Saturday, February 16, 2008

Oracle - OFA and relevance to RAC and modern times

Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) is gaining huge popularity due to its promise of high performance and availability at a reasonable cost.

However deploying and supporting a RAC environment is no easy task. To support RAC technologies, today’s DBA has to be knowledgeable not just about the database but also storage, cluster technology and have sound networking concepts. It is not practical to expect that all support staff have the same degree of skill and knowledge.

RAC being a Shared Storage solution, great emphasis is placed on suitable Shared Storage and the corresponding file system layout (if using a Cluster File system). The IO attributes of the Shared Storage solution can more or less make or break the solution – especially when deploying RAC for datawarehousing.

To this effect, I have been working on a document to create a reference configuration of the file system layout in RAC environment. The objectives are a solution which is
  • Easy to implement and support
  • High performance
  • High Availability
  • Easy to backup and restore
Oracle’s OFA may not be suitable for an Enterprise environment wherein the database sizes are bigger and support roles are highly compartmentalized. Also OFA seems to be overtly complicated when deploying - for e.g. why would you ever have multiple versions of oracle binaries on a production environment?

So any proposed solution should be easy to support even for a beginner in RAC technologies. I have more or less completed the document and hope to post it by the end of March.

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