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Exploring Grid Technology

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%.

In 10g database release, Oracle provides many technology differentiators and also grid technology enablers. Some of these are new additions and some are enhancements. To name a few, data pump utilities is an addition in 10g release and cross-platform transportable tablespace is an enhancement. Automatic Storage management is another notable addition in 10g release.

The Database Processing is a key component in any Grid Framework. At the same time, data movement, data loading and data sharing among the databases and non-database computing areas, is a key prerequisite for the Data Grid implementation. The Oracle Storage Management is an important component in dealing with resource provision. ASM makes the adjustment of disk resources quite transparent.

Many of the well-known and minor features of the Oracle database product are enhanced with a view to participate actively in the Grid Architecture. For Example, the easier data transfers using data pump, Oracle data files transfers among different operating systems, quicker and easier software installation, new replication and messaging methods using the Streams technology etc., are the new features Oracle has emphasized.

Grid Control is well designed to manage besides the databases, the web applications, the application servers and hosts of different operating systems. Grid control provides a bird?s eye view of all resources for easier management.

Oracle 10g database has many new and innovative features to facilitate 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 well utilized by the Oracle 10g database.

Grid Enabling Components

Oracle 10g Database comes equipped with many grid-enabling technologies. The following sections will introduce some of these technologies.

Automatic Storage Management (ASM)

ASM simplifies and manages 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 for the database. 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 where applicable.

Oracle is capable of reassigning disks from one node to another and from one cluster to another. Oracle can also balance the IO activity from multiple databases across all of the devices in disk group. It can also implement striping and mirroring methodology to improve the IO performance. Storage can be assigned when needed and can be removed when it is not needed. This gives a true grid friendly functionality.

Portable Clusterware

As previously noted in this text, the 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 the 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. 

By supplying uniform, standard and integrated cluster software, cluster vendor imposed limitations such as number of nodes and using a particular type of interconnect technology etc., 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. In the Grid Environment, where the RAC database systems become a key component, Portable Clusterware adds to the functionality and eases management issues.


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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