Those that know me well, will know about my “appreciation” of the “Oracle Exadata Database Machine“, more commonly known as “Exadata” 🙂
You can see a summary of last year’s blog post here:
OTN Appreciation Day : Summary
The very first Exadata, was the V1 model, the hardware by HP and the software by Oracle. I still remember being very excited by this in my previous employment at Auto Trader and trying very hard to convince them to get one 🙂
I of course became an instant fan of the brawn hardware with smart software, Oracle labelling as “Hardware and Software optimised together“.
Oracle’s partnership with HP only lasted a year with Oracle switching to Sun on the V2 model, when shortly after Oracle then brought Sun in 2010. This is when Oracle switched from the V models to X models, with the initial models being the X2-2 (2 socket) and X2-8 (8 sockets).
I still remember this old video “Oracle Exadata. Are You Ready?” that I played at an internal Auto Trader conference which was about sharing knowledge, interesting new things, etc:
Exadata has come a long way since the initial release that was aimed at being a Data Warehouse to a Full On OLTP, Data Warehouse, mixed load, consolidation platform, etc with “record-breaking” IOPS and scan rate!
My favourite feature is the smart scan, the ability to off load data intensive SQL operations from the database servers directly into the storage servers, mitigating the need to pull lots of data from storage to database server. Yes you can have very fast All Flash Storage, but the network to ship all this to the database server becomes the bottleneck and the compute to filter the data on the database server. Exadata does this at the storage server meaning only the rows and columns that are directly relevant to a query are sent to the database servers.
Another one is storage indexes where the min and max values are stored of a column in 1Mb chunk in memory to allow for unnecessary I/O to be avoided when it’s known that block of data doesn’t meet the predicate condition.
I didn’t manage to convince Auto Trader, however I have since been very fortunate in my current employment at Version 1 to have worked on Exadata since 2014 from the Exadata X2-2 through to X5-2. I do really appreciate these “Engineered Systems” for the Extreme Performance, Reliability and Availability. The whole concept of being “Engineered” and the whole stack optimised, really works and the fact that all Exadatas are the same hardware makes you appreciate their supportability. Even patching them with patchmgr is pretty much a doddle these days! 🙂
Tuesday 10th October 2017
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Zed DBA (Zahid Anwar)