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Oracle Exadata: Labor Is Not That Cheap

Guest Author

https://blogs.oracle.com/infrastructure/oracle-exadata:-ten-years-of-innovation)How much is your time, or your employees’ time, worth? That’s a question you may want to think about when evaluating your database server infrastructure. Until we are all running Autonomous Databases, it’s going to require some effort to manage your database environments. As anyone who follows Oracle knows, Autonomous Database is now a reality—if you are ready to move to the cloud. But since you are reading an infrastructure blog, I’m going to guess you’re not quite there yet. The good news is that Oracle Exadata can help eliminate much of that management burden, yet still give you the control you desire.

The manageability benefits of an engineered system like Oracle Exadata are pretty straightforward. By adopting an engineered solution, you avoid having to put together all the pieces and parts. You know that everything works together as designed because Oracle has put it together and tested everything. Think of all the time you spend assembling components, testing components, validating interoperability, searching for patches, applying patches, testing again for interoperability, and then troubleshooting when something goes wrong. With an engineered system, you download tested bundles of software, pre-validated to work on your system, and apply them with tools designed specifically for your environment. Perhaps more importantly, you are on a well-traveled road, so chances are high that bugs and issues that might affect you have been already discovered, and fixes implemented. 

And we’ve gone further with Oracle Exadata for even easier deployment and management. The Oracle Exadata Deployment Assistant (OEDA) and the Exadata patch manager tool take a lot of the guesswork and room for error out of deployment and patching. These tools validate configurations, run pre-checks to verify dependencies, and can even automatically back up and restore previous software and configuration state should something go awry. They also abstract and simplify the steps associated with these operations, reducing the likelihood of error, and eliminating the need to analyze and operate the lower level tools. Recently Exadata has adopted fleet patching tools, that dramatically simplify patching of both databases and storage cells at scale, further increasing management productivity.

Exadata also provides an Enterprise Manager plug-in, to make the EM agents Exadata-aware so they properly model and manage Exadata systems within Enterprise Manager. A customer using EM packs such as the Lifecycle Management across their estate can use these tools with Exadata, providing management consistency for all their database environments.

If you are already an Exadata customer, you may be wondering what all the fuss over patching is about. Oracle Exadata includes Oracle Platinum Support. With Platinum Support, customers need not even patch the systems. Oracle’s Exadata Experts can connect to the system and apply required patches for you—all you need to do is negotiate a patching window with the patching team.

Exadata’s extreme performance and scalability can even have a greater impact on reducing management load. Many customers have consolidated hundreds of databases into their Exadata environment, reducing the number of servers, operating systems, and databases that need to be managed. The Panasonic Group recently consolidated a large number of databases into Exadata and increased its management efficiencies from under 2 databases per DBA to over 24 databases per DBA.

Lastly, back to Autonomous Databases. Oracle Autonomous Database Service runs on top of Oracle Exadata in the Oracle Cloud. As features are developed to support this service, some will just work with Exadata. For example, Oracle Database 19c introduced automated statistics gathering and index creation. The database can eliminate the time-consuming job of tuning indexes to optimize performance. It can only do this, of course, if it fully understands the performance characteristics of the underlying system. In other words, such features, originally developed for the cloud, have been extended to on-premise, if the database is running on Oracle Exadata.

Thousands of customers have standardized on Oracle Exadata. Three quarters of the Fortune 100 companies run Exadata. The community effect of all these customers running the same platform further increases efficiencies and reduces overall management effort. All these customers have concluded that throwing bodies at the management problem is not the solution. Oracle Exadata provides a better way.

This is part 6 in a series of blog posts celebrating the 10th anniversary of the introduction of Oracle Exadata.  Our next post will focus on Scalability, and examine how Exadata is the best platform for tackling the largest workloads.

About the Author

Bob Thome is a Vice President at Oracle responsible for product management for Database Engineered Systems and Cloud Services, including Exadata, Exadata Cloud Service, Exadata Cloud at Customer, RAC on OCI-C, VM DB (RAC and SI) on OCI, and Oracle Database Appliance. He has over 30 years of experience working in the Information Technology industry. With experience in both hardware and software companies, he has managed databases, clusters, systems, and support services. He has been at Oracle for 20 years, where he has been responsible for high availability, information integration, clustering, and storage management technologies for the database. For the past several years, he has directed product management for Oracle Database Engineered Systems and related database cloud technologies, including Oracle Exadata, Oracle Exadata Cloud Service, Oracle Exadata Cloud at Customer, Oracle Database Appliance, and Oracle Database Cloud Service.




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