Call now: 252-767-6166  
Oracle Training Oracle Support Development Oracle Apps

 E-mail Us
 Oracle Articles
New Oracle Articles

 Oracle Training
 Oracle Tips

 Oracle Forum
 Class Catalog

 Remote DBA
 Oracle Tuning
 Emergency 911
 RAC Support
 Apps Support
 Oracle Support

 SQL Tuning

 Oracle UNIX
 Oracle Linux
 Remote s
 Remote plans
 Application Server

 Oracle Forms
 Oracle Portal
 App Upgrades
 SQL Server
 Oracle Concepts
 Software Support

 Remote S


 Consulting Staff
 Consulting Prices
 Help Wanted!


 Oracle Posters
 Oracle Books

 Oracle Scripts

Don Burleson Blog 






  Oracle Tips by Burleson

Oracle Automated Storage Management ASM Configuration

The Database Configuration Assistant (DBCA) is used in Oracle Database 10g to configure the Automated Storage Management (ASM) features for conventional and Real Application Clusters (RAC) environments. ASM is used to automate and simplify the optimal layout of datafiles, control files, and log files. ASM automatically distributes database files across all available disks, and whenever the storage configuration changes, the database storage is rebalanced. ASM can also be used to provide redundancy, through the mirroring of database files.

ASM essentially eliminates the management overhead involved with the use of a conventional file system. There is no need to manually place data on disks when using ASM. Also, by allowing the administrator to manage just a few disk groups, the administrator is relieved from managing hundreds or thousands of files. Using ASM, the DBA will use disk groups for setting up a database. After setup, the DBA need only be concerned with disk groups when monitoring and changing disk allocations within the disk groups.

ASM uses the process of breaking each file into multiple extents and spreading the extents evenly across all of the disks in a disk group. Once ASM disk groups are established, the Oracle database automatically allocates storage space from these disk groups for creating and deleting files.

Unneeded data files are automatically deleted with ASM, rather than requiring a manually issued command, as in previous versions. Automated Storage Management enhances database integrity for databases operating on disks that are not extremely reliable.

ASM doesn't have to be installed in order to install an Oracle database. However, to use ASM files, there must be at least one ASM instance configured and started prior to starting a database instance that uses ASM files.

Automated Storage Management ASM Disk Groups

A disk group is basically one or more ASM disks that are managed as a single logical unit. Any data-structure stored in an ASM disk group is totally contained within that disk group, or self-contained. A database using ASM disks doesn't have to be shutdown in order for a disk to be added or dropped. ASM rebalances the spread of data to ensure an even I/O load to all disks in a disk group when the disk group configuration changes.


We mentioned that any single ASM file is self-contained in a single ASM disk group. However, an ASM disk group can contain files belonging to several databases, and a single database can use storage from multiple ASM disk groups. One or more disk groups can be specified as the default disk group for files created in a database.


Disk groups are created at database creation or when a new application is developed. An ASM disk group can also change when its database server configuration is altered.


Most installations will probably have two or more disk groups. The reasons for having multiple different disk groups include the following:

§         To group disks of different manufacturers, different sizes or performance characteristics.

§         To group disks with different external redundancy together; for example, JBOD (just a bunch of disks) would generally not be in the same disk group with disks from a RAID 1+0 or RAID5 configuration, but this is possible using ASM.

§         To separate work and recovery areas for a given database.

In any installation, non-ASM managed operating system storage repositories are required, and are used for swap files, execution libraries, and user file systems. The Oracle database and ASM executable files and libraries must reside on the server’s operating system file system and cannot reside in an ASM disk.

There are three types of ASM disk groups:

- Normal redundancy
- High redundancy
- External redundancy

With normal and high redundancy, the disk group template specifies the ASM redundancy attributes for all files in the disk group. Configuration of ASM high redundancy provides a greater degree of protection. With external redundancy, ASM does not provide any redundancy for the disk group. In external redundancy, the underlying disks in the disk group must provide redundancy (for example, using a RAID storage array.)

ASM Files

As the database requests, ASM will create the required files. ASM assigns each file a fully qualified name ending in a dotted pair of numbers. You can create more user-friendly alias names for the Automated Storage Management filenames by using ASM aliases.

Query the v$osm_alias data dictionary view to see assigned alias names for ASM files. During normal operations, users do not need to be aware of ASM file names. The contents of the v$osm_alias view are shown in Table 1.1.

Whenever a filename is required from an ASM disk, a mechanism for recognizing ASM file naming syntax is provided. At file creation, certain file attributes are permanently set, such as its protection policy (mirroring) and its striping policy. ASM files are not visible from the operating system or its utilities, but they are visible to database instances, RMAN, and other Oracle-supplied tools.

Automated Storage Management ASM Disks

The unit of storage for ASM disk groups is ASM Disks. An ASM disk name is common to all nodes of the cluster. The administrator can specify the disk name, or it will be automatically generated by ASM when a disk is added to a disk group. Since different hosts can use different operating system names to refer to the same ASM disk, the ASM disk name abstraction is required.

To reduce the chances of losing data in case of single disk failure, ASM provides mirroring. If disk mirroring weren’t provided, the loss of the unduplicated data from a single ASM disk would possibly damage every file in the disk group.

ASM Instances

The Oracle Database 10g introduces the ASM instance, a special Oracle instance that manages the disks in disk groups. The ASM instance must be configured and running for the database instance to access Automated Storage Management files.

ASM instances are not used to mount databases, they are simply used to coordinate data layout for database instances. However, the database instances do direct I/O to disks in disk groups. I/O doesn't go through the ASM instance.

Multiple, separate database instances can share ASM disk groups for their files. A single node typically requires only a single ASM instance. The single ASM instance manages all disk groups. In a Real Application Cluster (RAC) environment, there is typically one ASM instance on each node in the RAC cluster, managing all disk groups for its node in a coordinated manner with the rest of the cluster.

All ASM management commands are directed through the ASM instance, no ASM commands are issued to any regular Oracle database instance using the ASM files.

Get the Complete
Oracle SQL Tuning Information 

The landmark book "Advanced Oracle SQL Tuning  The Definitive Reference"  is filled with valuable information on Oracle SQL Tuning. This book includes scripts and tools to hypercharge Oracle 11g performance and you can buy it for 30% off directly from the publisher.


Oracle Training at Sea
oracle dba poster

Follow us on Twitter 
Oracle performance tuning software 
Oracle Linux poster


Burleson is the American Team

Note: This Oracle documentation was created as a support and Oracle training reference for use by our DBA performance tuning consulting professionals.  Feel free to ask questions on our Oracle forum.

Verify experience! Anyone considering using the services of an Oracle support expert should independently investigate their credentials and experience, and not rely on advertisements and self-proclaimed expertise. All legitimate Oracle experts publish their Oracle qualifications.

Errata?  Oracle technology is changing and we strive to update our BC Oracle support information.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback.  Just  e-mail:  

and include the URL for the page.


Burleson Consulting

The Oracle of Database Support

Oracle Performance Tuning

Remote DBA Services


Copyright © 1996 -  2020

All rights reserved by Burleson

Oracle ® is the registered trademark of Oracle Corporation.