Wednesday, November 15, 2017

ODA X7-2 -- a closer look //Oracle Database Appliance X7-2 Family

The adventure of ODA started with the machine named Oracle Database Appliance in 2011, and almost each year a new model released since then.

ODA X3-2 in 2013, ODA X4-2 in 2014, ODA X5-2 in 2016 and ODA X6-2 in 2016.

Today, I m writing about the newest model, which was released recently.. the "ODA X7-2".

In ODA X6-2, we were introduced with the S (Small), M (Medium) and L (Large) types of ODA family. That is, the standard name of the ODA became ODA HA, and these S, M and L types were added to the familiy.

In ODA X7-2, Oracle decided to remove the Large model from the product family and released the new machine with 3 models: S, M and HA.

Actually, there are several enhancements delivered with the new ODA X7-2, but the most interesting enhancements of all is, "we can built standard edition RAC databases on ODA X7-2 machines". (most interesting new feature, in my opinion)

General enhancements:
  • 3 new models ODA X7-2S, ODA X7-2M, ODA X7-2-HA
  • Increased storage capacity
  • Virtualization option for all the models.
  • Standard Edition RAC support
  • New Intel Xeon processors
  • Increased core count
  • Oracle database
General Specs:

Oracle Database Appliance X7-2S
SE/SE1/SE2 or EE
10 Cores
12.8 TB Data Storage (Raw)

Oracle Database Appliance X7-2M

SE/SE1/SE2 or EE
36 Cores
Up to 51.2 TB Data Storage (Raw)

Oracle Database Appliance X7-2HA

SE/SE1/SE2 or EE
72 Cores
Up to 128TB SSD or 300 TB HDD Data Storage (Raw)


Like we had in ODA X6-2, we have Nvme storage for X7-2S and M models.

Appliance Manager and ACFS:

We have also appliance manager for the proactive management and we have ACFS as the filesystem.
Again, we have odacli as the command line management interface.

ODA X7-2 HA provides us the ability to build a high available environment. Again we are using ACFS for the filesystem, but this time we have SSD disks in the backend. (or SSD+HDD disks)

Supported Versions:

ODA X7-2 supports almost all the up-to-date Oracle Versions.

Enterprise Edition –,,
Standard Edition (SE, SE1, SE2)  –,
If you need the Database options, then you need to go with EE. Advanced Security Option, In-Memory, Mutitenant, …..

About Licensing:

Standard edition 2 RAC support is limited to the 2 socket db servers.
So, we have SE2 RAC support in ODA X7-2 HA (with Oracle Virtual Machine / OVM)
In order to run a SE2 RAC database on ODA X7-2 HA, we use max 18 cores in the ODA_BASE. The remaining cores can be used with the virtual application servers that can be built on top of ODA X7-2 HA. (using OVM)

In SE RAC licensing, on the other hand; we have no socket limit.
So, if we have SE RAC license, then we can have a SE RAC database on the virtualized environment or directly on Bare Metal.
If we want to have both SE RAC and SE2 RAC databases on ODA X7-2 HA, then we need to built a virtualized environment and we need to use max 18 cores in ODA_BASE.


ODA X7-2 has the capacity-on-demand feature as well.
We use appliance manager for configuring our core counts.
Enabled core count must be an even number between 2 and 36 (2, 4, 6, 8, 10, 12, 14, 16, 18, 20, 22, 24, 26, 28, 30, 32, 34, 36)

ACFS snapshots:

In ODA X7-2, we have ACFS.. So, this new release of ODA offers ACFS snapshot based quick and space-efficient database copies and ACFS snapshot based rapid cloning of virtual machines.
This is also one of the exciting news..
It was actually there in ODA X6-2, but it wasn't documented clearly.

Here in the following blog post, you can see a demo that I did for ODA X6-2;

Oracle VM Server and KVM (Kernel Based Virtual Machine):

The virtualization technology used in ODA X7-2 HA Virtualized environment is still Oracle VM Server.
However, we have KVM (Kernel Based Virtual Machine) for virtualizing ODA X7-2S and ODA X7-2M environments..

We can even use KVM to have a virtualized environment on top of ODA X7-2 HA Bare Metal..

There are some limitations for KVM though;

  • You can run only Linux OS on top of them.
  • It is not supported to run Oracle database on top of Guest KVM machines.
  • There is no capacity-on-demand option for databases and applications that are running on Guest KVM machines. 
You can read my blog posts for getting the details about KVM and enabling the KVM..

Note that, above links are for ODA X6-2M , but the process is almost the same..

Auto starting VMs , Failover for VMs:

In ODA X7-2 HA virtualized deployments, we still get the ODA_BASE based configuration for the Oracle VM Server.
This Oracle VM Server deployed with ODA, give us the opportunity for auto restarting the VMs and for using the standard failover capabilities for those VMs.
We may configure our VMs to be started on the same node or on the surviving node, in case of a failure. (without a manual intervention)

ASR, oakcli orachk and odaadmcli manage diagcollect:

In ODA X7-2, we have the opportunity to use ASR (Automatic Service Request), as well.. ASR monitors and creates automatic service request (Oacle SR) on any hardware component failure.
In addition to hat, we have the "oakcli orachk" command for checking all the hardware and software units of ODA. So, using oakcli, we can validate hardware and software components and quickly identify any anomaly or violation of best practice compliance.
Morever, we can collect the diagnostics by running a single command -> odaadmcli manage diagcollect.

So, at the bottom line, this new ODA X7-2 is not breaking the tradition... ODA is still easy to deploy, patch and manage.  It is still affordable and optimized.

I think, I will work on this new ODA at least in one of the upcoming projects this year.. So we will see :)

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