Exadata V2... Oracle grid consolidation in a box

I spent some time last week at OOW talking with Oracle customers regarding the technology in the Exadata V2 database machine. There were certainly a lot of customers excited to use this for their data warehouses - 21GB/sec disk throughput, 50GB/sec flash cache, and Hybrid Columnar Compression really accelerate this machine past the competition. The viability of Exadata V2 for DW/BI was really a given, but what impressed me the most was the number of customers looking to consolidate applications in this environment.

Ever since I was first brought onto this project, I thought Exadata V2 would be an excellent platform for consolidation. In my experience working on the largest of Sun's servers, I have seen customers with dozens of instances on a single machine. Using M9000 series machines, you can create domains in order to support multiple environments - this very much mirrors what Exadata V2 can provide. Exadata V2 allows DBAs to deploy multiple instances across a grid of RAC nodes available in the DB machine – and since you are using RAC, availability is a given. Also, the addition of Flash allows for up to 1 million IOPs to support your ERP/OLTP environments. Consider the picture below.

With this environment, your production data warehouse can share the same infrastructure as the ERP, test, and development environments. This model allows the flexibility to add/subtract nodes from a particular database as needed. But, the operational efficiency is not the biggest benefit to consolidation. The savings in terms of power, space, and cooling are substantial.

Consider for a moment the number of drives necessary to match the 1 million IOPs available in the database machine. Assuming you are using the best 15,000 rpm drive, you would be able to do 250 IOPs/drive. So, to get to 1 million IOPs, you would need 4,000 drives! A highly dense 42U storage rack can house any where from 300-400 drives. So, you would need 10 racks, just for the storage and at least one rack for servers.

With Exadata V2, you get more than 10:1 savings in floor space and all the power an cooling benefits as well. It is no wonder people are excited about Exadata V2 as a platform to consolidate compute and storage resources.

Comments:

On the surface this approach sounds very compelling. The devil of course is in the details. In the normal course of operations one has to apply this thing called 'patches' to fix 'features'. How do I address this necessity? Don't get me wrong, I like Exadata v2 but I think we'll need more than one unit to meet business needs.

Posted by Anantha on October 24, 2009 at 08:44 AM PDT #

I agree, planning is key for any consolidated environment. Since the DB portion of Exadata V2 is built upon 11gR2, rolling upgrades with RAC are supported. Also, you can use technologies like data guard as well for optimal availability.

Posted by Glenn Fawcett on October 25, 2009 at 03:54 AM PDT #

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This blog discusses performance topics as running on Sun servers. The main focus is in database performance and architecture but other topics can and will creep in.

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