Optimizing Business Performance with Oracle Exalytics
Advantages of an engineered system
As an Oracle Exalytics Certified Implementation Specialist, I recognize how complex leveraging hardware can be for engineers. In all my excitement to share my perspective on exploiting this platform, I felt I should give an overview of an engineered system before I drill into the specific development models that help us achieve maximum value from an engineered platform.
Engineered for speed.
An engineered system is a single machine that supports a complete set of applications to maximize performance. Exalytics focuses on business intelligence and enterprise performance management to provide high-performance corporate reporting and analysis functions. To support these functions, Exalytics integrates databases, middleware web utilities, calculation engines and report presentation components on a single piece of hardware. The result of Exalytics engineered systems is fast and reliable analytics from only one physical server while still supporting scale and redundancy.
Consolidated for efficiency.
Typical reporting environments support the same applications but require a much larger number of servers to accomplish the task. The diagram below outlines the deployment of the same application components on a typical server infrastructure compared to an Exalytics engineered system. The “unengineered” model requires a vast number of servers, which creates a high level of overhead to secure and maintain a company’s critical reporting and performance analytics. This model creates even greater challenges in developing new corporate metrics due to the complexity of adding additional computing power to the environment. Applying the engineered principles to the Exalytics hardware platform allows for the consolidation of many servers into a single hardware environment, drastically reducing the risk and overhead of supporting enterprise analytics.
The Exalytics advantage.
To achieve the gains in server consolidation and application performance, the Exalytics system has combined horsepower with software components designed to specifically exploit elements of the hardware. For starters, Exalytics supports a large number of processing cores, which enables parallel execution of calculations. The ability to rapidly calculate information has no value if the same speed cannot be achieved in storing the results for future access. To enable this, Exalytics provides options ranging from 2.4 to 6.4 terabytes of solid state memory specifically for improving the process of writing and reading tabulated data once a calculation completes. Finally, to minimize the impact of processing and disk throughput, Exalytics provides between 2 and 4 terabytes of RAM for caching data used most frequently in the analytical process.
In the future, I would like to drill into these concepts individually and explore the engineered approach toward leveraging the elements of the Exalytics platform. I look forward to sharing my experience in development and supporting business users in getting the most out of engineered systems.