What’s New with the Oracle Database Appliance

Earlier this summer, Oracle announced single node versions of the X6 generation Oracle Database Appliance (ODA). At OpenWorld 2016, the ODA team was showing a new two node X6-HA which Principal Product Manager Paul Tsien told me would be shipping by start of 2017, and will support RAC as the name implies, as well as virtualization. I went to a presentation by Erik Brenner of Mythics (which you could think of as an EC Wise competitor with a very large Oracle practice), who reported that the X6-HA would have fewer cores but more memory and storage, and could do up to a million iops. That would be very impressive. Unfortunately, Erik’s presentation is not yet available on line, but he promised that it would be, and it has details.

I learned more about the X6-2S and X6-2M announced earlier, mainly that they scream. The secret sauce there is that all the storage is flash, and it uses the newish NVM Express (NVMe) protocol for super-fast performance. Senior Product Manager Tammy Bodnar posted a blog entry about these servers in which she explained that with NVMe, the disk backplane connects to an internal PCIe switch that bypasses the SAS controller, “eliminating all overhead” (italics mine). In discussing these servers with Paul, we talked about how for pure database implementations, there are less expensive high availability options than RAC. He also divulged that he expects the X6-2S or X6-2M to be certified for virtualization at some point (currently they are only certified for use running an Oracle database). That would be great for us.

Another thing I learned that is going to matter to us is that OAKCLI will start to be deprecated in favor of a new scripting tool that uses a REST API, and that I expect will more compatible with what Oracle is doing in the cloud. I think they listened to us there.

Those of you who are not EC Wise employees probably don’t understand our infatuation with ODAs. You know, we’ve primarily been data wranglers and developers not production DBAs or IT engineers. As such, it becomes extremely costly for us to engineer high performance mid-range data management systems, i.e. deploying storage arrays, interfacing them to servers, installing Oracle in RAC mode, etc. On an ODA, that is all done. Taking this X6-2M as an example, it has 20 latest generation Intel Xeon CPU cores, and up to 5 TB of usable flash storage, with either a Standard Edition or Enterprise Edition Oracle database preconfigured.

The hardware list price for the X6-2M is $24k, and we can get it for clients for quite a bit less than that. That beats a lot of what’s out there, and does not take into account the savings in time and headaches that we get from having it all pre-configured. Another key feature is scalable database licensing, which Oracle only allows on their “Engineered Systems”, i.e. you can license the database for as many cores as you need, and increase your core count as your needs grow. Please contact me to learn more.

Categories: Databases, Oracle Database Appliance, and OS & Virtualization.
Languages: English.

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