Sunday, April 3, 2011

Configuring an Exadata (lessons learned)

Well, the time is finally here. 

Twas the night before Exadata,
and all through the data warehouse,
Not a keyboard was stirring,
Not even a mouse

ACS was all snug in their hotel beds,
with visions of "ONE" scripts danced in their heads.
And DBA's with laptops, and I with my smart phone,
had just settled in to see the hype all get blown.

When out on the server room there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from the bed to see what was the matter.
Away to the laptop I flew like a flash,
Tore open the lid and started up bash.

The nodes on the cabinet of  the new server appliance
Gave the heat of mid-day to everything near the servers in the alliance.
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
But a man with a sweater drinking a beer.
he was a sailing pro with the magic of a fairy,

I knew in a moment it must be Larry.

More rapid than eagles his crew they came,
And he whistled, and shouted, and called them by name!

Now Dan Norris! now, Kerry Osborne! now, .....

Well you get the picture..

Anyway here is my lessons learned.  These are mostly the things that would have helped us get from purchase, to ACS coming on site a little faster.

1) IP addresses.. Yes the exadata needs lots of IP address.  Here is what you need for an x2-2 full rack.

Ethernet Subnet 1 IP addresses 51
ILOM for Database Servers 8
ILOM for Exadata Cells 14
Eth0 for Database Servers 8
Eth0 for Exadata Cells 14
Mgmt port for IB switches 3
IP address for KVM 1
IP address for Ethernet Switch 1
IP address for PDUs 2
Ethernet Subnet 2 IP addresses 19
Eth1 for Database Servers 8
VIPs for Database Servers 8
SCAN Addresses (per Cluster) 3
Total 70

2) Naming - The naming convention for a server name is used for all the components within the Exadata.  Even the disk themselves include the name of the server so you can track down any issues.  That's not saying that your standard host name isn't usable. It just means that you give Oracle 1 name, and it is the building block for everything else.

3) Default database -  Surprisingly the default database is probably going to be useless to you (unless you are currently going to use the same configuration as oracle provides).. Oracle creates a default database with default parameters, and default Characterset.  Anything other than that you are on your own.

4) Backup.  If you've read my previous posts you have probably found that this is the most confusing area.  Each Database server comes with 4 1ge ports, and 2 10ge ports.  If you are using 10ge you are all set.. Bond and aggregate, and you are in business.. Infiniband you just use the 2 infiniband ports.
If you are still on 1ge like a lot of the datacenters, you can't easily make it redundant.  Eth0 is reserved for management.  Eth1 and eth2 are usually bonded for active-passive redundancy. This leaves one port for your tape backup.. No redundancy.  This is one of the most important things if you are planning on using 1ge.  Make sure you understand how you are going to configure the Exadata, and what that you most likely will not have redundancy.

Finally, I'll pass on two of my favorite comments to make on all this.

"Buying an exadata is like putting a window airconditioner in your 1920's house" -- This is from a time when I had a house with original wiring.. My wife would try to blow dry her air with the airconditioner on, and the fuse would blow.. If you put an exadata in your datacenter running 1ge , you will blow a fuse.

"Buying an Exadata doesn't make things easier.. It is easier to be told we can't afford it, it's more difficult if they buy it.  It's like telling your mangement that you need a ferarri to go fast, and they say yes.. now drive it 320MPH without crashing." -This should be pretty self explainitory.  There are strong expectations from managment when you buy one of these.

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