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ORACLE EXADATA DB MACH X5-2: MODEL

Mfg. Part: 7110166 | CDW Part: 3640514
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Product Reviews
ORACLE EXADATA DB MACH X5-2: MODEL is rated 4.0 out of 5 by 41.
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Provides workload offloading to the cell layer. Valuable Features:* Workload offloading to the cell layer* High availability of each component and everything is redundant* Smart scan feature and the flash memoryImprovements to My Organization:* Exadata accelerates the performance to whole applications in the environment at least by 2-3x times than the old hardware.* One consolidated environment for all Oracle databases.Room for Improvement:* The integration between Exadata and Enterprise Cloud Manager should be included out of the box by default and should be agent-less, just discovery only; or, add an embedded and dedicated monitoring and management UBI tool for all HW and SW of Exadata.* Enhance the monitoring and alerts part related to Exadata with EM.* All firmware, OS, cells SW, etc. (quarterly patching for Exadata) upgrade and patching should be easily done through EM.* Physical KVM is required, as in the old version; Cisco management switch is the only single point of failure.Use of Solution:I have used it for three years.Deployment Issues:Some steps failed during the deployment by using one command utility to do all deployment steps by one command; so, we divided the deployment steps, then solved each issue separately until we successfully finished the development.Stability Issues:We have not encountered any stability issues; it is a stable box.Scalability Issues:Until now, we did not scale.Customer Service:Customer service is 7/10.Technical Support:Technical support is 6/10.Previous Solutions:We previously used normal HW, then moved to VMware, then moved to Exadata to get good performance and consolidated platform for DBs.Initial Setup:The initial setup is clear but you have to be careful while filling out the OEDA (Oracle Exadata Deployment Assistant) tool as it will generate an XML file that contains all of the required configurations for everything, like networks, storage, clusters, etc.. This file will be used during the initial setup.Implementation Team:We implemented it through the vendor; I rate their level of expertise about 7/10.Cost and Licensing Advice:At first glance, it is expensive because it contains many HW and SW components and provides high availability, as you have to buy licenses for DB, RAC, packs, and Exadata drivers SW per disk. But, if you are going to use it in a consolidated way for all Oracle databases, I think the price will be reasonable, as you have many DBs. There are many sizes for Exadata, so you have to choose the suitable one for your organization according to proper sizing. For licensing, the minimum license number is 8 cores, which are available for Exadata X5-2 and X6-2.Other Solutions Considered:Before choosing this product, we also evaluated HPE HW including flash memory and SSD disks, but it was more expensive at that time.Other Advice:The team should be familiar with RAC; some HW and network knowledge. The team should understand the new Exadata SW related to the cell layer.Consider the COD feature to pay as you go. Integrating Exadata with Oracle Cloud Enterprise Manager gives you the power of monitoring and managing the box. You can also enable the notification mailer through EM or cell.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-04-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Smart Scan and Hybrid Columnar Compression features are valuable. Valuable Features:* Smart Scan* HCCImprovements to My Organization:We consolidated 58 databases from 58 standalone servers into 4 RAC nodes (half rack). We achieved HA with RAC, and saved a good amount of storage with the HCC feature.Room for Improvement:* Storage* License* Overall performanceUse of Solution:I have used it for 11 months.Deployment Issues:We encountered a few bugs, and migration technical challenges.Stability Issues:We have not yet encountered any stability issues.Scalability Issues:We have not really encountered any scalability issues.Customer Service:Customer service is excellent.Technical Support:Technical support is good.Previous Solutions:We previously used a different solution. We switched for consolidation and to use the great features of Exadata.Initial Setup:It wasn't easy to get the new technology in. Going from the traditional storage/server architecture to an engineered system was a tough decision; had to go through several if and buts.Implementation Team:We implemented it through a vendor.ROI:ROI depends on the business needs.Cost and Licensing Advice:Compared to 58 individual standalone servers, the engineered system was significantly less in licensing.Other Solutions Considered:Before choosing this product, there were three options considered and given the PoC to finalize the product.Other Advice:We started with two boxes and in the end, we have two additional half-rack Exadata machines.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-03-22
Rated 4 out of 5 by from We have consolidated our infrastructure. It provides scalability, performance, and availability. Valuable Features:It's about consolidation of my infrastructure, scalability, high performance, and availability. These are the main factors that led me to choose this solution, as well as the cost. Exadata saves on my storage costs. All our costs were reduced significantly, and that was the reason why we went back to Exadata.Room for Improvement:On the improvement side, they’re pretty much good. With the latest version, X6-2, we have enhanced the storage capacity. It was 4 TB each disk, now it’s 8 TB each disk; essentially same size appliance with more storage space. That request has been heard and we're able to mitigate that. Increased storage was one thing and they have definitely done better on the IO of flash storage. They implemented that; pretty much good stuff.Stability Issues:We have not had any major problems with stability.Scalability Issues:From time to time, we scale capacity up and out. In system engineering terms, we can scale up to limit. The kind of features we just set it up, I've been able to fit my requirements into that.Technical Support:We have Oracle’s Platinum support, which has been pretty good. However, the people are not always knowledgeable. I always rely on my best contacts in Oracle to get the right support. Even though we have Platinum Support, my last delay was my contacts in Oracle.Initial Setup:Initial setup was very much straightforward. Not as much manpower is required as we used to need. Before, if you wanted to manage a server, you had to have a server administrator, the storage administrator, and a DBA administrator. Now all three functions are combined into one person. A data administrator can perform the role of storage administrator, your host administrator, platform administrator, as well as database administrator. It's like several persons reduced to one.Other Advice:I would definitely recommend this product if cost is not a factor. The implementation costs are, frankly, higher, but your return on investment over a period of time is less. If you're looking for that, then I would definitely advise to go for this product.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2017-01-24
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It has computing power at the storage level, which reduces latency. Valuable Features:Usually, the I/O operation is a more intensive and costly one. In any transaction processing, the I/O is a more expensive operation due to storage and better performance. That's where most of the latency and time would be spent in overall flow. Exadata has an additional service and computing power at the storage level as well which reduces this latency. Usually it's available only on the high-end machines.Exadata as a platform is a complete solution, where you have CPU memory with an additional server and inter-cell storage. That's the beauty of Exadata; IOPS and good overall latency and that's why we like it. We use it for the transaction processing, especially for production.Room for Improvement:In terms of improvement, related to other products when we were running down the physical servers, we ran into some issues. We are always on the latest stack so at this point of time we are self-sufficient. Once we deployed Exadata, we never had to look back, at least in recent times.One improvement would be the limitation on the storage. For example, when we buy with a double or triple CN, it comes with some storage. Once we reach that point, we don't have any other option. This was in the old version. We don't know how it is improved in the current version; maybe there is a way to optimize it and we can have additional storage allocated. In the earlier versions, we didn't have this possibility and we need to upgrade to a later version of Exadata to get more storage.Use of Solution:I have used this product for more than 4 or 5 years.Stability Issues:It's a stable solution but it comes with a price. You get performance and there is a cost associated with the performance. The Exadata tool is best when you can afford. You get best quality, in terms of the overall product features.Scalability Issues:It depends on each case, your use and the company. For us, it is scalable and working for our use.For me, what we have right now is scalable and it is serving our purpose.Technical Support:They have a dedicated team exclusively for Exadata. Whenever we ran into some issues with the tool, they nailed it down. The support was good in Oracle because this is a prestigious product from Oracle. They have their support model.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-12-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Offloading is valuable. It integrates well with our other products. Valuable Features:Offloading is the most valuable feature of Exadata.It integrates well with our other products.Improvements to My Organization:* Conservation* PerformanceRoom for Improvement:There are little things that need fine tuning, such as storage.It’s also missing some features such as snapshots.Stability Issues:It is stable.Scalability Issues:It scales well for our needs.Technical Support:Technical support is good.Other Solutions Considered:We also looked at Teradata, but Exadata is perfect.Other Advice:Definitely take some courses on Clusterware, ASM, Real Application Clusters; those kinds of courses, advanced courses.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-12-21
Rated 4 out of 5 by from It combines hardware with the software that we use from Oracle. Valuable Features:It is fast and integrated. It combines hardware with the software that we use from Oracle. It's a complete stack, not only for the hardware but the full implementation and delivery, so it’s really good for IT.Improvements to My Organization:We have seen performance and reliability benefits. It's also beneficial from a cost perspective.Room for Improvement:We are using it now predominantly as a hardware stack managed by our company. We would love to see it more as a service; a database-as-a-service offering.Stability Issues:It is very stable; no stability issues.Scalability Issues:No problems with scalability.Technical Support:The SRs that we raise are not always resolved in a timely fashion. Often I'm unhappy.Initial Setup:At this moment in time, it is pretty much a straightforward, almost-manual installation. We're looking for some automation around it.Other Solutions Considered:We also looked at other organizations or vendors, as well. We also looked at the database appliance from Oracle.We decided to go with the Exadata product because of the size of our company.Other Advice:The Nike one: Just do it.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Date published: 2016-11-08
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Oracle Exadata X6-2 is sized, tuned, and tested for all Oracle Database workloads, and includes unique software and protocols that make it the most powerful and efficient system for running the Oracle Valuable Features:Stability, high ROI and low TCO. Plus performance, of course. Being able to compress the data, especially in big size databases, has been extremely useful as HCC can deliver quite high compression rates. The business benefits of OES are as many as the pure technical benefits/features.Exadata with the In-Memory option is levels about SAP HANA.Improvements to My Organization:In the past, Infrastructure units were mostly organized in teams like the Database team, the Storage team, the Backup team, the Unix team, the Monitoring team, etc. Now, with Exadata, they have become sort of obsolete. Only one unit is needed for administering the whole stack, which means a lot of savings on IT level.Room for Improvement:The Initial investment price could use improvement. It is often the stumbling block. Many organizations have limited or small budgets for the initial investment. This has somehow changed with X5 when the entire Exadata configuration no longer needs to be licensed when using OracleVM.Use of Solution:I've used this solution since 2008. For the past 4 years, Exadata and more broadly speaking, Oracle Engineered Systems, are occupying almost all my working time so my exposure to the product is as much as one can get. My review answers also include my experiences with other Oracle products, including Oracle SuperCluster T5-8 and Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance X5.Deployment Issues:Only during the first month or so of new generation Exadata machines, when the initial scripts have not been properly modified to reflect the new generation machine. Often, when proper sizing isn't done in advance, or even worse when sizing hasn't been done at all, the load can been too much for the servers. This is however an extreme case and has nothing to done with the Exadata frames.Stability Issues:No. Their stability, in fact, is the main benefit from Exadata. When Exadata is in production, what clients tend to agree upon is that stability is of paramount importance. Several clients have had absolutely no downtime after deployment. Downtime nowadays for most enterprises, to put it simply, is money. Not to mention the image and the reputation. This is so hard to be included in pre-TCO studies as estimating such losses is rather difficult. The stability that Exadata brings solves this major issue entirely.Scalability Issues:No. It is quite simple to extend the configurations if needed, more databases can easily be added. With Exadata less memory is needed so we see clients running even close to 100 databases on a small 1/8th frame. With large databases, clients can sometimes run out of storage, but additional storage can easily be added with the help of storage expansion racks.Customer Service:The Platinum support has been useful to most of the clients. It helps IT organization eliminate the internal need to spend time and efforts on patching and monitoring the Exadata boxes. It allows them to concentrate on other tasks.Technical Support:Sometimes it takes too long time to get help with technical issues. At times, clients get frustrated with being asked the same questions multiple times. I would rate the Oracle technical support as good.Previous Solutions:In the past, the complexity of building your own database environment was a long and tedious process. From deciding on the hardware and the operating system, to installation, patching, creating and configuring the database... It took such a long time that the benefits of the Exadata appliance are more than obvious nowadays. In a make-it-all-yourself solution, identifying the problems took a long time, and sometimes issues were never identified. The all-by-one-vendor approach has its benefits. Put all your eggs in one basket and watch that basket, is what I would say.Initial Setup:It depends on who does the initial setup. The process is definitely straightforward and not that complex at all. For example, the Accenture Enkitec Group is strongly specialized in these types of setups.Implementation Team:The Accenture Enkitec Group, with 450+ implementation, is by far the leading team in performing such tasks. There is a separate team within AEG specialized in patching and configuring Oracle Engineered Systems.ROI:It varies from client to client depending on several factors but it is almost always when the cut-even period is approx. 12-18 months after the initial investment. The TCO of OES is much lower than similar systems like VCE’s Vblock, HP’s Converged system, and IBM’s PureFlex system, Teradata, etc.Cost and Licensing Advice:There is no single answer to this question. It varies from client to client depending on the size of the systems included in the setup.Other Solutions Considered:IBM POWER, SAP HANA, VCE Vblock and Teradata.Other Advice:If a company is looking into Oracle Engineered Systems, I would suggest first that a health check is performed on the current system, in addition to making a PoC on the (new) systems under consideration.In the history of Oracle Corporation, there seldom has been a product so successful, complete and flawless. Client satisfaction is extremely high and stability of systems using Exadata is close to infinite availability.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor. The reviewer's company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:Accenture is a diamond partner of Oracle. I received in April 2015 the top partner contributor in EMEA award for Exadata.
Date published: 2016-11-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from The presence of storage indexes along with the Storage Server software, allows us to deliver better performance without indexes. Valuable Features:The most valuable feature is the integration of the various components that make the performance soar. More specifically the presence of storage indexes along with the Exadata Storage Server software, which delivers process offloading, allows us to deliver better performance without indexes--saving space and CPU. This innovative feature is not something we would be able to replicate with other solutions. In addition, we consider the features smart scan, smart flashcache, smart flash log and hybrid columnar compression very useful.Improvements to My Organization:Prior to Exadata, we were relying on daily ETLs from multiple source systems to load data into base tables, then we prepared a summary and materialized views from the base to data marts which were eventually exposed to the end users. This process used to take 18 hours. So, the data was always at least 18 hours late, and occasionally later, if the ETLs failed. This caused two issues: first, most managers simply were not able to make quick decisions because the data was stale and second, for most important functions, the users got the data from our OLTP system which taxed that system's capacity.After Exadata, we observed three immediate benefits:* The ETLs finish in 3 hours (down from 18), making the data fresh and enabling the managers to make quick decisions. Campaigns used to take days but take a few hours now* Users no longer go to the OLTP system, reducing the impact there and saving us from upgrades* There is no need to build summaries; so some of the data is available almost immediately, allowing most decisions to be taken on near-realtime data which was impossible pre-ExadataRoom for Improvement:There are three possible enhancements:* Build a stronger, more responsive support team.* Add a RAID-5 like storage layout for customers to save space with the full understanding that performance will be less (which could be fine for non-prod systems).* Add storage level replication without the use of Data Guard, which is quite useful in case of organizations that rely on that technology for their Disaster Recovery effort.Use of Solution:I've used it for 4 yearsDeployment Issues:Yes; mostly due to the database version being different. We were upgrading from 10g to Exadata which ran 11g; so there were some issues we had to overcome; but those were expected. Quite honestly, our deployment was smooth in Exadata itself due to our deep understanding of the technology. Without it, I am not sure if it would have been that smooth.Stability Issues:Yes; the initial versions had a lot of firmware issues that caused the cells to reboot, which caused the ASM software to rebalance the diskgroups. It mostly occurred in the X2 system. The X4 system has been quite stable. However, it's important to point out that Oracle generally releases firmware updates quite fast to remove any stability issues. We encountered them because we didn't apply these due to our internal reasons.Scalability Issues:No; scalability has been pretty awesome.Customer Service:It leaves a lot to be desired. It has improved; but still a lot to go. I rate it 6 on a 10 point scale.Technical Support:I gave an overall rating of 9 to Exadata X4 due to the quality of support personnel during installation and after sales events. That is going up but still leaves something to be desired.Previous Solutions:We used Oracle database on HPUX. We switched because it was impossible to deliver performance without additional indexes. Indexes took up space and slowed down data insertion performance. Exadata solved these by enhancing performance without the need for indexes.Initial Setup:Oracle sends professional installers for installation and deployment. So it was fairly simple. However, as I mentioned earlier, we do have a deep technical expertise base so it worked in our favor. Without that expertise, I can't be sure if would not have been complex.Implementation Team:We implemented everything with our in house team.Other Solutions Considered:Yes, we did evaluate Teradata, Netezza and Greenplum.Other Advice:First and foremost, develop or hire a deep technical talent base inhouse, even if it's just one person. The technical role is called Database Machine Administrator (DMA). Planning is winning half the battle. There are tiny little things that makes a big difference. For instance, how to decide whether to keep the indexes you have--it's not something you can outsource. Second, get the installation checklist (detailed) from Oracle and establish SLAs for each item meticulously along with the hand off details. Third, if you don't have it, consider Oracle Enterprise Manager Grid Control to manage the Exadata system. Fourth, decide to use Oracle Platinum Support (free for Exadata) from day one. Finally, get ready to be wowed.The innovative use of all the technologies integrated so creatively and functionally that it provides an immense performance boost impossible to attain with do it yourself systems. For instance the secret sauce is Exadata Storage Server (ESS) software, which is unique to Exadata, can't be replicated even with other massively parallel systems.Disclaimer: IT Central Station contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
Date published: 2016-11-06
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