We started on an interesting mad scientist kind of project a couple of days ago.
One of our long time customers bought an Exadata last month. They went live with one system last week and are in the process of migrating several others. The Exadata has an interesting configuration. The sizing exercise done prior to the purchase indicated a need for 3 compute nodes, but the data volume was relatively small. In the end, a half rack was purchased and all four compute nodes were licensed, but 4 of the 7 storage servers were not licensed. So it’s basically a half rack with only 3 storage servers.
Meanwhile, we had been talking with them about Hadoopie kind of stuff. They are in the telecom space and are interested in pulling data via a packet sniffer which captures info directly from the tcp traffic. During the talks we discussed hardware requirements for building a Hadoop cluster as they didn’t really have any spare hardware available to test with. That’s when the crazy science project idea was born. Someone (who shall remain nameless) suggested that we build the pilot Hadoop cluster on the 4 unused storage nodes from the Exadata half rack. Since the storage servers use basically the same hardware as is used in the Oracle Big Data Appliance (BDA), it’s kind of like having a mini BDA. Of course the storage servers have slower CPU’s and a little less memory so it’s not apples to apples, but the servers do have InfiniBand and the same 3T drives so it’s pretty similar. And since they already had the servers sitting there …
So now we have a mini Hadoop cluster installed (CDH3) with 3 data nodes (roughy 100T raw storage). We also set up the Oracle Big Data Connectors on one of the Exadata compute nodes which allows us to create external tables on files stored in HDFS. Pretty cool. Let the games begin!
Oh and by the way. I’ll probably be talking about this project a bit at E4 (Enkitec Extreme Exadata Expo) on Aug. 13-14 in Dallas.