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.