Utilizing your IT environment with Oracle Database Appliance

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I admit, I’m a bit of a fan of the Oracle Database Appliance. And I also admit there are some characteristics of the X5-2 ODA’s which made it sometimes a bit hard to fit in the needs of the customer. I’ll come to that later in this post. With the introduction of the two entry-level ODA’s I wrote about in a former blogpost , the ODA X6-2S and the ODA X6-2M, Oracle has made an effort to reach out to the smaller business to fill in their needs. But will it be a succes? This blogpost is about the kind of customer-challenges the ODA (at least one of the series) could be a solution for.

ODA X5-2 flaws

One of the flaws of the ODA X5-2 that caught the eye was the inability of running the Oracle Standard Edition 2 database, in combination with the rather high priced hardware. But one snag that was a bit hidden was the following.

Suppose you bought an ODA X5-2 and configured this as bare metal. You’ve only got licenses to activate 12 cores for Oracle Enterprise Edition. No problem so far. The next thing what could happen is a new small project to land on this ODA, needing an Oracle Enterprise Edition with the Spatial (or other) option activated. This database only needs the capacity of 4 cores, but unfortunately you have to pay Spatial licenses for 12 cores, or at least 6 cores when installing this on 1 node.

With the new entry-level ODA’s Oracle you’ve got more flexibility to overcome this kind of risks. You may install these databases with Spatial and or other options for example on 1 entry level ODA, with 4 cores enabled. It seems a little odd on the other hand to buy an extra machine just for a few databases while having another HA ODA at your disposal. But in a license-driven architecture where you are utilizing the environment it could be a solution. Software licenses and penalties are a bit more expensive than hardware at the end.

No RAC, no virtualization

I read some remarks in blogposts that it is a pity these new ODA’s has only one node at their disposal, so you can’t use RAC (One) with either Standard Edition 2 or Enterprise Edition.

For some customers it’s a pity I guess. On the other hand, we are advising a lot of companies which are using Oracle, and when listening to them they don’t always need RAC or RAC One for their (High Available) applications. And when the outcome is that RAC is indeed the the solution, they don’t need it in a development- or test- environment.  So in that case, you can activate the entry-level ODA’s in a cost-effective way in the development- and test- environment .

The use of DataGuard with single instances as a high available solution has become more and more common good. A prerequisite of using this of course is the use of Oracle Enterprise Edition, and the use of the new entry level ODA’s are suitable for using DataGuard.

I think the lack of virtualization will be the most missed option in the new ODA’s. Especially the ‘M’ model – ODA. But… it is still called a DATABASE appliance, isn’t it?

ODA X5-2 bare-metal

Back to the original, the two node ODA.

It’s surprisingly how agile you can use the nodes in a medium or high availability environment. As you may know it’s possible to license the nodes with different metrics. So, when configuring bare-metal you can use the ODA like this:

image

 

In this image there are two ODA’s, and in the ODA the nodes are licensed with different metrics. One node as processor-based, and for the other node it’s possible to run NUP-based.

When using Dataguard, it’s important that the standby-site has the same license-metrics.

ODA X5-2 virtualized

You may design the ODA a bit complexer, e.g. de ODA in a virtualized configuration, with Weblogic installed.

 

image

 

Three nodes out of four are processor-based licensed, and one NUP-based. These three nodes are used for

RAC on one ODA at two nodes, and standby database on one node of the other ODA.

Weblogic clustering on one ODA at two nodes, and at one node on the other ODA.

The last node of the second ODA is completely used for development- test- and trainings-purposes.

Business-cases

The possibilities are quite numerous, but it all depends on the needs or drive of the customer.

You can’t describe the ODA as an general solution for a lot of challenges, but trying to summarize the strengths of the ODA’s compared to the drives and challenges of a customer in the following table ‘when to use which ODA’. And I know you can install weblogic software with application on the entry-level ODA’s (you’ve got access to Linux-commandline as root), but that’s not very advisable…

 

X5-2
EnvironmentLicenseDriveDB/MWChoiceX6-2SX6-2MVirtualizedBare Metal
Dev/Test/AccNUPCosts, agility, simplicityDBSE2XX
NUPUse of EE optionsDBEE single nodeXXXX
NUPHigh Availability 1 DatacenterDBEE RAC (One)XX
NUPHigh Availability 2 DatacenterDBEE DG XXXX
NUPCosts, simplicityMWWeblogic SEX
NUPHigh Availability applicationMWWeblogic EE / SOAX
ProdProcCosts, agility, simplicityDBSE2XX
ProcUse of EE optionsDBEE single nodeXXXX
ProcHigh Availability 1 DatacenterDBEE RAC (One)XX
ProcHigh Availability 2 DatacenterDBEE DG XXXX
ProcCosts, simplicityMWWeblogic SEX
ProcHigh Availability applicationMWWeblogic EEX

 

Conclusion

Yep, I’m a bit of a fan of the ODA’s, for the technical, but moreover for the possibilities to use it as a cost-effective way for a customer to run their Oracle environment.

And I think these kind of small machines with extra software and capacity on demand, makes life easier and cheaper for the customer. Predicting a nice future for these machines….

 

Regards

 

Sources:

ODA X6-2S / X6-2M , filling the gap:  https://technology.amis.nl/2016/06/21/oracle-database-appliance-x6-2s-x6-2m-filling-gap/

Pythian, is it what we’ve been waiting for : https://www.pythian.com/blog/new-oracle-oda-x6-weve-waiting/

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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

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