• michaelthould

Case Study: Implementation of Exadata Cloud Machine (ExaCM) at Australian Freight Logistics Company

Updated: May 30, 2019

Our Client is a well-known Australian freight logistics company, operating in railway freight and shipping.  The company embarked on a major project to migrate from a classical Exadata Machine X2-2 hosted and managed by their vendor of DataBase (DB) managed services to ExaCM (Exadata Cloud Machine) at their own Data Centre. This Cloud service comprised of Oracle Cloud Machine and Exadata Cloud Machine at Customer.


OBJECTIVES

Fusion Professionals were engaged to provide their Oracle Engineered Systems (Exadata, SuperCluster) and Oracle Cloud expertise, to ensure smooth implementation of the first ever ExaCM in Australia.


In 2014 the client had purchased the Private Cloud services of a dedicated Exadata and Exalogic X-2 quarter rack engineered system with the aim of having the best Performance and Availability that Oracle could offer. However, as time passed, there was a need for both hardware and software upgrades and performance improvement. In addition, the client wanted to end contract with the DB managed services provider and have more ownership of the Oracle databases.


Fusion professionals were able to bring invaluable experience, delivering best practices to the lifecycle of the project; from the initial stages of choosing the best possible solution to testing that the environment was ready for Database migration.


DESIGN OF THE EXACM

Fusion Professionals initial involvement consisted of a detailed design and sizing of the ExaCM platform which highlighted some concerns with the hardware and software.  By gathering all required information and providing the client with a ready-to-implement Oracle Exadata Deployment Assistant (OEDA) template, the client gained considerable confidence that installing the ExaCM systems would meet their performance and security needs.


CAPACITY FORECASTING

Our Capacity forecasting capabilities were also required as part of the procurement of the Exadata Cloud Machines.  Fusion Professionals were able to indicate how many environments could be consolidated within the finite resources whilst indicating the lifetime of the platform in terms of resource usage and data growth.


BEST FOR EXADATA

Fusion Professionals’ rich experience in the delivery of numerous Oracle Exadata projects provided the database technologies and services required to successfully plan, migrate, test and deploy this technically challenging Oracle Exadata project. By leveraging the collaboration between Oracle and Fusion Professionals the client benefited from our proven Oracle transition methodology, DB technology expertise and management services. These benefits resulted in reducing the implementation risk and delivered a robust solution that was delivered rapidly to maximise the return on their Exadata investment.


PATCHING EXADATA CLOUD MACHINE COMPONENTS

The patching of Oracle Engineered Systems is an essential technical challenge many companies considering Cloud migration or deployment face. Furthermore, ExaCM has its own unique approach, processes and tools for patching different components. The entire process and required toolsets are not the same as classical Exadata machines. Hence this was a significant risk that concerned the client.

Fusion Professionals provided the company with an easy-to-use step-by-step guide on how to apply patches on different components of the ExaCM. We guided the client through the whole process until the client’s technical personnel developed the required competence to manage the patching procedures confidently.


MIGRATION

The project prospered from Fusion Professionals specialist experience in Exadata Migrations, by outlining best practices and known pitfalls when moving to a clustered database, including alternative solutions to common network and staging issues.  At every stage creating and providing detailed documentation for provisioning, migration procedures, DR and test cases.


PERFORMANCE AND HIGH AVAILABILITY TESTING

One of the core objectives for implementing the ExaCM was to gain significant performance and availability improvements across their Oracle Databases compared to the old Exadata X2-2. Fusion Professionals developed bespoke methods for executing performance, DR and HA tests. 

These tests demonstrated the ExaCM performance improvements and provided the evidence and justification for the cloud technology transition and project investment.


TECHNICAL CHALLENGES

Being the first ExaCM in Australia and one of the first systems installed around the world, ExaCM at the time of implementation did not have all the features that the client desired. Fusion Professionals working together with Oracle Corporation, developed and deployed suitable solutions and valid workarounds which were all certified by Oracle resolving system limitations and delivering the clients requirements.


ACHIEVEMENTS

  1. Successful implementation of the first Exadata Cloud Machine at Customer in Australia;

  2. Successful execution of Performance & High Availability Testing for the ExaCMs;

  3. Resolution of all client issues, concerns and problems prior to the implementation;

  4. Provided the client with the required skills to manage and maintain their new ExaCM machines;

  5. Enabled the client to move away from the existing cost prohibitive DB hosting provider and realise substantial operational and maintenance savings while delivering significantly improved performance and availability;

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