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May 9, 2010

Quarter rack Exadata deployment

Last week I was on-site for an Exadata deployment. I didn't do much, as I was there to learn - to see an actual machine (I haven't seen an Exadata version 2 system before) and understand what is involved in the deployment for the customer. I helped to solve some issues and delivered two presentations - on RAC and ASM, so I wasn't just a visitor after all :)

We deployed the quarter rack system, i.e. 2 database machines (Sun Fire™ X4170):

and 3 storage cells (Sun Fire™ X4275):

Throw in two InfiniBand® switches, for interconnect and storage access, Ethernet switch, KVM:

and you have 2 node cluster ready to run Oracle RAC database.

The system is delivered wired up, with the OS and Exadata software installed, so the hardware set up consists of inspecting the cabling, connecting the mains cables, updating the firmware, configuring the switches and booting the system up. All green is what we want to see after that:

The rest of the deployment consisted of patching Exadata software to the latest and greatest version, the Grid Infrastructure and database software install, DBFS set up, customer's data import, Grid Control config and bunch of tests to make sure it all works as it should.

I spend most of my time on the Linux command line and SQL> prompt, so it was good to go out and put my hands on the hardware that powers those servers and databases.

All, well almost all, photos I took.