2 New Features for Oracle Exadata System Software Release 23.x

This section describes the new features introduced in Oracle Exadata System Software release 23.x.

2.1 What's New in Oracle Exadata System Software Release 23.1

2.1.1 Oracle Exadata X10M Support

Oracle Exadata System Software release 23.1.0 introduces support for the Oracle Exadata X10M system family.

Exadata X10M is the third generation of system hardware based on RoCE Network Fabric, and offers performance and capacity improvements throughout. Highlights include:

  • Exadata X10M database servers and storage servers are equipped with AMD EPYC™ CPUs that contain substantially more CPU cores than previous Exadata systems.

    In a flexible configuration:

    • Each Exadata X10M database server contains 192 CPU cores (up from 64 previously).

    • Each Exadata X10M High Capacity (HC) or Extreme Flash (EF) storage server contains 64 CPU cores (up from 32 previously).

    • Each Exadata X10M Extended (XT) storage server contains 32 CPU cores (up from 16 previously).

    The increased CPU resources enable Exadata X10M systems to handle more users and more CPU-intensive operations, such as data compression and data encryption.

  • Exadata X10M storage servers are equipped with high-performance DDR5 DRAM, with 1.25 TB reserved for Exadata RDMA Memory Cache (XRMEM cache). This new caching tier benefits workloads that require ultra-low response time, such as stock trades and IOT devices, enabling them to take advantage of RDMA to access storage server data.

    See Exadata RDMA Memory for details.

  • Exadata X10M database servers move to a 2 rack-unit (RU) form factor. This server format accommodates the more powerful AMD EPYC™ CPUs, and enables each server to accommodate up to 3 TB of high-performance DDR5 DRAM (up from 2TB previously) and up to 5 network interface cards (up from 3 previously) for more flexible client connectivity. The 2 RU form factor also assists with system cooling.

  • Exadata X10M EF storage servers now contain two types of flash storage devices. Each EF storage server contains:

    • 4 x 6.8 TB performance-optimized flash devices. These flash devices are the same as those in the X10M HC storage servers. They are primarily used for high-performance low-latency caching with Exadata Smart Flash Cache and Exadata Smart Flash Log.

    • 4 x 30.72 TB capacity-optimized flash devices. These flash devices, combined with the performance-optimized flash devices, increase the raw data storage capacity of EF storage servers by almost 300% while still delivering much better performance and latency than hard disk drives.

  • Exadata X10M HC and XT storage servers contain 22 TB disk drives (up from 18 TB previously), which increases raw data storage capacity by 22%.

See Hardware Components of Oracle Exadata Database Machine in the Oracle Exadata Database Machine System Overview for details.

For Oracle Grid Infrastructure and Oracle Database version compatibility, see Exadata Database Machine and Exadata Storage Server Supported Versions (Doc ID 888828.1)

2.1.2 Exadata RDMA Memory

Oracle Exadata System Software release 23.1.0 introduces Exadata RDMA Memory (XRMEM). XRMEM incorporates all of the Exadata capabilities that provide direct access to storage server memory using Remote Direct Memory Access (RDMA), enabling faster response times and lower read latencies.

XRMEM encompasses previous Exadata data and commit accelerators based on persistent memory (PMEM), which is only available in Exadata X8M and X9M storage server models. Starting with Exadata X10M, XRMEM enables the benefits of RDMA without needing specialized persistent memory and is primed to leverage developments in memory and storage hardware.

On Exadata X10M systems, workloads requiring ultra-low response times, such as stock trades and IOT devices, can take advantage of XRMEM cache. When database clients read from XRMEM cache, the client software performs an RDMA read of the cached data, which bypasses the storage server software and networking layers, eliminates expensive CPU interrupts and context switches, and delivers results much faster than Exadata Smart Flash Cache. In this case, XRMEM cache operates only in write-through mode, with database writes saved to persistent storage.

On Exadata X10M, XRMEM cache is available on High Capacity (HC) and Extreme Flash (EF) Exadata X10M storage servers, leveraging the high-performance dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) available on the servers. In this environment, XRMEM cache functions automatically, requiring no separate configuration or ongoing administration.

On existing Exadata X8M and X9M systems with Oracle Exadata System Software release 23.1.0, the persistent memory data accelerator, also known as PMEM cache (or PMEMCACHE), is now called the XRMEM cache (or XRMEMCACHE). Likewise, the persistent memory commit accelerator, also known as PMEM log (or PMEMLOG), is now XRMEM log (or XRMEMLOG). However, the CellCLI commands to manage PMEMCACHE and PMEMLOG resources are still available for backward compatibility.

Oracle Exadata System Software release 23.1.0 does not implement XRMEMLOG on Exadata X10M systems.

2.1.3 Higher Compression for Storage Server Columnar Compression

Starting with Oracle Exadata System Software release 23.1.0 and Exadata X10M storage servers, Exadata uses a more space-efficient compression algorithm for in-memory columnar compression in the storage server.

The algorithm uses the increased CPU resources in Exadata X10M storage servers to achieve better compression, which increases the amount of columnar format data that can be cached while maintaining excellent performance.

2.1.4 Oracle Linux 8 Support

Oracle Exadata System Software 23.1.0 uses Oracle Linux 8 with the UEK6 kernel as the server operating system for all storage servers, bare-metal database servers, KVM hosts, KVM guests, and Oracle VM (OVM) guests (DomU).

Rolling upgrade is supported from Oracle Linux 7 to Oracle Linux 8.

OVM management domains (Dom0) do not require Oracle Linux 8 and remain on Oracle Linux 7 with UEK5.

2.1.5 Centralized Identification and Authentication of OS Users

Oracle Exadata System Software 23.1.0 introduces support for infrastructure enabling centralized identification and authentication of operating system (OS) users.

Specifically, in this release, you can configure the Linux System Security Services Daemon (SSSD) to facilitate Exadata database server and storage server access using LDAP to provide identity services and Kerberos as the authentication protocol. Oracle Exadata System Software contains the Linux packages to support SSSD, which you may configure according to your specific requirements. Furthermore, Oracle Exadata System Software maintains the existing SSSD configuration details during system updates.

The SSSD support is enabled in conjunction with an Exadata-specific security profile using the Linux authselect utility on Oracle Linux 8. Consequently, in this release, Exadata support for Linux SSSD is not available on Xen management domains (dom0), which use Oracle Linux 7.

2.1.6 Minimum Versions and Other Requirements

The following list outlines the minimum versions and other requirements that apply to Oracle Exadata System Software 23.1.0:

  • Minimum supported Oracle Database and Oracle Grid Infrastructure (GI) releases:

    • Release 19c: Version 19.15, April 2022 Release Update (RU)

    • Release 21c: Version 21.6, April 2022 Release Update (RU)

  • Minimum system hardware version: Oracle Exadata X5-2

  • Minimum Oracle Exadata System Software version required on an existing system before updating to release 23.1.0: Oracle Exadata System Software 21.2.10 (March 2022)


    On systems configured with virtual machines (VMs) on the database servers, you can upgrade the hypervisor (Oracle VM Server or Oracle Linux KVM) before or after the guest VMs. However, each VM guest must meet the minimum Oracle Exadata System Software requirement before being upgraded. Likewise, the hypervisor must meet the minimum Oracle Exadata System Software requirement before being upgraded.

2.1.7 Desupported Features in Oracle Exadata System Software Release 23.1.0

The following features are no longer available in Oracle Exadata System Software release 23.1.0:

  • Prior to Oracle Exadata System Software release 23.1.0, you can configure PMEM cache to operate in write-back mode. Also known as write-back PMEM cache, this mode enables the cache to service write operations.

    However, since Oracle Exadata System Software release 20.1.0, the best practice recommendation was to configure PMEM cache in write-through mode. This configuration provides the best performance and availability.

    Commencing with Oracle Exadata System Software release 23.1.0, PMEM cache only operates in write-through mode.

    When a system upgrades to Oracle Exadata System Software release 23.1.0, PMEM cache is automatically flushed and converted to write-through mode if required.

  • Cell RAM Cache. See Deprecation of RAM Cache.

  • USB Images. See Deprecation of USB Images.