No doubt, you already have a pretty good idea what Exadata is or you wouldn’t be holding this book in your hands. In our view, it is a preconfigured combination of hardware and software that provides a platform for running Oracle Database (either version 11g Release 2 or version 12c Release 1 as of this writing). Since the Exadata Database Machine includes a storage subsystem, different software has been developed to run at the storage layer. This has allowed Oracle product development to do some things that are just not possible on other platforms. In fact, Exadata really began its life as a storage system. If you talk to people involved in the development of the product, you will commonly hear them refer the storage component as Exadata or SAGE (Storage Appliance for the Grid Environment), which was the code name for the project.