Users: Oracle Exadata's speed comes with a cost
Exadata delivers the processing speed Oracle has touted, but at high expense and with sizable technical requirements, users say
IDG News Service - Few Oracle products in recent years have received as much hype as the Exadata database machine, with the vendor attempting to use it as a standard-bearer for a series of appliances that combine its software with storage, networking equipment and Sun servers.
Oracle has released additional systems since the initial Exadata launch in 2008, including the Big Data Appliance and Exalytics machine, but Exadata is the most mature and best-selling product of the bunch.
Users at the Collaborate conference in Las Vegas who have worked closely with Exadata said this week that it lives up to Oracle's claims of stunning performance over traditional database setups, but the systems' high price tags, as well as the array of skills needed to use them effectively, call for careful planning and consideration on the part of customers.
Credit bureau Experian bought and installed two "half-rack"-sized Exadata machines last year, said Praveer Misra, director of database services and solutions for Experian marketing services.
Exadata's results were stunning, with some reports running 80,000 times faster than before, leaving end-users quite pleased, Misra said. "They were like, this is awesome," Misra said. "Can we please have this as our new baseline?"
About six weeks ago, however, Experian's Exadata systems had a major outage, he said. IT staff were in the process of applying patches to the system's storage cells when a disk went bad, he said.
The bad component notwithstanding, Oracle's Exadata documentation should have warned Experian off from conducting the patch in the manner they chose, Misra said. "If they had mentioned that, the DBAs would have said it was too much of a risk."
Despite that bump, "I would recommend Exadata," Misra said. "My old team was doing nothing but firefighting in the old environment. Now they are all freed up to do new things."
Still, Misra's experience reflects the learning curve Exadata administrators face.
Vinod Haval vice president of infrastructure standards and governance at Bank of America, has been evangelizing the concept of a "DMA" or database machine administrator, as the ideal role for a lead on an Exadata project.
In Haval's view, this person is "60 percent Oracle RAC [Real Application Clusters] DBA, 20 percent storage administrator, 15 percent system administrator and 5 percent miscellaneous," he said during a panel talk this week at Collaborate.
"Any one of them can become a DMA but a DBA has a better shot," he added. It doesn't make sense to create a dedicated role for a DMA if your company only has one or two Exadata machines, but if you have seven or eight, it starts to makes sense, according to panelists.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- Cybersecurity Imperatives Reinvent Your Network Security With Palo Alto Networks The Rise of CyberSecurity
Red Hat Enterprise Linux - The Original Cloud Operating System
Linux adoption is growing against a number of measures, such as the
number of supercomputers that run Linux and the size of the contributing...
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- Building a Bridge to the Next Generation Data Center Selecting a widely adopted operating system is a foundational component of a standardization strategy.
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Government Agency Webifies Outdated COBOL Applications Let this CTO tell you how his agency converted 1980s-era green screens into an e-filing portal for the 100,000 cases handled each year...
- The New Way to Work Knowledge Vault This Knowledge Vault focuses on how, in today's increasingly virtual world, it's more important than ever to engage deeply with employees, suppliers, partners,...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the... All Applications White Papers | Webcasts