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Oracle ASM with NSF

Oracle Database Tips by Burleson Consulting

May 2, 2015

Question:  Is it possible to use Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM) with a Network File System (NSF)?  In what cases does it make sense to use NSF with ASM?

Answer:  Yes, it is possible to use NSF with ASM but it is not recommended for several reasons, mostly performance.  This Oracle ASM and NSF whitepaper notes that they do not recommend using ASM with NSF:

"ASM can be configured with NFS-based files as ASM disks. For optimal performance this is not considered best practice, but it will work.

When using ASM on top of NFS, the NFS files are used as ASM disks, so the provisioning and data management model is similar to that for ASM on SAN storage, while NFS is used to perform I/O."

The advantage of Network File System (NSF) is flexibility, such that a disk (or filesystem on a physical disk spindle) can be mounted and un-mounted to map to several different servers.  In a sense, Oracle's Automatic Storage Management (ASM) performs a similar function, allowing an ASM disk group to be accessed natively from many different server environments.

Experts say that the only time when it may be recommended to use NSF with ASM is where you have hardware that does not allow shared disks.

 
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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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