Oracle gives Exadata some backward compatibility

Database 10gR2 is now supported on Oracle's flagship 'engineered system,' although caveats apply

Oracle has made it possible to run a much older but still widely used version of its database software on Exadata, in a move that could make heretofore reluctant buyers pull the trigger on a purchase of the data-processing appliance.

Customers who are running Grid Infrastructure version 12.1.0.2 or later can now use Oracle's Automated Storage Management Cluster File System (ACFS) on Exadata, according to a blog post.

"The upshot is that you can now run Oracle Database 10gR2 on Exadata using ACFS as the storage for the Oracle Database," the post states. "Even though Oracle Database 10gR2 is at end of life, it remains in use in a large number of places," the blog adds. "This has caused problems when choosing to implement Exadata as a consolidation platform, or when choosing it during a hardware refresh process."

Version 10gR2 first became generally available in July 2005 and its extended support window ended in July 2013. Oracle has since released database versions 11g and 12c, and is hoping to get quick uptake of the latter, which includes optional features aimed at cloud computing and in-memory processing.

As for running 10gR2 on Exadata, there are some prerequisites apart from Grid Infrastructure 12.1.0.2, according to the blog.

Oracle's Linux distribution is also required, and if a customer wants to use Oracle's Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) feature, they will have to apply a patch, possibly with the help of support.

Not every feature of Exadata will be available when running 10gR2, but capabilities such as the system's Infiniband networking fabric, lower power requirements and additional memory "justifies moving these databases to Exadata now," the blog adds.

Oracle first unveiled Exadata in 2008 and has since released several new versions, as well as other so-called "engineered systems" focusing on different computing tasks.

Co-President Mark Hurd recently said Oracle would ship its 10,000th engineered system in the current quarter.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris' email address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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