based on the selection made on the tool, configuration file is generated and this will be a 'binding contract' between customers and field engineers who will do the initial setup. The problem is that it is the customer's responsibility to make the right options and some of them are not easy to understand. I suggest the customer not to hesitate to get assistance from Oracle Pre-sales and to go through each of possible options in detail and to understand all consequences.

What about the implementation team?

Initial setup is always done by an Oracle field engineer, up to creation of an empty database. Infrastructure cabling and data center power are usually done by contractors. From the support standpoint, Exadata is just the same Oracle database servers and Linux/Solaris servers.

What other advice do I have?

The solution is relatively easy and fast to deploy. It typically takes less than three weeks from hardware delivery to having functional database servers with a built-in high-availability feature. Most importantly, it delivers an excellent Oracle database performance for any type of workload (OLTP or batch/OLAP). I have seen from 3x to 10x performance improvement for various workloads compared to previous versions. The reason I didn't give a perfect 10 rating is because some hardware are not hot-swappable, such as battery (for older models), memory and processor. While as a matter of fact, this is an important feature of a platform for an enterprise mission-critical application.

What often is confusing for many is the support model of Exadata. Many think Exadata is a black box or appliance that will be supported entirely by Oracle. It is not an appliance or a black box. It is just a bunch of regular Oracle database servers and Linux (or Solaris) servers as storage servers. It needs DBAs and system administrators to take care of it and work with vendor support in case of incidents or patching.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Senior Oracle DBA - RAC and Exadata at a tech services company
Consultant
There are several features I've found valuable, including Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression, Exadata Smart Scan Technology, and Smart Flash Cache.

What is most valuable?

There are several features I've found valuable, including Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression, Exadata Smart Scan Technology, and Smart Flash Cache.

How has it helped my organization?

We have dramatically improved performance for the batch jobs, after we moved from the traditional Oracle 11G databases to the new Exadata servers.

Performance has improved several-fold and moving (consolidating many small databases from smaller Linux/Unix servers into Exadata cluster) has resulted in lower production support cost and effort for BAU DBAs.

What needs improvement?

There were some minor problems moving databases to Exadata, but it was more a problem with the internal processes with my current employer.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've used it since August 2015.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

We've not had many issues with deployment, except for the minor issues involving moving databases.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No problems, we have not had any unplanned down-time or performance issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We've had no problems with scalability.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

Oracle was pretty good in original install and database clusters build, and was pretty helpful in all the requests and questions we posted to them.

Technical Support:

I would say technical support is very good. I have extensive working relationships with the Oracle consultants who were deploying the Exadata clusters at Worksafe. We have not had any really major issues with our Exadata clusters so far.

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

Yes, I have worked as DBAs on traditional Oracle RDBMS versions 9I, 10G and 11G. My previous employer has deployed large DW database into Exadata with great success. Also, Worksafe has decided to move/consolidate many smaller servers/databases into large Exadata clusters. My opinion is that in both cases business users are pretty happy with the database performance and stability on Exadata servers so far.

How was the initial setup?

Initial set-up was a bit complex, but everything was resolved pretty quickly.

What about the implementation team?

Original implementation was done by Oracle, and I would rate the consultant competence as very high.

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

I was not involved with pricing and licensing.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

I was not involved in any before evaluation process.

What other advice do I have?

Exadata is very solid and robust machine, with great performance. Highly recommended for companies (who can afford it).

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user275232
Senior Solution Architect at a comms service provider with 11-50 employees
Vendor
The out-of-the-box performance and data compression allows us to manage larger volumes of data more easily.

What is most valuable?

The extreme performance and data compression that comes straight out of the box.

How has it helped my organization?

With Exadata, everything is simply better optimized, and our organization has been leveraging the fact that it can now manage larger volumes of data much more easily than it could previously. For example, we almost never hear our internal or external customers complain about performance issues these days. Performance problems were a recurring problem for us in the past.

What needs improvement?

X5 supports virtualization, but I think the performance on virtualization is not all that great. I have heard it from a customer, though I admit I haven't tested it out myself.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this for about three months.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We find X5 to be very scalable.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

We have always had excellent customer service.

Technical Support:

It's excellent.

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

We were convinced that with Exadata we would be able to consolidate our databases, have a serious performance boost, and leave a smaller footprint on the Data Center.

How was the initial setup?

There were some complexities because a lot of departments were involved, and there were some communication gaps, but generally speaking, it went smoothly.

What about the implementation team?

It was done in-house, but with help from Oracle.

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

Your TCO and Operational expenses will definitely go down with Exadata.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No, we were pretty much decided on Exadata from the outset.

What other advice do I have?

This product actually does what it promises to - it gives extreme performance on your data set.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Platinum Partners
ITCS user
Presenter at a consultancy
Consultant
v1 and v2 on Linux: Its large memory capability and parallelism potential has given a big boost
On a scale from 1-5 (1=worst, 5=best), how would you rate this product overall compared to similar products? - 4, Have not used anything similar but our environment is mainly OLTP so we have to figure out how to take advantage of the normal 11gR2 features and make the optimal use of the Exadata structure and storage cells. For how long have you used this product? - 15 months Which features of this product are most valuable to you? - Parallelism - Memory - Storage Cell “intervention” for query performance - If we can modify all of our code to use /*+ APPEND */ or /*+ APPEND_VALUES */ then the compression would be significant. Seems to be a “version 1.0” for OLTP centric applications. On the other hand we also need to rethink the database, application architecture and deployment.…

On a scale from 1-5 (1=worst, 5=best), how would you rate this product overall compared to similar products?
- 4, Have not used anything similar but our environment is mainly OLTP so we have to figure out how to take advantage of the normal 11gR2 features and make the optimal use of the Exadata structure and storage cells.

For how long have you used this product?
- 15 months

Which features of this product are most valuable to you?
- Parallelism
- Memory
- Storage Cell “intervention” for query performance
- If we can modify all of our code to use /*+ APPEND */ or /*+ APPEND_VALUES */ then the compression would be significant. Seems to be a “version 1.0” for OLTP centric applications. On the other hand we also need to rethink the database, application architecture and deployment.

Have been finding that in some situations with partitioned tables ignoring the local index (partition key) and doing a full table scan is a lot faster! For example
select /*+ parallel(t1,8) */
column_x
from partition_table t1
where partition_key_column >= trunc(sysdate-30)
and partion_key_column <= trunc(sysdate-1)
and other things

performs poorly (effectively hours!) and the execution plan show the use of the index associated with the partition_key_column.

adding the hint full(t1) gets the result back in less than 10 seconds

Can you give an example of how this product has improved the way your organization functions?
- We have a lot of documents to index and search. Exadata, with its large memory capability and parallelism potential has given a big boost, (300+%) to indexing throughput. We can see a potential for User Query performance improvements but this needs a “re-factoring” (re-write??) of the code.

What areas of this product have room for improvement?
- No built-in feature seems to be present for not allowing the CPU to become overwhelmed and crash the system. Oracle does (or should know!) how much CPU and RAM is necessary for the product to work. Why not just reserve this “minimum” capacity?

Did you encounter any issues with deployment, stability or scalability?
- Spurious shutdowns, snapshots stop working.

Did you previously use a different solution and if so, why did you switch?
- The physics of the old system could not be improved. “Out-of-the-Box” solution and probably more important a controlled and managed upgrades by the Vendor.

Did you implement through a vendor team or an in-house one? If through a vendor team, how would you rate their level of expertise?
- Combination

What advice would you give to others looking into implementing this product?
- If you cannot consolidate into a single database you are effectively spending a lot of money to get no further ahead.

I am beginning to wonder if Exadata X5 will be the end of the road and for seriously challenged Data quantity the shift towards the newer Big Data Appliance. There are also the new advanced analytic functions in the SQL in 12c.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user270906
Project Manager at a tech services company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Consultant
In addition to greater scalability, better reliability, and a smaller datacenter footprint, the intelligent features utilize the storage layer in a way we've found valuable.

What is most valuable?

The intelligent features have been built to utilize the storage layer in a much better way.

How has it helped my organization?

It's one of the most stable, high-performing products I've used.

What needs improvement?

More control for database admins is needed for storage indexes and pricing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for close to five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service: It's average. Technical Support: It's average.

Which solution did I use

What is most valuable?

The intelligent features have been built to utilize the storage layer in a much better way.

How has it helped my organization?

It's one of the most stable, high-performing products I've used.

What needs improvement?

More control for database admins is needed for storage indexes and pricing.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for close to five years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's average.

Technical Support:

It's average.

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

We switched because we get better reliability and scalablity, as well as improved performance and a smaller footprint in the datacenter.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it in-house.

What was our ROI?

It's close to 40% in terms of cost saving.

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

Oracle's pricing and licensing is always costly.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

No issues encountered.

What other advice do I have?

If you are running Oracle databases, this is the best solution.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Platinum Partner
ITCS user
Oracle Database Specialist at a comms service provider with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
With this solution, our data warehouse was consolidated on a single database with improved capability and performance.

What is most valuable?

SmartScan and Cell Offloading, which can drastically reduce I/O from queries, improving response time.

How has it helped my organization?

My company's data warehouse was consolidated on a single database with improved capability and performance. Maintenance tasks and jobs start to execute much faster on the new environment. Now our company is acquiring a new hardware to support our SAS application.

What needs improvement?

Massive updates statements should not disable HCC.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for over two years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

When the workload increases on the cells, Cell Offloading may not happen.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

8/10.

Technical Support:

8/10.

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

No previous solution was used.

What about the implementation team?

The setup is conducted by Oracle, which is a requirement.

What was our ROI?

We've not measured it.

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

It can simplify your IT environment, reducing the costs with maintenance operations if you have the Platinum offering.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We looked at Fusion I/O, but Exadata Storage was so much faster.

What other advice do I have?

It really fit our mixed environment and it is totally directed to DW/DSS environment, as most of the heavy queries would be performed on the storage server.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Software Engineer with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
In the past we used traditional RAC database architecture. The switch was straightforward using the OneCommand tool.

What is most valuable?

  • Exadata Storage Server software
  • Smart Scan

How has it helped my organization?

  • Sped up SQL response time
  • Easy to get support from the vendor

What needs improvement?

The ASR needs to be improved.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for three years, from 2012 to 2015.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No issues encountered.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Oracle support provided the necessary information to scale the system.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It's good, 8/10.

Technical Support:

8/10.

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

In the past we used traditional RAC database architecture. We switched because this type of solution has many drawbacks, and Exadata is the best system for Oracle databases.

How was the initial setup?

It was straightforward using the OneCommand tool that is designed for Exadata deployment.

What about the implementation team?

We used an ACS engineer (advanced customer service) and the field delivery engineer did the implementation.

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

It is little bit expensive compared to other solutions, but very useful. You just pay for one license which covers all the components within Exadata.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

It is a new level of server designed for Oracle database software, so you cannot find any other options with Exadata storage software.

What other advice do I have?

If you have OLT and are working 24/7 on an Oracle database, Exadata is the best solution for you. Before implementing this product you need to define your requirements clearly as this will help you to avoid future issues.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Our company ITZone LLC is an Oracle Field Delivery Partner in Mongolia.
it_user259974
Oracle DBA with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
We had tried other storage and hardware options but nothing really got us performance we needed for some of our applications.

What is most valuable?

There are so many it’s hard to just name a few but -

  • Cell off-loading
  • Reliability
  • ExaCheck
  • InfiniBand

How has it helped my organization?

Many diverse applications were migrated to the Exadata platform that had either performance or stability issues. All have had very reliable and performance since.

Their hardware engineers can’t be beat. They are the best people I have ever worked with and parts are installed very quickly and efficiently. They’re very easy to work with, schedule jobs with, and get things done. Also, they are very proactive as well.

What needs improvement?

Most of my suggestions for Exadata itself have been addressed in X5. Oracle keeps improving the reliability and adding more hot swappable parts for the hardware and software.

The only improvements left are not with the product itself but with MOS support, ASR and patching. For MOS software support, there are some very talented people there, but not enough of them. They need more software engineers with in depth training on how to use the ASR system and the jump gate.

When the jump gate is updated or patched, it seems to take a bit to get things working properly again so patching and ASRs can be done. Platinum patching continues to improve but it is not a hands off solution.There is quite a bit of manual effort involved with each patch cycle to co-ordinate the patching. With some of the patching there, is downtime, and most of it is rolling but there are a few cases where you do need have downtime.

For how long have I used the solution?

Since v1, almost six years.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Just the normal software bugs, nothing major. In fact considering the complexity, there are very few bugs at hardware/software level. The ASR system with the jump gate was more problematic than the Exadata setup.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, very stable and reliable. On one quarter-rack we have 27 databases running, which astounds me every time I patch and do maintenance.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

We have added more memory and additional storage arrays, and adding more memory is very easy, while adding a storage array takes some time, but it is not as complicated as I expected. We will be expanding our local file system soon not sure how complex this will be. Adding ZFS is fairly straightforward and has become easier since I first did it three years ago.

How are customer service and technical support?

My hardware support is beyond compare. The MOS software support is good but there are just too few experienced people.

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

AIX, and we switched partly due to a hardware refresh, and partly due to performance, and the growth of some of the applications.

How was the initial setup?

Documents are very clear, and there were many software and hardware engineers available to provide assistance and guidance along the way. The most difficult piece was the ASR system set up with the jump gate, password vault and set up in OEM. The other difficulty was the network, and some of that was due to my lack of experience in that area.

What was our ROI?

We had one application that went down constantly and since we moved to the Exadata there have been few issues outages and incidents.Huge performance gains as well.

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

Really evaluate your needs from a hardware and software end. Buy what you will need for between three and five years down the line, in terms of storage and memory. Buy products either before Oracle’s fiscal year end (May) or Open World. You can bundle all of your Oracle products into one agreement to get the best discounts. Try to get training and some consulting time into the agreement.Some companies leverage the partner or beta programs. I did one such beta test and was glad I did because I made improvements.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We had tried other storage and hardware options but nothing really got us performance we needed for some of our applications. We migrated applications from AIX to Linux VM and Exadata. The most critical or resource intensive applications go to Exadata.

What other advice do I have?

There is a learning curve to this product and it is complex at the hardware, network and software levels. Train all your staff, not just the database administrations as the network and UNIX admns have to get familiar with the components. Exadata classes are available and the DBAs should know RAC and services well.

The starter databases are a template for new databases. Run ExaChks weekly, and set up OEM to monitor Exadata, but spend time to make sure you do it correctly. If you have a large Exadata foot print look at ZFS for backups and evaluate if you have the staff to support it. If not make sure you partner with the correct consultants.

Oracle does provide Platinum patching services but that has to be managed. Read about the product and really evaluate how to use it properly. Talk to other customers and join Exadata groups. Do a proof of concept, so see if there is a sandbox to try out. And probably the best hint is that MOS has an Exadata best practice guide - follow it as best you can. Granted there are some things you have to do for vendor products. But the more you can get out of these the better off you will be for patching, MOS etc.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
Founder and President at Viscosity North America
Vendor
A single consulting resource can patch/upgrade the entire stack because patching and maintenance has become reliable and simplified.

What is most valuable?

My top 4 most important features of Exadata are:

1. Smart Scan, the ability to offload intensive SQL workloads to the storage servers. Queries are offloaded to the storage layer and only the result sets of relevant data are returned to the database server thus significantly improving performance.

2. Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression, where we can compress data from 10x to 50x. Deploying databases on the Exadata can significantly reduce the amount of storage that is needed.

3. Exadata Smart Flash Cache automatically moves data between DRAM, flash and spinning SAS or SATA disks to provide best performance.

4. Virtualization is a new feature introduced to the X5-2 family. Now Oracle’s Database Machine can be catered to large enterprise mission critical databases and can house smaller databases that need isolation and now even application servers together with the database. We can connect data intensive applications to the database over low-latency, high throughput infiniband.

How has it helped my organization?

We are able to provide a complete solution to our customers from data center installation/configuration, firmware upgrades, ILOM upgrades, OS patching/upgrades, cluster patching/upgrades and database patching/upgrades. We can upgrade the entire stack in a single evening with minimal outage. Depending on the customer’s tolerance for downtime, we can either perform the patching or upgrade in a rolling fashion.

Patching and upgrade services have proven to be a value-add differentiator for SMB and mid-market customers where resources and budgets are often limited. A single consulting resource can patch/upgrade the entire Exadata stack because patching and maintenance has become reliable and simplified.

What needs improvement?

For the initial instantiation process, the Oracle Exadata Deployment Assistant (OEDA) could have better error checking and pre-check validation as you navigate through the tool. When executing the OneCommand utility, generated logs are decent but the logs are not detailed enough to pinpoint to where the error occurred in the stack. Oracle can do a better job with error isolation. After the OneCommand, other one-off commands have to happen (i.e. we have to login to the infiniband and cisco switch). Ideally, OEM could be leveraged to configure the remaining components of the Exadata after the OneCommand. The idea would be to reduce the number of people required to support the stack. If we leverage OEM, we can leverage a single resource that minimally understands the stack to support the workflow.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've been using Exadata since V2 in 2009.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

For new DBA's trying to understand the Exadata infrastructure, they struggle initially trying to understand all the components between ILOM, ASR, and OEM (what they manage, what they support, and what problem area that they detect) and which does what since they are overlapping. Consolidation management across the Exadata is another common issue on the Exadata. OEM is good at managing individual targets but not so great yet on identifying culprits across environments with heavily consolidated databases. When you look at the compute wholistically, it is difficult to identify what database is consuming most CPU and most I/O resources. Doing any kind of showback is difficult to do across instances.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

I only see stability issues with Exadata when I see too much consolidation, and/or the Exadata is not sized properly. Often the customer tries to throw everything and anything on the Exadata, by over-parallelizing OLTP/batch processes without any resource management across any databases.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

With the Exadata, if I see an issue with scalability, it is typically goes back to being a sizing issue. The real question I have to ask is: did you get the right Exadata configuration for your database(s). If your Exadata configuration is sized properly, you should not have scalability issues.

If you let every database see every CPU on the Exadata compute node, you can potentially run into scalability issues. Customers who do not take advantage of database resource manager or IO Resource Manager (IORM) often run into performance issues in a consolidated environment. Likewise, if a customer tries to over-parallelize their application code, it can cause scalability issues. We tend to see more issues with improper management of parallel execution on the Exadata because it is perceived as something you can throw anything at.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

The Exadata stack is well known and has become a standard platform with Oracle customers; thus, triage to resolution has become much more streamlined. When you create a service ticket with Oracle Support, time to resolution is significantly reduced. On another note, Oracle Field Support engineers are remarkable. They have been quick to respond, flexible, knowledgeable, and willing to work with our schedule.

Technical Support:

Oracle Support Engineers are outstanding but you have to know how to navigate the system. Oracle Support provides all the technical support for the Exadata including the database software, OS, and hardware. Not knowing how to navigate through Oracle’s support structure and escalation policies can leave you feeling stranded by the vendor. Logging a support ticket with any component of the Exadata is no different than logging a support ticket for a database issue. You need to know how to raise a severity for a service ticket and how to escalate a support issue with the duty manager when production issues occur. Having a seasoned DMA (database machine administrator) is crucial to a successful Exadata deployment.

Having said that, often with Exadata customers, they can create a service ticket with the wrong Oracle Support group. This can cause confusion and elongated response times at early stages of the Exadata deployment as the service ticket gets routed to different teams within Oracle Support.

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

Lot of our customers come from best of breed technologies (UCS/Dell/HP, EMC/Hitachi) to choosing Exadata. Typically, our customers choose Exadata for pure performance in IOPs, throughput, and low latency for their database workloads; however, we have seen a trend of customers choose the Exadata platform because they are short staffed, have high rates of attrition, and thus, have inability to support the hardware and software technologies.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup is straightforward with the Exadata X5-2. We have to re-image the factory Exadata and leverage OneCommand for configuring the compute and storage nodes.

What about the implementation team?

A lot of the initial setup is configured by the Oracle ACS (Advanced Customer Support) organization; however, Viscosity is a certified Exadata implementation specialist and often perform the initial installation and configuration at the customer data center. By the time the customer receives a fully configured Exadata, they are ready to deploy databases as a RAC or non-RAC database.

What was our ROI?

For our customers, we are able to significantly reduce both CapEx and OpEx for customers for 3-5 years TCO. We are able to:

  • Accelerate implementation to meet the functionality demand from the business users
  • Deliver quick implementations to meet the market demands
  • Lower implementation costs

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

Setup costs for the Exadata varies from customer to customer and depends on database size, number of databases, and number of applications. For our most recent customer in Dallas Texas, the cost rolled up to approximately 800k for 2 X Quarter racks, which include storage cell software, and 25k for setup services. To determine day-to-day cost, we estimated the cost to average about 7k per month for both QTR racks.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

A lot of our customers typically look at two other options. We have seen customers perform side-by-side evaluations by building their own high performance system with EMC/Pure Storage/Violin All Flash Array and UCS/HP/Dell blades or perform comparisons with a converged system such as VCE‘s Vblock. Customers typically ask for a proof-of-concept demo and run performance benchmarks with their own database and application to see the immediate impact and value-add for their organization. Our last 3 customers have compared Exadata with the Vblock.

What other advice do I have?

For new customers who are about to embark on the Exadata journey, they should consult with a vendor specializing in Exadata implementations for the first set of database migrations and technical direction. Customers should also do the proper sizing exercises either with Oracle or with the Exadata Specialty niche vendor to buy the suitable Exadata configuration what will suit their business needs for the next several years.

When purchasing Exadata, they should also look into purchasing either the ZFS Storage Appliance (ZFSSA) or the Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance (ZDLRA) to offload their backups to leveraging Infiniband technology for maximum throughput.

OEM CC 12c provides a comprehensive monitoring and management of the Exadata platform. Not only can OEM monitor and maintain at the hardware level for compute, storage and network but also at the OS, cluster and database level. OEM Cloud Control can monitor all components of the Exadata.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are an Oracle Gold Partner, reseller, and certified implementation specialist for Exadata. We are also authors of the Exadata Expert Handbook (http://www.amazon.com/Oracle-Exadata-Experts-Handbook-Farooq/dp/0321992601/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1432846914&sr=8-1&keywords=expert+exadata+handbook) and Oracle ACE Directors.
it_user242436
Infrastructure Principal Director at a tech services company with 10,001+ employees
Real User
The fully converged approach of engineered systems certainly saves a lot of effort.

What is most valuable?

One of the less well appreciated features of engineered systems in general, and Exadata in particular, is the speed with which a customer can get up and running. Having all components, both hardware and software, fully configured, tested, and optimised on delivery is a major customer win.

To fully appreciate this you have to consider the alternative, which is traditionally a best of breed approach, and how long this takes customers, and the effort involved in wiring everything and ensuring full interoperability between both the hardware and software components. Having experienced the issues with this approach many times in the past, the fully converged approach of engineered systems certainly saves a lot of effort.

How has it helped my organization?

In addition to the enhanced speed of operational readiness, the other major, but less well appreciated benefit, is one of standardisation. Many large organisations have a wide and varied oracle database, both in terms of hardware and software. A big advantage I have seen is standardisation onto the one hardware platform and a minimal number of software versions. This has improved operational effectiveness.

What needs improvement?

Several barriers to entry have been overcome with the latest X5 generation, in particular moving to more flexible sizing (elastic configurations) allows customers to choose the exact fit of compute and storage resources they require.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used this product for nearly 4 years now. I've used all versions of Exadata from V2, all the way up to X5. This covers 5 generations of enhancements.

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Issues encountered tend to business process problems or people problems. The issues tend not to be technical.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

In the earlier days of the V2 generation, and with customers pushing the then limited memory and cpu sizings available, stability was not at the levels encountered today.

With properly sized memory parameters and with the later generations of the Exadata software, stability is excellent.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

Have worked on expanding racks with multi-generation racks, the promise of start small and grow over time is delivered fairly effortlessly.

How are customer service and technical support?

Technical support can be patchy, particularly a couple of years back, the number of support personnel with exadata skills was perhaps not at the level it could have been. That being said, I have continually been impressed with the field engineers. I have encountered some who's dedication and commitment to fixing issues went way above what I would have expected.

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

Storage growth, and the possibility of utilising HCC to drive this down was a large driver for switching.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup and deployment of an Exadata rack is straightforward it has been well engineered to be a very quick initial setup.

What other advice do I have?

The best advice is to scope upfront. Do a proper sizing exercise, get some outside assistance if you need it to get the sizing correct. If you are looking at a large deployment, consider piloting first, as you don't want to have a large amount of kit landing and then spend a long time on the migration.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
ITCS user
Principal Global Database Architect at a leisure / travel company with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
The presence of storage indexes along with the Storage Server software, allows us to deliver better performance without indexes.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the integration of the various components that make the performance soar. More specifically the presence of storage indexes along with the Exadata Storage Server software, which delivers process offloading, allows us to deliver better performance without indexes--saving space and CPU. This innovative feature is not something we would be able to replicate with other solutions. In addition, we consider the features smart scan, smart flashcache, smart flash log and hybrid columnar compression very useful.

How has it helped my organization?

Prior to Exadata, we were relying on daily ETLs from multiple source systems to load data into base tables, then we prepared a summary and materialized views from the base to data marts which were eventually exposed to the end users. This process used to take 18 hours. So, the data was always at least 18 hours late, and occasionally later, if the ETLs failed. This caused two issues: first, most managers simply were not able to make quick decisions because the data was stale and second, for most important functions, the users got the data from our OLTP system which taxed that system's capacity.

After Exadata, we observed three immediate benefits:

  • The ETLs finish in 3 hours (down from 18), making the data fresh and enabling the managers to make quick decisions. Campaigns used to take days but take a few hours now
  • Users no longer go to the OLTP system, reducing the impact there and saving us from upgrades
  • There is no need to build summaries; so some of the data is available almost immediately, allowing most decisions to be taken on near-realtime data which was impossible pre-Exadata

What needs improvement?

There are three possible enhancements:

  • Build a stronger, more responsive support team.
  • Add a RAID-5 like storage layout for customers to save space with the full understanding that performance will be less (which could be fine for non-prod systems).
  • Add storage level replication without the use of Data Guard, which is quite useful in case of organizations that rely on that technology for their Disaster Recovery effort.

For how long have I used the solution?

I've used it for 4 years

What was my experience with deployment of the solution?

Yes; mostly due to the database version being different. We were upgrading from 10g to Exadata which ran 11g; so there were some issues we had to overcome; but those were expected. Quite honestly, our deployment was smooth in Exadata itself due to our deep understanding of the technology. Without it, I am not sure if it would have been that smooth.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Yes; the initial versions had a lot of firmware issues that caused the cells to reboot, which caused the ASM software to rebalance the diskgroups. It mostly occurred in the X2 system. The X4 system has been quite stable. However, it's important to point out that Oracle generally releases firmware updates quite fast to remove any stability issues. We encountered them because we didn't apply these due to our internal reasons.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No; scalability has been pretty awesome.

How are customer service and technical support?

Customer Service:

It leaves a lot to be desired. It has improved; but still a lot to go. I rate it 6 on a 10 point scale.

Technical Support:

I gave an overall rating of 9 to Exadata X4 due to the quality of support personnel during installation and after sales events. That is going up but still leaves something to be desired.

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

We used Oracle database on HPUX. We switched because it was impossible to deliver performance without additional indexes. Indexes took up space and slowed down data insertion performance. Exadata solved these by enhancing performance without the need for indexes.

How was the initial setup?

Oracle sends professional installers for installation and deployment. So it was fairly simple. However, as I mentioned earlier, we do have a deep technical expertise base so it worked in our favor. Without that expertise, I can't be sure if would not have been complex.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented everything with our in house team.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, we did evaluate Teradata, Netezza and Greenplum.

What other advice do I have?

First and foremost, develop or hire a deep technical talent base inhouse, even if it's just one person. The technical role is called Database Machine Administrator (DMA). Planning is winning half the battle. There are tiny little things that makes a big difference. For instance, how to decide whether to keep the indexes you have--it's not something you can outsource. Second, get the installation checklist (detailed) from Oracle and establish SLAs for each item meticulously along with the hand off details. Third, if you don't have it, consider Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control to manage the Exadata system. Fourth, decide to use Oracle Platinum Support (free for Exadata) from day one. Finally, get ready to be wowed.

The innovative use of all the technologies integrated so creatively and functionally that it provides an immense performance boost impossible to attain with do it yourself systems. For instance the secret sauce is Exadata Storage Server (ESS) software, which is unique to Exadata, can't be replicated even with other massively parallel systems.

Disclosure: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
ITCS user
Presenter at a consultancy
Consultant
It's not "one size fits all"
Whoever is the "Oracle Support" that does the initial setup seems to think that one-size-fits-all is the solution to every application environment. Still seems to be the approach of the 1980s that if the menu comes up then the setup is complete. For all the money and hoopla it is a disappointment to have to struggle with memory issues when doing simple tasks like adding large number of partitions. There should be an option at install time to deal with DW and OLTP environments. I dont think that the training provided for "Exadata Support" persons is adequate to make the configuration modifications. So the "user" of the Exadata is left to deal with a machine configuration suitable for "oranges" when it is really "apples" that are needed. Update Once again it all boils down to how much…

Whoever is the "Oracle Support" that does the initial setup seems to think that one-size-fits-all is the solution to every application environment. Still seems to be the approach of the 1980s that if the menu comes up then the setup is complete. For all the money and hoopla it is a disappointment to have to struggle with memory issues when doing simple tasks like adding large number of partitions.

There should be an option at install time to deal with DW and OLTP environments. I dont think that the training provided for "Exadata Support" persons is adequate to make the configuration modifications. So the "user" of the Exadata is left to deal with a machine configuration suitable for "oranges" when it is really "apples" that are needed.

Update
Once again it all boils down to how much the organization wants to own the Exadata environment. Not taking a hands-on approach to monitoring and fine tuning based on "experience" is not making the best use of the resources. But there appears to be a trend towards "leaving everything vanilla".

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
ITCS user
BI Expert with 1,001-5,000 employees
Vendor
Fast processing for a pretty penny.
Oracle’s Exadata is a self-contained database appliance. Traditional database architecture would have a server that contained the CPU, memory and enough hard drive space to house the Operating System connected through a network to an array of hard drives for all other storage. Scalability was achieved through adding additional database servers and creating a cluster, and expanding the back end array. This traditional architecture resulted in poorer performance in read and write intensive applications such as Data Warehousing due to bottlenecks in the storage array. Database appliances combine the processing with the storage achieving exponentially faster performance by having onboard dedicated storage and software to manage the distribution of data across that storage. The pros of Exadata…

Oracle’s Exadata is a self-contained database appliance. Traditional database architecture would have a server that contained the CPU, memory and enough hard drive space to house the Operating System connected through a network to an array of hard drives for all other storage. Scalability was achieved through adding additional database servers and creating a cluster, and expanding the back end array. This traditional architecture resulted in poorer performance in read and write intensive applications such as Data Warehousing due to bottlenecks in the storage array.Database appliances combine the processing with the storage achieving exponentially faster performance by having onboard dedicated storage and software to manage the distribution of data across that storage. The pros of Exadata are:
• Hardware is easy to deploy
• The system is faster than comparable data models on traditional architecture
• Oracle 11g holds the record for the fastest OLTP. http://www.tpc.org/tpcc/results/tpcc_perf_results.asp
• Scalability is easy – just add additional nodes or Oracle’s storage expansion rack
• Integration with a Oracle product line that has a lot of depthThe cons of Exadata:
• Performance on some queries may dramatically change for the worst and need extensive tuning
• The optimizer is not well understood by anyone (including Oracle support) which leads to the first con
• The storage management software, while has gotten better since the 1st generation of the product, has a tendency to be buggy
• Requires a lot of administration by DBAs.
• 1st generation Exadatas on the HP hardware are crap.
• They are expensive – both licensing and hardware and not all of the database software is included in the Exadata price. Single full rack database machine and storage with full support is around 1.5 million (doesn’t include the year over year licensing). http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/pricing/exadata-pricelist-070598.pdfThe main thing to point out with this hardware is that it is purpose built. While Oracle might market it as the single database appliance to end all, it is still not a best practice to combined mixed workloads (OLTP/OLAP) into the same physical or logical architecture. Performance to an extent in OLAP is still driven by having an appropriate and performing data model. Hardware will only provide so much of a boost and is still driven by the logical design of the database. I would recommend Exadata if you are moving from an Oracle legacy system. If you are looking to move from another vendor, then the process is going to be rather difficult in getting it to work on Oracle. If you are building from the ground up, then it depends on the budget you have to work with.Main competitors of the Exadata – PureSystems by IBM (FNA Netezza), Teradata, EMC’s Greenplum.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1221
Database Expert at a healthcare company with 501-1,000 employees
Vendor
If you have resources to integrate your own hardware and Software, you don't need Exadata

Valuable Features:

Exadata is Oracle's solution for a fully Engineered Integrated Hardware and Software platform for Oracle Databases. Extensive Storage level features such as Smart Scan, Flash Cache and Hybrid Columnar Compression. The Infiniband Switch is very fast for all communication channels. Excellent performance gains especially for large data warehouse types of applications.

Room for Improvement:

OLTP applications with smaller data footprints don't tend to gain too much from Exadata hardware. The majority of benefits are reaped by applications which are i/o bound and caching helps a great deal with that. Oracle manages the entire hardware and software including database and OS patches but companies need to pay heavily for that service. It is expensive hardware compared to integrated commodity hardware and software.

Other Advice:

The Infiniband switch has some distance limitations and a true DR (Disaster Recovery) site cannot be setup with Exadata, The operating system allowed is ONLY OEL (Oracle Enterprise Linux) which is a big limitation. One has to go through Oracle's support system - tickets and service requests to make any changes to the Exadata machine.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
it_user1011
Manager of Data Center at a insurance company with 51-200 employees
Vendor
Good for Data Warehousing and OLTP Applications

Valuable Features:

• Exadata provides great improvement in terms of read/write response time. The response time is approximately 10x the performance of a regular disk. • Tuning is automatic. • SQL operations run faster, because large I/O operations are replaced by group operations. • Ideal for data warehousing since it supports bulk load operations. • Good storage capacity

Room for Improvement:

• Licensing is per CPU and relatively expensive. • It is specifically designed for data warehouse and OLTP platforms; so, it is not cost effective when investing in it for low data transactions. • The hardware runs only Oracle Software Exadata is a proprietary system from Oracle, that combines both hardware and software requirements for data warehousing and OLTP applications. Oracle utilizes the improvement in disk technology, to produce one of the best machines, ideal not only for data warehousing, but good for private cloud.

Other Advice:

Smart Scan , Smart Flash, storage Index, Hybrid Columnar Compression, Resource Manager and Smart Scan of Data mining Model Scoring technologies are the features that places Exadata machine ahead of similar products. If you are looking for a data warehouse machine with large storage capacity, high performance, and manageability, Exadata is the best suite. But, you have to mentally prepare yourself for the fact that Exadata hardware only runs oracle software.
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.