Oracle Database Appliance X6-2S and X6-2M, filling the gap

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Oracle introduced the ODA X6-2S and ODA X6-2M. And no, they are not the successor of the quite popular ODA X5-2, which we installed and configured quite a number of times lately. These 2 new machines are the in-between ODA’s, entry level machines for small business. Single node with flash storage, also suitable for Oracle Database Standard Edition 2. But…. commodity hardware is also single node and suitable for all Oracle database Editions, so what’s the gap Oracle is filling between commodity hardware and an ODA X5-2? This post will handle the characteristics of the new ODA X6-2 machines and the differences between commodity hardware and the range of Oracle Database Appliances.

In the past it was not always easy to conduct a solid business case for the ODA X5-2. Although a wonderful machine with high availability features and agile licensing, the price and the fact that only the Enterprise Edition of the database was allowed on the bare metal version weren’t always in favor of the business cases for an ODA.

So what kind of machines Oracle introduced this time?

image

ODA X6-2S.

In short the ODA X6-2S is an entry-level machine with the following characteristics:

  • 1 x 10-core CPU (Xeon E5-2630 V4)
  • 128 GB memory, expandable with 256 GB
  • 2 x 3.2 TB SSD (NVMe – Non-Volatile Memory Express) Storage, expandable with 2 x 3.2 TB.
  • 2 x 480 GB SSD (Mirrored) boot disk
  • 2 x 10GBase-T Ethernet
  • 2 x 10GbE SFP+ Fiber
  • Support for Oracle Database Standard Edition, Standard Edition One, Standard Edition 2 and Enterprise Edition
  • Capacity on demand licensing
  • Listprice: from $18,000

So… what’s the number 2 doing in ODA X6-2?

This is not a 2-node machine, but it’s related to a 2-socket node!

image

ODA X6-2M.

The ODA X6-2M is an upgraded version of the S with the following characteristics:

  • 2 x 10-core CPU (Xeon E5-2630 V4)
  • 256 GB memory, expandable with 512 GB
  • 2 x 3.2 TB SSD (NVMe) Storage, expandable with 2 x 3.2 TB.
  • 2 x 480 GB SSD (Mirrored) boot disk
  • 4 x 10GBase-T Ethernet
  • 2 x 10GbE SFP+ Fiber
  • Support for Oracle Database Standard Edition, Standard Edition One, Standard Edition 2 and Enterprise Edition
  • Capacity on demand licensing
  • Listprice: from $24,000

 

So now we’ve got a range of Oracle Database Appliances from where to choose :

image

 

Remarkable features worth mentioning and probably also coming available in the full-grown, yet to come ODA X6-2:

  • New command line interface for operations : ODACLI. Commands like create-database, create-dbhome, create-network. Seemed not complete by the way at the time of writing.
  • New command line interface for maintenance: ODAADMCLI. In this version the commands are quite restricted to show and locate commands: e.g. show disk, show diskgroup, show server.
  • A web interface for deploying the Database Appliance.
  • Faster storage by using NVMe. This is a communications interface/protocol developed specially for SSDs, bypassing the SAS controller.

Possible future releases:

  • Virtualization.
  • Managing more dan 1 ODA through the webconsole.
  • More closely integration with backup cloud.

IO-performance characteristics of these new SSD-storage – slide and numbers from Oracle – are mentioned below. I won’t dare to compare these figures with the existing ODA X5-2. The best way to compare these ODA’s is to run the same test as in this document, time will tell.

 

image

 

What are the differences between the different Oracle Database Appliances (‘+’ means that this feature is extensible):

 

FeatureODA X6-2SODA X6-2MODA X5-2
CPU1 x 10 core2 x 10 core4 x 18 cores
Memory128 GB +256 GB +2 x 256GB +
Storage (also see below)2 x 3.2 TB +, only normal redundancy possible.
Boot disk: 2x480GB SSD (mirrored)
2 x 3.2 TB +, , only normal redundancy possible.
Boot disk: 2x480GB SSD (mirrored)
128 TB raw = 64 TB mirrored = 42.7 TB triple-mirrored
SSDNVMeNVMeSAS
Nodes1 x1 x2 x
Ethernet2 x4 x4 x
Fiber2 x2 xoptional, replacement of Infiniband
Capacity on Demandyes – 2, 4, 6, 8, 10 coresyes -2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16,18, 20 coresyes -2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, or 36 per server
Oracle Database Enterprise Editionyes – 11.2.0.3.15, 11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.2yes – 11.2.0.3.15, 11.2.0.4, 12.1.0.2yes –
Oracle Database Standard Edition, One or 2SE / SE One: yes – 11.2.0.4 (1 socket license or min. of 5 NUP’s per organization)

SE2: yes – 12.1.0.2
(1 socket license or minimum of 10 NUP’s for this server)

SE / SE One: yes – 11.2.0.4 (2 socket license or min. of 5 NUP’s per organization)

SE2: yes – 12.1.0.2
(2 socket license or minimum of 10 NUP’s for this server)

no
Standardized deployment databasesyesyesyes
Virtualized by Oracle VMnonoyes
RACnonoyes
Web Interfaceyesyesno
Command lineODACLI / ODAADMCLIODACLI / ODAADMCLIOAKCLI

 

A quick note about the storage. There’s default 3.2TB present (extendable with another 3.2TB), and there are a few ways to split this, depending if you are backing up externally or internally.

The out-of-the-box raw storage can only be configured with normal redundancy.

image

When doubling this storage the following split is possible. And here you’ve got the choice between double or triple mirroring.

image

 

Why choose for an ODA X6-2S or ODA X6-2M instead of buying the same stuff as – probably cheaper – commodity hardware. Beside the fact that these two ODA’s are probably very well performing machines with a lot of storage and technical capabilities, there are – I think – a few distinctive features delivered with these machines:

– Capacity on Demand. For databases you don’t have to use Oracle VM to limit the use of cores for license reasons. Made it easier with a new command: # configure-core-count <cpu_number> . Nice principle of Keep It Simple.

– Standardized deployment of databases by using the included deployment software and templates, accessible by a web-based interface.

– As of all ODA’s : integrated / automated patch management, and of course ASR, the Auto Service Request functionality.

 

Regards…

 

Resources:

Evaluating and comparing Oracle Database Appliance Performance:

http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/database-appliance/documentation/oda-eval-comparing-performance-1895230.pdf

Oracle support of SE, SE1 and SE2: https://blogs.oracle.com/ODA/entry/oracle_database_appliance_x6_2s

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About Author

Job is a solution architect at AMIS Services with a special interest in Oracle licensing, High Availability architectures and managing complex (Oracle) environments, which includes Cloud environments.

With a background as Oracle developer, DBA, team-manager and license-consultant he is able to utilize the Oracle technologies to a cost-efficient architecture for his customers.

He is regularly involved in consultancy regarding:
– Unlimited License Agreements (ULA).
– License compliancy-checks and advice regarding optimizing the environment.
– Second opinions.
– Education / presentations about licensing and managing your infrastructure in the most cost-efficient manner.

Twitter: @jobaclenl

1 Comment

  1. Hi Job Oprel,

    can you comment on the below comments from : http://www.sejustloveit.com/

    Abraham Gilles, de Jager

    22nd June 2016 at 3:17 pm

    Hello Ann,
    the reason for an ODA was also to have an easy to build RAC.
    But the new ODA systems, although equipped with the SE2 license and therefore RAC suitable don’t have the possibility to build a RAC. That is a big pity. So then we are where we were before, take two systems, shared storage, network switches etc. etc. and then build a RAC.

    So this is a big flaw of these cheaper and smaller new ODA’s.

    with many greetings and regards, abraham

    Ann Sjökvist

    22nd June 2016 at 7:59 pm

    Hi Abraham, thanks for adding this information. This post gives a litter more information
    https://technology.amis.nl/2016/06/21/oracle-database-appliance-x6-2s-x6-2m-filling-gap/

    Abraham Gilles de Jager

    23rd June 2016 at 10:58 am

    Thanks Ann for the quick response to my reply from yesterday.

    Unfortunately my worst expectations about the RAC capability are confirmed. So there is still be a big gap from the new small ODA single server systems X6-2S and X6-2M to a RAC capable X5-2 ODA. There must be more in between filling up the gap with smaller SE2 RAC capable ODA systems.

    with kind regards, abraham

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