If you are trying to find out more in-depth information on how Exadata architecture really works, I’m offering this video presentation to offer some critical thinking on the matter. It is broken into two segments. I do recommend watching both.
There was a question in the twitter-sphere about whether using sequences (sequence.NEXTVAL) in your select query’s projection list would somehow disable smart scans happening?
The answer is no, sequence use with smart scans works just fine. The smart scan offloading applies to data retrieval row sources (and filtering) only and nothing else. So, what you have in the query’s projection list (the sequence use for example), does not directly affect the smart scan decision. Just like any other operations like sorting, grouping etc, do not have anything to do with smart scans and don’t disable their use. Smart scans are only related to data retrieval and any other operations do not affect them.
As an active member of the Oracle user community I really enjoy talking to delegates at user conferences and user group meetings. As such I was very lucky having had the opportunity to attend two of them recently. I have written about the OUGN spring conference in the post before this, and I also enjoyed the AIM meeting earlier in March.
One of the subjects that always seems to come up is Exadata. Many, many DBAs want to have Exadata experience, and if only to tick a box. Now Exadata means a significant investment, in other words not every company on the planet will have one. On the other hand it’s reasonably complex to administer, therefore recruiters and other HR personal are very interested in DBAs with “Exadata experience”. Now, the reason of this blog post is an open question to the readers: what do you consider as Exadata experience?
If you are not familiar with R, this is the description from the R site: R is a language and environment for statistical computing and graphics. I encountered R at the Erasmus university, where I am working on a project with DNA data which is put in an Oracle database (see: http://huvariome.erasmusmc.nl/ (It’s down at the moment)).
I am on my way back from the best UKOUG conference I ever attended, unfortunately a lot earlier than planned. Before I start forgetting all these great moments it is time to write them up. To make use of James Morle’s words: if you weren’t there, you lose. I couldn’t agree more!
The Oak Table Network organised “Oak Table Sunday”, a hugely successful event on Sunday afternoon. This event featured some of the brightest Oracle minds, and thanks to a very relaxed atmosphere made it all a truly exceptional experience. I have to say that the audience was quite illustrious too-I didn’t recognise Paul Vallee from Pythian with his Movember moustache at first and to my great joy I finally met Piet de Visser again. After exchanging a few words with them I ran into so many people it was just great!
On 30 November, 2011 Oracle published the second result in a recent series of TPC-H benchmarks. The prior result was a 1000GB scale result with a single SPARC T4-4 connected to 4 Sun Storage F5100 Flash Arrays configured as direct attached storage (DAS). We can ascertain the DAS aspect by reading the disclosure report where we see there were 16 SAS host bus adaptors in the T4-4. As an aside, I’d like to point out that the F5100 is “headless” which means in order to provision Real Application Clusters storage one must “front” the device with a protocol head (e.g., COMSTAR) such as Oracle does when running TPC-C with the SPARC SuperCluster.
I had an interesting little project this morning. Of course it takes longer to write it down than to do actually do it, but it was kind of interesting and since I haven’t done a post in quite some time (and it’s the day before Thanksgiving, so it’s pretty quite at the office anyway) I decided to share. One of the Enkitec guys (Tim Fox) was doing a performance comparison between various platforms (Exadata using it’s IB Storage Network, Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) using it’s direct attached storage, and a standard database on a Dell box using EMC fiber channel attached storage). The general test idea was simple – see how the platforms stacked up for a query that required a full scan of a large table. More specifically, what Tim wanted to see was the relative speed at which the various storage platforms could return data.
An Oracle Exadata database machine consists of several parts: Intel based servers, infiniband switches, a cisco ethernet switch, a KVM switch and the hardware surrounding it like cables, 19″ rack, power distribution units. The Intel based servers are what “Exadata administrators” are administering the most. The intention of this article is to let the reader gain a little more insight into Exadata specific administration on those.
Two server layers: computing and storage
The two layers have quite different properties: the Exadata computing layer is Linux with Oracle grid infrastructure and the Oracle database software installed, very much as you would do yourself (if you install it in a strict OFA way), and the storage layer is Linux too, but with specific Exadata storage software.
I’ve seen some posts on the blogosphere where people attempt to explain (or should I say guess) how Exadata Smart Flash Logging works and most of them are wrong. Hopefully this post will help clear up some the misconceptions out there.
The following is an excerpt from the paper entitled “Exadata Smart Flash Cache Features and the Oracle Exadata Database Machine” that goes into technical detail on the Exadata Smart Flash Logging feature.