Tuesday, October 2, 2012

X3 the Next Generation

So Larry has announced the next big thing, the X3 series of the Exadata. After reviewing the specifications I see mostly it is providing 4 times more flash cache, an improved caching algorithm and the capability to buy a 1/8th rack configuration.

When will they finally ditch the disks and go all flash? Face it, we don't need more flash cache if the main stoarge is flash.

The graph above demonstrates what I talking about. With a 40 gig SGA I set the flash cache to 90 gig. As you can see using flash (a RamSan810) as the main storage and running a standard TPC-C benchmark the performance difference is negligable with the zero level of flash cache actually performing better in the upper range. Why pay for 12 disk licenses in perpetuity when you don't need to? If you get the new Exadata storage cell with the increased flash cache, that is what you will be doing.

Larry also placed great store in the HCC compression technology. However you must realize HCC requires you do a direct load of the data and is virtually useless in OLTP, in fact, Oracle themselves say not to use it in OLTP but to instead use standard advanced compression.

For what the Exadata and and now the X3 is designed for, data warehousing and environments with highly redundent, stable data, it will be a great performance booster, but for the rank and file OLTP databases I see it providing marginal performance increases at best.

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