Best Practices for Getting the Most from Oracle Exadata

By Richard Niemiec on April 19, 2013

Many best practices will help you get the most out of Exadata. I’ll start with a list of must haves and don’t do’s and then list some best practices!
Note that these can change at any time (check Oracle’s documentation for the latest as these are subject to change).
  • Must have Bundle Patch 5. (See Note: 888828.1 for latest patch.)
  • Must have ASM to use Exadata; Automatic Storage Management (ASM) serves as the filesystem and volume manager for Exadata.
  • Must have the correct data center cooling! This is very important (I suggest doing some research on this).
  • Must have three floor tiles on a raised floor (must support 2219 lbs./964 kg) with holes (cooling) for a full rack (between 1560 CFM and 2200 CFM front to back). You don’t want to melt it! All of this is subject to change so please check the latest specifications.
  • Must have the correct power needs.
  • Must have Oracle Linux 5.3 (x86_64) and Oracle DB 11.2 (currently).
  • Must have RMAN for backups.
  • Consider StorageTek SL500 Tape backup (many positive reviews but pricey).
  • Don’t add any foreign hardware or … no support!
  • Don’t change BIOS/firmware or … no support!
Here are some other best practices:
  • Use an ASM allocation unit (AU) size of 4M (currently).
  • “CREATE ALL” celldisk and griddisks.
  • Use DCLI to run on all storage servers at once (this is both helpful and saves time).
  • Use IORM for resource management.
  • Decide your Fast Recovery Area (FRA) and MAA needs before you install.
  • Use Database ( and ASM (minimums currently).
  • Must be compatible with (current minimum).
  • Has a logfile size of 32G (Whoa!).
  • Use Locally Managed Tablespaces (LMT) with 4M uniform extents.
  • Move data with Data Pump (usually, but you have many other options).
  • Start with the default initialization parameters for tuning and then adjust as needed for your workload.

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