Mythics Blog

Exadata X3: The Newest Addition to the Mythics Technology Innovation Center

Posted on October 11, 2012 by Randy Hardee

Tags: Technology Innovation Center, Oracle Exadata X3, Oracle Exadata X2

In addition to the ¼ Rack Exadata X2 that Mythics acquired over a year ago for our Technology Innovation Center in Chantilly, VA, Mythics has taken delivery of one of the first ¼ Rack Exadata X3's to be shipped from Oracle.  The X3 is the latest generation of Exadata Database Machines, and it's an impressive piece of technology.  Here's a quick list of new features and improvements:

  • On the Database nodes, upgraded from the 6-Core X5675 to the 8-Core E5-2690, which gives higher performance at lower power and clock speed.  By using the 16GB DIMMs now, standard memory config has increased from 96GB to 128GB, with upgrades to 256GB.  The standard 1GbE networking cards now also support 10GbE copper as well.
  • On the Storage Server nodes, the flash cards are now F40 eMLC with 4x the capacity, bringing flash cache capacity to a whopping 1.6 TB per storage server.  Data scan rates have also improved by approximately 40%.  Standard memory config is increased from 24GB to 64GB, which should be helpful to the large flash cache as well.
  • On the Software new features, the Smart Flash Cache Write-back feature has also arrived.  The feature name is self explanatory; it allows the use of flash cache for write cache I/O operations concurrently with the disk I/O, increasing Write IOPS and alleviating some I/O latency outlier situations.  It requires the 11.2.3.2 Storage Server patch that was released last week, and the DB/GI patch 11.2.0.3.9 BP9 or higher (basically the August monthly bundle patch).
  • Exadata Trivia: New entry level configuration called 1/8th Rack, which is basically a ¼ Rack with ½ the Cores on the Database Nodes disabled at the BIOS level, and ½ the Disks on the Storage Server nodes disabled/unused.  Hardware price point isn't actually half the cost of the ¼ Rack (200K vs 330K for a ¼ Rack), but savings on the software licenses could be much more compelling.  One more piece of trivia:  the X3-2's don't ship with a KVM anymore, so plan to use the ILOM interfaces for local management access.

To put our new X3 ¼ Rack through it's paces, we shipped directly to a customer site for a very extensive OLTP Mixed Mode Proof-of-Value exercise.  The testing on our new Exadata X3 should take the better part of a month, so look out for an update on our findings on the performance and impressions of the latest generation of the Exadata.

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