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Note: All the posts are based on practical approach avoiding lengthy theory. All have been tested on some development servers. Please don’t test any post on production servers until you are sure.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012


We live in the age of information and information is power. In the business enterprise, it is imperative that everyone has the information they need in order to accurately and effectively fulfill their business obligations.

This information is used to plan for the future and to make decisions about products, pricing, competition, markets, financials, budgets and many other business factors.

As the information age is continuously  progressing, business managers and executives are buried under information. Instead of wishing for more information to run the business, these business managers wish for better, more concise information.

Today, the pace of business is even faster! Market changes occur more quickly, and businesses must hire and train resources with the right knowledge to do the job.

Adding to the problem of managing business today is the fact that nearly every enterprise now expects its business users and employees to be actively involved in understanding corporate goals and objectives and in managing their own department, division, team or role to achieve the goals set by the executive team. 

The evolution of Business Intelligence tools and software solutions has enabled true business assessment and performance management, by providing clear, concise results using data and information integrated from various sources and presented in a way that clearly illustrates patterns, trends and problem areas that require attention.

As BI is all about Analytics which means gaining insights from the data for better decision making.  Oracle is the first vendor who has engineered a system specifically designed to deliver high performance analysis, modeling and planning. This system is built by using industry-standard hardware, market-leading business intelligence software and in-memory database technology. It is also called as Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine.

Software Architecture
The Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine features (small discussion later in this post)
  • Optimized Oracle BI Foundation Suite
  • Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database
  • Essbase
Business Intelligence Foundation takes advantage of large memory, processors, concurrency, storage, networking, operating system, kernel, and system configuration of the Oracle Exalytics hardware.
The TimesTen In-Memory Database for Exalytics is an optimized in-memory analytic database, with features exclusively available on Oracle Exalytics platform.

Hardware Architecture
The Oracle Exalytics hardware is delivered in units of a single 3RU rack-mountable server that is optimally configured for in-memory analytics for business intelligence workloads. Multiple Oracle Exalytics machines can be clustered together to expand available memory capacity and to provide high availability.

Oracle Exalytics is powered by
  • Four Intel Xeon© E7-4800 series processors providing a total of 40 cores for computation.
  • TB of memory to provide sufficient capacity for in-memory analytics.
  • InfiniBand: Two quad-data rate (QDR) 40 GB/s InfiniBand ports (for Oracle Exadata)
  • 10 GB Ethernet: Two ports (for connecting to enterprise data sources and for client access)
  • 1 GB Ethernet: Four ports (for client access)
  • Dedicated Integrated Lights Out Management (ILOM) Ethernet port (for complete remote management)
  • Direct attached storage system (RAID HBA and 3.6TBs of raw disk capacity)

All network interfaces support failover and can be used to setup a cluster without a single point of failure. Oracle Exalytics also includes redundant hot-swappable power supplies and fans.

Oracle Business Intelligence Foundation
The Oracle BI Foundation provides comprehensive and complete capabilities for business intelligence, including enterprise reporting, dashboards, ad hoc analysis, multi-dimensional OLAP, scorecards, and predictive analytics on an integrated platform.

The Oracle BI Foundation includes the industry‟s best-in-class server technology for relational and multi-dimensional analysis and delivers rich end user experience that includes visualization, collaboration, alerts and notifications, search and mobile access.

Oracle TimesTen In-Memory Database
TimesTen is a proven memory-optimized full-featured relational database with persistence. TimesTen stores all its data in memory optimized data structures and supports query algorithms specifically designed for in-memory processing. Using the familiar SQL programming interfaces, TimesTen provides real-time data management that delivers blazing-fast response times, and very high throughput for a variety of workloads. It has been specifically enhanced for analytical processing at in-memory speeds.

Oracle Essbase
Oracle Essbase is the industry leading multi-dimensional OLAP Server for analytic applications. Essbase on Exalytics provides up to 16X faster query execution as well as up to 6X reduction in write-back and calculation operations, including batch processes.
These enhancements are particularly important for advanced use cases such as planning and forecasting, providing faster cycle times and supporting more number of users than ever before.

Note: The Oracle Exalytics In-Memory Machine also supports clustering to provide scalability and high availability. It supports both active-active and active-passive configurations.

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