Oracle Database Applicance With WebLogic Server (ODA X3-2)
On april 3th the new ODA X3-2 was released. Sadly I was sick from april 1th on so I had to miss the launch, and I was so well prepared… others had the scoop. Anyway, as an administrator that not only manages databases this release is pretty exciting since it brings not only virtualization but also WebLogic to ODA. This would make ODA a pretty good appliance for some of my customers, so I did a little investigation in the product.
This blogpost is the first result of that investigation. My main focus was the WebLogic part of the box. The questions that arose with me were either answered by documentation or by product management. Obviously that doesn’t guarantee that I understood everything correct I left out references to documentation on purpose, it would be smart for everyone interested in the product to hit the documentation thoroughly.
The most import slide in the slide deck I received about the ODA launch is this:
It does some pretty smart claims that can be verified easily. The three simplified statements call for some clarification. Here’s what my questions were, plus the answers I found:
Simplified provisioning / install
Q: Can we test any of this without ODA?
A: No, although I was able to get a virtual ODA in a virtual box environment. This is by no means supported and requires altering of the images that Oracle sends you.
Q: So how do you configure this beast?
A: You install an image on the system with Oracle VM that you can download freely from My Oracle Support. This image contains oakcli which is the cli used to manage the ODA.
Q: Ah, Oracle VM. Where is the Oracle VM Manager?
A: there is none. oakcli deploys all your VM’s.
Q: ODA is 2 physical machines running OVM, where is the shared storage?
A: The only shared storage available is database shared storage, i.e. DBFS. ARGH… DBFS is already on my todo list!
Q: So no HA features from OVM?
Q: What about the VM’s that oakcli deploys, can I build my own templates?
A: No you cannot. Well, technically you can, but it’s not supported.
Q: what a minute, no custom templates? What about adding layered products to the VM?
A: No can’t do. Currently only WebLogic is supported.
Q: Well, if I can’t define my own templates, what about my WebLogic domain structure?
A: To my understanding that’s fixed too: one Administration Server on it’s own VM, two managed servers in one cluster (on two VM’s) and two Oracle Traffic Director (OTD) VM’s.
Q: What is the difference between that ODA-BASE VM and the other dom-u’s?
A: The ODA-BASE VM is the only one that can actually connect to the local disks directly.
Q: So that means you should run databases preferably in the ODA-BASE VM ?
investment model (a.k.a. licenses)
Q: How does this “pay-as-you-grow” thing work partition wise?
A: It is VM hard partitioning. Not Oracle trusted partition as on ExaLogic. And partitioning only works in multiples of two (2).
Q: So I pay per core, is hyper threading turned on?
A: Yes, but I didn’t find out yet what that means for your licenses….
Q: So I can scale up and down?
A: No. Oracle expects you to grow, not to scale down. You can scale down software, not licenses.
Q: What about this separate administration server?
A: License wise that should be treated as a managed server (= pay for it)
Q: And those OTD’s? Do I have to pay for them too?
A: No. OTD is included with WebLogic Enterprise Edition and WebLogic Suite.
Q: The JDK is in the middleware home, how does that work with upgrades?
A: Oracle will provide patches as needed.
Q: So how does a domain upgrade work?
A: Currently not supported. So no maintenance version wise.
Q: An EM agent exists on every VM? Which version is that?
A: Currently there is not EM agent installed. Oracle plans to have the agent installed and support in next patch releases. This will be a 12c EM agent.
Well. That covers all my findings. Hope it helps you in your investigation of ODA.