About the Exadata Hardware

I don’t want to spend more than a few minutes talking about the hardware inside the Database Machine. There’s plenty of material that you can find that will give you full details of all of that.

So, in just a couple of minutes, just to set the scene for what’s going to come next, the Database Machine is a single box with vast amounts of CPU, memory, an astronomical amount of disk space and all the network bandwidth you might need. If the facilities of one machine are not enough for you, you can chain several together.

The hardware is designed so that it can withstand failure of virtually every component, virtually any components, and your database will remain open. One user shouldn’t know any difference. It’s particularly important to mention here that generally speaking, the machine is designed to continue operating at the same performance levels even if a component fails.

There is redundancy at virtually every point. There are one or two single points of failure. I wouldn’t worry too much about that. The box, it is only a single box, and there are limitations to what you can do with just one box. If you really must have 100% percent uptime under all circumstances, then you would need two Database Machines and typically use Data Guard to replicate between them.

Important to mention is a balance configuration. Oracle is going to a lot of trouble to make sure that all the components work together. You should not find, for example, that the disks can deliver data faster than the network can transmit it onwards. It’s configured out of the box – well, it is a box. Some people actually find this a bit annoying. You are not allowed to install any other hardware in the machine. I’m sure you could, but if you were to do so, it would take you out of the supported configuration.

There’s all sorts of facilities for *. There are quite a few * stories of some engineers turning up at a customer site and saying, “Hey, I’ve come to mend your Database Machine,” and the customer says, “Why? We haven’t noticed that there was anything wrong with it.” The old * machine could * if you link it up to My Oracle Support is pretty good. If there are grid control modules — by the way, if using grid control, there are grid control plug-ins for all the various components.

Now, that’s all very well, but it’s hardly unique. There are other boxes of similar capacity, and it’s worth mentioning at this point the Database Appliance. The Database Appliance is a similarly powerful and similarly well-balanced machine. So what distinguishes the Database Machine from anything else is the software that you run on it.

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