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Oracle Database Appliance X5-2: Providing 64TB of usable storage on 8TB drives at no additional cost

If you’re not familiar with the Oracle Database Appliance (aka the “ODA”) then you need to be; the ODA is the most successful Oracle Engineered Systems platform in terms the number of units deployed globally. The ODA is now in it’s fourth incarnation and as of October 2015 Oracle announces support for 8TB high capacity drives which takes the raw storage in a single drive tray to 128TB and the usable capacity to 64TB. What’s really interesting is that this comes at no additional cost with the list price remaining at an attractive $68K.

As a two node RAC cluster in a box, the benefits of a simplified RAC deployment based on an optimized Engineered System are compelling, from rapid deployments achieved in a week or less to out of the box performance based on large CPU, memory and storage resources.

So let’s talk about the latest storage upgrade: Storage capacity has always been a concern for any appliance-based pre-configured solution; we were limited in the early ODA versions to 6TB of usable storage, which saw Oracle evolve the storage configuration from high performance to high capacity drives complimented by the increase in focus on SSD storage, now supplied by 4 x 400GB SSDs for frequently accessed data and 4 x 200GB SSDs to improve the performance of database redo logs. This addressed the need to optimize the typical I/O bottlenecks around database redo log files and temp and undo areas.

Now the Oracle Database Appliance X5-2 is delivered with 8TB drives, replacing the original 4TB drives. The new High Capacity storage shelf supports 128TB raw storage capacity that will provide 64TB of usable space with Normal redundancy (double-mirrored) and 42.7TB with High redundancy (triple-mirrored).

The powerful hardware specs and the capacity-on-demand database software licensing makes the Oracle Database Appliance a valuable investment, with a fully integrated system of software, servers, storage and networking that can deliver high availability database services for a wide range of application workloads.

Having the option of deploying a virtualized platform based on Oracle VM, the Oracle Database Appliance is an ideal platform to build a solution-in-a-box that extends capacity-on-demand licensing to both database and application workloads thanks to Oracle VM hard partitioning.

Below is a quick summary of the Database Appliance hardware specifications:

System Architecture

  • Two servers and one storage shelf per system
  • Optional second storage shelf may be added to double the storage capacity

Processor

  • Two 18-core Intel® Xeon® processors E5-2699 v3 @2.30GHz per server

Main Memory

  • 256 GB (8 x 32 GB) per server
  • Optional memory expansion to 512 GB or 768 GB

Storage

  • Capacity per storage shelf:
    • Sixteen 3.5-inch 8 TB 7.2K rpm HDDs
    • 128 TB raw, 64 TB (double-mirrored) or 42.7 TB (triple-mirrored) usable capacity
  • SSD layer
    • Four 2.5-inch (3.5-inch bracket) 400 GB ME SSDs for frequently accessed data
    • Four 2.5-inch (3.5-inch bracket) 200 GB HE SSDs for database redo logs
  • Server internal drives
    • Two 2.5-inch 600 GB 10K rpm HDDs (mirrored) per server for OS

Network

  • Four onboard auto-sensing 100/1000/10000 Base-T Ethernet ports per server
  • Four PCIe 3.0 slots per server:
    • PCIe internal slot: dual-port internal SAS HBA
    • PCIe slot 3: dual-port external SAS HBA
    • PCIe slot 2: dual-port external SAS HBA
    • PCIe slot 1: dual-port InfiniBand HCA
  • Optional 10GbE SFP+ external networking connectivity requires replacement of InfiniBand HCA Graphics

To learn more about how this architecture may benefit your business, contact Cintra today!

Written by Abdul Sheikh, CTO, and Paolo Desalvo, Enterprise Architect – October 2015

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