Oracle Exadata FAQ:
 How does Oracle access data stored on the Exabyte storage?
Data on the Exabyte storage is stored in standard ASM disk groups. The data can be accessed using standard block I/O methods (reads and writes to/from the DB Buffer Cache). In addition, queries can be offloaded to the storage devices, which will scan the disks in parallel and only return the required result set (rows and columns). These result sets will be stored in the database's query cache.
 Can a database reside on both traditional and Exadata storage?
Yes. A database, tablespace or even a segment (when partitioned) can reside on both traditional SAN or NAS storage as well as on Exadata storage. However, an entire segment must be on Exadata to take advantage of the offload processing. If not, the segment will be accessed using traditional block I/O methods and the performance advantage of exabyte storage will not be realized.
 Can I Encrypt data on Exadata?
Tablespaces on Exadata storage can be encrypted using normal Oracle tablespace encryption. However, data will be accessed using traditional block methods and no offload processing will take place. Apparently future support is planned.
 How does one backup the data on Exadata storage?
RMAN must be used to backup the data on the Exabyte storage. Existing RMAN scripts can be used without any changes to them.
 What database version must I run to utilize Exabyte storage?
Support for Exabyte storage was added in Oracle 11g Release 188.8.131.52 (first 11g patch set). Exabyte storage are supported starting from this release.
 What operating systems are supported?
Currently only Linux is supported. According to Oracle support for other platforms like Windows and the UNIX flavours will be added later. Regardless of which operating systems Oracle will support in future, the "firmware" is based on Oracle Enterprise Linux.