Running Oracle Exadata V2 on Dell Hardware

Well we had to give it a shot.

So we created an Oracle Exadata Storage Server Software CELLBOOT USB flash drive. I’m not kidding, that’s what the Oracle/Sun guys decided to call it. They didn’t even use an acronym in the manual (I guess “ESSSCB USB FD” doesn’t roll off the tongue much better than the whole thing anyway). We used the make_cellboot_usb utility to create the thing off one of our storage servers, which by the way was not that easy to do, since the USB ports are in the back of the 4275’s and they are not easy to get to with all the cabling that’s back there. Anyway, once we had the little bugger created we pulled it out of the back of the rack and booted a Dell Latitude D630 off of it. Here’s a picture:

Notice the thumb drive is all lit up like a Christmas tree.

Here is a close up of the screen (in case your eyes are going bad like mine):

So we tried a couple of different options but eventually got to this screen:

Notice the ERROR line in the middle of the screen. Somebody wisely put a check in the boot procedure to verify the machine type, presumably if it’s not a Sun 4170 it will throw an error. We thought about hacking the system but decided not to at this point as we had real work to do. (maybe later when we’ve got nothing else to do)

10 Comments

  1. Noons says:

    YEAH! I dream of the day I’ll be able to start a RAID10 USB key db!

  2. Great. How can we test this software?

  3. joel garry says:

    All you need is a quintillion byte thumb drive, Noons! We’ll all be drowned in the Exaflood soon enough.

    Words: Galles substurn

  4. […] And Kerry Osborne’s Oracle Blog provides some details on his attempt at Running Oracle Exadata V2 on Dell Hardware. […]

  5. Bill Boas says:

    Did you have any issues with the OFED InfiniBand software or the RDS (see http://www.openfabrics.org) that is “buried” inside Exadata? Is that even made known to the sys admin or DBA by Oracle?

    Which InfiniBand hardware is used with a Dell Exadata implementation.

    Just so you know why I am asking these questions – System fabric Works is a developer of some of OFED software, a member of OpenFabrics and the InfiniBand Trade Association?

    If you’d like more information call 512-343-6101 in Austin where SFW is based.

  6. osborne says:

    Hi Bill,

    I have this post in the Humor category. It’s just a joke. We’re not really trying to run Exadata software on a laptop. On the other hand, we may be trying to get the OFED drivers to work on some other (non-Exadata) database servers in order to connect them directly to the Exadata storage for migration purposes at some point in the future. Thanks for the contact info, I’ll probably reach out to you when we get around to doing that.

    Kerry

  7. osborne says:

    I know a few people who have set up virtual machines with Exadata software.

    Kerry

  8. osborne says:

    Hi Tiago,

    Well first off, it wasn’t a VM, it was a Dell booted off of the recovery USB drive that’s in every Exadata Storage Server. And second, it was a joke. (As I mentioned in a previous comment, it’s in the Humor category) And finally, as you can see from the screen shot, the boot process noticed it was not a storage server, so it didn’t work.

    Kerry

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