New Oracle ODA x6: Is It what we’ve been waiting for?

Posted in: Oracle, Technical Track

Oracle introduced the new ODA series x6 a few of days ago. We got x6-2s which is entry level of ODA and slightly bigger x6-2m model. The breaking news was the announcement around the ability to run Oracle Standard Edition 2 on those two new ODA models. It sounded just right from the first glance. I’ve heard a lot from colleagues and customers how great it can be if we can run SE or SE2 on ODA, and eventually the day has come. But is it what many people have been waiting for? Let’s have a look.

The first thing we can see in the specs for x6-2s(m) ODA is “One server per system” . So, we are not getting Real Application Cluster out of box and which is, by the way, included to SE/SE2 license. It is quite disappointing since x6-2s has only one CPU and can be an ideal candidate for a SE2 RAC node with its 2 sockets limitation. Many people wanted SE on ODA exactly because the RAC was included to SE/SE2 license. It would be great to have HA capabilities out of box and implemented by a single click for affordable price. But in real life we are getting just single node with option to run SE2 on it.

On the bright side, Oracle offers flexibility to enable only a certain number of cores to reduce licensing cost; the number of cores can be gradually increased later when you need more CPU power on your ODA. It may come in handy if you need Enterprise Edition(EE) on your ODA but don’t want to license all cores. In x6-2s we have 10 cores and in x6-2m you have twice that number. Reduction of license cost for EE can provide significant price drop and it is good deal.

Storage layer for x6-2s(m) may be enough for small entry level business with 6.4 Tb of raw capacity out of box. It gives about 2.5 Tb for data in case of normal redundancy. Optionally you can double it topping up to 5Tb space for your data. In reality it will be bit less since you have to allocate some space for your FRA to keep archivelogs and maybe flashback logs. Of course, for some it doesn’t look too generous, but for list price of $18 000 those 2.5 Tb of fast NVMe flash for your data look like a reasonable deal. It maybe not enough for some client but for an entry level system it may be quite sufficient.

Network is presented by two 10G Ethernet for x6-2s and by four 10G in x6-2m systems. Two interfaces for a small system could be enough but I would rather have four to have proper bonding and segregation between backup traffic and client/application facing interfaces.

Speaking of backup; we need to keep in mind that we don’t have too much space for backups and archivelogs on the ODA local storage. As a solution Oracle offers integration with Oracle cloud backup service which looks like good workaround and provides ability to store our precious backups in a safe location.

In addition to all that, you are getting all the benefits of ODA like independent ILOM management interface, Oracle ASR for Oracle support integration and management for you ODA allowing deployment of the ODA and a database by one click. Those are great features of ODA simplifying management and implementation.

If you are new to ODA you have to keep in mind that you a bit limited what you can do on your system. You need to follow rules for ODA and use it correctly. You cannot just go ahead and install your own version of OS rpm or Oracle software versions. It may break the ODA management interface and the main idea of one-command management will be lost.

As a conclusion I can say that the information about new ODA left some kind of double feeling. From one side it is a good step forward in offering and looks like a pretty good system for entry level businesses simplifying initial installation and management. From the other side, it was not exactly what some people were waiting for.

ODA doesn’t have HA solution for x6-2s(m) systems and storage capacity is bit limited if you think about future and growing storage demands in any lines of information businesses. But let’s hope for the future improvements and we may see after all ODA with HA, bigger storage and Standard Edition RAC.

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About the Author

Regarded by his peers as an Oracle guru, Gleb is known for being able to resolve any problem related to Oracle. He loves the satisfaction of troubleshooting, and his colleagues even say that seeking Gleb’s advice regarding an issue is more efficient than looking it up. Gleb enjoys the variety of challenges he faces while working at Pythian, rather than working on the same thing every day. His areas of speciality include Oracle RAC, Exadata, RMAN, SQL tuning, high availability, storage, performance tuning, and many more. When he’s not working, running, or cycling, Gleb can be found reading.

20 Comments. Leave new

I see ODA 6.2 M does come with Oracle RAC and also give an option to have two virtual machines.
—Optionally you can double it topping up to 5Tb space for your data.—
Do you know how to change normal to external in IDA? Even though Oracle say that you can have up to5 TB usable space, I do not think this is possible unless we choose an option of buying extra extendable storage. How to check how many NVMs drives i have in my ODA?

Reply

Hi Namit,
Oracle says you can have up to 5 Tb usable data (12.8 Tb raw) if you buy addition small factor NVME disks and put them to the box.
You have two NVME disks for start (6.4 Tb raw) and have an option to buy two more to top your storage.

Can you please tell me where you see that ODA 6.2 M is coming with RAC? I am curious why would anybody want a RAC on a single box.

Cheers,
Gleb

Reply

Thanks for your reply, Can you please answer how can I check how many NVMs are shipped to ODA?

About RAC:-
When I was installing ODA, I was given an option for standalone, one node RAC, RAC.

Organizations can choose to run a single database instance using Oracle Database Enterprise Edition or choose to deploy a high availability database solution using Oracle Real Applications Clusters (RAC) or Oracle Real Applications Clusters One Node (RAC One Node) for “active-active” or “active-passive” database server failover.

Even it gives an option for Virtualization.

https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E22693_01/doc.12/e55580/dbadmin.htm

—–I am curious why would anybody want a RAC on a single box.
Even in Exadata, even though a single machine, it can have 8 nodes cluster, Is not that true?
Ofcourse if they are different machines, we will have again an issue with storage . network which has to pass by external switches?

Reply

Hi,
Can you please clarify what exactly you want to know about the NVME? I’ve mentioned in the previous comment that you have 2 drives 3.2 Tb each by default and can put another two.

Having an option in software doesn’t mean you shell do that. The ODA x6-2M is a single box with a local storage. It may be possible to setup a RAC using OVM there (I haven’t tried to do that) but I don’t see real reason to do that. Having a virtual RAC on a single box would not provide high availability or any performance gain. Rather it would require addition licensing and performance impact from RAC overhead. Also Oracle doesn’t mention RAC as supported configuration for x6-2m. RAC is supported option for x5-2 which has as matter of fact two servers and shared storage.
Exadata is not a single box as x6-2m. Exadata has several storage boxes and several database boxes inside connected through IB network. The configuration for exadata can be different and starting from 2 database boxes and 3 storage boxes with 2 IB switches. You can have 8 nodes RAC in exadata if you have 8 database servers.
I hope it may help to clear some things for you.

Thanks,
Gleb

Reply

I see ODA 6.2 M does come with Oracle RAC and also give an option to have two virtual machines.
—Optionally you can double it topping up to 5Tb space for your data.—
Do you know how to change normal to external in IDA? Even though Oracle say that you can have up to5 TB usable space, I do not think this is possible unless we choose an option of buying extra extendable storage. How to check how many NVMs drives i have in my ODA?

Reply

Hi Namit,
Oracle says you can have up to 5 Tb usable data (12.8 Tb raw) if you buy addition small factor NVME disks and put them to the box.
You have two NVME disks for start (6.4 Tb raw) and have an option to buy two more to top your storage.

Can you please tell me where you see that ODA 6.2 M is coming with RAC? I am curious why would anybody want a RAC on a single box.

Cheers,
Gleb

Reply

Thanks for your reply, Can you please answer how can I check how many NVMs are shipped to ODA?

About RAC:-
When I was installing ODA, I was given an option for standalone, one node RAC, RAC.

Organizations can choose to run a single database instance using Oracle Database Enterprise Edition or choose to deploy a high availability database solution using Oracle Real Applications Clusters (RAC) or Oracle Real Applications Clusters One Node (RAC One Node) for “active-active” or “active-passive” database server failover.

Even it gives an option for Virtualization.

https://docs.oracle.com/cd/E22693_01/doc.12/e55580/dbadmin.htm

—–I am curious why would anybody want a RAC on a single box.
Even in Exadata, even though a single machine, it can have 8 nodes cluster, Is not that true?
Ofcourse if they are different machines, we will have again an issue with storage . network which has to pass by external switches?

Reply

Hi,
Can you please clarify what exactly you want to know about the NVME? I’ve mentioned in the previous comment that you have 2 drives 3.2 Tb each by default and can put another two.

Having an option in software doesn’t mean you shell do that. The ODA x6-2M is a single box with a local storage. It may be possible to setup a RAC using OVM there (I haven’t tried to do that) but I don’t see real reason to do that. Having a virtual RAC on a single box would not provide high availability or any performance gain. Rather it would require addition licensing and performance impact from RAC overhead. Also Oracle doesn’t mention RAC as supported configuration for x6-2m. RAC is supported option for x5-2 which has as matter of fact two servers and shared storage.
Exadata is not a single box as x6-2m. Exadata has several storage boxes and several database boxes inside connected through IB network. The configuration for exadata can be different and starting from 2 database boxes and 3 storage boxes with 2 IB switches. You can have 8 nodes RAC in exadata if you have 8 database servers.
I hope it may help to clear some things for you.

Thanks,
Gleb

Reply

Thanks for your email. I just wanted to know how to check in my hardware how many NVMs I have, anyways I have found it.

Did you really deployed ODA or it is just Blog?

I have tried to do it and did it successfully for a single instance, Please look at note which also have a print screen showing / asking for virtual ips for two nodes:-

ODA (Oracle Database Appliance): HowTo change ILOM Network Setting Post Deploy (Doc ID 1442113.1)
— even though note name says it is ILOM but actually it shows most of the deployment steps.

I do not think it is asking for two separate machines.
Also for Exadata they are not separate hardwires correct? In a single box we have many components.
Hope this will help you understanding ODA, Exadata, oracle RAC.

Reply

Hi Namit,
Yes I have experience deploying ODA and Exadata.

I am not sure what you are trying to say. Have you installed bare metal RAC to x6-2m?
The slides from the support article doesn’t prove or disprove anything.
If you are speaking about ODA configuration manager then it is just a java software which can be executed on any machine.
I can run it on my mac laptop. It is creating a parameter file for your deployment.
If you put there two IP for ILOM it doesn’t mean you have two ILOM.
From hardware point of view you have only one single box for x6-2m(s).

You can have a look the list of options you have for x6-2m or x6-2s:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E75550_01/doc.121/e76900/GUID-D091BD58-57E3-436A-8E9C-AFC24CC81549.htm#CMTXG-GUID-CEA9D328-8109-477A-AD32-8A9E02320001

Exadata from hardware point of view is a rack with several boxes and switches cabled together. It is not a single box.
You may want to have a look to the exadata hardware layout and specs :
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/exadata/exadata-x6-2-ds-2968790.pdf

Hope it helps
Gleb

Reply

Thanks for your email. I just wanted to know how to check in my hardware how many NVMs I have, anyways I have found it.

Did you really deployed ODA or it is just Blog?

I have tried to do it and did it successfully for a single instance, Please look at note which also have a print screen showing / asking for virtual ips for two nodes:-

ODA (Oracle Database Appliance): HowTo change ILOM Network Setting Post Deploy (Doc ID 1442113.1)
— even though note name says it is ILOM but actually it shows most of the deployment steps.

I do not think it is asking for two separate machines.
Also for Exadata they are not separate hardwires correct? In a single box we have many components.
Hope this will help you understanding ODA, Exadata, oracle RAC.

Reply

Hi Namit,
Yes I have experience deploying ODA and Exadata.

I am not sure what you are trying to say. Have you installed bare metal RAC to x6-2m?
The slides from the support article doesn’t prove or disprove anything.
If you are speaking about ODA configuration manager then it is just a java software which can be executed on any machine.
I can run it on my mac laptop. It is creating a parameter file for your deployment.
If you put there two IP for ILOM it doesn’t mean you have two ILOM.
From hardware point of view you have only one single box for x6-2m(s).

You can have a look the list of options you have for x6-2m or x6-2s:
http://docs.oracle.com/cd/E75550_01/doc.121/e76900/GUID-D091BD58-57E3-436A-8E9C-AFC24CC81549.htm#CMTXG-GUID-CEA9D328-8109-477A-AD32-8A9E02320001

Exadata from hardware point of view is a rack with several boxes and switches cabled together. It is not a single box.
You may want to have a look to the exadata hardware layout and specs :
http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/database/exadata/exadata-x6-2-ds-2968790.pdf

Hope it helps
Gleb

Reply

Gleb,

Any idea why Oracle says you can only run OVM on the HA machine, not on the S or M?
Isn’t it just x86 hardware after all?

I realize that ideally you would have OVM over multiple nodes, but that is not an obligation.
If the x6-2s or x6-2m meet your needs, why not put OVM on them?

Thanks
Andrew

Reply
Gleb Otochkin
March 21, 2017 4:05 pm

Hi Andrew,
I cannot say why Oracle doesn’t provide such option. I can only guess. I do agree that it is possible to run OVM on one box and maybe there are some use cases for that. But I don’t think we have enough cases and needs to justify the OVM on a one-cpu (for S) machine without any HA options. In most of recent cases OVM was used either to limit number of CPU for licensing purposes. But here we have only 1 or 2 cpu . Of course it is only my experience and opinion about the matter.
Thanks
Gleb

Reply

Gleb,

Thanks for the feedback. I just checked the hardware certification and all X6-2 models have been certified for OVM and OEL, so I think it is more of a marketing question than technical.

Reply
Gleb Otochkin
March 22, 2017 8:54 am

Yes, I don’t see any problem with hardware. It is just a 86_64 box with a flash storage. If you install a OVM by yourself most likely it is going to work correctly. Of course I would think about proper backup strategy before using it in production.

Thanks,
Gleb

Reply

Gleb,

Any idea why Oracle says you can only run OVM on the HA machine, not on the S or M?
Isn’t it just x86 hardware after all?

I realize that ideally you would have OVM over multiple nodes, but that is not an obligation.
If the x6-2s or x6-2m meet your needs, why not put OVM on them?

Thanks
Andrew

Reply
Gleb Otochkin
March 21, 2017 4:05 pm

Hi Andrew,
I cannot say why Oracle doesn’t provide such option. I can only guess. I do agree that it is possible to run OVM on one box and maybe there are some use cases for that. But I don’t think we have enough cases and needs to justify the OVM on a one-cpu (for S) machine without any HA options. In most of recent cases OVM was used either to limit number of CPU for licensing purposes. But here we have only 1 or 2 cpu . Of course it is only my experience and opinion about the matter.
Thanks
Gleb

Reply

Gleb,

Thanks for the feedback. I just checked the hardware certification and all X6-2 models have been certified for OVM and OEL, so I think it is more of a marketing question than technical.

Reply
Gleb Otochkin
March 22, 2017 8:54 am

Yes, I don’t see any problem with hardware. It is just a 86_64 box with a flash storage. If you install a OVM by yourself most likely it is going to work correctly. Of course I would think about proper backup strategy before using it in production.

Thanks,
Gleb

Reply

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