Oracle is pleased to announce immediate availability of Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer. Exadata Cloud at Customer has been one of Oracle’s most popular cloud services. It provides the performance, scalability, elasticity, and security of on-premise Oracle Exadata, but in a cloud service. It provides cloud economics, infrastructure managed by Oracle, and cloud automation, exactly like the related Exadata Cloud Service, but in your data center, behind your firewall.
In this post, I am going to highlight what’s new in Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer. If you are not familiar with the previous Gen 1 Exadata Cloud at Customer service, you can find more information in the extensive data sheet here.
Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer brings new hardware, a new management infrastructure, new connectivity, and even a new database. It now is based on Exadata X8, the latest version of the Exadata platform. Management is new and simplified, with the Gen 2 public cloud managing your on-premise Exadata service. We give you more control over connecting the system to your client and backup networks, and lastly, provide full support for Oracle Database 19c.
The new hardware brings the usual benefits—faster CPUs, more cores, and more storage. Each compute server in Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer now has two 26 core CPUs, with 50 cores available per server for user VMs (Quarter, Half, Full Rack—see table 1 for more specifications). This beats the 48 cores available for a bare metal on-prem system, ensuring you will have no problems migrating your workloads to Cloud at Customer. These new Intel Cascade Lake CPUs feature fixes for Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities in silicon, eliminating the software workarounds required for older chips. Just like in the X7 version, we connect those database servers to storage servers using a 40Gb/sec Infiniband fabric, providing high performance and low latency. In the storage servers, we now include the latest 24 core Intel CPUs, a 140% improvement over the previous systems. In fact, this is even 50% more cores than in on-premise Exadata. Lastly, we bump the HDDs from 10TB to 14TB. With more cores and more storage, now there’s no reason not to move to Cloud at Customer.
Table 1: Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer Shapes
A big change is the new management infrastructure. With Gen 1, we shipped an entire rack of control plane equipment onsite to your data center to manage the Exadata Cloud at Customer. That took up a tile in your data center, and consumed power and cooling. It was also billed as a separate infrastructure service and was thus a direct expense. Now with Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer, the management control plane is in the public cloud—there is no separate rack of management equipment.
What does this mean for you? It means Gen 2 is simpler, deploys faster, and costs less. You’ll get new features delivered faster, as you won’t need to wait for a complex control plane upgrade—that will just magically happen in the cloud. If you are a hybrid on-prem cloud and public cloud customer, you will get an identical user experience across all your services. Both use the same UI, same APIs and SDKs, and run the same database (the latter being true for all on-prem and Cloud database products and services). As you transition between on-prem cloud and the public cloud, there will be nothing new to learn, and all your scripts and tools written for one environment should work in the other. From the console where you manage our cloud resources, you’ll be able to see and manage both public cloud and Cloud at Customer services. And, lastly, the new management infrastructure has finer-grained permissions and controls. Customers sharing a cloud tenancy across multiple services and databases are now able to assign user roles and more effectively protect and isolate their resources.
One concern that always comes up when thinking about public cloud management of an on-premise system is “what happens if the internet is down?” Be assured that we’ve identified critical operations like scaling, backup, and restore, and have built in local capability to perform those functions even if the internet is down.
Is managing your system from the public internet secure? Oracle security experts have gone through great pains to ensure the service is secure, and your critical data is safe. We establish a secure tunnel from the ExaCC to the public cloud, and all control plane traffic, telemetry data, and operations access flows through the tunnel. Just as with previous versions, we isolate control and management network traffic from your data, and limit operations access to only the underlying infrastructure. Only you can access the database VMs and the databases running inside them—including the transparent data encryption keys.
We’ve simplified connecting the Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer to you client and backup networks. You can directly connect from your switches to the database servers via layer2. This gives you the flexibility to run VLANs directly from your application servers to the database servers, or to independently route client and backup traffic to different switches. All servers support your choice of 10Gb copper or 25Gb fiber network connections.
One more important new feature is support for Oracle Database 19c. This database version will have long-term support from Oracle, and many customers will want to move from other long-term supported versions like 22.214.171.124 and 126.96.36.199 directly to Oracle Database 19c. The creation and lifecycle management of Oracle Database 19c is fully supported by Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer through its cloud automation. Of course, Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer also provides full support for older supported releases, including 188.8.131.52, 184.108.40.206, 220.127.116.11, and 18c.
There’s one more key feature of Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer. It will have the ability to run Oracle Autonomous Database Cloud at Customer when available in the future. This brings all the benefits of Autonomous Database Dedicated to your data center. It will fully automate and manage the database VMs and the databases running in those VMs, providing a self-driving, self-securing, and self-repairing database behind your firewall.
Now in its second generation, Gen 2 Exadata Cloud at Customer extends the benefits of the cloud to databases that are restricted to your data center. With improvements in hardware, manageability and database support, the new generation of Cloud at Customer is ready for your most critical workloads. It’s also ready for the future, and will support Autonomous Database Cloud at Customer when available. Find out more at http://oracle.com/exadata.
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Strategic Product Leader and Technical Architect, owning the global product strategy, development and growth of Oracle’s industry leading product, Exadata Cloud at Customer. Expert at driving the development and launch of future generations of disruptive cloud products for mainstream customers. Extensive experience in conceiving and implementing business processes, managing cross-functional teams across multiple geographies, building strategic partnerships, and program management, supported by a strong Oracle database engineering background.