Oracle Database Tips by Donald Burleson
Oracle and Grid Computing Initiatives
Oracle is a leading member of the Enterprise Grid
Alliance(EGA), a consortium of
leading vendors and customers for enterprise grid computing. The focus
of the EGA is on promoting tools and standards for developers and
users, and fostering understanding and adoption of grid computing
within the enterprise. Oracle's focus with the EGA is to promote grid
computing in enterprises and provide support of enterprise computing
via grid technologies and database architectures.
provided grid features at no additional cost to the customers. It has
also provided the Grid SDK
(Software Development Kit) free of charge to support this initiative.
Oracle provides distributed SQL features to transparently query or
update data in other Oracle databases or non-Oracle databases using
transparent gateways, and makes it appear local. Oracle Transportable
tablespaces allow Oracle datafiles to be copied from one server to a
different one, even across different operating systems.
can share data between databases or database nodes automatically,
enabling efficient communications between applications on a grid. The
Grid Infrastructure will be addressed in the next few paragraphs.
How Does Grid Infrastructure Work?
In the last decade, availability and
affordability of super fast computers, storage devices and networking
devices has improved dramatically. By using the increased efficiencies
of processes and systems, grid computing can be achieved as in any
utility grid. To explain this further, please refer to Figure 1.1. By
putting all the hardware and applications together, islands of under
utilized resources are eliminated.
Hardware vendors are selling cheaper and faster
machines, server blades, networking equipment, etc., which was unheard
of ten years ago. A server blade is a circuit board with memory, CPU
and hard disk to be mounted on a rack. They offer the lowest cost of
computing that is scalable, efficient and reliable. Blade farms or
groups of fast computers are the basis of clustering technology and
On the software side of computing, Linux
continues to attract more companies by providing an inexpensive and
reliableoperating system. Linux runs very well on blades and
smaller machines up to four CPUs. This CPU constraint is assumed to be
overcome in the near future. When considering a blade farm or server
farm running on Linux, the cost advantage is much higher than in a
When a grid environment similar to the one in
Figure 1.1 is deployed, users cannot determine where the server is
located and where the data is being stored. The experience to the
users is a faster, seamless operation of their applications.
Oracle started leveraging grid
technology with the introduction of Real Application Clusters(RAC) in Oracle 9i Release 1. Oracle 9i has proven its
scalability on Linux clusters with up to 32 nodes, though
theoretically there is no architectural limit. RAC enables the
utilization of blade farms. The RAC technology enables applications to
choose the blades depending on the need for resources. This capability
has matured in Oracle Database 10g to the Automatic Storage Managementsolution. In addition, the introduction of BigFile
tablespaces, etc., has just extended the storage limits, which was
unimaginable in earlier Oracle releases and with competing database
vendors. In fact, BigFile tablespaces can support up to 8 exabytes,
which is 8 million terabytes.
Companies with multiple databases on
heterogeneous, dedicated hardware can use grid computing to
consolidate the hardware resources, improve utilization and efficiency
of resources, and manage a larger environment with less administrative
Oracle's portability across multiple operating
systems and hardware platforms can be used as an advantage for
supporting heterogeneous grids. These heterogeneous grids will allow
use of all existing hardware and major operating systems. Applications
developed for one operating system can be run on another without any
changes. Over the last few years, flexible storage accessible over
storage area networks has become very popular, enabling multiple
servers to access the same set of disks in a distributed environment.
Oracle Database 10g has introduced the grid
control functionality to have centralized management of databases and
application servers running on multiple grids. This feature is useful
in small as well as large enterprises, when managing tens to hundreds
of database servers. All these databases can be linked on the grid to
ensure automated database administration of various tasks and data
movements among them.
The Automatic Storage Management solution will be
reviewed in this book along with the many other new database features.
All these features enable the database administrator to expand the
existing databases without any storage limits. This book is more
focused on easy database administration of the database and not on
installing a grid solution using multiple computers. The reader is
advised to consult Oracle Enterprise Manager
Grid Control Installation and Basic Configuration manual- 10g Release
1 (10.1) (Part No. B12012-02) for more details.
Oracle provides distributed SQL features that
make the data seem local regardless of the actual location of the
database. Also, Oracle allows access to non-Oracle databases and any
ODBC compliant databases by means of transparent gateways and makes
the data appear as it does in Oracle databases. This topic will be
explored during a review of transportable tablespaces in a later
Streams is an Oracle feature that adds to the
abilities of grid computing by providing a uniform framework for
information sharing, message queuing, replication, data movement, data
warehouse loading, etc. Oracle Streams
helps the grid to keep one or more databases in sync, even when
updates are made only on one database.
Streams automatically captures database changes and propagates
them to subscribing nodes, applies the changes and resolves any
conflicts. Oracle 10g
extends Streams support by adding the streams pool in the SGA
In a nutshell, grid computing allows flexible
management and deployment of the computing resources of the
organization that easily adapts to organizational changes.
This is an excerpt from the book
Easy Oracle Automation. You can get it
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instant access to scripts from the code depot: