Mythics Blog

Exadata Database Machine Upgraded to X4 Generation

Posted on December 19, 2013 by Randy Hardee

Tags: Oracle, Oracle Software, Oracle Hardware

Oracle officially, although quietly, announced the latest upgrades to the Exadata platform last week, and we have seen the X4-2's hitting the ground already from orders placed in late November.  In general, the upgrades are pretty substantial, both from a hardware and a software perspective.  It's pretty amazing how far the Exadata has come since the V2 days. There are too many upgrades to go through a deep dive in one blog post, so there is a link to OTN at the end of this post for all the details on X4-2.  If you are interested in the X3-8 upgrades, check the link as well.  Here's a quick summary of the deltas and new features:

X4-2 Database Compute Nodes

  • Core counts have increased 50%, from 16 cores per compute server to 24 cores per database compute server, and is using the new Ivy Bridge E5 Xeon 2697 V2 Processors (2.7GHz) with Turbo Boost enabled by default;
  • New PCIe 3.0 InfiniBand (IB) dual port cards with both ports active (2 IP addresses with failover);
  • Larger local hard drives (4x600GB) allows for more local disk storage, easier out-of-place patching, etc.

X4-2 Storage Server Nodes

  • X4 High Performance Disk size has doubled from 600GB to 1.2TB drives;
  • X4 High Capacity Disk size has increased from 3 TB to 4 TB drives;
  • Double the Flash Cache with new F80 800GB Flash cards (3.2TB per node);
  • 96 GB memory standard;
  • Same active-active IB cards as DB Compute nodes.

Other notable Software/Hardware Upgrades - And Interesting Trivia

  • Flash Cache Compression: hard/firmware level compression of data, available for F40 and F80 cards, requires Advanced Compression Option license;
  • Network Resource Management: prioritizes latency sensitive IB network messages
  • Backup batteries moved from HBA cards to externally accessible disk slot (faster, online replacement);
  • Since most Exadata implementations are not using multi-rack connection configurations, the Spine IB switch is no longer included on half and full racks, as well as spare IB cables in spares-kit;
  • The new Storage Server Software release ( contains several changes and updates:  new Linux distro, patchmgr plugins, ILOM patching, etc., and is backward compatible.  It can also enable some of the new software/firmware features on previous Exadata X3 versions (where technically possible and noted in docs).

Net/net:  As you can see, the capacity and capabilities of even the entry point ⅛ and ¼ Rack Exadata X4-2 configurations are substantial, and can handle most OLTP, DW, and database consolidation projects.  This new upgrade also supports the new Oracle 12c Database release and positions the Exadata as the database platform for large-scale cloud implementations as well.

Link for more details:

Randy Hardee
Mythics, Inc.


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