Which Oracle Engineered System is right for you?

Steve Mace 02-May-2024 15:45:52
Which Oracle Engineered System is right for you?

Oracle Engineered Systems are proven to solve problems with business-critical applications and Databases, with a range of systems designed to address different technical challenges.

Some call it converged infrastructure but the biggest difference to appliances like Nutanix, FlexPod and Vblock is that the OS and Software are engineered with the infrastructure in mind. This is only possible when a vendor owns the full stack of technology from Applications to Disk to unlock a myriad of benefits hidden within all this intellectual property.

How have Engineered Systems changed in the last five years?

Over the past five years, Oracle Engineered Systems have undergone significant advancements, integrating cutting-edge technologies to meet the evolving needs of businesses. These advancements include seamless integration with cloud environments, enhanced security features such as encryption and advanced threat detection, and improved scalability to handle growing workloads.

Additionally, Oracle's engineered systems now offer streamlined management tools and automation capabilities, empowering businesses to optimize operations and drive innovation. With these advancements, businesses can leverage Oracle Engineered Systems to achieve greater agility, scalability, and security, ultimately accelerating their digital transformation journey and staying ahead of the competition.

The systems fall into these 3 categories of benefits, which cover the most frequent challenges Oracle customers are facing;


Oracle Engineered Systems are designed to deliver exceptional performance, thanks to specialized optimizations tailored specifically for database-centric workloads. Features such as Smart Flash cache, Smart Scan, Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC), Flash Storage, and RoCE networking ensure low latency and high bandwidth data transfer. These systems excel in demanding OLTP workloads, in-memory processing, large-scale database consolidations, and multi-rack data warehousing.

Simplicity and Efficiency

Oracle Engineered Systems offer simplicity and efficiency in deployment and management. Features like Capacity on Demand, High Availability, Virtualization, Flash Storage, and automation tools streamline administration tasks, reduce operational costs, facilitate rapid provisioning, and automate performance tuning.

Security and Versatility

With a focus on security and versatility, Oracle Engineered Systems provide robust solutions for both applications and databases. These systems incorporate advanced security controls and are built on secure platforms, ensuring data integrity and confidentiality.

Which Engineered System is right for you?

So which Engineered System is right for you? At time of writing there are 11 Engineered Systems products (and even then I bet I’ve missed one), each with different sizing entry points and models to take the number to well over 100 different permutations. There IS an Engineered System suitable for the smallest of Oracle SE customers to the largest international corporations. I’m only going to focus on 5 of the 11, purely for simplicity. These are:

  • Exadata
  • Database Appliance
  • Private Cloud Appliance
  • Oracle Cloud@Customer
  • Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance


Exadata is Oracle’s flagship Database-centric Engineered System designed for extreme performance; coming from Exadata-specific optimizations, including Smart Flash cache, Smart Scan, Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC), Flash Storage and RoCE networking for low latency, high bandwidth data transfer. Available in eighth, quarter, half, and full rack configurations with a choice of high capacity or flash storage, Exadata is especially well-suited for demanding OLTP workloads, in-memory workloads, large-scale database consolidations and multi-rack data warehouses.

Oracle Database Appliance (ODA)

There is a family of ODA’s ranging from single node to a High Availability models (HA); each designed to run all Editions of the Oracle Database in bare metal or virtualised deployments. Each ODA is a self-contained appliance of Compute, Storage, Networking and Software to create an alternative to commodity infrastructure at a sensible price point for customers looking to consolidate, improve performance and reduce licensing costs.

Private Cloud Appliance

The Oracle Private Cloud Appliance is an Engineered System designed to simplify the installation, deployment and support of Oracle and non-Oracle Application and Database workloads on a guest OS. Built with Virtualisation and scalability in mind, the PCA is a solution for organisations that are looking to consolidate general purpose workloads and virtualise each environment to reduce infrastructure and operational costs drastically. OLVM  is Oracle’s license-free VM software and is at the core of the Private Cloud Appliance. By using OLVM , organisations can slash the cost of VMware support or even remove it completely whilst still benefitting from the core principles of Virtualisation. Another benefit? Remove the risk of non-compliance that many customers find themselves in by deploying Oracle software on VMware Virtual Machines.

Oracle Cloud@Customer

Oracle Cloud@Customer brings Oracle Cloud infrastructure to your datacentre using the same underlying Exadata infrastructure, enabling seamless integration with on-premises systems while leveraging cloud scalability and security. Unlike the Private Cloud Appliance (PCA), which provides a dedicated on-premises cloud environment, Oracle Cloud@Customer offers a wider range of cloud services delivered as a managed service, reducing complexity and operational overhead – it delivers the exact same SLAs, APIs, and tools available in Oracle’s public cloud to give you a truly consistent experience. Typical use cases over OCI include data residency, low-latency applications or sovereign AI. Consumption is based on the same subscription-based pricing as Oracle Cloud Infrastructure allowing you to pay for the cloud services you need while avoiding upfront infrastructure investments. Options include Dedicated Region, Autonomous Database, Exadata and Compute Cloud@Customer.

Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance

Oracle's Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance redefines data protection, offering unparalleled levels of integrity and resilience. Continuously capturing and storing changes to critical databases in real-time, eliminates the risk of data loss, ensuring every transaction is safeguarded. Rapid recovery capabilities enable businesses to restore data to any desired point in time swiftly, minimising downtime and enabling database recovery within less than a second of when an outage or ransomware attack occurs. For organizations aiming to achieve compliance with DataOps Research and Assessment (DORA) and National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) Level 2 standards, the Oracle Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance should be at the top of the evaluation list.


Use this feature matrix to help drive you towards an Engineered System that meets your requirements and preferences.
  1. PCA can use existing customer storage resources or additional ZFS storage arrays.
  2. Based on Exadata 1/8th Rack High Capacity configuration with high redundancy disks.
  3. Based on ODA HA X6-2 configured with additional storage expansion shelf and triple mirroring disks. 8TB for single storage shelf.
  4. Based on Database only storage and additional storage shelf with redundancy.
  5. Based on minimum rack configuration with high capacity disks and taking into account ASM redundancy.
  6. Additional storage servers can be added up to a total of 17 in a full rack providing a total of 1.57PB effective capacity or up to 15PB of virtual full backups. Additional racks can also be added.

How do I choose the right Oracle Engineered System?

Here are some example questions you should answer to help you select the right Oracle Engineered System for your business.

What are my database workload requirements, and which system offers optimised performance and scalability?

If you require extreme performance and scalability for database-centric workloads, Oracle Exadata is the ideal choice. Its specialised optimisations and high-performance hardware make it suitable for demanding database applications.

Am I looking for a cost-effective solution for running Oracle Database workloads with simplified management?

The Oracle Database Appliance (ODA) offers a cost-effective and easy-to-manage solution for Oracle Database workloads. It provides a self-contained appliance with compute, storage, networking, and software, making it ideal for small to medium-sized deployments.

Do I need a solution that enables seamless integration between on-premises and cloud environments?

Oracle Cloud@Customer extends Oracle Cloud infrastructure to the customer's data center, offering the flexibility of cloud services within the on-premises environment. It provides a seamless bridge between on-premises and cloud environments, enabling businesses to leverage cloud scalability and security while maintaining control over their data.

Are data protection and recovery crucial considerations for my organisation?

The Zero Data Loss Recovery Appliance ensures continuous protection of critical data with zero data loss. Its real-time capture and preservation of database changes, along with rapid recovery capabilities, make it an ideal solution for organizations prioritising data protection and recovery.

Do I require a flexible and scalable solution for running both Oracle and non-Oracle workloads in a virtualized environment?

The Oracle Private Cloud Appliance (PCA) offers a converged infrastructure solution for running Oracle and non-Oracle workloads in a virtualised environment. With its built-in virtualisation capabilities and scalable storage options, PCA provides flexibility and agility for diverse workload requirements.

How can DSP help evaluate Oracle Engineered Systems?

Oracle Engineered Systems stand out as superior solutions compared to the competition due to their unparalleled integration, optimisation, and support. Unlike standalone components or competing converged infrastructure offerings, Oracle's systems are purpose-built with deep integration between hardware and software layers, ensuring optimal performance and reliability. This level of integration, optimisation, and support sets Oracle Engineered Systems apart, delivering unmatched value and performance to businesses worldwide.

Should any of the Engineered Systems product portfolio be of interest to discuss further (technically or commercially), we are in a position to provide insightful advice and guidance on how to leverage these systems to solve your business and infrastructure challenges. Oracle has also recently launched their Oracle Solution Centres (OSC) in locations globally, including the UK, and we’d be happy to help sponsor a demonstration of Oracle solutions as part of your evaluation journey.  Contact a member of the Engineered Systems team to discuss further.