Category Archives: IOUG

Exadata X6

Blink and you might have missed it, but the Exadata X6 was officially announced today

As has become the norm, Oracle have doubled-down on the specs compared to the X5:

  • 2x disk capacity
  • 2x Flash capacity
  • 2x faster Flash
  • 25% faster CPUs
  • 13% faster DRAM

With the X6-2 machine, you still have Infiniband running at 40Gb/sec, but the compute nodes and the storage servers now have the following:

X-6 Compute Node

  • 2x 22-core Broadwell CPUs
  • 256Gb of DDR4 DRAM (expandable to 768Gb)
  • 4x 600Gb 10,000 RPM disks for local storage (expandable to 6)
  • DDR4 DRAM

High Capacity Storage Server

  • 2x 10-core Broadwell CPUs
  • 128Gb of DDR4 DRAM
  • 12x 8Tb 7,000 RPM Helium SAS3 disks
  • 4x 3.2Tb NVMe PCIe 3.0 Flash cards

Extreme Flash Storage Server

  • 2-socket, 10-core Broadwell CPUs
  • 128Gb of DDR4 DRAM
  • 8x 3.2Tb NVMe PCIe 3.0 Flash cards

What does all of that give you when it comes down to it?

Well, remember that the eighth-rack is the same as a quarter-rack, but you have access to half the cores and half the storage across the board (you still have two compute nodes and three storage servers):

High Capacity Eighth-Rack

  • 44-core compute nodes
  • 30-core storage servers
  • 144Tb raw usable disk storage
  • 19.2Tb Flash storage

Extreme Flash Eighth-Rack

  • 44-core compute nodes
  • 30-core storage servers
  • 38.4Tb Flash storage

Minimum licensing requirements is 16 cores for the eighth-rack and 28 cores for the quarter-rack.

I’m sure you can read through the sales stuff yourself, but aside from the UUUUGE increase in hardware, two new features of the X6 really pop out for me.

Exadata now has the ability to preserve storage indexes through a storage cell reboot. Anyone who had to support an older Exadata machine will remember quite how much of a big deal that used to be: the wait for the storage index to be rebuilt would take hours and often require some major understanding on the part of user population and management to get through the first day or so after some maintenance.

Probably the biggest thing is that Oracle have introduced high availability quorum disks for the quarter-rack and eighth-rack machines. I blogged about this before as I thought it had the potential to be a real “gotcha” if you were expecting to run high redundancy diskgroups on anything less than a half-rack.

No longer.

Now, a copy of the quorum disk is stored locally on each database node, allowing you to lose a storage cell and still be able to maintain your high redundancy.

This is a particularly useful development when you remember that Oracle have doubled the size of the high-capacity disks from 4Tb to 8Tb. Why? Well, because re-balancing a bunch of 8Tb disks is going to take longer than re-balancing the same number of 4Tb disks.

I’ll be going to Collaborate IOUG 2016 next week and I’m looking forward to hearing more about the new kit there.

Mark

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DBA 3.0 – How to Become a Real-World Exadata DBA – IOUG Collaborate 2015

According to a Book of Lists survey, 41% of people’s biggest fear is “public speaking”.  To put that into perspective, “death” is the biggest fear for 19%, “flying” for 18% and “clowns” don’t even register (which does make me seriously doubt the survey’s credibility).

I gave my first public presentation at IOUG Collaborate 2015 last week in Las Vegas and I didn’t die.

Why did do make your presentation debut at the second largest Oracle event on the calendar?  Excellent question.

Continue reading

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IOUG Exadata Virtual Conference – February 11th and 12th

The IOUG Exadata SIG are holding a virtual conference next week and they’ve got some great speakers:

Wednesday 11th

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. CST
Exadata X5: Working Smart with Oracle Exadata Database Machine
Speaker: Gurmeet Goindi, Exadata Product Management, Oracle

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST
Oracle Database In-Memory And Exadata: Do I Still Need Exadata?
Speaker: Matt Steinberg, Oracle

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. CST
Exadata Performance: Latest Improvements and Less Known Features
Speaker: Tanel Poder

Thursday 12th

10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. CST
Smart Analytics and Capacity Management for DbaaS using R
Speaker: Chaitanya Geddam, Practice Director, Accenture Enkitec Group

11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. CST
Exadata Best Practices
Speaker: Dan Norris, Oracle

12:00 p.m. – 1:00 p.m. CST
Exadata and Hadoop Integration Patterns
Speaker: Aaron Werman, First Data

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My Collaborate IOUG 2015 Abstract

I will be presenting DBA 3.0 or “How to Become a Real-World Exadata DBA” at Collaborate 2015 – IOUG’s annual user conference – from April 12th to 16th at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas. I submitted this as my abstract:

“DBA resources are more scarce than ever before and it can be very difficult to allocate time on anything but keeping the lights on – even when an organization has made a (substantial) hardware investment in Exadata.

However, if Exadata is treated like any other Oracle database, the promised “extreme performance” will likely be very underwhelming to developers, users and managers and can become unwieldy for DBAs to support.

On the other hand, when an organization configures and supports Exadata properly, they can realize exponential performance improvements in key IT infrastructure, can facilitate better business decisions and may actually reduce infrastructure costs.

The customer has bought a sports car – but might not realize that they haven’t taken it out of second gear (yet).

I will talk about the evolution of Exadata and then get into the “nuts and bolts” of how to support a high-performance Exadata environment as a Production DBA.

I will discuss how to get performance improvements of up to 20x, what NOT to do as an Exadata DBA and how Exadata can become the foundation of your organization’s high-performance enterprise infrastructure.”

I hope to see you in Las Vegas!

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UKOUG 2014 – Dan Norris – Exadata Security Best Practices

Dan Norris of the Maximum Availability Architecture team gave what sounded like a very interesting presentation at UKOUG 2014. There seemed to be a lot of really cool stuff at this year’s event, which is to be expected as I no longer reside in the UK!

I encourage you to take a look at the slides, but also at the interesting links he provided:

Naturally, he also quoted a plethora of My Oracle Support notes – some of the greatest hits and some which you might not have seen before:

  • Responses to common Exadata security scan findings (Doc ID 1405320.1)
  • Oracle Sun Database Machine X2-2/X2-8, X3-2/X3-8 and X4-2 Security Best Practices (Doc ID 1071314.1)
  • How to change OS user password for Cell Node, Database Node , ILOM, KVM , Infiniband Switch , GigaBit Ethernet Switch and PDU on Exadata Database Machine (Doc ID 1291766.1)
  • Exadata Database Machine and Exadata Storage Server Supported Versions (Doc ID 888828.1)
  • Information Center: Oracle Exadata Database Machine (Doc ID 1306791.2)

Happy reading!

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Collaborate Las Vegas 2015

This email gem was a great way to start a Monday morning (after my first four-day weekend in years, no less):

“Congratulations! Your session proposal, 775 DBA 3.0 or “How to Become an Real-World Exadata DBA”, was accepted by the IOUG Conference Committee.

COLLABORATE 15 – IOUG Forum will take place from April 12-16, 2015 at the Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino.”

Obviously, this is a really cool thing. It’s a big honor as it’s the largest Oracle user group there is and I’m really excited about it.

Bizarrely, though, it’ll be my first “public” presentation as a DBA. I’m skipping “baby steps” altogether and going straight into presenting in front of (some, hopefully) super-smart boffins … in Las Vegas.

I’d better start thinking of a comedy routine to distract people … !

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