September 7, 2010

Another Exadata bites the Portuguese dust!

The first half-rack Database Machine has just arrived in Portugal, it is now set up and running. Not yet on production though, but it took a record breaking day and a half to hand the system over to the customer cluster ready and with a database ready to trash!

Let's do the math:

1 - Operating System installation on all four nodes

2 - Setting it up network-wise (including the IB switches)

3 - Setting it up oracle-wise

4 - Disks config on each of the 7 Exadata Storage Servers

5 - Grid Infrastructure installation on all 4 nodes

6 - RDBMS Installation on all 4 nodes

7 - ASM config upon the grid disks

8 - Smart Flash Cache config

9 - RAC enabled database creation on the ASM diskgroups

10 - Testing and Documenting

Now tell me: for how long do you think this job would be ready without Exadata? A week? No way!! Put a month and only if all the stars and planets aligned ;-)

We did it in a day and a half for a huge portuguese retail costumer when delivering a half-rack Database Machine, with 4 database servers and 7 exadata storage servers inside the box. This is truly revolutionary. Exadata it's not just for Extreme Performance, it's a matter of survival for most businesses that shutdown because of some small glitch in the complex array of pieces scatered around their IT infrastructure.

This culture of trying to make it more simple by bundling it it's not new in some other areas, but in the IT Infrastructure alleys it is! Specially in Database!

How many hours did the DBAs worked all-nighters just to find out the problem was somewhere else in the pile of complexity? By saving precious time to these fellows we are enabling them to fit more work in the same day, bringing together the two sides that generally work apart: business and IT.

But is this all just a sea of roses? No, just because it joins the two most unpredictable machines in the world: computers and people.

DBAs need to know the true meaning of RAC on a many-as-one perspective, and sys-admins need to face the fact that their realm is not beeing invaded but that there is a new kid on the storage block: Exadata technology. Apps developers need to know how to code scalable apps, etc.

The journey has just began, but it's one that a small country like Portugal has proven to be taken it seriously, because we already have 5 DBMs around here and plan to plant more in the months to come.

Luis Moreno Campos at first Half Rack being installed in Portugal

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