Introducing Exadata Database Machine X8: The Foundation for Mission Critical On-Premises, Cloud, and Autonomous Databases

June 12, 2019 | 6 minute read
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We are excited to introduce the Exadata Database Machine X8 family, the latest in over a decade of innovation integrating state-of-the-art hardware with revolutionary software advances that continues to redefine database technologies. Exadata X8 further improves on the performance, cost-effectiveness, security and availability that enterprise customers require and expect from Exadata, with no change in price from the previous generation, and a lower-cost storage option.

The X8 hardware release updates 2- and 8-socket database (compute) servers and intelligent storage servers with the latest Intel chips and significant improvements in storage. The X8 hardware release also adds a new lower-cost storage server that extends Exadata benefits to low-use data. Exadata Database Machine X8 is the new standard of excellence, delivering the fastest performance for all database workloads in the most efficient manner.

While this post focuses on Exadata hardware, Exadata’s many software innovations, co-designed and integrated at all levels of hardware and OS, multiply Exadata’s advantages way beyond what state-of-the-art hardware can deliver. For instance, Exadata System Software 19.1 includes Automatic Performance Monitoring that proactively detects and reports anomalies in CPU, memory, and networking. Exadata-enabled enhancements that deliver even better performance and availability for database in-memory functionality are another example of integrating software and hardware innovation. Just in 2018, 20+ Exadata software innovations improved Oracle Database analytics, transaction processing, consolidation, security, as well as better management and upgrades. All new Exadata features and enhancements are available on all supported Exadata generations.

The remainder of this post elaborates on the new hardware capabilities, licensing, pricing, and software requirements. You can also watch the X8 highlights (video, 7 min) or the full X8 overview (video, 23 min) presented by Juan Loaiza, the technical leader responsible for the Exadata family of products and cloud services.

Exadata X8-2 Database Server Exadata X8-2 Database Server physical appearance

Exadata X8 two socket database servers use the latest twenty-four core Intel Xeon 8260 processors. These processors implement fixes for the Spectre and Meltdown security vulnerabilities, eliminating the slowdown due to software mitigations. Each database server’s local storage is doubled from prior generations with four 1.2 TB HDDs. This 100% increase will especially benefit consolidated environments with multiple virtual machines or Oracle homes. Database servers ship with a default configuration of 384 GB DDR4 DRAM that can be expanded up to 1.5 TB, with memory installed in the factory or at the customer’s premises. Ethernet connectivity can also be expanded by adding a quad-port copper 10 Gigabit per second card or an additional dual-port optical 25 Gigabit per second card.

Exadata X8-8 Database Server

Exadata X8 eight socket database servers use the latest twenty-four core Intel Xeon 8268 processors. These processors also implement fixes in silicon to mitigate Spectre and Meltdown vulnerabilities. DatExadata X8-8 Database Server physical imageabase servers ship with a default configuration of 3TB DDR4 DRAM that can be expanded up to 6 TB per server and 18 TB per rack. While Exadata excels at database workloads such as transaction processing and data warehousing, the new Exadata Database Machine X8-8, with up to 18 TB of DRAM memory, can run the largest workloads, consolidate hundreds of databases, or run massive databases entirely in-memory.

Exadata X8-2 Intelligent Storage Server High Capacity (HC)

Exadata X8 Storage Server physical appearance

Exadata X8-2 HC intelligent storage server adopts the latest 2-socket sixteen-core Intel Xeon 5218 processors, a 60% processing increase available for smart scan processing compared to X7. Each HC storage server has 12 Helium-filled 14 TB drives, with a total raw capacity of 168 TB, for a 40% increase over X7. Each HC storage server includes four 6.4 TB Sun Accelerator Flash F640 NVMe PCIe cards, for 25.6 TB total flash cache.

Exadata X8-2 Intelligent Storage Server Extreme Flash (EF)

Exadata X8 Storage Server physical appearance

Exadata X8-2 EF Storage Server adopts the latest 2-socket sixteen-core Intel Xeon 5218 processors, a 60% processing increase available for smart scan compared to X7. Each EF storage server includes eight 6.4 TB Sun Accelerator Flash F640 NVMe PCIe cards, for a total 51.2 TB flash capacity

Introducing Exadata X8-2 Storage Server Extended (XT)

We are also adding a significantly lower-cost storage server to the Exadata family: Exadata X8-2 Storage Server Extended (XT). XT storage servers extend the benefits of Exadata to less-accessed data: historical data, data kept for compliance or regulatory purposes, and archival data. The XT server includes twelve 14 TB SAS disk drives with 168 TB total raw disk capacity, and achieve the same capacity at lower cost than High Capacity servers by forgoing flash drives and reducing processor sockets from two to one.

Hybrid Columnar Compression is included, while licensing Exadata System Software is optional for Exadata Storage Server Extended, enabling customers to lower storage costs further for low-access data.

XT servers can be added to any supported Exadata rack – a minimum of two servers must be added initially to each rack for normal redundancy, while three servers are required for high redundancy. We will cover XT servers at length in a dedicated post soon.

New Exadata X8-2 Storage Expansion Rack

Exadata Storage Expansion Rack adopts the latest Exadata X8-2 HC and EF servers. Additional HC, EF, and XT storage servers can be added to any existing or new storage expansion rack.

New 14 TB Disk Swap Kits

Exadata X8 updates the disk swap kits to twelve 14TB 7200 RPM drives, a 75% increase compared to the previous 8TB disk swap kits. 14TB disk kits will support X4, X5, X6 and X7 generations of HC intelligent storage servers.

Exadata X8 continues to lead in database performance

Exadata provides the best database performance by any and every measure, and continues to improve with each generation.Summary of Exadata X8 performance

A single X8 rack can achieve a record breaking 560 GB/sec data scans from SQL, a 60% increase over X7. Exadata delivers 6.5 million 8K read IOPS and 5.7 million 8K write IOPS from SQL.

Exadata X8 can sustain a throughput of 3.5 million IOPS while keeping I/O latency under 250 μsec. And it delivers 25% more IOPS per storage server than X7, reducing the cost of elastic configurations where storage I/Os are the bottleneck. And unlike storage arrays, Exadata performance scales linearly as more racks are added.

License cores as workloads require

Exadata X8 allows users to limit the number of active cores in the database servers in order to restrict the number of required database software licenses. At installation time, a minimum of 14 DB server cores must be enabled to limit the DB and Options software licensing costs on the X8-2 servers. A minimum of 56 DB server cores must be enabled on the X8-8 servers. The reduction of processor cores is implemented during software installation using Oracle Exadata Deployment Assistant (OEDA). The number of active cores can be increased at a later time, when more capacity is needed, but not decreased. The minimum number of active cores required is unchanged from Exadata X5, X6 and X7.

The increased capacity and higher performance of Exadata X8 is delivered with no change in price compared to the X7 generation. The new Exadata X8-2 Storage Server Extended (XT) is priced at a 70% reduction from the standard Exadata intelligent storage servers.

Exadata System Software

The Exadata X8 family requires Exadata System Software release at a minimum. Exadata 19.2 builds on all the innovations delivered in Exadata 19.1 with additional software support for new hardware servers and components.


Exadata continues to be the most strategic platform for Oracle. The new Exadata X8 is the most secure, highly available and fastest database platform ever built. With combination of unique-to-Exadata functionality in Oracle Database 19c, Exadata X8 is the foundation for the Autonomous Database and the ideal platform for Oracle databases.

We are always interested in your feedback. You are welcome to engage with us via Twitter @ExadataPM and by comments here.


Gurmeet Goindi

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