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ORACLE SUN EXADATA DB LINUX SW IMAGE

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Product Reviews
Rated 4 out of 5 by 10reviewers.
Rated 4 out of 5 by Review about Oracle Linux Valuable Features:Quick SupportImprovements to My Organization:Faster ResponseDisclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. October 2, 2016
Rated 5 out of 5 by Out of the box it's already pre-optimized and pre-configured. Having that marriage between the OS and the database is critical. Valuable Features:What I like about Oracle Linux is that out of the box it's already pre-optimized, pre-configured, has all the right RPMs, has checking packages. It's basically all the stuff I would have to do with a different distribution manually. It probably saves me a couple of hours on each time I do a database install, and that's worth a lot. Plus, the performance is better because it's been highly optimized or tuned. The kernels been optimized. The memory management specifically is better, so it makes for a very stable platform.Improvements to My Organization:Performance and stability. I can get maximum performance with the least amount of effort, and stability-wise, I never have a crash. I've yet to have one.Room for Improvement:One of them is because I'm lazy, and most people wouldn't admit that, but when you go from version 6 to version 7 of Linux, a lot of commands changed, and even some file locations have changed. I wish they would keep the compatibility mode, or the stupid mode for me for a couple of years. I hate to learn new commands right away, but it is what it is.Just keeping up, keeping the pace with the Red Hat main distributions, so if Red Hat's on 7.3, I'd like to see Enterprise Linux on 7.3, at the same time. On one occasion, I think they actually beat Red Hat. I think they came out with their point release first. That's what I would kind of like, is for them to stay very aggressive on that, because kernel modifications typically end up being performance. They have taken the best of Solaris and put it into it. They keep adding tools that are necessary for doing performance optimization and monitoring. It's very mature.Stability Issues:What's really nice about the stability is that even when you have situations that might cause issues with other OSs, other variants of Linux, Oracle Enterprise Linux seems to do a better job of catching and handling those exceptions. An example would be, maybe I'm doing a wrap-cluster or I'm using ASM, automatic storage management, there are some cases where those products can cause an error that might cause a different distribution of Linux to maybe hang or lock or get confused. With Enterprise Linux it seems to be a non-issue. It's very stable.Scalability Issues:I love the scalability. Because of the fact that it's already optimized for performance, I can scale it to whatever maximum numbers I need very easily. The only time I have to make any adjustments is if I'm doing RAC, real application clusters, I may want to tune a little bit differently based on the number of nodes, but it's very minimal.Technical Support:Oracle technical support is like most companies with technical support. It's either great or horrible. It sort of depends on the phone call. Generally speaking, it's great. A lot of times though, if you're in a mission critical situation, you need to get them to escalate you to level two so that you can get beyond the first level and typically you can get an answer quicker. I would say the most interesting interaction I had with them was, one time I was patching an Exadata machine and I did a step wrong because I didn't read all the directions. Did an incorrect step. Ruined my Exadata box. Made sure that they got me to second level support, and then it took us about eight hours working together but we got it recovered. Very few vendors would have spent eight hours, midnight to eight AM, just on a phone call.Previous Solutions:I was an early adopter of Linux, long before companies saw the light, and before it went mainstream. I would say I got into the early adopter, sort of experimental stage, so that I would be prepared when my companies were positioned to take advantage of it, I would already be an expert.I actually started using Linux, probably about the time that Red Hat was Red Hat version 3, so more than a decade ago, probably closer to 15 years, and part of that was because I could see that the commoditization of hardware was going to mean that server rooms were going to be predominantly Intel, and they were going to predominantly be Windows and Linux, and you'd better know both of them. With Linux being a much lower cost OS, and also hosting databases like Oracle really well, you just knew it was going to end up in the Enterprise environment, and it just made sense to work with Enterprise Linux. Now I worked originally with Red Hat and CentOS, but it very clearly became evident to me that Oracle Enterprise Linux, starting at version 5.8, was just as good, just as stable, offered more with very few differences in the learning curve.Oracle does have a few additional tools that are not on the standard distribution, but they actually make your job a lot of easier, like for example, one of them is an RPM check. It just checks to make sure we have all of the pre-loaded or the pre-required RPMs loaded, and there's nothing to do other than to activate it, and it just gives you a message. It's not very hard to learn these additional features.Implementation Team:Honestly, if you've done any Linux installation of any distribution, and specifically if you've done CentOS or Red Hat, all that really changes are some of the images and backgrounds and colors and labels, but other than that, it's probably 98% identical, but Oracle does have some optimizations and some additional RPMs already installed. It's a very small difference, but if you know Linux, and even if you're with a different variant, say like a Ubuntu, you'll still be okay. You won't be a fish out of water.Cost and Licensing Advice:I think that the licensing model is fair. It's reasonable. What's nice is that if you have the database tech support or maintenance, and you have the Linux support or maintenance, for them it's one phone call. Now you may switch a person on the phone, but you're not having to call and get back in the queue again, so it's nice to deal with one company, especially for a critical asset like a database.Other Solutions Considered:The marriage with the database, to me is the most critical or most important item. Now I know that sounds like I may be pandering to Oracle, since they make the database and they make the OS, but it's just a natural. The same as with Microsoft SQL Server. Why do you run it on Windows? Now, I know it's coming on Linux, but where will it probably run best for a long time? Probably on Windows.Having that marriage between the OS and the database is critical, and Oracle really understands their database, better than anybody else, and they seem to understand Linux as well as anybody else, and they were an early contributor, so it's just a natural progression to put the database on their Linux.Other Advice:Rating: It’s a 10, because even though there are free alternatives, I mean totally free alternatives, like CentOS, I've quit using them. For me to quit using something that's totally free, with no even maintenance charges, must mean that what I've chosen is worth every penny of whatever costs there are. Oracle Linux is clearly there.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. May 30, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by I like that it can run on generic hardware, which is definitely a plus over the proprietary hardware that we had on previous Oracle installations. Valuable Features:The most valuable aspect of Oracle's flavor of Linux is that there's a one-stop shop for support to which I can go. I can get support for our Oracle basket of products that includes Linux and Database.Improvements to My Organization:I like that it can run on generic hardware, which is definitely a plus over the proprietary hardware that we had on previous Oracle installations. This mean that we have a tremendous cost savings when we're able to run Linux on hardware for which we don't have to pay a premium. We'd rather spend our money on the software.Room for Improvement:There are some features that might be in Red Hat Linux that aren't in Oracle Linux. I can't think of anything specific, but we had that issue about a month ago.Deployment Issues:It's deployed just fine for us. We've had no real issues there.Stability Issues:It's been very stable. We've very rarely had any issues with instability.Scalability Issues:It's been scaling just fine for what our needs are.Technical Support:The support is pretty good. There are some issues with first-level support providing just basic, generally not-very-helpful advice, but they're generally responsive and help us to resolve smaller issues.Initial Setup:The initial setup is straightforward, if you know what you're doing. It's not that difficult or unnecessarily complex, but you should have some experience with previous installations for best results.Implementation Team:We implemented it ourselves with our in-house team.Other Advice:Be sure you follow the instructions for installation, setup, and configuration.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. May 18, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Compared to RHEL, it is much easier to install, configure, and run Oracle Database and Grid Infrastructure. Valuable Features:I learned Linux on Red Hat, so Oracle Linux was an easy transition. When I first started using Oracle Linux, it wasn't that much different from Red Hat Enterprise Linux, but now, the differences are dramatic. It is much easier to install, configure, and run Oracle Database and Grid Infrastructure on Oracle Linux than Red Hat.Improvements to My Organization:Many of the customers I work with are used to working with Oracle Database on Unix or Windows and are new to Linux. It is much easier to get a customer who is not familiar with Linux running on Oracle Linux than on most other Linux platforms because there are fewer prerequisites. For example, ASMLib is included with the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel (UEK is the default kernel in Oracle Linux) and the preinstall RPMs take care of almost all of the prerequisite OS requirements.Room for Improvement:I had some issues going from versions 5 to 6 to 7 because of the change from SysVinit to Upstart to Systemd.Also, you wouldn't fully replace another Linux product with Oracle Linux. Although it is a full Linux distribution, Oracle Linux is formulated (especially the kernel) for Oracle software and hardware products.Use of Solution:I've been using it since 2010.Deployment Issues:Deployment methods and software used for other Linux variants should have no problem provisioning Oracle Linux. In addition, Oracle Enterprise Manager has a number of features that make it much easier to deploy dozens or hundreds of Oracle Linux installations. I have found that the kernel enhancements make the OS perform better under heavy loads, especially when running Oracle Database and Enterprise Manager.Stability Issues:We've had no issues with stability.Scalability Issues:We've had no issues with scalability.Technical Support:Oracle Linux is free and open source, just like Red Hat, so a support contract is not required. If there are issues with the product requiring support, the answers are almost always the same as those for similar issues in Red Hat or CentOS. If you do have a support contract and access to My Oracle Support, there is a ton of information available on Linux in general and Oracle Linux specifically. I have found My Oracle Support issues involving Oracle Linux are generally resolved quicker and with less back-and-forth than issues involving the database.Previous Solutions:I continue to use Oracle Linux, Red Hat, SUSE, Ubuntu, Debian and a number of other distributions. They all have different purposes and complimentary strengths and weaknesses. When it comes to running most Oracle products on Linux, I almost always choose Oracle Linux because of its familiarity and ease-of-use.Initial Setup:Setup is almost exactly the same as Red Hat, so those familiar with that distribution should have no trouble porting their knowledge to Oracle Linux. The most difficult transition I had was going from versions 5 to 6 to 7 because of the change from SysVinit to Upstart to Systemd.Implementation Team:Implementation of all OS's has always been through our in-house team. Once we have a repeatable build, we usually turn it over to an automated deployment tool like Puppet, Ansible, or the native Anaconda kickstart.Other Advice:This probably isn't something you would replace another product with completely. Although it is a full Linux distribution, it is formulated for Oracle software and hardware products. Try it first for the Oracle database and see if you like it. Make sure to test out support as well. Oracle isn't the only vendor that will support this product, but they do have direct influence when something needs to change or troubleshoot.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:We are an Oracle partner. April 26, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by The first most valuable feature of Oracle Linux is its kernel design to meet business needs, especially on other Oracle products like Engineered Systems and Cloud Services. Valuable Features:The first most valuable feature of Oracle Linux is its kernel design to meet business needs, especially on other Oracle products like Engineered Systems and Cloud Services. It supports demanding workloads such as those on Oracle Database; has features such as Btrfs, Dtrace, OCFS2, Smart Flash Cache, InfiniBand, OpenStack, Linux Container and Docker; and supports data integrity by providing hardware fault management.Secondly, the Ksplice feature enables zero-downtime kernel updates for bugs and critical security updates. It also minimizes security risks by keeping the system up to date without downtime. It will provide critical kernel patches for both kernel and user space without needing to reboot.Third, it supports the automatic storage management library for Oracle Database and Oracle Clusterware for Linux.Lastly, with Spacewalk, you can manage and monitor systems in different locations.Improvements to My Organization:The Oracle Linux OS plays a significant role in my organization. We've moved most of our systems and applications that were running on Windows, Solaris 10, and Red Hat and consolidated them on our database machine with Exadata, Oracle Enterprise Manager 12c, Oracle Secure Backup/NetBackup, Domain, NTP, and Oracle VM Manager. We've also deployed many of our business applications using Oracle Linus and the Oracle VM hypervisor.Room for Improvement:I think there's a lot of room for improvement. As our business shifts to virtualization and the cloud, the Oracle Linux infrastructure has seen a lot of changes. And even as virtualization consolidates servers and hypervisors have matured and assumed a strategic position within our datacenter, many applications still don't run on hypervisors. Instead, they run on OS's that run on top of hypervisors. This means that in order for there to be a larger impact, there are some improvements that could be made, such as:* Optimization of Linux for the virtual environment.* Containers. We think that the Linux OS will be a great candidate to host container-packaged application workloads. It's still early in the development process, but we expect Oracle to significantly adopt this technology. Oracle has already started deploying some images using Docker with WebLogic and Storage Cloud.* New deployment models. With virtualization, there are now new ways to deploy software, such as with software appliances and the integrated stack of OS and application software. Oracle Linux should be tailored and optimized to run a single application and managed as a single entity.* Cloud adoption. With the shift towards cloud application deployments, changes in architecture and delivery model are necessary, which will impact other areas of the datacenter ecosystem.I'd also like to see Oracle Linux for SPARC. Oracle announced last year the SuperCluster M7, SPARC T7, and SPARC M7 servers, all based on the 32-core, 256-thread M7 microprocessor. If this is supported on Oracle Linux, it will be the first end-to-end implementation of data security in hardware for the Linux foundation. Oracle currently doesn't offer support for Linux for SPARC.Use of Solution:We started using Oracle Linux kernel at our data center in 2014. It was deployed on Oracle Exadata X4-2.Deployment Issues:We didn’t encounter any issue during the deployment of Oracle Linux for many different platforms.Stability Issues:We have had no issues with the stability. The OS is stable and reliable on a hardware layer stack, and Oracle has done a very good job of that. Oracle has done a good job of validating hardware Oracle Linux Hardware Certification List. We are very happy with the investment we have made.Scalability Issues:There have been no issues scaling it.Technical Support:Oracle provides enterprise-level support for Oracle Linux:* Zero-downtime kernel updates with Ksplice.* Management and clustering software is included at no additional charge.* Includes premier backports, legal indemnification, and full-stack testing.Previous Solutions:We used Red Hat, Solaris x86-64 bit, but we chose Oracle Linux for the reasons above.Initial Setup:Oracle Linux is straightforward in its initial setup because it comes with a pre-installed package that for installation of other Oracle products or Oracle Database on Oracle Linux with UEK. The pre-installed package download includes a software package, repertories, and specific versions needed for application installation.Implementation Team:In-house. For this environment, the greatest value gained from implementing Oracle Linux resulted from implementing the management pack components and clustering software that we would have to pay for otherwise. Another was very specific with regard to the value of Ksplice, with which we can update our environment with latest patches and updates with zero-downtime.ROI:From our review of Oracle Linux software and support, we believe that tangible ROI benefits can be realized from consolidating the enterprise Linux environment to Oracle Linux.Cost and Licensing Advice:Pricing/licensing is much lower than other commercial Linux distributions. For Oracle Linux support is available at Basic and Premier levels via a yearly subscription that includes support for the UEK and/or the Red Hat Compatible Kernel. Support levels can be assigned on a per-physical server basis. Customers can choose either Oracle’s Enterprise manager (included with Basic and Premier Support licenses) or Oracle’s release of Spacewalk for Oracle Linux. Pricing is calculated on a per-system basis and varies with the level of support from Basic to Premier. A free support option is also available.Other Advice:I have recommend Oracle Linux for the reason Oracle is the only vendor in the industry that offers a complete Linux-based solution stack—applications, middleware, database, management tools, operating system and hardware—along with a single point of support. Customers that deploy Oracle Linux benefit greatly from the latest Linux innovations as well as rigorous testing with real world workloads. IT departments can deploy applications more quickly using lightweight Linux Containers and Docker images, or combine these approaches to improve application isolation, resource control, and rapid provisioning.Traditional virtualization using Oracle VM can be an optimal approach for Tier 1 applications or when application requirements dictate the need for multiple operating systems. To deliver applications as private cloud services, Oracle OpenStack technology may be an ideal approach in conjunction with Oracle VM. In any of these deployment scenarios, Oracle Linux can add value through its optimized performance and scalability and the ability to perform seamless, zero-downtime upgrades with Ksplice.As the number of application environments expands across data centers, managing them on a day-to-day basis becomes a greater administrative challenge and expense. Customers that have Oracle Linux Premier Support contracts can use Ksplice to help keep their critical application environments—whether using containers, VMs, or OpenStack compute nodes—updated with the latest security errata and bug fixes, without interruption.And Oracle’s comprehensive support—providing support for Docker and OpenStack as a part of Oracle Linux Premier Support—helps IT organizations innovate and evolve cost-effectively.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. April 24, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by Oracle has a repo pre-installer entry that is explicitly for Oracle Database, and when installing the database on Oracle Linux, I'm able to simply install the 11g or 12c pre-install settings. Valuable Features:I value Oracle's commercial vetting of enterprise-grade Linux. I value the enterprise grade repo which has all the functionalities of what Red Hat offers -- but Red Hat wants to charge a fortune for self-sufficient end users like me who do not require support and who are qualified and capable of supporting themselves. Oracle does not do this and they value that I have an interest in their products and do not charge me an arm and a leg to build my professional knowledge of any of their products.This serves to benefit Oracle in that they are growing the knowledge base. Indeed, it is an ever expanding knowledge base, and with a larger knowledge base comes a larger customer base for them. They understand the needs of engineers who want to grow their skillset around Oracle product offerings as they know and understand, that it is people like me, who are down in the trenches of doing the actual work, that Oracle uses as a reference base for making inroads into a solid customer base.Another thing that I value is that Oracle has a repo pre-installer entry that is explicitly for Oracle Database, and when installing the database on Oracle Linux, I'm able to simply install the 11g or 12c pre-install settings, and this provides the optimal Oracle Linux configuration to run an Oracle Database server. I really love this enhancement from Oracle in their Linux, on behalf of 11g and 12c database servers.Room for Improvement:I have a beef with the installer (Anaconda / Kickstart) on occasion, especially between versions. What I find sometimes is that it has bugs and doesn't work. I have to burn up a lot of time in trying to craft workarounds and getting it to work. It doesn't happen all of the time, but the last couple of versions (7.0, 7.1, 7.2) had some nasty issues where the installer would just simply crash and burn. It's fine as long as the buggy version isn't your only version of choice, in which case, you would be up the creek without a paddle. Oracle need to make sure that their bare-metal installers work, as I don't want to have to debug their code for them.We could, at some point, benefit from an enterprise-grade Linux solution without paying huge support fees to Red Hat. Besides, Oracle would already have a ready-made investment in people like me for getting Oracle Linux into their existing enterprise customer base. Simply by making it painless for people like me to learn how their stuff work as opposed to Microsoft and RedHat. They want to charge a fortune for the 'privilege' to be taught by them. They don't do this because they already know what I am doing and they are not going to force me to cough up thousands of dollars to learn how their stuff works. They have demonstrated that they are quite confident in their OTN users abilities to learn about their products simply by reading what Oracle has documented and what they have shared about their products. They have given us credit that we are all professionals and that we 'should' all know how to read, write and count to 10.Now what I don't want to hear from Oracle is "oh, that's what we got from the master source tree from Fedora (or whoever they rely on)." So, I don't care if bugs fell in their lap - don't send those bugs out into the field. I really couldn't care less whose fault it is I just want them to fix it! And if they can't fix it, don't upset the customer by sending out software that they know good and well has issues in it and hope that no one notice. I notice and it only serves to upset us. Oracle needs to keep in mind that although I am an OTN user on their network I am also working with one of their largest customers in their customer base. Oracle doesn't need to forget this fact or take it for granted that I don't work for anyone important so, they need to simply handle all of their OTN users as if each one of us works for a very important customer of theirs.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. April 20, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by We wanted to move to a Linux operating system for our backend servers, and we used Oracle Linux to do that. Valuable Features:The stability and security of the product is at the top of its class. These features are really the most valuable for us in our experience with it.Improvements to My Organization:We wanted to move to a Linux operating system for our backend servers, and we used Oracle Linux to successfully do that.Room for Improvement:We would like Oracle to add more functionality in terms of the GUI. There are more things we'd like to be able to do straight from the GUI itself.Use of Solution:We used this solution as a prerequisite for deployment of a Keyword driven Automation Framework (Oracle Flow Builder).Deployment Issues:There were no issues with the deployment.Stability Issues:The stability was great. We haven't had any issues with instability.Scalability Issues:We had no issues scaling it for our needs.Customer Service:Customer service has been good in our experience.Technical Support:Technical support has been good in our experience.Initial Setup:The initial setup was complex in a Linux environment compared to setting up on a Windows OS.Implementation Team:We implemented it through our own in-house team.ROI:Since it is open source, you'll have a great ROI.Other Solutions Considered:We had previously tried Red Hat Linux but stuck with Oracle Linux for our installation of other native Oracle products.Other Advice:My advice would be to follow instructions and have a Linux technician at hand. You could try to install it in a sandbox before using it in a production machine.Disclaimer: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer:My company is an Oracle Partner. April 19, 2016
Rated 4 out of 5 by It gives us the ability to cover kernel bugs by using Oracle Ksplice online patching, which can be done without any unnecessary downtime. Valuable Features:The most valuable feature for us with Oracle's Linux product is the online kernel patching.Improvements to My Organization:It gives us the ability to cover kernel bugs by using Oracle Ksplice online patching. The best part is that we can do this whole process without any unnecessary downtime.Room for Improvement:In terms of improvement, from my experience the documentation and resources are not complete and I sometimes have to refer to Red Hat for Linux documentation.Also, because we use HP servers, the drivers for Oracle Linux are not complete yet.Use of Solution:I've been using Oracle Linux for about four years.Deployment Issues:I've had no issues with the deployment.Stability Issues:I've had no issues with the stability.Scalability Issues:There have been no issues scaling it for my needs.Technical Support:I'd say that technical support is good.Initial Setup:For the initial setup, you need some expertise to configure a good and stable system.Implementation Team:I perform all Oracle Linux implementations myself. The most important point that I've found is to plan, plan, plan, and then deploy.Cost and Licensing Advice:The price is good.Disclaimer: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions. April 5, 2016
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