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Oracle Exadata - A platform for consolidation (Part-1)

Guest post by
Umesh Tanna, Senior Technology Architect, Oracle Practice, Enterprise Solutions, Infosys Technologies Ltd.


Consolidation is one of the many key reasons for deploying and using Exadata. Oracle Exadata is an appliance - hardware and software bundled and engineered to provide maximum performance. It is a database machine that is purpose built and integrated. True, that there are high end systems that are best suited to be replaced by Exadata platform considering the growth and performance need of those system. However, by design, Exadata offers high end configuration and specification which not all types of Oracle database application that today runs in IT department need.  Hence, solid business case can be built for those systems if, some type of consolidation solution is considered which can simplify, increase availability and performance and ultimately reduce total cost of ownership.

As soon as someone speaks the word consolidation, one asks - How can we run our OLTP and data mart application on single server/database? Can we have package application and custom application running on same server/database?  While we are ok to tolerate certain hours of downtime for our data warehouse database, we need 24x7 operations of our OLTP. Do you have solution for this? How would we handle the situation that runaway queries in our data warehouse application do not make OLTP applications starve for resource?

Now before we see how Exadata answers such questions, let us see what the various ways are in which we can consolidate into Exadata platform.

One simple consolidation scenario is bringing multiple databases (may be running on multiple servers) as it is into exadata. What we achieve in this is server and/or OS consolidation.  Advantage of this approach is database still enjoys database level isolation and thereby flexibility in configuration and operation. However on the flip side, this may still result in lots of overhead because of multiple databases.

Next level of consolidation is database consolidation in which multiple databases (may be running on multiple servers) is consolidated in one database running in exadata. While this requires very careful planning but advantage of this approach is better resource utilization, simplicity and very less overhead.

Oracle exadata v2 offers various features and functionalities that enable superior and effective consolidation and provides solution to many of the questions. Of course consolidation exercise need to consider multiple aspects of their IT environment, policies and procedures and each may have their own unique challenges; however, understanding following feature helps us to explore the suitability of exadata for consolidation.

Database Resource Manager (DBRM)
IO Resource Manager (IORM)
Mix workload
Oracle Service
Server Pool
Instance Caging

In the next part of this blog we will understand how this feature helps in database consolidation.


Great Post!!

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