Tuning Oracle Exadata – Part 1

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Oracle Exadata delivers more value for your IT investment than traditional DIY infrastructure.

Oracle Exadata is nothing more than a database appliance that supports both analytical and transactional database systems.  It has hardware and software that were pre-configured to run Oracle databases.  It also features a storage subsystem, which has made it possible to run software at the storage layer and other things that were not doable when using other platforms.

There are several ways that Exadata handles performance.  These are:

  • Cell Offloading
  • Smart flash cache

Let us look at each one more closely.

Cell offloading

Offloading generally pertains to those tasks that used to be done at the database tier, which are now done at the storage level.  These include Smart Scan, TDE encryption, DataFile initialization and RMAN offload.

Offloading of data-intensive queries to the storage layer can lessen the amount of data that passes through the high bandwidth connections.  This results in faster performance and concurrency for both complex and basic data warehousing queries.

This also relates to storage index.  Storage index holds some information about the stored data found in specific regions of the storage, ergo it also knows what data is not found in a particular region.  You can liken the storage index to a pre-filter.

It also relates to hybrid columnar compression, which uses a mix of both columnar and row methods to store your data.  In HCC, column values found in a set of rows are gathered together and then compressed.  After that, it is going to be stored in a compression unit.

Other optimizations performed by Smart Scan include simple joins, function offloading, virtual column evaluation and decryption.


The Database Resource Monitor (DBRM) is a resource manager that you may already know.

IORM, or I/O resource monitor helps you control, oversee and meter IO from various workloads in Exadata.  It helps you prioritize I/O across different databases.

Smart Flash Cache

The Smart Flash Cache is what made Oracle Exadata V2 usable to OLTP or transactional databases.  You can configure it to use it as a cache, or use it as solid-state disks for automatic storage management.    You get more than five TB of flash memory for every full rack you have with Exadata.  Hot data, or those that are constantly accessed are put into the smart flash cache, while the rest of the data goes to cheaper disk storage.  What this means is that you no longer have to spend a lot for storage while also enjoying flash speeds.  This feature is guaranteed to process 1.5 million I/O operations per second and can skim through 50 gigabytes of data per second.

If you want to know more about Oracle Exadata and how to properly utilize its many benefits and features, then you should call Four Cornerstone at 817-377-1144.  You would be working with a team of Oracle certified experts who have decades of experience working with Oracle software and products for a variety of companies. This way, you would be sure that you are making the most out of your Oracle Exadata investments.

Contact us now!

Photo by Oracle.

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