Exadata is Good But Not Easy

I don’t want you to think that I would ever criticize Exadata and the Database Machine. It is, I believe, a truly fantastic platform. The scalability and reliability are superb that should allow you to conform to any service level agreement, any requirements that you are ever likely to have, and certainly the performance you can get from the Database Machine platform can be astronomical compared to any other platform. No other platform has the intelligence built into the storage tier that the Database Machine has.

But things to think about: Before making the investment in the Database Machine, you will undoubtedly go through a proof-of-concept exercise, but what’s that actually going to prove? It will have proved nothing more than that your software applications do actually work. It will have gone no further than that.

Yes, there may have been an immediate performance boost, and there certainly should be after any sort of platform migration, but that initial performance boost is nothing to the performance boost you should be getting. The real benefits, however, may well require a lot of effort to obtain.

All those wonderful features – I’ve just looked at two of them, Smart Scan and hybrid columnar compression – but all of the other features, such as storage indexes, the use of the Smart Flash Cache, the benefits these can deliver can be quite elusive, and a lot of long-term monitoring and tuning will be needed.

There may be hundreds, possibly even thousands, of SQLs that have to be looked at to see if they really are exploiting the platform, the capabilities of the Database Machine, and getting this full return on investment, it is hard work. It’s going to take a long time. There are no wizards. You can’t go click, click, click and suddenly expect the benefits to come in. It’s a lot of hard work that requires time and skill.

I don’t want to frighten you off from this, because we can help.

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