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Everything Oracle at Dell EMC

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In 2016, Dell EMC announced new VMAX All Flash products --> VMAX 250F. The VMAX 250F as depicted in Figure 1 is ideally suited for customers with modest capacity requirements who still want to take advantage of the enterprise capabilities of VMAX all flash with high performance, availability, reliability and inbuilt data protection.



Figure 1 : VMAX 250F

It has the following benefits:-

  • Reliable performance of over 1 million IOPS
  • Starts at 11 TB and scales to 1 PB effective flash capacity with data reduction.
  • Ensures uptime of 99.9999% availability
  • Orderable with advanced replication, data encryption, storage management, data protection, and access to cloud storage tiering.
  • Scales out to 2 V-Bricks
  • Advanced data services and multi-controller architecture.
  • Response time is under 1 ms.
  • Uses virtual provisioning to create new storage devices with ease and in seconds.
  • Storage can scale-out with V-Bricks.


In this blog I am going to discuss the best practices of using Oracle on the VMAX 250F storage arrays.  Firstly, let me talk about the Servers and storage connectivity best practices with special reference to Oracle database. From the Oracle database performance and HA perspective we should connect HBAs to at least two VMAX ports, preferably on different directors as shown in Figure 2. This increases the overall system availability.


As far as HBAs and VMAX ports/directors are concerned, the following best practices may be followed :-


  1. When zoning host initiators to storage target ports, ensure that each pair is on different switches for best availability.
  2. Use two or more HBAs for each database node for better availability and scalability(Figure 2).
  3. DellEMC Powerpath software can help in automatic failover.
  4. Spread connections across engines / directors first, then on the same director.
  5. Get increased availability if the connections are spread "wide" first.
  6. Connect at least two HBAs across redundant fabrics for high availability.
  7. Each HBA port should be zoned/masked to two VMAX ports(Figure 2)


In extension to pt. 1 above, it will be better to avoid Inter-Switch links (ISLs).These links can prevent the shared resources with unpredictable utilization and can create bottlenecks when a few ISL paths can’t sustain many servers-to-storage paths as shown in Figure 2. The ISLs can become performance bottlenecks here as the total throughput is limited by the number of connections.



Figure : 2 ISLs between 2 Fibre Channel switches


Lastly, the number and speed of HBA ports should support planned bandwidth/IOPS. FC negotiates to lowest components’ speed between host, storage, and switch ports as seen in Figure 2.


In summary, oracle database is a complex database to manage and maintain the required level of performance. To achieve a reasonable level of performance, the optimal tuning of the Server and storage parameters are extremely important. In the next blog, I will talk about the database architectural considerations that we should take into account to get an enhanced performance in the Oracle database.





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Dell EMC OVCs are certified using the Oracle Validated Configurations Program. OVCs provide easier, faster, and lower-cost deployment of Oracle Linux and Oracle VM based Oracle Database solutions for customers. The program offers pre-tested, validated reference architectures - including software, hardware, storage, and network components - along with documented best practices that are certified by Oracle and published on Oracle's website.


Each of the OVCs will provides:


  • Hardware details of all the components directly tested with OVCs
  • Expanded list of compatible hardware
  • Software details of all the components directly tested with OVCs
  • Solution ID - for Dell Sales to quickly generate a quote or Bill of Materials
  • A published link to Oracle’s website that lists all the hardware and software details, including the configuration settings


More information can be found: Dell EMC OVC Programs for Oracle Database 12c


Some useful support links:


Dell EMC T&V programs involves testing and validating Oracle Database 12c stack that includes various pre-determined building blocks of Dell EMC products - Servers, Storage, and Switches, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7. An end-to-end stack of Servers, Storage, and Network components that are validated using the Tested and Validated (T&V) program undergo a comprehensive integration and functionality testing with Oracle databases running on a supported OS platform. This results in providing an improved performance and a highly reliable Oracle database solution to the customers which they can adopt and purchase with high level of confidence.


More information can be found at: Dell EMC’s website


Some useful supporting links:


Oracle Database 12c on RHEL 7.x and Oracle Linux 7.x SDL or Compatibility Matrix

Oracle Database 12c on RHEL 7 and  Oracle Linux 7.x Deployment Guide

Oracle Database 12c on RHEL 7 Deployment Automation Tool/Scripts

Oracle Database 12c on Oracle Linux 7.x  Deployment Automation Tool/Scripts






As mentioned in my last blog, DEW’17 was all about product announcements and future directions that DELLEMC is planning to race ahead. In the build to buy continuum debate, DELLEMC has announced many products on ready nodes, ready bundles and ready systems. Before we delve deep into the concepts, let us understand each term separately.  As per Chad Sakac’s blog ,


Ready Nodes = software + server;

Ready Bundles = software + servers/network/storage;

Ready Systems = software + CI/HCI.


If I take the first category, the offerings are summarized in figure 1.


Figure 1 : Different offerings of Ready nodes.


Digital transformation is the corporate strategy for many organizations today. Database Consolidation, security, performance enhancement, apps enablement are the main areas where Ready bundles will come handy. Ready bundle simplifies the implementation. Dell EMC’s ready bundle turns complexity into simplicity. By following the best practices, it delivers expert designed sizing and validated solutions which are just the right configuration for a typical organization. It also offers exceptional performance, cost saving, easy to order, faster time to value. The DELLEMC ready bundle for RedHat OpenStack platform can be visualized in figure 2.



Figure 2: DellEMC Ready Bundle for Red Hat Openstack platform.


In summary, the key benefits of DELLEMC’s Ready Bundle are as follows:-

Superior Performance: - Faster transaction and query processing through expert-designed solution built on DELL EMC hardware. Creates dynamic business results with agile, open and flexible ready bundles.


Significant Cost saving:- Significant cost reduction with hardware resource consolidation and oracle database’s licensing savings. This will definitely increase the profit margin through out of factory OEM licensing, storage attach and configuration enrichment.

Faster time to value:-  Pre-architected and validated to shorten design cycle and reduce implementation risk. The system builder which is a tool for DELLEMC ready bundles, generates solutions of various sizes based on the customer requirements with bundle ordering with L1/L2 support in the later stages. Customers can unlock efficiency with JetPack cutting-edge cloud automation.


Future-ready scalability:-Exceptional scalability with Oracle Database, SQL Server 2016, SAP Hana etc. It is designed for growth with easy, non-disruptive & modular scalability.


Better manageability and protection:- it is easy to manage and easy to deploy. Simplified and management . Ready Bundles also provide better protection like disaster recovery and backup solutions with Recoverpoint.


The third option is ready Systems. Any solutions that are built on Vblock, VxRack,VxBlock and VxRail (Converged or Hyper converged Architecture)can be termed as Ready Systems. In this category we have at present Ready System for SAP HANA on Vblock(Converged Architecture). The architecture is depicted in Figure 3.



Figure 3: Demonstration of Ready System


Converged Infrastructure provides the speed and ability to power SAP HANA while remaining cost effective. Vblock Systems seamlessly integrate leading compute, network, and storage technologies to provide an optimized converged infrastructure solution that ensures secure and predictable performance through pre-engineered, modular infrastructure. Vblock Systems provide the highest levels of virtualization and application performance. Organizations can choose between procuring SAP certified appliance hardware for SAP HANA or leveraging SAP HANA tailored data center integration (TDI) to capitalize on existing infrastructure investments. SAP HANA TDI offers the ability to deploy SAP HANA software on standard Vblock Systems to leverage the benefits of VCE’s converged infrastructure solutions. Vblock 700 family systems provide a pre-engineered, pre-validated, and pre-tested platform on which to run SAP HANA. This platform comprises the storage, networking, compute, and optionally, the virtualization layer. It is supported as a single product, meaning there is no need to worry if the support issue was caused by a networking, storage or compute component. The platform provides a stable and reliable base for an SAP HANA installation. With SAP HANA TDI, organizations can consolidate SAP HANA workloads alongside both SAP and non-SAP workloads on the Vblock Systems shared infrastructure.


Hope, you could now appreciate the differences between ready nodes, bundles and systems along with its applications and implementations.



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Recently, the DELLEMC World got concluded with lots of launches and product announcements like Dell 14G PowerEdge Servers. More than 13,000 people converged in Las Vegas this week for Dell EMC World, which is the annual tech conference for Round Rock-based Dell Technologies as can be seen in Figure 1.


Figure 1 : Dell EMC world 2017


In this event, many great products were showcased and also many big announcements were made. The biggest of all the announcements is the release of the DellEMC 14G next generation servers. In this product portfolio, we found some salient features like exponential increase in low latency of NVMe storage and a 50% increase GPU-compute density.Also, there is also a tighter coupling with software defined storage (SDS) environments and Dell’s new OpenManage Enterprise console which is the GUI consolidation of different products that are spread across different areas in a typical data center. This interface is called open Manage console which potentially can control and provision resources across the DELL-EMC environments. It is a single pane of glass to manage all Dell EMC compute and storage units.

Let us now talk a look into some top products that were showcased during the conference. The first product which has a bright future and has a huge potential based on the earlier spectacular run rate  by the earlier versions is XtremIO X2 as depicted in Figure 2.


Figure 2 : XtremIO X2 box


XtremIO X2 offers a 25 percent increase in the data reduction capabilities compared with the previous version, and supports scale-up in addition to scale-out to let customers add additional storage densities to previously deployed nodes while cutting total cost of ownership by half on a per-gigabyte basis. It delivers low latency; unmatched storage efficiency with inline all-the-time data services; rich application integrated copy services; and unprecedented management simplicity.  The USPs for this product can be summarized as follows:-

  • 4 to 20 times data reduction using inline deduplication and compression, XtremIO Virtual Copies, and thin provisioning. Gains two times more XtremIO Virtual Copies.
  • Enhanced Integrated Copy Data Management (iCDM).
  • Multi-dimensional scaling.
  • Elegant software driven performance improvements.
  • Dramatically lower TCO with efficiency guarantees.
  • Enables unique copy data management capabilities to unlock business agility through improved workflows.
  • Reduces costs by one third and provides smaller, incremental scaling options.
  • Provides two times longer storage product lifecycles than traditional arrays.


The next product which comes to my mind is “Next Generation Unity” as depicted in figure 3.


Figure 3 : DELLEMC Unity bo


DELLEMC Unity is the midrange storage portfolio and is optimized for all-flash performance and simplicity. It utilizes CPU and memory optimally with 16 times the storage density, with up to 80 15.3-TB SSDs, and a 30 percent performance improvement over the current generation. They can handle a maximum file size of 256 TB compared with the current 64 TB. Installation takes less than10 minutes, All new Dell EMC Unity models include 4x larger file system with inline file compression, iCDM with snapshot mobility, simpler mapped RAID protection and support for external encryption key management via KMIP (Key Management Interoperability Protocol). Additionally, Dell EMC Unity features an 8x increase in density and 8x more effective file system capacity than its predecessor, 33% faster than previous generations.

In the data protection arena, the product that got released in DELLEMC World 2017 and worth mentioning is the Integrated Data Protection Appliance as depicted in figure 4.


Figure 4 : Data Protection Suite


The Integrated Data Protection Appliance is a new turnkey offering that combines the company's Data Domain backup appliance with a new version of its Data Protection Suite software. The appliance allows customers to go from installation to back up in less than three hours. Dell EMC protects more than 150 PB of data in the cloud, which is 2x better than the closest competitor. Data Protection Suite introduces Disaster Recovery and Protection Storage in the cloud. This appliance takes up to 10X faster time vis-à-vis any other traditional build on other data protection alternatives and 20% faster performance than the closest competitor. It also brings together industry-leading deduplication (average 55:1 deduplication rate) for data residing both on premise and in the cloud.


There are many more products which got unleashed in DELLEMC World and are worth mentioning. I will discuss more about those products in my next blog.


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Tuesday, May 9, 2017 10:00 am – 11:30 am PST


Realize Workforce Transformation


Listen to Jeff Clarke discuss how our customers and partners are designing, building and running their businesses on Dell. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger will then share a perspective on the next wave of innovation in mobile-cloud technology.












IoT NEWS: Dell Technologies announces new Internet of Things (IoT) products and partnerships to help customers simplify their IoT deployments and more quickly realize digital transformation

  • New VMware Pulse IoT Center, Dell EMC IoT Technology Advisory Services make it easier to deploy IoT
  • New IoT partnerships with Atos, Bosch and more
  • Dell EMC & VMware help found EdgeX Foundry, a Linux Foundation project to build open framework for edge computing


Alice Capture-sm.png

MEET ALICE: The world's first AI-based virtual advisor for women entrepreneurs; Circular Board developed in partnership with Dell and Pivotal

  • Driven by data analytics, Alice connects women entrepreneurs in real-time mentors, resources and events that help scale their businesses
  • Machine learning will predict users' needs and curate targeted content
  • Pivotal developed and deployed Alice's software in 3+months, and Pivotal technology will allow Alice to evolve


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IT TRANSFORMATION CUSTOMER AWARD WINNERS: Dell EMC honored six winners of 2017 IT Transformation REALIZED awards, forward-thinking customers who use our technologies and services to drive IT transformation and become digital businesses

  • These companies (see logos at left) were among their respective industry's best in modernizing infrastructure, automating service delivery & transforming operating models and organizational relationships




Monday, May 8, 2017 10:00 am – 11:30 am PST


Realize Your Digital Future


Hear Michael Dell discuss Dell Technologies’ vision for the future followed by David Goulden, who will build on Michael’s industry viewpoint and elaborate on the specific impact of digital transformation on IT.























Dell EMC World COE Leadership Panel

On Day 1, Dell EMC World COE Leadership panel - Digital Transformation: Global Voices - was successfully held. Bob Savage (VP and GM of Ireland COE), Orna Berry (VP and GM of Israel COE), Wei Liu (VP and GM of China COE), and Sarv Saravanan (VP and GM of India COE) joined the live TV interview, to share global insights on how digital transformation is impacting customers and communities and how Dell EMC is using our technology, innovation, skilled teams and global presence to help these groups achieve success.




Day 1 News Highlights:


DELL TECHNOLOGIES CAPITAL: Ventures arm comes out of stealth mode, is investing approximately $100 million annually in promising startups with innovative technology

  • Ventures team focuses on emerging tech areas relevant to our unique family of businesses
  • DTC has actively invested in more than 70 early-stage startups to date
  • Offers startups access to resources, scale and expertise




PowerEdge 14G SERVERS: We're #1 in servers, and we're previewing new PowerEdge Servers that are the bedrock of a modern, software-defined data center; they scale with the business, automate routine tasks, proactively secure the data center

  • Enable  up to 50% more VDI users per server
  • Easy-to-use, next-gen OpenManage Enterprise console is engineered to unify system management
  • Includes new security features for enhanced protection against malicious threats



HYPERCONVERGED INFRASTRUCTURE (HCI) UPDATES: HCI portfolio updates and new cloud consumption model makes IT simpler to acquire, deploy and manage

  • VxRail Appliances 4.5: Jointly engineered with VMware; expand enterprise software & hardware options
  • VxRack FLEX supports PowerEdge servers; XC Series integrate data protection, Pivotal Cloud Foundry
  • VDI Complete Solutions: Reduce barriers to desktop and application virtualization on HCI



NEW ALL-FLASH, MIDRANGE, SCALE-OUT STORAGE: Major platform additions to high-end, midrange and unstructured storage systems help customers modernize and transform IT:

  • VMAX 950F All-Flash: Up to 4x faster than nearest competitor for world's most critical workloads
  • XtremIO X2 All-Flash: 3x higher capacity, 25% better storage efficiency, 80% better response times
  • Dell EMC Unity Midrange All-Flash: up to 4x greater file system capacity, 8x increase in density; deploy in 10 mins
  • SC5020 Midrange Hybrid: up to 45% more IOPs, 2x greater capacity, market's lowest hybrid array $/GB
  • Isilon Scale-out NAS: Up to 9x the IOPs, 18x the throughput, 21x capacity of closest competitor



EXPANDED DATA PROTECTION: New offerings protect, back up and recover data anytime, anywhere

  • New turnkey Integrated Data Protection Appliance: Storage, protection, search & analytics in easy-to-deploy solution
  • Up to 10x faster time to protect than traditional alternatives; 20% faster performance than closest competitor
  • Industry-leading deduplication (55:1 average) for data residing both on premise and in the cloud
  • 4 models scale from 34 TB to 1 PB (including Cloud Tier) for maximum flexibility & choice



OPEN NETWORKING: Open Networking switches pair with PowerEdge 14G servers and Dell EMC Storage to form foundation for software-defined data centers

  • Dell EMC's first 25GbE Open Networking switch offers 2x throughout of 10GbE switches
  • Dell EMC's first Open Networking platform for unified storage network switching, supports 16Gb/32Gb Fibre Channel
  • New family of energy efficient, cost-effective Open Networking switches for SMBs enable workforce transformation



SOFTWARE-DEFINED STORAGE (SDS): SDS portfolio now supports PowerEdge 14G servers, introducing new levels of performance and scalability

  • ScaleIO:
  • ECS Updates: ECS.Next enhances data protection/management & analytics; ECS Dedicated Cloud Service lets customers use ECS through hybrid cloud model
  • IsilonSD Edge: Now supports VMware ESX V6.5 and virtual storage platforms like ScaleIO and VMware vSAN




What's Tomorrow......


Tuesday, May 9, 2017 10:00 am – 11:30 am PST

Realize Workforce Transformation


Listen to Jeff Clarke discuss how our customers and partners are designing, building and running their businesses on Dell. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger will then share a perspective on the next wave of innovation in mobile-cloud technology.






As we all know, the EMC World Conference held every year in May has been an important channel for the storage industry to understand EMC technology, products and solutions. This year's Dell EMC World conference will be held in Las Vegas from May 8th to 11th. This is the first time after the merger of EMC business-oriented conference, the size is greater than Dell EMC World 2016 held in Austin last year. This is the first time that all Dell Technologies' brands have come together to demonstrate the power of technology.




The theme of this conference is Realize (Realize Your Digital Future, to achieve your digital future). A total of more than 12,000 IT practitioners, business executives, media and analysts were invited. Based on past feedback from the participants, EMC World is absolutely rave reviews, worth the value of the tickets:




What are the highlights of this year's conference? Personally think that can be divided into three categories:

1. New product release

2. Keynote Speech

          Including Michael Dell, David Goulden, Diane Bryant (Intel), Jeff Clarke, Pat Gelsinger, Jeremy Burton, Chad Sakac, Jeff               Boudreau, Beth Phalen, Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, Josh Bernstein, Manuvir Das and other senior executives from Dell's brands for a           number of keynote speeches on digital transformation,

3. More than 500 group discussions and lectures

          For specific schedules please visit:







With Dell EMC VxRack powered by VMware Cloud Foundation, Dell EMC and VMware have built a turnkey hyperconverged solution designed to support both traditional and cloud-native database workloads. Dell EMC VxRack was designed to enable enterprise companies and service providers to more easily and cost-effectively deploy the foundation for a complete software-defined private cloud that provides the flexibility and scalability required to support oracle databases that are becoming more complex and resource-hungry which in turn impacting the DB performance further. In this regard, Dell EMC is developing hyperconverged platforms like VxRack that meet the demanding and ever-changing requirements of businesses and databases which are used on the top of VxRack because of umteen benefits. In this endeavor, DELL EMC has also published a paper where it demonstrates the efficacies of using Oracle DB in VxRack environment.


8 pages product overview: “Advantages of Dell EMC VxRack Systems for Oracle :

Databases”  Highlights benefits including:

  • Easy Provisioning— Use automation for efficient installation, running, and improving performance of Oracle databases.
  • Ease of Use – Preconfigured, loaded, tested, and fully optimized IT stack, which is delivered from the factory as a fully assembled solution to help run Oracle databases
  • Building blocks for growth – Use step-sized building blocks for future data-center environments.
  • Compelling Economics - Use a single support vendor and automated updates to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) ,OPEX and CAPEX.
  • Oracle licensing on VxRack Systems - Understand about oracle DB licensing under VxRack environment.


Available immediately to general public on Download here


Conversation starter for sales and pre-sales to use with prospects.  Reference hyperlink in email or print and leave behind


  • Marketing communications: Sam Lucido and team
  • Editing and production: Indranil Chakrabarti, Colleen Jones, Sam Lucido
  • Sponsorship: Keith Miracle


A blog to explain the paper. Click here. To get a presentation for this paper, click here.


Indranil Chakrabarti, Sam Lucido


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When we look at any typical organization’s pain points, we see that maintaining a stable performance comes at its top priority/challenges with exponential increase in the volume of data along with other following challenges:-


  • Complexity in handling structured & unstructured data with varied business requirements, performance SLAs etc.
  • Different direct and indirect constraints imposed on database Scalability due to various isolated restriction on data center components like servers, networking, storage etc.
  • Manageability and access issues of database as the amount of data generated and collected are exploding.
  • Protecting the data at any cost as it will hit the reputation and goodwill of a company not to mention about the impending costs.
  • Ways to ingest/consume data by eliminating inefficiencies, automating processes and improving productivity.


When I looked into the above challenges, I was trying to think of a single vendor solution which will take care of all the issues mentioned above in a cost effective manner which will not only reduce the Capex and Opex substantially but will also facilitate the Oracle DBAs to contain the daily firefighting.  At this moment I can only think of using Hyperconverged infrastructure(HCI) which will take care of all the issues mentioned above. Within the HCI domain, the Dell EMC VxRack is considered to be the best choice.

Let me now introduce VxRack as depicted in Figure 1. VxRack is a turnkey hyper-converged solution powered by VMware Cloud Foundation. These systems consist of pre-loaded software and compute, storage, and network components in a hyper-converged stack co-engineered by Dell EMC and VMware.VxRack capable of supporting both traditional and cloud-native workloads. VxRack starts with as few as 8 Dell PowerEdge server nodes and scale up by adding nodes one at a time, or scale out by adding racks. The domain of a single VxRack system can be 190+ nodes, spanning more than 8 cabinets, with PowerEdge R630 or R730xd systems that bring greater capacity and 40 percent more CPU performance without costing more money. Anyone who isn’t a hyper-scale provider and/or doesn’t have a vast “hardware as service” team, VxRack is for them.



Figure 1: VxRack Systems




There are 2 flavors of VxRack which work equally well with Oracle databases namely:-

1. Dell EMC VxRack System FLEX (VxRack FLEX)

2. Dell EMC VxRack System SDDC (VxRack SDDC)


The benefits of using VxRack Flex are as follows:-


  • Asymmetric scale: Configure the hyperconverged infrastructure to add compute and storage capabilities to address specific workload requirements of Oracle databases.
  • Bare metal: Use a physical Oracle database infrastructure to fetch data from the hard disk (remain physical) in a hyperconverged infrastructure.
  • Easy provisioning: Use automation to simplify management and storage lifecycle capabilities for efficient installation, running, and performance of Oracle databases.
  • Flexible personality support: Provision for multiple hypervisors and dedicated storage.
  • Elastic: Grow the system with more flexibility and options, as and when required, without application interruption or downtime.
  • Building blocks for growth: Use step-sized building blocks for future data-center environments.
  • Ready to use: Use a preconfigured, loaded, tested, and fully optimized IT stack, which is delivered from the factory as a fully assembled and supported solution to help run Oracle databases with minimal tuning of database configuration and performance parameters.
  • Compelling economics: Use a single support vendor, built-in management reporting, and automated updates to lower the total cost of ownership (TCO) and significantly improve your OPEX and CAPEX


The benefits of using VxRack SDDC are as follows:-

  • Dedicated Resource Pool : Workload domain feature that enables the creation of separate pools of resources that are dedicated to the Oracle databases
  • Lower TCO: Lower cost because the databases are part of a larger standardized infrastructure
  • Better Granularity level management: Ability to specify capacity, performance, and availability characteristics in an isolated workload domain.


VxRack Systems are ideal for Oracle databases because the infrastructure eliminates hardware complexities, and provides flexibility, performance, and protection at enterprise levels. For example, with the current VxRack System setup, database environment can be protected using Avamar software with the Data Domain system, Data Domain with Dell EMC DD Boos software for Oracle, and EMC RecoverPoint for Virtual Machines. Enterprise-class support for the hyperconverged infrastructure with lifecycle-system assurance ensures the best system performance. Other benefits of using VxRack Systems include:


  • All-flash storage configurations maximize performance for mission-critical workloads. You can deliver sub millisecond performance for physical reads and writes for Oracle databases.
  • Extreme scalability, enabling growth and performance by adding nodes. Adding nodes is seamless and non-disruptive to an existing VxRack System, making expansion easy.
  • The advantages of using the VxRack System with Oracle databases include:
  • A hyperconverged solution accelerates standardization, speeds up deployment, and simplifies IT operations.
  • Support for the entire integrated stack is through a single support organization for all layers, which helps to refocus investment from OPEX to CAPEX.
  • The database infrastructure ensures continued compliance with Oracle database licensing.


In my next blog, I will talk more about the details of Oracle Database licensing on VxRack and its components.


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Running Oracle database on VxRail can be part of Software Defined Data Center (SDDC).  SDDC is simply the logical extension of server virtualization. Analogous to the way that server virtualization dramatically maximizes the deployment of computing power, the SDDC does the same for all of the resources needed to host an application, including storage, networking and security.


Running Oracle database applications with a software defined datacenter and VxRail hyper-converged architecture, all resources are virtualized so they can be automatically deployed, with little or no human involvement. Database applications can be operational in minutes, shortening time to value and dramatically reducing IT staff time spent on application provisioning and deployment.


Faster Time to Value


The data center today is more than just a cost center—it is viewed by business users and executives as a competitive differentiator and strategic asset. Meeting and exceeding these expectations requires an automated infrastructure that can provision resources in minutes, not weeks, so that key applications are up and running quickly—and delivering business value. In the SDDC, resources are deployed automatically from pools, speeding the time to application rollout and providing an unprecedented degree of flexibility in the data center architecture. As a result, the organization has the agility to respond quickly to changes in the marketplace—and gain competitive advantage.


The integration of Oracle DBaaS into Dell EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud fully supports Oracle users with a self-service environment. For IT, this results in an automated, repeatable process that reduces errors and improves time-to-value.


For the end-user to be able to request a multi-node clustered database on-demand, using the self-service portal is highly beneficial. It reduces significant time and effort otherwise required to deploy a cluster manually. The user simply makes the request and then receives an automated email with deployment details when the request is complete.



Minimize IT Spend


By pooling and intelligently assigning resources, the software-defined data center with VxRail maximizes the utilization of the physical infrastructure, extending the value of investments. The SDDC makes use of commodity x86 hardware (now support Dell PowerEdge), cutting capital spend and reducing on-going maintenance expenses compared to proprietary solutions. IT staff devotes less time to routine tasks, maximizing productivity. The net result is a dramatic drop in CapEx and OpEx spend—50 percent and more for some enterprises.


With intelligent Oracle licensing strategy and the effective isolation of virtual machines in a VMware environment, expensive Oracle applications license cost can be dramatically reduced.


Scalability and Performance


Based on VMware vSphere and VSAN software, and built with new Intel Broadwell processors, the VxRail Appliance allows you to start small and grow, scaling capacity and performance easily and non-disruptively. All-flash VxRail Appliances include efficient and in-line deduplication, compression, and erasure coding. With these enterprise-class data services VxRail delivers high performance all-flash with increased usable capacity.


Eliminate Vendor Lock-in


Today’s data center features a staggering array of custom hardware in routers, switches, storage controllers, firewalls, intrusion detection and other components. In the SDDC with VxRail, all of these functions are performed by software running on commodity x86 servers. Instead of being locked in to the vendor’s hardware, IT managers can buy commodity servers in quantity through a competitive bid process. This shift not only saves money, but also avoids situations where problems in the vendor’s manufacturing process or supply chain result in delivery delays and impact data center operations.


The VxRail Series integrates VMware Virtual SAN and virtualization to provide a complete Hyper-converged infrastructure.


VMware Virtual SAN is integrated in your VxRail Appliance to provide Software-Defined Storage (SDS).  Virtual SAN is not a VSA, but is embedded in the ESXi hypervisor kernel’s I/O data path. As a result,  Virtual SAN can deliver the higher performance with minimum CPU and memory overhead.


Virtual SAN pools the VxRail Appliance's internal SSDs and HDDs on the ESXi hosts to present a single datastore for all hosts in the cluster. Virtual SAN uses a highly available, distributed, object-based architecture. Virtual SAN mirrors and distributes the individual virtual disk (VMDK) across the datastore.


Free IT Staff for Innovation


The SDDC with VxRail includes a management framework with built-in intelligence to eliminate complex and brittle management scripts, enabling cloud-scale operations with less manual effort and significant cost savings.


The VxRail Series offers advanced features including automatic deployment, automatic scale out, fault tolerance, and diagnostic logging.


By integrating of Oracle DBaaS into Dell EMC Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, you can quickly and effectively provision, manage, and migrate Oracle Database 12c as a Service with ASM on Enterprise Hybrid Cloud. This includes single-instance and RAC configurations.


With less time spent on routine tasks, IT staff can focus on more strategic tasks that drive innovation—a key management expectation of the corporate IT function today.


Unmatched Efficiency and Resiliency


The SDDC provides a flexible and stable platform for any application, including innovative services such as high-performance computing, big data (Hadoop), and latency-sensitive applications. Provisioning and management are automated by programmable policy-based software. Changes are made and workloads balanced by adjusting the software layer rather than hardware. When a failure occurs, the management software in the SDDC automatically redirects workloads to other servers anywhere in the datacenter, minimizing service-level recovery time and avoiding outages.



More Options for High Availability and Recoverability 


HA solutions for Oracle databases are complex, costly, difficult to maintain, or altogether non-existent. VMware provides a lower cost, yet highly effective HA solution that is optimal for many workloads. If your DR solution is for the database only, you are missing out on DR coverage for the rest of the application stack required to make that database work. VMware encapsulates the application stack and, when coupled with proper configuration and testing of replication, provides as close to perfect recoverability as any solution can get.



Development/Test/QA Process and Flexibility


Developers need systems and data that are like production in every way possible. When they get quick access to production-like development environments, development time is reduced, and features are more robust on release.


Do you want to move your database workload from one licensed server to another? Do you want the advantages of a private, hybrid, or public cloud environment? Do you want to create live data-centers that are thousands of miles apart, and be able to swing back and forth between them? VMware virtualization, coupled with stretch storage solutions from EMC can facilitate these options.


The optimum environment to test on is production itself. That can be risky, however, since the production system needs to keep your organization running. VMware allows you to provide an exact copy of the production environment to the Test/QA team without impacting your critical systems.


Better Security


Not only does VMware create a minimalized attack profile with its small footprint hypervisor, but also advanced security features like Trusted Execution Technology from Intel allow virtual machines to validate security down to the chip level.










VxRail Data Sheet

VxRail Specification Sheet


The VCE VxRail Series delivers virtualization, compute, and storage in a scalable, easy to manage, hyper-converged infrastructure appliance.


VxRail Appliance is built on Intel Xeon processor-based x86 hardware with the VxRail™ Manager software bundle, and support for other value-added software from VCE, EMC, and VMware.


The VxRail Manager software bundle includes the following:


  • VxRail Manager for deployment, configuration, and management
  • VMware vSphere, including ESXi
  • VMware vCenter Serve
  • VMware Virtual SAN for storage
  • VMware vRealize Log Insight


The VxRail Appliance


The VCE VxRail Appliance includes the appliance hardware, VxRail Manager, EMC Secure Remote

Services (ESRS), and access to qualified EMC software products.


The following VxRail Appliance models are available:


VxRail Appliance with Hybrid Nodes


  • VxRail 60
  • VxRail 120
  • VxRail 160
  • VxRail 200


VxRail Appliance with All-flash Nodes


  • VxRail 120F
  • VxRail 160F
  • VxRail 200F
  • VxRail 240F
  • VxRail 280F





The VxRail Series offers advanced features including automatic deployment, automatic scale out, fault

tolerance, and diagnostic logging.


Automatic deployment


The VxRail Manager fully automates the installation and configuration of all nodes in an appliance after

you input the basic IP address information.


Automatic Scale-out


The VxRail Series provides automated scale-out functionality by detecting a new VxRail Appliance on the

network. When a new VxRail Appliance is powered on you can add it to your existing cluster or create a

new cluster, replicating the configuration, and expanding the datastore in a cluster.


Node failure tolerance


The VxRail Series supports from 0 to 3 node failures, as defined by the VSAN FTT policy.


The VxRail Series implements the standard Virtual SAN policy of one failure by default:


  • An entire node can fail and the system will continue to function.
  • Disk failure cannot affect more than one node. One SSD can fail or as many as three HDDs on the same node can fail.
  • One network port on any node can fail without affecting the node.
  • Network failover is through the virtual switch configuration in ESXi. This is automatically configured by VxRail Manager during initial setup.


Logging and log bundles


The VxRail Series provides logging and log bundles through VxRail Manager.


VxRail Appliance cluster expansion


Your VxRail Appliance cluster can be scaled in single node increments from a minimum of four nodes up

to a maximum of 32 nodes. The VxRail Manager automated installation and scale-out features make it

easy to expand your cluster as your business demands grow.


Each VxRail Appliance holds up to four nodes. If the number of nodes in a cluster is not a multiple of four, you will have a partially populated appliance chassis in the cluster. You can use the empty slots in the chassis for future expansion.


You can mix different VxRail Appliance models in the same cluster. You must adhere to the following

guidelines when deploying a mixed cluster:


  • All appliances in the cluster must be running VxRail Manager version 3.5 or higher.
  • First-generation appliances (sold under the VSPEX BLUE name) can be in the same cluster with VxRail Appliances, as long as they are running VxRail Manager version 3.5 or higher.
  • Appliances using 1GbE networking (VxRail 60 Appliances) cannot be used in clusters with 10GbE networking.
  • 6G hybrid nodes cannot be used in clusters with 12G all-flash nodes.


VxRail Appliance cluster scalability is supported to a maximum of eight appliances or 32 nodes. However, scalability to 16 appliances or 64 nodes per cluster may be allowed. You must submit a request for product qualification (RPQ) to EMC for clusters over 32 nodes.




VxRail Data Sheet

VxRail Specification Sheet



To grow and succeed you need to differentiate yourself from your competitors. To support the business as an enabler, your IT organization must break down silos of complexity and streamline operations to keep pace with today’s on-demand business culture and users.


Dell EMC VxRai enables you to buy business outcomes. It accelerates and simplifies IT through standardization and automation (such as Oracle DBaaS…), allowing you to focus on:


•    Getting infrastructure operational as quickly as possible while leveraging existing investments and skill sets

•    Enabling (not impeding) business applications

•    Making infrastructure growth transparent to the needs of the application and users


VxRail is the only fully integrated, preconfigured, and tested HCI (Hyper Converged Infrastructure) appliance powered by VMware Virtual SAN and is the easiest and fastest way to extend a VMware environment. VxRail provides a simple, cost effective hyper-converged solution that solves a wide range of your challenges and supports most applications and workloads.  Dell EMC VxRail features purpose-built platforms that deliver data services, resiliency, and QoS, enabling faster, better, and simpler delivery of virtual desktops, business critical applications, and remote office infrastructure.


The VxRail Appliance architecture is a distributed system consisting of common modular building blocks that scale linearly from 3 to 64 nodes in a cluster. With the power of a whole Storage Area Network (SAN), it provides a simple, cost-effective hyper-converged solution that delivers multiple compute, memory, storage, network and graphics options to match any use case and cover a wide variety of applications and workloads.


Based on industry-leading VMware Virtual SAN and vSphere software and built with new 5th generation Intel™ Xeon™ processors, the Dell EMC VxRail Appliance allows customers to start small and grow, scaling capacity and performance easily and non-disruptively. Single-node scaling and storage capacity expansion provide a predictable, “pay-as-you-grow” approach for future growth as needed.


The Dell EMC VxRail Appliance comes stacked with mission-critical data services at no additional charge. Data protection technology including EMC RecoverPoint for VMs and VMware vSphere Data Protection are incorporated into the appliance, with the option of adding Data Protection Suite for VMware and Data Domain Virtual Edition (DD VE) for larger environments that require more comprehensive data protection. EMC Cloud Array also built in to seamlessly extend the Dell EMC VxRail Appliance to public and private clouds to securely expand storage capacity without limits, providing additional on demand cloud tiering included.


Running Oracle database applications with a software defined datacenter and VxRail hyper-converged architecture, all resources are virtualized so they can be automatically deployed, with little or no human involvement. Database applications can be operational in minutes, shortening time to value and dramatically reducing IT staff time spent on application provisioning and deployment.


The Dell EMC VxRail Appliance is also backed by world-class support with a single point of contact for both hardware and software, and includes Dell EMC ESRS for call home and proactive two-way remote connection for remote monitoring, diagnosis, and repair to ensure maximum availability.


In the next a few blogs, I will talk more about VxRail Technologies, benefits for Oracle database and the Oracle licensing strategy to save software costs.




VxRail Data Sheet

VxRail Specification Sheet

Ransomware is rapidly gaining popularity with cybercriminals because of the opportunity to extort small sums of money from a vast number of individuals and large sums of money from mid-size and enterprise-size organizations.


Three widely accepted strategies for protecting a business from  ransomware attacks include prevention, containment, and recovery.  Dell EMC, a leader in backup and recovery, shows in this paper how protecting backups and executing fast restoration can safeguard the business from extortion.





7 pages backup solution overview: “Isolated Backups on Dell EMC Data Domain” 

Contents including:

  • Ransomware – Cost and payment statistics
  • Types of infection vectors and ransomware
  • Data security best practices
  • Best practices for preventing ransomware attacks
  • Protecting your backup systems
  • Data Domain isolated recovery solution
  • Building a last line of defense – what you need


Available immediately to general public on Download here


Conversation starter for sales and pre-sales to use with prospects.  Reference hyperlink in email or print and leave behind


  • Marketing communications:  Sam Lucido and team
  • Editing and production: Dave Simmons, Judith Cuppage
  • Sponsorship: Keith Miracle


  1. Supporting blog for introduction of this solution paper
  2. Supporting customer facing presentation for sales and pre-sales using for prospects


Dave Simmons, Sam Lucido



Sample Tweets


Dell EMC Isolated Backup Solution on Data Domain  a last line of defense against ransomware attacks


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  Dell EMC Hadoop Big Data Solution

  Hadoop Architecture and Cluster Deployment


Apache Hadoop is an open-source software framework used for distributed storage and processing of very large data sets. It consists of computer clusters built from commodity hardware. All the modules in Hadoop are designed with a fundamental assumption that hardware failures are a common occurrence and should be automatically handled by the framework.


The core of Apache Hadoop consists of a storage part, known as Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS), and a processing part called MapReduce. Hadoop splits files into large blocks and distributes them across nodes in a cluster. It then transfers packaged code into nodes to process the data in parallel. This approach takes advantage of data locality – nodes manipulating the data they have access to – to allow the dataset to be processed faster and more efficiently than it would be in a more conventional supercomputer architecture that relies on a parallel file system where computation and data are distributed via high-speed networking.


The base Apache Hadoop framework is composed of the following modules:


  • Hadoop Common – contains libraries and utilities needed by other Hadoop modules;
  • Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS) – a distributed file-system that stores data on commodity machines, providing very high aggregate bandwidth across the cluster;
  • Hadoop YARN – a resource-management platform responsible for managing computing resources in clusters and using them for scheduling of users' applications; and
  • Hadoop MapReduce – an implementation of the MapReduce programming model for large scale data processing.




Installing a Hadoop cluster typically involves unpacking the software on all the machines in the cluster or installing it via a packaging system as appropriate for your operating system. It is important to divide up the hardware into functions.


Typically one machine in the cluster is designated as the NameNode and another machine the as ResourceManager, exclusively. These are the masters. Other services (such as Web App Proxy Server and MapReduce Job History server) are usually run either on dedicated hardware or on shared infrastrucutre, depending upon the load.  The rest of the machines in the cluster act as both DataNode and NodeManager. These are the slaves.


To configure the Hadoop cluster you will need to configure the environment in which the Hadoop daemons execute as well as the configuration parameters for the Hadoop daemons.


HDFS daemons are NameNode, SecondaryNameNode, and DataNode. YARN damones are ResourceManager, NodeManager, and WebAppProxy. If MapReduce is to be used, then the MapReduce Job History Server will also be running. For large installations, these are generally running on separate hosts.


Configuring Environment of Hadoop Daemons


Administrators should use the etc/hadoop/ and optionally the etc/hadoop/ and etc/hadoop/ scripts to do site-specific customization of the Hadoop daemons’ process environment.


At the very least, you must specify the JAVA_HOME so that it is correctly defined on each remote node.


Administrators can configure individual daemons using more configuration options.


Configuring the Hadoop Daemons


The following configuration should be performed by Administrators:

  • Configuring the etc/hadoop/core-site.xml and etc/hadoop/hdfs-site.xml for some important paremeters.
  • Configuring NameNode and DataNode
  • Configuring ResourceManager and NodeManager
  • Configuring History Server
  • Configuring MapReduce Applications
  • Configuring MapReduce JobHistory Server


Monitoring Health of NodeManagers


Hadoop provides a mechanism by which administrators can configure the NodeManager to run an administrator supplied script periodically to determine if a node is healthy or not.


Administrators can determine if the node is in a healthy state by performing any checks of their choice in the script. If the script detects the node to be in an unhealthy state, it must print a line to standard output beginning with the string ERROR. The NodeManager spawns the script periodically and checks its output. If the script’s output contains the string ERROR, as described above, the node’s status is reported as unhealthy and the node is black-listed by the ResourceManager. No further tasks will be assigned to this node. However, the NodeManager continues to run the script, so that if the node becomes healthy again, it will be removed from the blacklisted nodes on the ResourceManager automatically. The node’s health along with the output of the script, if it is unhealthy, is available to the administrator in the ResourceManager web interface. The time since the node was healthy is also displayed on the web interface.


Hadoop Rack Awareness


Many Hadoop components are rack-aware and take advantage of the network topology for performance and safety. Hadoop daemons obtain the rack information of the slaves in the cluster by invoking an administrator configured module. See the Rack Awareness documentation for more specific information.


It is highly recommended configuring rack awareness prior to starting HDFS.




Hadoop uses the Apache log4j via the Apache Commons Logging framework for logging. Edit the etc/hadoop/ file to customize the Hadoop daemons’ logging configuration (log-formats and so on).


Operating the Hadoop Cluster


Once all the necessary configuration is complete, distribute the files to the HADOOP_CONF_DIR directory on all the machines. This should be the same directory on all machines.


In general, it is recommended that HDFS and YARN run as separate users. In the majority of installations, HDFS processes execute as ‘hdfs’. YARN is typically using the ‘yarn’ account.


Hadoop Startup

Start the HDFS NameNode with the following command on the designated node as hdfs:

Start a HDFS DataNode with the following command on each designated node as hdfs:

Start the YARN with the following command, run on the designated ResourceManager as yarn:

Hadoop Shutdown


Stop the NameNode with the following command, run on the designated NameNode as hdfs:

Stop the ResourceManager with the following command, run on the designated ResourceManager as yarn:

Run a script to stop a DataNode as hdfs:



For more detail help, please contact Dell-EMC Expert




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