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An Oracle blog about Exadata

Elastic Expansions Now Possible with Exadata Cloud at Customer 18.4.6

Manish Shah
Sr. Principal Product Manager

Exadata Cloud at Customer 18.4.6

We are pleased to announce the availability of Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer release 18.4.6. This release introduces Elastic Database and Storage Expansion, long-awaited features for (Gen1) Exadata Cloud at Customer. This elastic functionality will provide new customers an option to order a custom sized Exadata Cloud at Customer configuration that exactly meets their workload requirements, as well as allow existing customers to expand their current configurations with just the right type of resource (compute, storage, or both). Release 18.4.6 also enhances the VM Cluster Subsetting feature that was introduced in release 18.1.4.4. It is also the first release of Exadata Cloud at Customer that supports Exadata platform version 19.x and builds a foundation for supporting Oracle Database 19c in the future. For complete information, please see the Exadata Cloud at Customer documentation. This post covers the highlights of the above marquee features, additional enhancements introduced with this release, and how customers can benefit from these features.

Elastic Compute Server and Storage Server Expansion:

Feature Description: Elastic Database and Storage Expansion allows customers to add individual compute and storage servers on top of the standard Base System, Quarter Rack, and Half Rack shapes. The server additions can be one or more compute server(s), one or more storage server(s) or a combination of both. The maximum number of compute servers allowed in the ExaCC cabinet is eight and the maximum number of storage servers allowed is twelve.

Business Benefits: The Elastic Expansion feature will benefit both new as well as existing customers. New customers are now able to order custom sized configurations that do not conform to standard Base System, Quarter Rack or Half Rack shapes. For example, if a new customer workload assessment reveals that they need to subscribe to 3 compute servers and 5 storage servers for their Exadata Cloud at Customer rack, they will be able to order the exact configuration they need. This was not possible until today. Similarly, existing customers can now add as many individual storage and compute server(s) needed as long as they are within the prescribed maximum limits.

VM Cluster Subsetting V2:

Feature Description:  The original VM Cluster Subsetting feature, introduced in Exadata Cloud at Customer release 18.1.4.4, allowed customers to create up to eight VM Clusters using a subset of available compute servers in the rack. For example, with the original feature, a customer could create a three node VM Cluster in a four node Half Rack ExaCC. However, the customer was not able to modify their existing VM Cluster by adding or removing a node. VM Cluster Subsetting V2 in the 18.4.6 release allows customers to expand or reduce the number of compute nodes in their existing VM Cluster. The clusters created using the VM Cluster Subsetting feature will utilize storage from all storage servers in the rack, spreading the IO across all servers, resulting in faster performance.

Business Benefits:  This feature offers the customer a method to implement efficient consolidation while incorporating an isolation strategy. There are many reasons why customers may want to create clusters that are smaller than the total available compute servers in the rack. Customer may want to create a smaller cluster to host databases that have low resource and scalability requirement, or to host a smaller number of databases that require isolation from the rest of the workload. Each VM Cluster has dedicated client and backup networks, isolating network traffic from each VM Cluster. Finally, resource requirements are constantly changing in production environments. The ability to stretch or shrink an existing cluster by adding and removing nodes provides agility, allowing customers to ensure optimal utilization of available resources.

Exadata 19.2.4 and Oracle Linux 7.5 Support:

Feature Description:  The Exadata Cloud at Customer 18.4.6 release supports Exadata software 19.2.4. With this Exadata release, Oracle Linux 7.5 is the operating system installed on newly provisioned database servers and storage servers. The Exadata software 19.x is also a requirement for creating Oracle Database 19c on Exadata.

Business Benefits:  This release lays the foundation for 19c database support by supporting Oracle Linux 7.5. 

Other Enhancements:

Another key customer requirement we received was to have the ability to associate a specific network subnet to a specific cluster. This generally resulted from a business requirement of having certain databases in a specific network. The 18.4.6 release has introduced a feature to do exactly this. While creating a VM cluster, the Create VM Cluster dialog box will now have a drop-down listing of all available client networks. Customers can select the network they wish to be associated with the cluster being created.

An additional enhancement introduced with the 18.4.6 release is the integration of Oracle Wallet with Exadata Cloud at Customer. This combination provides a greater level of security for the Exadata Cloud at Customer service, providing encrypted password for internal components.

We encourage you to give these new features a try once your service is upgraded. We hope you will find they increase your overall agility, and will enable you to better realize the benefits of Exadata Cloud at Customer. For more information, please see the Exadata Cloud at Customer documentation.

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