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An Oracle blog about Exadata

  • January 4, 2019

Exadata Cloud at Customer 18.1.4.2 and 18.1.4.4

Brian Spendolini
Database Cloud Services Product Manager

Exadata Cloud at Customer Product Management is pleased to announce immediate availability of Exadata Cloud at Customer release 18.1.4.4. This release follows release 18.1.4.2, introduced in October, and together they include important new features that provide improved management experience and better control over resource utilization. For complete information, please see the Exadata Cloud at Customer documentation. This post covers the highlights of each release, and then discusses some of their benefits. 

Release 18.1.4.2

  • Assisted Patching of User Domain OS. You can now apply user domain (DomU) operating system patches to the compute nodes by using the Web-based user interface in the Oracle Database Cloud Service Console. This simplifies customer management of the database VMs.

  • Monitoring and managing Exadata Storage Servers using the ExaCLI utility. You can use the ExaCLI utility to perform monitoring and management functions on the Exadata Storage Servers that are associated with your Exadata Cloud at Customer instance. This gives customers visibility into advanced metrics on their cell servers, and even finer-grained control of IO resource plans than is available via the service console.

  • Support for Infrastructure/PaaS Split Subscriptions. This release introduces support for a new subscription model for Exadata Cloud at Customer. Under this new model, you can subscribe to the Exadata Cloud at Customer infrastructure using a term-based subscription and enable the compute node OCPUs as required using universal credits. This model also removes the minimum OCPU threshold that previously existed with Exadata Cloud at Customer and enables ultimate flexibility to manage OCPU usage and subscription costs.

  • Shared Oracle Home Dropdown List. When creating a database that will use a shared home, you can now just select the shared home to use from a dropdown list. No need to copy and paste (or type) the name of the shared home you wish to use.

  • Delegation of Administrative Privileges. This release enables additional roles to allow delegation of administration privileges. Any administrator with the role ExadataCM Service Based Entitlement Administrator is now allowed to manage the Exadata virtual machine clusters and manage service usage. 

  • Cloud Notification Service. This release extends integration with Cloud Notification Service, which provides notification for events that affect the status of system components. This proactively alerts customers about issues with their service via the service dashboard or via email subscriptions.

Release 18.1.4.4 (there is no release 18.1.4.3)

  • OCPU Oversubscription. CPU oversubscription enables you to allocate more virtual CPU cores to your VM cluster than the total number of physical CPU cores that are available to the service instance, which enables you to better utilize compute node CPU resources shared across multiple VMs.

  • VM Cluster Subsetting. You can configure a virtual machine (VM) cluster that contains a subset of the available compute nodes (database servers). This allows you to have more control over how CPU, memory, and local storage are used on an individual node, as it need no longer be allocated to every cluster in the machine.

  • Bursting REST API. You can use the Oracle My Services REST API to perform management functions on the Exadata Cloud at Customer instance. Customers can now create automation that can scale their service up or down depending on their specific requirements.

  • Separation of Administrative Privileges. Service Administration can now be assigned by service instance (machine), allowing multiple administrators to each have privileges only for the service instances that they need to manage.

Some of the cool things can you do with the new functionality round out the remainder of this post.

The additional management functionality enables you to better utilize your Exadata system, while simplifying its administration and use. Consider the use case of test/dev environment in a quarter, half or full rack. Cloning and shared homes (you're going to love that new Shared Oracle Home Dropdown List) makes it easy to create lots of test databases, without consuming a lot of storage. But, each database will consume resources, and without subsetting, it will consume memory and CPU from each node in the cluster. Does a developer need an 8 node test cluster to do development? Probably not, and with VM Cluster subsetting, you can create a one- or two-node cluster for testing, consuming memory and CPU only from those nodes needed for testing. You can also now deploy databases with large SGA requirements in their own subset cluster, freeing up resources on the other servers not hosting that database for other work. Another benefit is improved isolation: You can deploy a set of databases for one department on a virtual cluster hosted on one set of physical nodes, and another set of databases for a different department on a virtual cluster hosted on a different set of physical nodes. You can now leverage the power of a larger half or full rack service, while still enforcing isolation requirements.

Many customers have dedicated Exadata services supporting different user communities and they would like to isolate the workloads using multiple virtual clusters, yet still be able to share CPU resources across those communities to increase overall utilization. With OCPU Oversubscription, CPU is treated like a large resource pool, shared across all VMs, providing both isolation and resource sharing.

Another eagerly awaited feature is the ability to manage bursting. Using the Bursting REST API, customers can now create their own automation to scale their service up and down based on usage metrics and policies. This makes it easier to use and pay for only those resources they require, ultimately reducing costs. The new Infrastructure/PaaS Split Subscription model further enhances this benefit, as it eliminates any restrictions on scaling the service up and down as needs dictate.

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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