What is Delphix

November 6th, 2013

Who is Delphix?

More and more I’m asked “What is Delphix?” One reason I’m getting asked is because Delphix is getting more and more exposure. Delphix is used by Fortune #1 Walmart. Delphix is used by social #1 Facebook.  Delphix is used by US Bank #1 Wells Fargo. Delphix is used by networking #1 Cisco. Delphix is used by #1 cable provider Comcast. Delphix is used by #1 auction site Ebay. Delphix is used by #1 insurance New York Life. Delphix is used by #1 chip manufacture Intel.  The list goes on. Who is this company Delphix and why are they used by the #1 companies in so many domains only 3 years after they started shipping a product? Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 9.52.45 PM Delphix is the most powerful product to improve development output and quality in the 20+ years I’ve been working with databases. It improves development by eliminating the enormous infrastructure, bureaucracy and time drag that it takes to provision databases for development environments. Development environments depend on having a copies of production databases and Delphix allows provisioning in a few minutes with almost no storage overhead by sharing duplicate blocks among all the copies.

What does Delphix do?

Delphix enables Oracle and SQL Server  customers to clone their databases in minutes for almost no storage.

What is Delphix?

to continue reading, go to http://blog.delphix.com/kyle/2014/delphix/

Database clones for everyone!!

Screen Shot 2013-09-05 at 9.52.45 PM


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  2. | #1

    How is throughput managed for shared blocks to multiple clients using the copies. it appears that Delphix is a pure software approach, and the content does not throw much light on requirements in terms of spindles, port density etc on the intel i386 box.

  3. khailey
    | #2

    Hi Pardip,
    The number of spindles managed by Delphix should be able to supply the IOPs that are required by the databases using Delphix.
    On the other hand, Delphix can cache much of the I/O mitigating much of the need for large amount of spindles. For example if I’m using a 200GB database and I have 10 clones of it on Delphix, what we call 10 virtual databases or 10 VDBs, then once that 200GB is cached in the Delphix cache once, then all 10 clones will be cached because they all share 90% or more of the same blocks. Of course to cache 200GB one has to have 200GB of RAM on Delphix. But Delphix runs on commodity Intel hardware and 200GB of cache is only about $6K. Delphix requires a minimum of 16GB of RAM and is almost always configured as an 8vCPU VM. The performance and throughout of the backend storage assigned to Delphix will of course affect the performance of the virtual database using Delphix. That’s true of any database. Any database’s performance will be affected by the performance of the storage it uses.
    For more info on the massive performance boost of using shared caching on Delphix see http://www.kylehailey.com/delphix/performance/

  4. | #3

    Hi Kyle,

    what are size limitations with Delphix? Does it work for systems with multi-terabyte production databases?

    Best regards,

  5. khailey
    | #4

    Hi Nikolay,
    There are no practical size limitations that I know of. The largest database I’ve worked with personally on Delphix is 60TB. There may be larger ones out there. The only limits would be on the VMware size since Delphix runs as a VM, thus the maximum size of the database supported would be on the order the maximum storage you can allocate to Delphix via VMware. Since Delphix compresses typically by 1/3 you can get an even larger database virtualized than the maximum attached storage size. I think in the above6 60TB case we were only using 30TB of Disk. I believe ESX 4 had a max VM storage at 60 x 2 TB with VMDKs and I believe in ESX 5 that went to 60 * 64TB with RDMs in physical compatibility mode. See page 4 of http://www.vmware.com/pdf/vsphere5/r51/vsphere-51-configuration-maximums.pdf
    One of the cool things is having a shared cache on Delphix. The maximum RAM size on a VM in ESX 5 is 1 TB meaning I can cache a 1TB database in memory on Delphix and then share the cache between all the clones. In ESX 5.5 that size goes up to 4 TB so I can cache a 4TB database in memory then share it across all the clones and all the teams that use those clones.


  6. Ricardo Murcia
    | #5

    Hi Kyle,

    I read some materials mentioning that Delphix supports MS SQL Server and Oracle for DB Virtualization. Could you share the list of databases you have certified to date and how is that certification performed ?



  7. khailey
    | #6

    HI Ricardo,

    Yes, MS SQL Server and Oracle are supported already. Postgres will be supported imminently. Postgres is coded and being QA’ed to be released soon. Sybase is working in house but has a little more work to do yet and will come out after the Postgres support.

    There is no certification per say that I know of. Delphix is the same as NAS as far as the databases are concerned and certifying NAS, at least for Oracle, is now ancient history. When we say we support a database it means we support all the automation that makes collecting changes from source database and provisioning a virtual clone copy in minutes all point and click that anyone can do. It’s all the plumbing and automation that makes it take time to add new databases to the stack.

    – Kyle

  8. Adrian Mos
    | #7

    Hi Kyle,
    Related to certifications:
    1. Is Oracle on Windows certified?
    2. Is SQL Server 2012 certified?
    3. Is SQL Server Analysis Services supported?
    4. We use VmWare’s vCloud product which can allocate disk to guests via: NFS, iSCSI, FC. Which ones are supported by Delphix?

    Thank you

  9. khailey
    | #8

    HI Adrian,
    1. No support of Oracle on Windows. We run into it a few times but most customers run SQL Server on Windows and Oracle on *NIX
    2. Yes, see http://docs.delphix.com/display/DOCS32/Supported+Operating+Systems,+Server+Versions,+and+Backup+Software+for+Microsoft+SQL+Server
    3. not sure what this is. Is it something that runs on top of a SQL Server databases?
    4. Delphix uses NFS for Oracle and iSCSI for SQL Server

  10. Adrian Mos
    | #9

    Hi Kyle – thank you for your response.
    When it comes to provision copies of Prod for testing purposes, these days we’re more often than not require to provision test ‘environments’ rather then test databases. These environments consist of multiple databases and in some cases we have transactional replication going on between them e.g. Streams (Oracle to Oracle or Oracle to SQL Server) or SQL Server Replication. It is critical for us to provision these databases so that they are consistent with each other. By that I mean transactional, 2PC type of consistency. Something like “all VDBs were provisioned off their dSources as of 10:00:00 AM” is not good enough.
    Is Delphix capable of providing this level of consisntency? Something like the SAN providers offer where ‘consisntency groups’ are defined around a group of LUNs so that they can be ‘snaped’ toghether and provide a crash consistent set of databases.

  11. khailey
    | #10

    @Adrian – yes, totally. Delphix is perfect for cloning a set of federated databases down to the same second. Delphix makes it a piece of cake to do the other wise extremely daunting task of cloning a set of databases at the exact same moment.

  12. Sebastien
    | #11

    Hello Kyle,
    I am a little bit confused…. You said you worked with a 30tb databasase in Delphix, but how did you do if you are limited with the RAM size of the server ??(as you said, we are limited to 1TB of RAM on ESX5) My understanding is you can only work with database you can cache in memory !!??….

  13. khailey
    | #12

    Hi Sebastian,

    Just like Oracle with the buffer cache, Delphix uses a memory cache. Just like Oracle, when data is not in the memory cache we read the data from disk. Most customers run 64GB – 128FB memory on Delphix and then use several TBs of disk.
    So yes, memory is limited to 1TB currently but then you can hook up as much storage as you want up to ESX’s limits on storage.

    – Kyle

  14. | #13

    Hi Khailey,

    Is it possible to use Delphix for migrating an ORACLE database from one platform to the other, for example, from HP-UX to Linux? Do you have any plans around it? Eve if it doesn’t help the migration, can it help the project in any way to improve the overall migration timelines?



  15. khailey
    | #14

    Hi Prakash – perfect timing of the question. Yes we do ! I am just starting a blog post on it today. Stay tuned. I should have a good blog post up in a couple weeks. Pretty awesome technology.

  16. mohan
    | #15


    Is it support 12C databases ?


  17. mohan
    | #16


    document says Delphix support 9i,10g,11g. will it support 12C databases.
    want to confirm the changes on each clone , will they stored in private area ?


  18. khailey
    | #17

    Hi Mohan,
    I’ve left Delphix back in May so not completely up to date on Delphix releases. At the time 12C was already supported.
    Changes on each clone are private to that clone – it’s based on redirect on write storage technology- great explanation by Jonathan Lewis here http://datavirtualizer.com/delphix/jonathan-lewis-on-delphix/
    – Kyle

  19. mohan
    | #18

    Thanks Kyle for your prompt reply. Yes, From other documents,I came to know It supports 12C.

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