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Oracle 10g - The Database for the Grid

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%.

Oracle Database - A Consumer of Grid Resources

The Oracle Database is a consumer of grid resources, such as the computing resources (aka. servers), storage units and provider of the data resources for the application users. It is capable of managing and provisioning the cluster and storage resources to different databases running in the grid environment.

Oracle 10g database has many new and innovative features facilitating for the setting up of multiple databases in a clustered environment and non-clustered grid environment. It has the advantage of leveraging the underlying grid infrastructure components and manages them efficiently. The grid components, such as low cost servers or blades, powerful interconnect and storage arrays are very well utilized by the Oracle 10g database.

Grid Enabling Components

Oracle 10g Database comes equipped with many grid-enabling technologies and they are examined in the following sections.

Automatic Storage Management (ASM)

ASM simplifies the storage requirements needed to support the database. It provides data provisioning methods. As the demand for data arises, new disk devices can be added dynamically. Within a specific disk group, Oracle automatically allocates the storage, creates, and deletes the data files as needed. The detection of hot spots and I/O balancing functions are managed by the ASM methodology, thereby lessening the manual intervention by DBA and SA. ASM also offers the benefit of the RAID and logical volume functionality.

Oracle is capable of reassigning disks from one node to another and from one cluster to another. Oracle can also balance the I/O activity from multiple databases across all of the devices in disk group. It can also implement striping and mirroring methodology to improve the I/O performance.

The capacity to manage the storage supporting the database enables optimum utilization of the storage resources. Storage can be assigned when needed and can be removed when it is not needed. This gives a true Grid-Friendly functionality.

Portable Clusterware

Cluster software is the software stack that defines, configures, and manages the cluster members or the cluster nodes. Cluster software, sometimes called the cluster manager, keeps track of the health of the nodes and communicates with cluster database system. In order to provide a uniform cluster software stack across many operating systems and platforms, Oracle has introduced portable clusterware to support the Oracle Real Application Cluster. This avoids purchase, install, and configuration of third-party cluster vendor.

By supplying uniform, standard, and integrated cluster software, cluster vendor imposed limitations such as the number of nodes and using a particular type of interconnect technology, are avoided. Now Oracle RAC implementations will have a common look and feel even if they are implemented on different operating systems and different server hardware.

Support for Infiniband Interconnect

Any large scale implementation of Oracle RAC involving a large set of nodes has to depend on a reliable, low latency and high bandwidth interconnect. The architecture also requires having redundant switches to support large interconnect connections.

With the support for Infiniband interconnect and I/O connectivity technology, Oracle 10g is able to get better performance and scalability. With the support and availability of Infiniband for Oracle database and Oracle RAC Clusters, client to server, server to server, and server to storage communication achieve higher throughput and reduced bottlenecks. 

Oracle Real Application Cluster

Oracle Real Application Cluster utilizes the commodity style servers or blades to provide a scalable and high performing database computing resource. Highly available and scalable Oracle RAC database becomes the main building blocks for large Data Grids for consolidating and processing large volume of the corporate data. With its shared storage model, and with multiple instances, RAC database can scale well and meet the challenge of uneven database processing loads. Oracle RAC is well suited for the provisioning of blades or servers as the need arises.

Oracle RAC also offers automatic workload management for services within a RAC a database. RAC can automatically load-balance connections as they are made across instances hosting a service. It is relatively easy to add and subtract instances or blade servers into the cluster.

The bulk of the material in this book is focused on Oracle RAC.


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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