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Collaborate 14 “Outtake” A Primer on Exadata

Collaborate 14 “Outtake” A Primer on Exadata
A quick search of the Collaborate 14 lists of sessions and panel discussions showed that the name “Extadata” appeared more than 50 times.No wonder. The Oracle Exadata Appliance is designed to provide optimal performance for both data warehousing and online transaction processing (OLTP) applications, making it the ideal platform for gird or private cloud consolidation. Exadata provides the a perfect mix of servers, storage, networking, and software that is massively scalable, secure, and redundant. 

Here is a primer on Oracle Exadata:

Oracle Exadata from 20,000 Feet

  • Oracle Extadata is an integrated system consisting of hardware and software in a single machine.
  • With Oracle Extadata, data storage capability increased to ten times more, search data up to ten times faster, and make faster business decisions without any  changes in applications
  • Is easy to deploy system that consists of the hardware needed for running the Oracle Database.
  • Encompasses storage technology for improving the performance of Oracle database
  • Uses the concept of offloading to reduce the CPU usage and reduces the amount of data moved between database servers and Storage servers

Exadata storage also has the ability to query fully encrypted databases at around hundreds of gigabytes per second as it is built on the superior security capabilities of the Oracle Database.

Exadata Versions

Oracle Corporation currently supports four distinct versions of Exadata.

  • V1: The first Exadata was released in 2008. This was combination of HP hardware & Oracle software.
  • V2: The second version of Exadata was announced in 2009. Oracle constructed this version built in partnership with Sun Microsystems, which was still independent then.
  • X2: Third version of Exadata announced in 2010 named “X2.” There are two X2 models named as X2-2 & X2-8. X2-2 model is available in Quarter, Half and full RACK whereas X2-8 model is high end Full RACK model.
  • X3: The most recent version of Exadata released in Oct, 2012. The models are named as X3-2 and X3-8 similar to the X2 release.


Exadata components

Oracle Exadata Appliance

Oracle Exadata Appliance

Oracle Exadata Prominent Features

  • Pre-engineered: Exadata is a complete package, pre-built and pre-engineered equipped with all necessary ingredients without any need for further installations or heavy configurations.
  • Single vendor support: Everything from Hardware to Software is provided by a single vendor, hence a better support and understanding of issues.
  • Full Support: Complete comprehensive & integrated full support from Oracle
  • Extreme performance: DW performance improvements of 10-100X. OLTP performance improvements of 20X
  • Scalable: Quarter, Half RACK Machine can be Configure in parallel.
  • Secure: Exadata database machines come with the usual Oracle security features at both the database and storage level. 

Exadata DB machine

  • Smart Scans: Scan and return only the data that is requested and not and not all data blocks – offloaded to storage server and reduces bandwidth usage.
  • Storage indexes: Work with the smart scan feature, eliminate the storage cells which can noy contain the requested data.
  • HCC: Provides up to 10x data columnar compression but keeping the best performance attributres of a row compression.
  • Smart Flash cache: Ideal for OLTP kind of workloads, caches objects and avoids considerable physical I/O.

How Does Exadata Improve Performance?

The key to Extadata’s performance improvements lie in smart scans and offloading.  The sole purpose of smart scans/offloading is to reduce the burden on the database servers, thus allowing storage servers and storage software to do most of the CPU intensive tasks
  • Return only the data/blocks which are required to fulfill the request
  • Column Projection
  • Predicate filtering
  • Storage Indexes
  • Decompression  and  Decryption

Oracle Exadata: Business Value Adds

  • (HCC) provides a long term storage solution for the ever increasing customer data without bothering for planning capacity and adding disks regularly. This is a direct saving on the TCO as well.
  • SmartScan and Storage Indexes offload most processing to the storage server layer, near real time analysis and reporting of integrated data would be possible.
  • All warehouses and OLTP databases hosted on any type of legacy RDBMS system can be eventually migrated to Oracle 11g on the existing EXADARA appliance rather seamlessly.
  • Exadata appliances are highly scalable and hence, if need be, more racks can be added without compromising on performance of existing databases/applications.
  • Full support from a single vendor – hardware, network and software. This means then customer will be talking to some vendor for all future support needs.
  • Pre-built, pre-configured and pre-optimized appliance means less time to deploy and less intervention for tuning the usual database operations.

Exadata Use Cases

As mentioned before, Extadata can be deployed in a number of different ways:
  • Data Warehouse Appliance
  • OLTP Appliance
  • Consolidation platform
Exadata has been documented to reduce database deployment from 3 months to up to less than a week. By taking advantage of Exadata’s Complimentary Workload Peaks users reduce peak-to-trough variance, in addition to providing other advantages:

Asset Consolidation

  • Reduced variance allows each server to be run hotter, this can result in a four-fold server utilization increase


  • Exadata allows CPU resources to be drawn from anywhere on the grid, based on needs as they arise
  • Exadata horizontal workload scale out without impacting or requiring changes to any application

Cost Reductions

  • Reduce the size of your server footprint, making your footprint greener while improving your bottom line
  • Cut your Oracle licensing requirements

Higher Availability 

  • Improved load balancing
  • Full component high availibilty failover capability
  • Standby DR (Disaster Recovery) – RTO of 10 minutes
  • All apps benefit from these capabilities without increasing expenses

Collaborate 14 Has Ended But Let’s Stay Connected!

Collaborate 14 was a blast, but all good things must come to an end.Fortunately, there are many ways we can stay connected. 
First, we invite you to visit our Collaborate 14 Resources page, where you’ll find copies of the white papers and Power Points delivered by our experts at our show.
Second, you can make plans to join our webcast Next Generation Backups with IT Convergence on Tuesday April 15th at 9:00 am Pacfic/12 pm Eastern. The webcast is hosted by ITC in conjunction with EMC Corporation and details how you can run backups better, cheaper and more efficiently with EMC-powered BaaS Solutions.
Finally, if you’d like to speak with one of our experts about EXADATA or any other data infrastructure related issue, simply contact us and we’ll be happy to set up a call.
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