In order to increase performance, recovery, scalability and availability, Oracle released Exadata in 2008. Exadata is a converged infrastructure solution that integrates every layer of the infrastructure with custom software, thus eliminating many of the bottlenecks that come with generic systems. With Exadata, Oracle is involved in the development of every component and operating software, ensuring maximum synergy and compatibility.
How Exadata came about
Before Exadata, enterprises were investing in so called “best-of-breed-for-budget” infrastructure. This meant that different components would come from different companies. This would lead to mediocre performance, operational inefficiencies, excessive costs, limited scalability and troubleshooting problems. Noticing this gap in the market, Oracle positioned Exadata as the be-all-end-all solution to these problems.
Exadata is currently at version X7-2, and an updated version is released every 18 to 24 months. Each updated version is built to address the same problems that were addressed in 2008 with the first Exadata, while adding a variety of features in order to keep up with the current pace of technological advancement.
Benefit from Capacity on Demand and converged infrastructure
Companies are also further encouraged to invest in Exadata by Oracle’s support costs. When using commodity infrastructure, you pay a lot more in licensing fees. Not only do you have to pay for Database Enterprise Edition licenses, but you also have to pay for every available core on your hardware, regardless of how many you use. With Exadata however, you benefit from a feature called Capacity on Demand.
Capacity on Demand allows companies to sub-capacity license, paying only for the cores they enable in the process. So even if you have a 24-core entry level Eighth Rack Exadata, you can opt to license only 16 of those cores, if you do not plan on using the full capacity of the system. That means that you cut the cost of 8 Processor Licenses. With commodity infrastructures, you might have to pay up to 50 licenses spread out across several servers. With Exadata on the other hand, all the hardware and software is consolidated, and redundancies are eliminated, lowering the number of licenses needed by almost half. Imagine what that can do to your ROI.
Finally, when considering the Total Cost of Ownership for commodity infrastructure, companies often overlook the cost of operational inefficiencies. When you have components from multiple vendors, each with its own patches, operating systems, compatibility issues, and often untested data recovery systems, costs such as the cost of delay, resource, downtime, planning and 3rd party support tend to skyrocket. With a converged infrastructure, all of these extra costs are eliminated, and maintenance, upgrades and repairs are no longer a time sink.