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Oracle Exadata X6 released

Oracle has just announced the next generation of Exadata Database Machine – X6-2 and X6-8.

Here are the changes for Exadata X6-2:
1) X6-2 Database Server: As always the hardware has been updated and the 2-socket database servers are now equip with latest twenty two-core Intel Xeon E5-2699 v4 “Broadwell” processors in comparison to X5 where we had eighteen-core Intel Xeon E5-2699 v3 processors. The memory is still DDR4 and the default configuration comes with 256Gb and can be expanded to 768Gb. The local storage can now be upgraded to 8 drives from default of 4 to allow more local storage in case of a consolidation with Oracle OVM.
2) X6-2 Storage Server HC: The storage server gets the new version CPUs as well and that is the ten-core Intel Xeon E5-2630 v4 processor (it was eight-core Intel Xeon E5-2630 v3 in X5). The flash cards are upgraded as well to 3.2 TB Sun Accelerator Flash F320 NVMe PCIe card for a total of 12.8 TB of flash cache (2x the capacity of X5 where we had 1.6Tb F160 cards).
2.1) X6-2 Storage Server EF – similarly to the High Capacity storage server this one gets the CPU and flash card upgraded. Also the NVMe PCIe Flash drives are now upgraded from 1.6Tb to 3.2Tb which gives you a total raw capacity of 25.6Tb per server.

This time Oracle released Exadata X6-8 together with X6-2 release. Changes aren’t many, I have to say that X6-8 compute node looks exactly the same as X5-8 in terms of specs so I guess that Exadata X6-8 actually consists of X5-8 compute nodes with X6-2 storage servers. Oracle’s vision on those big monsters is that they are specifically optimized for Database as a Service (DBaaS) and database in-memory. Indeed with 12Tb of memory we can host hundreds of databases or load a whole database in memory.

By the looks of it Exadata X6-2 and Exadata X6-8 will require the latest Exadata 12.1.2.3.0 software. This software has been around for some time now and has some new features:
1) Performance Improvements for Software Upgrades – I can confirm that, in the recent upgrade to 12.1.2.3.0 the cell upgrade took a bit more than an hour.
2) VLAN tagging support in OEDA – That’s not a fundamental new or exciting new feature but VLAN tagging was available before. Now it can be done through the OEDA hence it can be part of the deployment.
3) Quorum disk on database servers to enable high redundancy on quarter and eighth racks – You can now use database servers to deploy quorum disks and enable placement of voting disk on high redundancy disk groups on smaller (quarter and eight) rack. Here is more information – Managing Quorum Disks Using the Quorum Disk Manager Utility
4) Storage Index preservation during rebalance – The features enables Storage Indexes to be moved along the data when a disk hits predictive failure or true failure.
5) ASM Disk Size Checked When Reducing Grid Disk Size – this is a check on the storage server to make sure you cannot shrink a grid disk before decreasing the size of an ASM disk.

Capacity-On-Demand Licensing:
1) For Exadata X6-2 a minimum of 14 cores must be enabled per server.
2) For Exadata X6-8 a minumum of 56 cores must be enabled per server.

Here’s something interesting:
OPTIONAL CUSTOMER SUPPLIED ETHERNET SWITCH INSTALLATION IN EXADATA DATABASE MACHINE X6-2
Each Exadata Database Machine X6-2 rack has 2U available at the top of the rack that can be used by customers to optionally install their own client network Ethernet switches in the Exadata rack instead of in a separate rack. Some space, power, and cooling restrictions apply.

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