Exadata installation

Exadata installation

It was an exatastic day. One of our customers bought 2 exadata’s and zfssa’s. One for each datacenter. Sometimes a customer asks, how does it go. Together with a suggestion of Frits Hoogland (you can find him here: @fritshoogland) about creating an unboxing video, I came up with documenting the first steps in a simple blog. Just because … the systems were unboxed, so creating a video was a bit too challenging then. If there is an occasion, I will still create one 🙂 

So here we go. This particular customer opted for a 1/8 exadata and a zfssa per site. So they come in boxes. BIG boxes. They are delivered directly to the datacenter in the unpacking room.
the boxesThen it’s time to  open the boxes. Don’t do it yourself, but let the correct engineers handle it. When purchasing, Oracle will explain which person needs to do what.

unboxing part one

The boxes contain the racks themselves. All is carefully packed and nicely secured. So the system, if transported correctly, arrives safely. Note the “ramps attach this side” at the top of the box. The rack needs to be ridden down. That’s also one part I particularly like about the engineered systems. Everything is provided, yes … also the ramps.

unboxing part twoAfter removing the roof of the box and the sides, think about the environment and dispose them correctly, the rack is standing there. Spot the box at the right, even tools are included and can be found in one of the boxes in that bigger box.

ready to ramp itAfter loosening the screws and removing the plastic which makes the system more difficult to handle, it can be ridden down from the pallet. This is definitely a 2 person task and goes pretty slowly and in a very smooth, gently, controlled way.

Eventually, you end up with all systems unboxed 🙂

exadata zfssa


This particular customer has ordered re-racking services, so that means that the systems go out of their nice and tidy cabled cabinets and move to the customer own racks. Disclaimer: ask your oracle representative about the conditions. In this particular case (and only this one) the free space between the components will be sacrificed in the new rack. In a normal situation, you will still need the 22 rack units in your own rack. This is done to guarantee the expansion of the exadata. This customer had the approval from Oracle to do this, but don’t just do it. Align with Oracle before doing this.

That’s where the work starts.

naked exadata almost empty zfssadecabling






So this is where the fun part starts. The cables are excellently labeled, so it’s a good practice when re-racking to keep the same spots. If not … all must be relabelled so that labels are matching the correct places. Or at very least, have conversion table. Basically, you need to know where every cable comes from and goes to without confusion.

It’s pretty clear that special care has to be taken when performing this task.
moving the systemsThe zfssa half on it’s way to his new location. It ‘s still a strange sight to see your beauties in this state 🙂


IB switches airflowNext picture is for the non-believers. An IB – switch DOES take his cold air in the FRONT of the rack and spits the warm at the BACK.



Then a lot of shifting around to the new places happens. Taking all the rules into account, avoid top heavy racks. In normal cases, ensure expandability and all cables must be properly put back in place.

Then finally the end state is reached.
the result at the front
the result at the back






As always, questions, remarks? find me on twitter @vanpupi

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