WinterCorporation has posted a paper covering a recent Exadata proof of concept testing exercise. Highlights of the paper are evidence of concurrent moderately complex queries being serviced by Exadata at advertised disk throughput rates. The paper can be found at the following link:
I’d like to draw attention to the following quote:
14 Gigabytes per second is a rate that can be achieved with some conventional storage arrays — only in dedicated large-scale enterprise arrays, that would require multiple full-height cabinets of hardware – and would therefore entail more space, power, and cooling than the HP Oracle Database Machine we tested here. Additionally, with established storage architectures, Oracle cannot offload any processing to the storage tier, therefore the database tier would require substantially more hardware to achieve a rate approaching 14 GB/second.
Yes, it may be possible to connect enough conventional storage to drive query disk throughput at 14GB/s, but the paper correctly points out that since there is no offload processing with conventional storage the database grid would require substantially more hardware than is assembled in the HP Oracle Database Machine. One would have to start from the ground up, as it were. By that I mean a database grid capable of simply ingesting 14GB/s would have to have 35 4Gb FC host bus adaptors. That requires a huge database grid.
If I could meet the guys (that would be me) that worked on this proof of concept I’d love to ask them what storage grid processor utilization was measured at the point where storage was at peak throughput and performing the highest degree of storage processing complexity. Now that would be a real golden nugget. One thing is for certain, there was enough storage processor bandwidth to perform the Smart Scans which consist of applying WHERE predicates, column projection and performing bloom filtration in storage. Moreover, the test demonstrated ample storage processor bandwidth to execute Smart Scan processing while blocks of data were whizzing by at the rate of 1GB/s per Oracle Exadata Storage Server. Otherwise, the paper wouldn’t be there.
Maybe 1.0476 processors per hard drive ( 176:168 )will become the new industry standard for optimal processor to disk ratio in DW/BI solutions.