Exalytics First Impressions

For all of the much deserved hype surrounding the famed Oracle Exalytics platform (it’s 40 cpus of processing power, 1 Terrabyte of RAM, available flash disk drives, optimized in-memory data retrievals, etc.); the Exalytics server is just another 64-bit Linux server to the software installer. I must admit, I was a little disappointed. I was so geeked out to work on an Exalytics server and then I found out that the install is pretty much exactly what I had done on a 64-bit Linux server just a couple of months ago. The beauty of Exalytics, is that the installation of EPM is exactly the same as a 64-bit Linux server install.

Perhaps a little back story is in order. The client that I am working with for this project ordered two Exalytics servers: one for production and one that was to be split between development and test. The client purchased the EPM/BI Foundation Suite, but doesn’t have any plans to implement OBIEE for this phase of the project. The Exalytics servers were purchased to support the EPM suite, not OBIEE and Times Ten as most Exalytics servers are targeted. In fact, Times Ten was specifically not purchased by the client and was not to be installed.

Oracle has an excellent team that handles the business end of these Exalytics servers. They have a great process worked out to make sure that the clients receive exactly what they order on tight timeframes. The amount of time passed from the signed order was delivered to Oracle to delivery of the servers was no more than eight days. That is just a testament to the organization of Oracle’s team behind these servers.

So, the order for this build was to install as many EPM components on the Exalytics server as possible, and utilize Windows servers for the non-compatible components. The EPM system in this case includes Essbase, Planning, HFM, FDM, EAL, DRM, ODI, FR, Web Analysis, Calc Manager, and EPMA. Of course, not all of these products are compatible with Linux and/or Exalytics (HFM, FDM, and the EPMA Dimension Server to name a few).

The installation went smoothly for the most part. Splitting one box for use with two different environments required different Middleware Homes and port numbers which were fun to try and sort out. Splitting one server for two environments appears to be easier beginning with 11.1.2.3 as the EPM System Registry now stores the port numbers for more products than in 11.1.2.2.

Oracle has a special documentation library just for Exalytics here: http://www.oracle.com/technetwork/documentation/exalytics-doc-1645656.html.  This is where you can find great information as to what products are supported on the Exalytics hardware.

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2 comments

  1. That’s interesting – how much manual tweaking and editing was required outside of the configuration GUI to get multiple installs co-existing happily?

    Simon

    1. Simon, there wasn’t much of anything required outside of the regular configuration. The trick to the second installation is to use a second installation ID; however, since the Oracle inventory files are unique to that ID. This means that to patch the system, you would need to be logged in as the correct user before you can successfully run the OPatch application.

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