Sasquatch – er, Exadata X2-8

We’ve been joking around at the office about whether the Exadata X2-8 model has actually been observed in the wild. Some of the guys have been affectionately referring to it as Sasquatch because we’ve never actually seen one. Well we actually got our hands on real one today.

Not as pretty as the X2-2, but as long as it’s fast it doesn’t really matter what it looks like I guess. Thanks to Andy Colvin for the iPhone snap. We’ll be doing some testing with it soon so stay tuned. By the way, we’ve got our T-Shirts on order:

15 Comments

  1. At last! A real life photo of the mythical beast!

  2. Andy Colvin says:

    You’ll have to stay tuned for more pics….even one without the shipping brackets. Maybe even powered on!

  3. Alex says:

    “Not as pretty as the X2-2” ..come on now ..looks pretty good to me :-)

  4. Kevin says:

    Is it the Solaris or Linux variety?

    FWIW the Turkish Ministry of Education took delivery of one of the (if not the) first X2-8 models very early on.

    I spent every minute of every working day for the last 6 months of my tenure at Oracle on the X2-8 model working on the Control Group functionality for the Linux offering.

    Word to the wise: Learn about Control Groups and _eleventh_spare_parameter if using the Linux offering for non-DW/BI workloads. NUMA, enough said.

    I had hoped we could get some of that information in your book, Kerry.

  5. osborne says:

    Alex,

    Well it looks better after you take the shipping brackets off and get the blinky lights turned on.

    Kerry

  6. osborne says:

    Kevin,

    The plan is to run Linux on it (they’re just going through the setup today). Tanel and I have had a couple of email discussions regarding the NUMA stuff and recalling your discuss at Oracle Closed World last year regarding that topic. We are very interested to see how it is setup by default and if there is any adjustment that needs to be made.

    We haven’t gone to press yet so something might sneak into the book at the eleventh hour. ;)

    I’d be interested in your thoughts on Solaris for this platform. I’m really hesitant about using Solaris at this point because it’s a brand new release and we have a good base of knowledge on Exadata running in Linux already.

    Kerry

  7. Kevin says:

    The chat I offered at Oracle Closed World regarding NUMA pre-dates how we adopted and implemented Control Groups (_eleventh_spare_parameter) in the X2-8 offering. I think you’ll be surprised how it “just works.” Now, please don’t confuse those words. The software features that lean on Control Groups “just work” but that doesn’t mean the x4800 is a good NUMA machine. For contentious workloads the scalability characteristics of the X2-8 are, um, challenged. If using the X2-8 for pure DW/BI (PQO) things will be fine. For multiple OLTP workloads with Control Groups, fine. But a single app scaling up is a real challenge. Basically, if you are happy with your single app 64-core OLTP performance on the X2-8 I recommend you *not* try to cage it into a 4-socket Control Group for a comparison because it will likely run as fast or faster. Sorry, NUMA isn’t for kids.

    Personally, I would also wait of the E7 (formerly Westmere EX) based system. But I don’t have a horse in this race :-)

  8. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and I don’t see what, other than a pretty OS is needed here… :)

  9. Tom says:

    I’ve seen them in the wild but if I said where they would have to kill me.

  10. Tanel Poder says:

    Yeah, it would be awesome to have a Solaris x64 install for playing with it, but I wouldn’t want to be supporting a Solaris Exadata configuration in production right now. I like to sleep at nights :)

  11. Tom says:

    You can divide it into 2 … Storage cells are all Linux but you could have a single compute node as Linux and a single one as Solaris but they would be independent of each other.

  12. osborne says:

    Hmmm … probably possible. Unfortunately, the machine that got delivered last week doesn’t seem to have Solaris on it. Not that we would have configured it with Solaris anyway. The NUMA setup will be interesting though. That’s the part that everyone seems to be all exciterated about.

  13. Tom says:

    Well if you want to play with it, you can get the DB Host image @ edelivery. Solaris has some NUMA enhancements as well.

    Oracle Database Machine Database Host (X4170, X4170M2, X4800) Image 11g Release 2 (11.2.2.3.1) for Solaris x86_64 V26292-01 1.9G

  14. osborne says:

    Yeah we’d like to get a chance to play with it but still haven’t had a customer opt for Solaris.

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