We've had a few weeks to play around with the ODA in our office, and I've been able to crack it open and get to into the software and hardware that powers it.
For starters, the system runs a new model of Sun Fire - the X4370 M2. The 4U chassis is basically 2 separate 2U blades (Oracle is calling them system controllers - SCs) that have direct attached storage on the front. Here's a listing of the hardware in each SC:
|Sun X4370M2 System Controller Components
(2 SCs per X4370M2)
|CPU||2x 6-core Intel Xeon X5675 3.06GHz|
|Memory||96GB 1333MHz DDR3|
|Network||2x 10GbE (SFP+) PCIe card
4x 1GbE PCIe card
2x 1GbE onboard
|Internal Storage||2x 500GB SATA for operating system
1x 4GB USB internal
|RAID Controller||2x SAS-2 LSI HBA|
|Shared Storage||20x 600GB 3.5" SAS 15,000 RPM hard drives
4x 73GB 3.5" SSDs
|External Storage||2x external MiniSAS ports|
|Operating System||Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.5 x86-64|
Pictures of a real live ODA after the break.
Oracle has announced a new product, the "Oracle Database Appliance," or ODA (pronounced oh-duh) as I like to call it. Enkitec has been fortunate enough to get our hands on a test box. Be sure to check out my post on a deep dive (LINK GOES HERE) inside the ODA.
The gist of the ODA is that it's a small RAC (though RAC isn't required) in a box. Contrary to the rumors, it's not a "mini-Exadata" as some people have speculated. As you would expect, there's no capability for smart scans. The ODA does build on one of Exadata's big advantages, the rapid installation time. Compared to a typical Oracle installation, there is so much time lost in the process of getting a server ready for an Oracle database. On typical installations, the following things have to be done before a system is ready:
- racking and cabling the system to power and network
- connecting servers to the SAN
- allocating LUNs on the SAN
- installing the operating system
- configuring the operating system for Oracle database use (kernel and memory settings)
- mounting LUNs from the SAN and ensuring multipathing
With the ODA, you only have to perform the first task. Everything else is taken care of. The OS is installed and optimized, storage connected, and multipathing configured. It may not sound like much, but how many projects have you seen delayed because the SAN switch wasn't zoned correctly, etc?
While many people will say that this machine doesn't appeal to a mass market, there are plenty of Oracle shops that could use a system with 12-24 cores and 4TB of usable space. It's not built to be a data warehouse or OLTP beast...just a really solid machine with plenty of redundancy running an Oracle database.