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Oracle E-Business suite on Exadata - A Reality

Guest post by
Vinayak Gangadhar Kurdekar, Technology Lead, Infosys


Exadata when it was launched by Oracle a couple of years back initially created a sensation in the market as a hardware platform engineered by Oracle in collaboration with HP for hosting large databases. Later as time progressed and technology matured, Exadata became synonymous as a machine that provided extreme performance and scalability for both OLTP and datawarehouse applications.  Both Oracle developer and DBA community had the impression that Exadata has been mainly developed for hosting databases with large amount of data typically seen in a datawarehouse environment and were not aware if oracle's E-Business suite of applications can be hosted on Exadata. The answer is yes; currently Oracle E-business suite release 11i with 11gR2 database is certified with Oracle Exadata V2 machine. Oracle is currently working on the certification of the E-Business suite release 12 on exadata and the same should be available in the near future.

Oracle E-Business suite benefits from a host of the exadata machine's features like fast CPU's, abundant memory, preconfigured cluster database, smart flash cache and very fast I/O capabilities. In addition to the Oracle 11gR2 high availability features like cluster database, flash back database and oracle secure backup which were already available on Exadata as a database only feature, the E-business suite high availability features like load balancing of forms and web servers and parallel concurrent processing can be configured on Exadata to provide a maximum availability architecture solution to customers.

E-Business suite workloads are typically characterized by high CPU and memory utilization which benefit from exadata machine's fast processors built on the Intel platform. I/O intensive operations like batch jobs and backups that are normally run during non-peak hours benefit from the high I/O bandwidth and throughput capacity of the exadata machine. Exadata smart flash cache feature can be used to cache frequently used tables providing dramatic performance improvements. Advanced compression option is another feature of 11gR2 database that can be used with E-Business Suite to not only increase resource utilization but also substantially reduce storage costs and network bandwidth requirements without compromising on the performance. RMAN binary compression packaged with 11gR2 database can be used to significantly reduce the database backup size. Last but not the least, inorder to maximize memory usage in E-Business Suite environment huge pages can be configured in Linux kernel so that the entire SGA of the E-Business Suite instance fits in the huge page.

Apart from fresh installation of the E-Business suite on exadata machine, existing E-Business suite environments can be migrated to the Exadata V2 machine.  This can be achieved in 2 different ways depending on the characteristics of the source server where the E-Business suite instance is currently hosted. The migration options available currently can be broadly classified into 2 categories:

  1. Physical migration using Data guard physical standby, transportable database and rapid clone.
  2. Logical migration using the oracle data pump technology.

At the time of writing this article, these technologies are yet to mature and as customer acceptance grows with benchmarks being developed and set, we can see more action in days to come.


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