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Highly available and scalable
server-based computer systems and applications are an essential part
of today?s internet based business environment. This is achieved by
cluster technology and fault tolerant systems. The clustering
technology that supports both high performance computing and high
availability has been widely used by many commercial and research
High Performance computing has
been with us for several years. Research, scientific, and
educational communities have always been in the forefront in using
the high performance computers for research applications. Analysis
of large data and complex algorithms in almost real-time needed high
performance computing platforms.
In this chapter, high
performance computing trends and high availability needs for the
database systems will be examined. The main topics of this chapter
include examination of growth of relational database systems, high
performance computing features, and highly available database
concepts and features. The role of clusters in supporting the
database systems will be covered and the types of clusters will be
High Performance Computing
Modern business operations
depend on structured data. At all levels of the organization, there
is heavy dependence on database for performing business tasks. With
e-business applications and globalization of business operations,
on-line database systems are essential for day-to-day operations.
The internet, with its potential to connect virtually every computer
in the world, has made database technology more crucial than ever.
With increasing numbers of users connecting concurrently to
databases to query and update data, high performing servers are
essential. Uneven workload patterns and long running complex data
warehousing applications require high performing database
technology. Database software must be able to cope with increased
demands and complexity.
multimedia, medicine, statistical analysis, securities related
modeling and projections, insurance and retail industries, to name a
few, are data hungry and utilize very large databases. They all
store and analyze high volumes of data. Data mining is one of the
key techniques used by many enterprises to extract information
diamonds. These data intensive and resource consuming applications
suffer from performance problems and bottlenecks caused by using a
single source of data. However, data distribution and parallel
processing help to overcome these resource and performance problems
and achieve guaranteed throughput, quality of service, and system
Databases are growing in size
and complexity. To optimize the data storage and retrieval, parallel
execution or parallel processing is one of the most effective
methods. Parallel Execution focuses on achieving faster response
times and better utilization of multiple CPU resources on the
database server. The swift growth of databases and accumulation of
large amounts of data necessarily depend on parallel processing.
Many of the RDBM systems, including Oracle, leverage the
availability of faster and multi-CPU computers to process and
retrieve data by utilizing parallel processing methodology.
Growth of Powerful Processors
The power of processors has
increased exponentially in the last two decades. Widely used
processors like Intel's Xeon/Itanium and Sun?s UltraSparc have
revolutionized the server market. Dual processor and Multi-processor
based SMP servers make up the bulk of the data centers today.
Theoretically, the Intel Xeon processor technology delivers about 6
to 8 gigaflops per two-processor node, and the Itanium processors
promise even better performance.