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ODA: What you need to know

Oracle Engineered Systems are a range of hardware appliances designed to address different business problems or objectives. The entry level member of this group is the Oracle Database Appliance (ODA). Explorer recommend the use of ODA’s when Oracle customers are looking to achieve any of the following:

There is actually a family of ODA models ranging from single node to a High Availability models to meet these varying demands and in this short blog I am going to cover why we feel every Oracle Database user will benefit from incorporating ODA’s into infrastructure portfolio.

Each ODA is a self-contained appliance of Compute, Storage, Networking and Software to create a converged infrastructure solution as an alternative to commodity infrastructure. Converged infrastructure has a place in the data centre when there is a proven benefit of either support, performance, security or cost. The ODA family addresses each of these with a sensible price point that should be attractive to most Oracle customers.

Generally speaking, conversations with our customers to start looking at new infrastructure are timed when either:

  1. A hardware refresh is due within the next few months, and/or
  2. The business is experiencing serious problems with the current infrastructure to accelerate a refresh conversation and/or
  3. Oracle support costs are too high and we need to look at consolidation and cost saving.

Therefore, ODA’s need to be simple to deploy & support, do what they say on the tin and not cost the earth! Thankfully, the ODA line up addresses each of these;

  • ODA-S is a single node, single socket appliance, bare metal or virtualisation deployment options and comes with NVMe storage. It’s designed to run SE1, SE, SE2 and EE Databases so perfect for small deployments that require fast storage and require ease of deployment & support.
  • ODA-M is a single node, 2 socket appliance, bare metal or virtualisation deployment options and come swith NVMe storage, which can be expanded. It’s designed to run SE1, SE, SE2 and EE Databases so perfect for small & medium sized deployments that require fast (and expandable) storage, more cores and require ease of deployment & support.
  • ODA-HA is a 2 node, 4 socket appliance designed to run SE/SE2 or Enterprise Edition Databases as single instance or clustered using RAC. It’s ideal for consolidating and/or implementing a scalable Database platform with fast SSD or HDD storage.

Each ODA model features Capacity on Demand, which is a method of only enabling the number of cores needed, thus reducing the number of Database Licenses required for any given deployment. The benefit of this to customers is that you don’t have the license the entire Server and in a time when Servers are now shipping with at least a dozen cores, there are considerable savings to achieve with ODA versus commodity tin.

Now that we know there is an ODA for various deployment configurations we need to look at speed of deployment and ease of support…

Each ODA is pre-built and delivered ready to deploy. The only thing standing in your way of getting these appliances online is performing some software configurations. You’re only looking at hours, not days, before you’re operational and online. You simply cannot do that as quick when you try to build a similar infrastructure from scratch.

You’ve now created a “Private Cloud” platform to deploy Databases. Supporting, patching and upgrading this appliance is your next challenge. Each ODA is simple to support with system patches upgrading everything from the OS to storage firmware and so on. Everything is supported from Oracle so from the Database software down through the OS to Servers, Networking and Storage you can be confident that everything will be compatible and every layer will be supported. You cannot get this level of assurance or ease of upgrade when using commodity infrastructure built from scratch.

Cost is obviously going to be the deciding factor in any purchase. There are two elements to cost; capital expenditure and operational expenditure. Those ongoing costs also need to factor in operational costs to support the environment as well as peripheral costs like licensing, power, cooling and floor space/rack costs.

One of our customers recently confirmed that whilst the initial cost outlay of an ODA HA was 40% more expensive than building a comparable solution from HP kit, the peripheral costs meant that they’d need to budget for more consultancy time to build, test and deploy the new infrastructure AND have to license twice as many cores on HP than on ODA. The result was a break-even point when factoring in the additional consultancy and internal operational costs and the HP design was a whopping 350% more expensive over 3 years when factoring in the additional licenses, product & software, support and operational costs. This is why the ODA is so compelling when businesses look at the bigger picture!

So where do you want to go from here?

If the timing is right for you to look at new infrastructure or you’re experiencing some challenges with your infrastructure you might want to look at our free architecture review service and a free Proof of Concept. Both services will give you a fully justified business case for adopting Engineered Systems. To discuss further, contact myself or a member of the Engineered Systems team.

Jon Lingard Contributor
Sales & Marketing Director , Explorer UK Ltd

Jon is a member of the Oracle sales team and works with customers from start-ups, SMEs to large corporations to gain maximum value from their investment in Oracle technology. Jon works with the technical and development teams to shape solutions based on customer demands and develops long lasting customer relationships based on his open and trustworthy approach.

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