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Smaller Oracle Exadata...... Oracle Database Appliance

Read an interesting produce from Pythian homepage today, which is Oracle Database Appliance

To briefly tell what it is... it is the smallest component which break down from Oracle Exadata.

This means the motherboard, CPU, RAM, disk, network card, Linux, Oracle database software, kernel, etc are pre-install. Since Exadata is very expansive, even their quarter-rack model, Oracle is targeting SMB customer who likes the simplification (as DBA + SA labor fee could be more expansive than hardware) and short provisioning offer by Exadata.

Technical specification is
  1. 4U rack-mountable chasis (must use Oracle rack which is deeper and more expansive, not standard rack)
  2. Contains 2 physical computers/server. I will use node to represent each server
  3. Two 6-core Intel Xeon X5675 CPU (Oracle often sell with most current model every few months) per node (total 4 CPU). Cores can deactivate using Oracle Appliance Manager to control Oracle Database license. Minimum to enable 2 cores per node
  4. 96 GB RAM per node (total 192 GB) - using 12 * 8 GB memory module
  5. 2 internal gigabit Ethernet. This is ready for clustering, especially Oracle RAC, or Linux OS clustering. Mainly design to be used as interconnect for cluster purpose
  6. 73 GB SSD disk
  7. 12 TB of storage
  8. 2 GbE onboard network port per node (total 4 ports)
  9. 2 USB 2.0 port per node at rear
  10. Internal dual-port SAS2
  11. PCI dual-port SAS2
  12. One quad-port GbE network card
  13. One dual-port 10 GbE network card
  14. 20 slot for 3.5" 600 GB 15,000 rpm SAS disk (Oracle adjust the size about yearly to the largest supported model)
  15. 4 slot of 3.5" 73 GB SAS SSD drive (292 GB SSD)
  16. 2 2.5" 500 GB 7200 rpm SATA disk (pre-configured as mirror root disk)
  17. One internal 4 GB USB thumb drive per node (total 8 GB)
So it has 8 network ports usable. Now the software part
  1. Oracle Linux Release 5.5
  2. Appliance Manager
  3. Choice of database (extra fee) (a) Database Enterprise Edition (b) Oracle RAC (c) Oracle RAC One Node (d) any other Oracle Database options (like performance pack)
  4. License (extra fee and charge per core, not CPU) 2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12 per node. Oracle requires both node to be same number of cores
  1. License needs to purchase in pair of node
  2. Both server nodes need to upgrade to same number of CPU core due to licensing
  3. Can't upgrade to faster SAS fiber disk. Needs to purchase Exadata quarter rack for this
  4. Only has dual-redundant power supply instead of 3
  5. 72.6 kg per box. Very heavy
  6. All hardware must purchase from Oracle to be supported, including hard disks, SSD, NIC, CPU
  7. Oracle Linux is always very slow in supporting current hardware and drivers
  8. Not for small company as it is still expansive to get the cheapest Oracle Enterprise license. Hardware cost is US$50k, plus Oracle license US$47k. Minimum cost is US$97k
  9. Minimum documentation from Oracle ( which is based on Sun Fire X4370 M2
  10. Does not has Exadata Smart Scan feature
  11. Does not has Exadata Smart Flash Cache
  12. Does not has Exadata Hybrid Columnar Compression
From business consideration, following are their cost benefit:
  1. Linux pre-install and pre-tuned for Oracle Database 11g R2
  2. Oracle Database (single instance or RAC) software pre-install (extra money)
  3. If RAC, then Oracle database cluster is pre-installed
  4. Single vendor for OS, hardware, software
  5. Optional to get Pythian outsource support for the whole box, especially database (save DBA salary)
  6. Saving of at least 2 weeks time to install Linux and Oracle database. Very short time to get it up, which is without couple hours, or less if you know Exadata, or used before
  7. Simplify patching. Oracle is aiming for one-button patching for entire server box
  8. Pythian offers cheap Oracle database upgrade path from Oracle 7 to 11g
Reference: - remote DBA outsource service, residing in Ottawa, Canada (other offices spread across the world)

As of 2011-09-23, Intel Xeon E7-8870 2.4 GHz CPU has 10 cores with hyperthread (20 logical CPU). So when Oracle offered this model, just need to install 1 CPU per node, customer has to buy 10 core CPU license per node (20 core license for both nodes)

It would be cheaper to build a similar machine with minimum redundancy from Dell, HP, IBM, by adding following
  1. Hire DBA, and UNIX admin
  2. Buy fast SSD with larger size (600 GB per drive)
  3. Create database in SSD drive
  4. Use ASM for the SSD drive (tapping on its software RAID and recovery feature) 
  5. Design application to archive historical data to archive table, which keep in different tablespace (dbf). Store the dbf files in regular hard disks
  6. If want to save developer or manual labor cost in #5, purchase Oracle Partitioning option. Configure table with partitioning. Store one month of older data to tablespace which resides in regular hard disks
  7. Setup another identical box as backup. If primary server down, switch to backup server (power on), and apply all archive logs to catch up
  8. Purchase Oracle Advanced Compression to perform real time compression on data, which indirectly extend SSD life span
  9. Buy fastest Xeon 10 core CPU
I have see several high availability (HA) setup, some seldom fail, some fail too sensitively, and some fail too often. Depending on hardware reliability, environment (dust, hot), and luck, HA may not necessary require, and a cold standby machine with 1-2 hr of downtime can be considered

Dell's PowerVault MD3220 supports 24 2.5" drive slot and SSD size of 149 GB. With 24 SSD drive, total raw size becomes 3,576 GB (3.49 TB) or 138 GB formatted per drive (3.33 TB usable) without data protection. Cost is US$94,188. Or reduce number of SSD, which cut US$3,507 per drive (including $3 drive cover to cover the empty slots)

Known issue with Oracle Appliance
1. During BIOS POST diagnostic, if server rebooted before it starts video initailization, it will complain DIMM memory ECC error. Needs to run command "set /SYS/MB/Px/Dy/ clear_fault_action = true" where Px and Dy is last digit of the hex code
2. If installed Sun quad-gigabit ethernet into PCI slot 6, system does not boot up
3. USB keyboard and mouse will freeze under heavy load

If you run Oracle in Windows 64-bit, then there is SuperSpeed SuperCache product which offer RAM disk,  disk mirroring to RAM, and disk cache. All these 3 products can immediately increase database throughput by 500x (as it is running at RAM speed). This could be something to consider for redo log, archive destination, TEMP and UNDOTBS tablespaces. Or simply use disk cache (SuperCache) to improve read/write I/O which are repeating. This product uses physical RAM, so Oracle database SGA may needs to shrink, but I believe it will certainly be faster than database buffer pool

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1 comment:

Amir Shoukat said...

Your services are too good but i am looking for Computer Services in Toronto.... Have you any service about Computer Services in Toronto ???

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