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Blade Servers

Oracle RAC Cluster Tips by Burleson Consulting

This is an excerpt from the bestselling book Oracle Grid & Real Application Clusters.  To get immediate access to the code depot of working RAC scripts, buy it directly from the publisher and save more than 30%.

Buying the large SMP servers involves substantial capital costs. Many organizations over time have ended up buying resources and not using them to their fullest extent. With blade servers, purchases can be made incrementally blade-by-blade or frame by frame. Blades are also replaceable because they can be added and removed on an individual basis without having to shutdown the whole blade system or blade frame, thereby providing the online server management. Blades within a unified chassis are easier to manage.

A Blade Server is a thin board containing one or more microprocessors. Blades offer power and memory similar to that available in typical 1U (1.75 inch high) servers, but squeeze vertically or horizontally into a chassis which includes cabling, fans, and power supplies typically found on individual servers.


The InfiniBand architecture provides an industry-standard technology for scaling out computer platforms and is an ideal interconnect for developing high performance Itanium 2 processor-based compute grid clusters.

Low cost InfiniBand silicon that supports 10 Gb/sec RDMA transfers is shipping today providing eight times the bandwidth of Ethernet and three times the bandwidth of proprietary clustering interconnects. With an approved specification for 30 Gb/sec, InfiniBand is at least a generation ahead of competing fabric technologies today and in the foreseeable future.

Leveraging the 10 Gb/sec throughput and low latency capabilities of the InfiniBand technology, the InfiniBand enabled clusters are increasingly built in research and commercial institutions. They are showing a significant improvement in rendering speed (3x to 4x) over the Gigabit Ethernet enabled grid cluster.

The Role of Linux

Linux operating system, which became quite popular for hosting web servers and firewalls is now increasingly picked up or selected for mission critical servers such as the application clusters and databases.

?Linux is able to provide the UNIX reliability at Intel prices,? says a recent report by Forester Research Inc. For example, Linux based 2-way Dell machines can handle the same work load as the Solaris 4-way Sun servers and at a fraction of the cost.

Linux has achieved other technological advances such as 4-way CPU support and sophisticated threading model and enterprise class security. Linux based Intel servers and clusters are now being increasingly used for IBM WebSphere servers, BEA Web Logic Servers and for Oracle Real Application Clusters.

Figure 2.4 shows the gradual growth of Linux and its footing into the corporate IT data centers. As the Linux operating system is gaining ground and maturing as a commodity operating system, it is becoming a key resource for Grid infrastructure.

Figure 2.4:  Linux Adoption and Growth


This is an excerpt from the bestselling book Oracle Grid & Real Application Clusters, Rampant TechPress, by Mike Ault and Madhu Tumma.

You can buy it direct from the publisher for 30%-off and get instant access to the code depot of Oracle tuning scripts.


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