Exalytics – The promise of BI on Private Cloud

This is a neat infomercial from Oracle touting the features and benefits of Exalytics – Extreme Analytics With No Limits

– Some highlights –

  • More than 50,000 users
  • Analysis time cut from monthly to daily.

This type of an appliance should be a great tool for exposing Enterprise Analytics in a private cloud setting, enabling users to bring up on demand implementations of OBIEE and EPM suite of products.

Exalytics didn’t support Virtualization originally. Patch Set 1 introduced the Exalytics Base image concept, enabling Virtualized Exalytics implementation, but with one limitation – the deal breaker – InfiniBand connectivity was not supported if the boxes were Virtualized.

Exalytics virtualization does not support Exadata access via InfiniBand connection. This feature is planned for Exalytics patch set 4 (v1.0.0.4) release. However, Exadata can be accessed via the 1G or 10G interfaces.

I am yet to see a customer who bought Exalytics machines without Exadata as the database server. So taking away ‘InfiniBand Connection’ meant that virtually nobody had the incentive to virtualize.

Oracle came out with Patch Set 4 early 2014. Exalytics boxes can now be virtualized while keeping the InfiniBand connectivity into Exadata and/or Exalogic (as traffic cop). There is a lot of excitement about being able to run the BI system as a private cloud offering. I am consulting with a state department – one of their goals is:

Gain efficiencies through creation of a Private Cloud and encourage adoption of public cloud platforms, when appropriate

So when the PSU4 came out, the stakeholders were very excited to present the recent Exalytics acquisition to rewire them as -private cloud offering- for various agencies looking to use it to serve their BI content.

Oracle’s direction is that one should limit the VM’s on an Exalytics box to a maximum of 4 on X2/X3 machines and 12 on X5 (@10 core/VM).

The following configurations are recommended:1 VM for BI+Times Ten,
1 VM for Essbase(planning)
1 VM for Endeca
Each VM instance run a minimum of 10 cores

It is still unclear(yet) if this is a licensing limitation or these are a result of an internal benchmarks. If an organization is using Exalytics box to run OBIEE, BI Apps and EPM suite – there goes the 4 VM’s one would need – one each for BI apps (one central implementation), EPM (one central implementation), OVM, and one for Custom OBIEE machines.

I will share our experience with this client and share how we meet one of the goals of the organization while following one of the guiding principles:

“Focused on eliminating duplication and lowering costs”



Exalytics base image: an image that consists of the operating system, virtualization software, and device drivers pre-configured for the respective appliance.


Architect – Oracle Engineered Systems