Oracle Exadata Cloud Machine: what’s in it for you?
Oracle, one of the biggest players on the software market, recently introduced the availability of Exadata Cloud Machine as part of the “Oracle Cloud at Customer” portfolio expansion. This will allow organizations to combine cloud simplicity with a traditional, on-premises, deployment. This is very similar to Oracle’s Exadata public cloud service, the only difference between the two is that everything is now located in the customer’s data center, while still managed by Oracle Cloud’s experts.
The company said this machine is designed for those companies that want to make use of the full power of the Oracle Exadata Cloud Service that resides in Oracle's public cloud, but prefer or require their databases to be located on-premises, while having the flexibility of a subscription model. Exadata Cloud Machine instances come pre-configured according to best-practices that, as the vendor says, have been proven at thousands of mission critical Exadata sites around the world.
Databases provisioned by the Exadata Cloud Machine include all the features of Oracle Database Enterprise Edition, plus all Oracle Enterprise Manager Packs and all Database Enterprise Edition Options. Customers can choose the version they want to deploy between Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (126.96.36.199), Oracle Database 12c Release 1 (188.8.131.52), Oracle Database 12c Release 2 (184.108.40.206), or a combination of these.
This goes hand in hand with the Private Cloud Appliance (PCA) that consolidates mixed Oracle and non-Oracle applications. The private cloud offers almost everything that a public cloud does, just that through a proprietary architecture and for a single organization. The PCA integrates with Oracle Enterprise Manager to deliver a turnkey solution for private cloud and supports secure multi-tenancy. It also offers the flexibility to consolidate a wide range of workloads on one system, including Linux, Windows and Oracle Solaris applications.
So how does this news affect you or rather what’s in it for you? Access to the most powerful Oracle Database with all options and features, such as Real Application Clusters, Database In-Memory, Active Data Guard and Advanced Security on a subscription basis. With this machine Oracle promises to bring high levels of performance, availability and security features for mission-critical workloads. Furthermore, any existing application can be quickly migrated to the cloud, without changes, as it is 100% compatible with on-premises and Oracle Cloud applications and databases.
The next question that should be addressed is the pricing and how this affects the licensing compliance position. The Exadata Cloud Machine is sold on a subscription basis, for a minimum term of 4 years, allowing customers to subscribe only to the compute cores needed by the application. This will result, as the vendor says, in smart licensing, as they can make use of the capacity on demand purchasing option. This will allow companies to receive equipment with more computer processing, storage or other capacity than the company needs at the time of purchase. As workload grows, additional cores can be re-enabled, lowering costs and aligning costs with business growth. Additional cores can be increased in 2-cores increment in X4-2 and X5-2 where as in X4-8 it can be increased in 8-cores increment.
Let’s think of an Exadata 1/8th Rack that, when bought, has only half of the cores enabled, the other half being disabled. When the customer needs more computing power, he will not need to increase it by buying additional capacity (as it was already provided by the vendor), but will be able to enable what was already bought at any time.
The Oracle Exadata Cloud Machine promises to bring only benefits to the customers, as it is 100% compatible with on-premises Oracle databases and existing applications and allows organizations to easily embark on a cloud strategy and immediately leverage cloud computing benefits without going through a complex lift and shift to the public cloud. It also features an infrastructure that is dedicated to each customer, to ensure that response times and throughput are predictable for critical business processes.
Oracle also offers complete access to all Oracle Database and OS features and allows customers to configure the system as they like. Keep in mind that every time when you have the possibility to personalize a product, it comes with the responsibility to have it licensed correctly to not face compliance issues.
To conclude, as the vendor itself says, the most versatile and functional database technology – Oracle Database and the most powerful platform – Exadata were combined to create the Oracle Database Exadata Cloud Machine, the best cloud database platform available today for deployment in customer data centers.