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Expert Oracle Exadata (Expert's Voice in Oracle) Paperback – 9 Aug 2011

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From the Back Cover

Expert Oracle Exadata, 2nd Edition opens up the internals of Oracle's Exadata platform so that you can fully benefit from the most performant and scalable database hardware appliance capable of running Oracle Database. This edition is fully-updated to cover Exadata 5-2 and Oracle Database 12c. If you're new to Exadata, you'll soon learn that it embodies a change in how you think about and manage relational databases. A key part of that change lies in the concept of offloading SQL processing to the storage layer. In addition there is Oracle's engineering effort in creating a powerful platform for both consolidation and transaction processing. The resulting value proposition in the form of Exadata has truly been a game-changer.

Expert Oracle Exadata, 2nd Edition provides a look at the internals and how the combination of hardware and software that comprise Exadata actually work. Authors include Martin Bach, Andy Colvin, and Frits Hoogland, with contributions from Karl Arao, and built on the foundation laid by Kerry Osborne, Randy Johnson, and Tanel Poder in the first edition. They share their real-world experience gained through a great many Exadata implementations, possibly more than any other group of experts today. Always their goal is toward helping you advance your career through success with Exadata in your own environment. This book is intended for readers who want to understand what makes the platform tick and for whom―"how" it does what it is

does is as important as what it does. By being exposed to the features that are unique to Exadata, you will gain an understanding of the mechanics that will allow you to fully benefit from the advantages that the platform provides.

This book changes how you think about managing SQL performance and processing. It provides a roadmap to successful Exadata implementation. And it removes the "black box" mystique. You'll learn how Exadata actually works and be better able to manage your Exadata engineered systems in support of your business.

--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

About the Author

Kerry Osborne began working with Oracle (version 2) in 1982. He has worked as both a developer and a DBA. For the past several years he has been focused on understanding Oracle internals and solving performance problems. He is an OakTable member and an Oracle Ace Director.. Kerry is a frequent speaker at Oracle conferences. He is also a co-founder of Enkitec, an Oracle-focused consulting company headquartered in Dallas, Texas. He blogs at

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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Update 7-Nov-2012, book is showing up on people's desks 11 Oct. 2011
By Kevin Meade - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
Update 7-Nov-2012, book is showing up on people's desks

It has been a year now since I initially reviewed this book. As my company moves forward with EXADATA I see this book making its way around the buildings. DBAs in particular are heavy on it. I walk around and see the serious people with a copy of it. I am not a spokesman for this book but because I have used it to such good effect, I felt a need to comment further after seeing that it was making its way around the company. I hope Tanel Poder and the other authors do another one.

Hail Flavius!


UPDATE 29-NOV-2011

Here is an example of why this book works for people in the trenches. My boss recently asked me for proof that the EXADATA platform was benefiting the applications and database we were migrating to it. "Kevin, I need proof we are getting benefit from EXADATA before we continue to push systems to this platform.". Well... I knew exactly what to do. In demostrating EXADATA the book has pages that shows how to do this (for this question it was page 53 I think?). I went back to the chapter I remembered, read up to the page, and then ran the scripts and queries suggested. I then had the proof my boss needed. "See Boss, even on the poor side, our queries are getting a 5 to 1 lift in reduced I/O because of EXADATA. EXADATA is passing back only 1/5th the data it would have been required to move around on 9i.". He was surprised, and happy at the same time. So this is one example of what I mean when I say the book is for practitioners. The book gives you knowledge and then provides examples of typical ways you use that knowledge. It is the kind of book that changes the way you think and also gets you up and running.

Hail Flavius!


This book is completely different from the other book on EXADATA (the one by Oracle Press and the Oracle Product Managers). The other books is not bad, just for a different audience. Expert Oracle EXADATA is very practitioner oriented.

The first six chapters are to some extent introductory. Still, these may be the most important chapters in the book. These six chapters will change how you view application development for relational databases. In particular it will make you start looking at SQL a different way. You will look at a SQL statement, and start evaluating it almost immediately for its fitness to the EXADATA paradigm. Things like:

1) does the query contain constant tests that will allow EXADATA to use storage indexes to eliminate I/O?
2) will the joins in the query support pre-join bloom filter early elimination?
3) is the table partitioned (maybe by date) and if so are some partitions static such that EHCC (column compression) can be exploited?
4) does the query fetch data which when stored in a non-EXADATA environment, contains the inefficiencies that EXADATA SMARTSCAN can remove?
5) would the query benefit from less indexes (yep, you sill need indexes in EXADATA, particularly UNIQUE ones, but you need less of the others, maybe lots less)?

The first six chapters will introduce you to all the above and more.

The second best thing you get from the book is access to lots of new scripts for 11gR2 and for EXADATA. They give you a website you can visit. Cool Stuff and real timesavers. SNAPPER.SQL of course is the best. But my favorite is Name: ESFC_HIT_RATIO.SQL Description: Useless script for calculating an incorrect EXADATA Smart Flash Cache hit ratio (hehe), it seems they even include the junk for completeness.

No book is everything to everyone of course. One thing you won't find in this book is direct help on migration issues you will have with your applications and third party tools. Certainly the book gives information that can be used to work on problems you encounter. But this book is not a book of case studies. Chasing down answers to questions like why do my Informatica loads not all run faster? Why are many of my Business Objects reports which were timing out before, still timing out on EXADATA? There simply would not be enough room in one book to cover EXADATA directly, and these logical followon topics as well.

All in all, this is an excellent choice for an EXADATA practitioner. EXADATA is so new that there are so far only two books anyway. If you are going to be migrating, designing, or developing on EXADATA, you should get this book and if nothing else read and understand the first six chapters. Let it change the way you look at your SQL and your applications.

As an indication of the practical value of the book, consider this: I am currently lucky enough to be working intermitently with Tanel Poder, one of the books authors. This guy may very well be one of the Top-10 EXADATA practitioners on the planet. Every day we meet, he goes over various items, and much of what he talks about is the same material contained in this book. Other stuff can be derived from what is in the book. So this book is about real information and techniques, not just a recapitulation of the manuals. For example, Tanel uses daily, various scripts you will see in the book. SNAPPER.SQL is really good. He shows us how these scripts help us to understand what EXADATA is doing for us and possibly more importantly, what it is not.
Hail Flavius!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Excellent Exadata book worth twice the money !!! 7 Sept. 2011
By Bert Scalzo - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is a fantastic technical tome on all things Exadata. Outstanding coverage includes intro of the technology, hardware configurations, administration tasks, performance monitoring and diagnostics, wait events, backup & recovery, and application SQL tuning. Quite easily one of the two best books I've ever read regarding any Oracle technology (The other being Guy Harrison's Oracle Performance Survival Guide). I've met some of the book's authors over the years at various Oracle events (e.g. Hotsos) and thus knew these guys were top notch. But this book still totally blew me away even expecting it to be great knowing who it was coming from. I've been doing Oracle databases for over 20 years, written nine book myself, taught for Oracle Education, and worked extensively with all things Oracle. In fact I'm an Oracle ACE. So I know a good book when I see one - and this book is tops. You will not be disappointed - worth every penny.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Review of Expert Oracle Exadata 7 Aug. 2013
By George Loewenthal - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Their are only a couple of books on Exadata and this one is certainly the best one. Their are approximately 3000 Exadata installations per Oracle Support Mgmt. When I was researching which Exadata book to buy I only found 3 or 4 other books. I read excerpts from the other Exadata books and they do not go into the level of detail that Expert Oracle Exadata goes into. The authors are well known in the industry and the book is well written. The only issue I have is that I am working on Exadata X3 and this book was written for the X2. Obviously this does not reflect on the quality of the book and most of it does apply to the X2.

It would have been nice to have a chapter on ZFS and using ZFS to backup Exadata. Many Exadata implementations use ZFS because it is the only back solution (currently) that will plug into the Infiniband network on Exadata. It is the fastest way to backup Exadata at several Terabytes per hour.

Most of the chapter on parallel execution can be applied to non-Exadata and it does a great job of explaining new features in 11g.

The most important chapter is Chapter 2. After reading this chapter you will know how to determine if Smart Scans (aka offloading) are working for your SQL. The book will give you a few ideas on how to modify your environment to enable Smart Scans and see if they help or not.

Chapter 10 covers wait events and it also a very important chapter. The wait events that are specific to Exadata are documented here with examples and comparisons to non-Exadata DBs. The examples include SQL traces that help you determine if Smart scans are working or not.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Expert Oracle Exadata Second Edition Is Out 4 Sept. 2015
By Dennis Heisler - Published on
Format: Paperback
I recommend the second edition of Expert Oracle Exadata to anyone who works with Exadata or simply wants to know more about them. It is an excellent update to an already outstanding book. The authors start out with an overview of the Exadata machine, its history, and its evolution. They then proceed to devote a chapter to each of Exadata's major features, discussing how they work, differences (if any) with non-Exadata systems, and how to test the features. Following in the tradition of "trust but verify", the book is loaded with scripts which can be used to reproduce the tests that were used to show the Exadata's behavior. DBAs can read the book (or specific chapters) to learn or refresh their knowledge of Exadata, put it on the bookshelf as an excellent reference, or both.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
revealing 23 Sept. 2011
By Jeff - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Written in a surprisingly readable style, this one took me off the fence regarding Exadata. Here you will find thorough research well-presented. If you are at all interested in this technology and would like to know more, and get it in a non-whitepaper, non-hyped way, this book won't disappoint. My congrats to the author on a great job.
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