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Thoughts on Exadata V3

I expect we’ll see some announcements at Oracle Open World in a couple of weeks (I don’t know if they will really call it V3 yet by the way).

DISCLAIMER: This is all complete conjecture on my part. I don’t work for Oracle and I have not had any conversations with any Oracle employees about official future directions or plans. (I probably would have had to sign a non-disclosure before I could have any of those discussions and then I wouldn’t be able to do this post).


Anyway, here’s the list of things I am thinking we might see:

Bigger Database Servers – I mean physically bigger, with open slots, so we can put HBA’s in them to attach to external storage for migration and backup purposes. Sun 4275′s perhaps since they are already using them as storage servers. The only real issue is that we’d run out of space on a full rack configuration, but if the machines are beefier, perhaps we wouldn’t need as many DB servers anyway.

Bigger Database Servers – I mean more memory and more processing power. Faster chips and bigger DIMMs are a no-brainer. Just put them in the existing 4170 boxes. But how about different models altogether. M series perhaps (which also means a change in O/S). Should be fairly easy to do actually as the DB already runs on Solaris. Might make the Sun shops really happy as well. ;-)

More Options – I expect we’ll see a little more flexibility in the configurations, because “One Size Fits All” really doesn’t (or at least many people think that it doesn’t). Anyone want a 2/3 rack?

Incrementally Better Software – It’s a great leap forward already, but I expect more things to be offloaded to the storage layer (some of the analytic functions, some of the aggregate functions, etc…)

Exadata SAN – I could see Oracle announcing a stand alone storage unit with a variable number of “trays”. They might even announce some software for doing some of the more SAN like features (think Snap Mirror).

By the way, I doubt they’ll be buying Netapp just yet (need to drive the price of the stock down a bit first I think).

Well that’s what I’m thinking. What do you think?

Exadata Book

Here’s some white Exaddata text

Well, I guess it’s official. A couple of weeks ago I committed to write an Exadata book for Apress, along with my intrepid co-author Randy Johnson. For those of you who don’t know Randy, he’s a very experienced Oracle Guy with a wealth of knowledge, particularly around RAC. I think the two of us make a pretty good team – making up for each others weaknesses (oh wait, I should say we have “Complimentary Skill Sets” – yeah that sounds better).

Anyway, it turns out that writing a book is a lot of work! The way Tom Kyte turns them out I thought it must be pretty easy, but I’ve always been a little overconfident. So I’m starting to realize that I may not have time to do as many blog posts as I might like. But I must say that I am really excited about the subject matter! So I think it will be worth the effort. By the way, that’s not the official cover art (or even the official title as far as I know). I just hacked that together with a Adobe Illustrator. ;-)

As I have said many times, I think the Exadata storage software will usher in a whole new era in relational databases. Not just for Oracle, because you know the other guys will be trying to follow in their footsteps. But I think Oracle is miles ahead at this point, and they own their own hardware platform. Oracle claims that it has been their most successful product launch ever and I believe it. They are starting to pop up like weeds. It will be very interesting to see what the future holds for this platform. To be honest, I think we’re just seeing the tip of the iceberg at this point. Anyway, I appreciate the guys at Apress having the faith in us to take on this project. I hope we don’t disappoint them (I don’t think we will).

OOW 2010 Plans and Anti-plans

I have plenty of things that are keeping me busy for OOW 2010 and you’ll all get to see the results at the event (if you’re there), but I only have one traditional technical session where I’ll be on stage. I’m presenting the following session jointly with an Oracle Database Machine customer:

Session ID: S316824
Title: Top 10 Lessons Learned in Deploying the Oracle Exadata
Tuesday, September 21, 12:30PM
Location: Moscone South, Rm 307

Check the OOW 2010 content catalog for updated room assignments and times.

What can EHCC do for you?

What can EHCC do for you?
By now you have probably heard about ExaData Hybrid Columnar Compression (EHCC), but what benefit can EHCC give you in terms of storage and performance savings?  
As always, it depends on your data.  Below I’ll share some of the test results I came across when testing EHCC. The data used for these tests are a short version of a fact table.   The tests were performed on a quarter rack ExaData database machine (2 db nodes – with 16 cores each and 3 storage servers)
As you may already have noticed, English is my second language, so please excuse me for spelling, grammar and whatever errors you may find in this post ;-)
- Test block compression against EHCC compression tables
First let’s look at the time it took to create the test data and the compression rate.
-- None compressed table
SQL> create table he100 PARALLEL 64 as select /*+ PARALLEL 64 */ * from he100_load_test;
Table created.
Elapsed: 00:00:33.97  
Did not seem to be CPU bound - Saw CPU utilization around 10 - 25%.
-- Block compressed table
SQL> create table he100_block compress for all operations PARALLEL 64 as select /*+ PARALLEL 64 */ *
                      from he100_load_test;
Elapsed: 00:00:28.51
Noticed CPU utilization to be around 40 - 70%
-- Table creation with EHCC query option

Oracle Exadata Database Machine I/O Bottleneck Revealed At… 157 MB/s! But At Least It Scales Linearly Within Datasheet-Specified Bounds!

It has been quite a while since my last Exadata-related post. Since I spend all my time, every working day, on Exadata performance work this blogging dry-spell should seem quite strange to readers of this blog. However, for a while it seemed to me as though I was saturating the websphere on the topic and [...]

Notes on Applying Exadata Bundle Patch (BP5)

Randy Johnson has done a brief post after applying BP5 on our Exadata Lab machine. Looks like it went pretty smoothly with the exception of a problem with DBFS and some misleading comments in the README file regarding using the RDS protocol (both of which we had in play). Here’s a link to his post:

Exadata Bundle Patch 5 Gotcha’s

Running Oracle Exadata V2 on Dell Hardware

Well we had to give it a shot.

So we created an Oracle Exadata Storage Server Software CELLBOOT USB flash drive. I’m not kidding, that’s what the Oracle/Sun guys decided to call it. They didn’t even use an acronym in the manual (I guess “ESSSCB USB FD” doesn’t roll off the tongue much better than the whole thing anyway). We used the make_cellboot_usb utility to create the thing off one of our storage servers, which by the way was not that easy to do, since the USB ports are in the back of the 4275’s and they are not easy to get to with all the cabling that’s back there. Anyway, once we had the little bugger created we pulled it out of the back of the rack and booted a Dell Latitude D630 off of it. Here’s a picture:

Notice the thumb drive is all lit up like a Christmas tree.

Here is a close up of the screen (in case your eyes are going bad like mine):

So we tried a couple of different options but eventually got to this screen:

An investigation into exadata

This is an investigation into an half rack database machine (the half rack database machine at VX Company). It’s an exadata/database V2, which means SUN hardware and database and cell (storage) software version 11.2.

I build a table (called ‘CG_VAR’), which consists of:
- bytes: 50787188736 (47.30 GB)
- extents: 6194
- blocks: 6199608

The table doesn’t have a primary key, nor any other constraints, nor any indexes. (of course this is not a real life situation)

No exadata optimisation

At first I disabled the Oracle storage optimisation using the session parameter ‘CELL_OFFLOAD_PROCESSING’:
alter session set cell_offload_processing=false;

Then executed: select count(*) from cg_var where sample_id=1;
The value ’1′ in the table ‘CG_VAR’ accounts for roughly 25%.

Execution plan:

Introduction to the Oracle database machine

For those of you who haven’t followed all the Oracle Exadata and database machine information, and want a brief introduction to the database machine: here it is!

The confusion

There is some confusion about ‘exadata’ and ‘the database machine’. If we look at the official product names, ‘Exadata’ is the storage server, and the ‘Database machine’ is the complete boxed machine, including exadata for storage. But…in the real world, in different kinds of papers (technical, advertising) exadata sometimes is used as an alias for the database machine.

Exadata has arrived, part 2

The second installation step of the database machine aka Exadata by Oracle ACS (Advanced Customer Support) is configuring the database and storage (‘cell’) nodes/servers. The blades are delivered with default IP addresses, during this step they are configured to the IP addresses which fit in our environment. Also the cellservers are configured (‘LUN’s are carved’) to have storage for ASM.

The cellservers are configured with three diskgroups during a normal installation: DATA for data, RECO for the flash recovery area and a diskgroup for the clusterware (voting disks, cluster registry) called SYSTEMDG.

A RAC database is configured too. We have a half rack, which means 4 database nodes, so a 4 node RAC database is configured, called ‘dbm’. The database has no data in it, besides the data dictionary (obviously), and is using a ‘humble’ amount of memory (8GB on a 64GB machine).

Now it’s up to me to automate the creation (and deletion) RAC databases, adding and deleting instances of the RAC database, modifying the storage (to be able to test both half rack and quarter rack configurations) and also some optimising/configuration, like enabling hugepages, add rlwrap etc.

Busy, busy, busy :)

Tagged: oracle database machine exadata