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Don Burleson Blog 







Oracle Fail Safe vs. RAC tips

Oracle Database Tips by Donald BurlesonFebruary 19, 2015

Question:  What is Oracle Fail Safe and how does it compare to Oracle RAC for high availability?  Can I use Fail Safe on Solaris or HP/UX?

Answer:  Oracle Fail Safe is a cheap alternative to RAC which only runs on Windows.  As such, it is far less reliable as a high availability solution than Oracle RAC, primarily because of Windows vulnerabilities and the tens of thousands of OS problems that require weekly patching of Windows required by Microsoft.

Architecturally, Fail Safe is very similar to RAC because it allows multiple instances to share a common database, but RAC is far superior to Fail Safe for many reasons. 

·         Tiny servers:  Fail Safe cannot be run on industrial strength Sun, HP or IBM servers.  Remember, Fail Safe was designed to work on Windows PC's.

·    Running instances:  In RAC, all instances are running and accepting work.  In fail safe, the failover instance must be started before it can be used, causing an unnecessary outage.

·    Fast Failover:  In RAC, transparent application failover redirects transactions immediately, while in Fail Safe you must wait for the instance and listener to be started.

In sum, there is no such thing as high availability on a Windows Fail Safe platform, not because of Oracle, but because of the long history of Windows software problems.



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