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High Performance Computing and Availability

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%.

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 institutions.

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 examined.

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.

Applications involving 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 availability.

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.


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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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.

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