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RE: Oracle & SAN Experiences?

Date: Mon, 11 Nov 2002 08:39:01 -0800
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Babette - Sounds like a problem I wrestled with for a long time. Turns out that RMAN opens quite a few connections and the NAS isn't usually set up for that many connections. Of course, instead of an error message, it just hangs.

Dennis Williams
Lifetouch, Inc.

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Monday, November 11, 2002 9:29 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

A client site that I was supporting a while ago had big problems with their NAS.
While doing Oracle backups to tape, the application would drop connections. In a SAN environment, there might also be similar problems.  

-----Original Message-----

Sent: Friday, November 08, 2002 9:59 AM
To: Multiple recipients of list ORACLE-L

The Sys. Admin. team wants to consolidate storage (and probably get a new toy too) on all of our servers, so they are evaluating a SAN (LSI Logic E4600). The DBA team is doing some research to determine the pros and cons of doing this, and I'd like to hear any of your experiences (good and bad) using SAN with Oracle.  

My understanding is that all of our database servers would remain intact, but the attached disk storage would move into the SAN. So, we still have the Production, Test, and App. servers with their processors and memory, Oracle homes, etc. The SAN will hold database files from Production, Test, Apps., staging, ODS,data warehouse, etc.  

Their arguments:

-the SAN is very scalable (500 GB - 40 TB)

-easy to manage disks in one central location

-fancy statistics collection on all SAN disks

-much higher throughput on the fiber SAN connections than with locally
attached disk arrays

-capable of using mixed RAID levels (0, 1, 1+0, 5, etc.)

-can partition sets of disks in the SAN for specific server access

-Snapshot backup capability is very fast in the SAN (much faster than
traditional Oracle backups)  

DBA arguments:

-How will this affect database performance?

-What are the drawbacks, if any, with the pre-fetch of data performed by the
SAN (i.e., SAN cache)

-How tunable is the SAN

-Fast, small disks are better for performance and less wasted space than the
typical huge disks in a SAN (it's possible to use smaller disks in the SAN)

-Prove it!

After reading the "Sane SAN" article and a case study about Volvo implementing a SAN, I believe it's possible to have a great Oracle/SAN implementation if it's setup correctly and tuned. Other resources that you can Google are "Using SVA SnapShot with Oracle", "Performance Benchmark LSI Logic E4600 (STK D178)", "SAN Storage for Open Systems Environments", and of course check the OraFaq.  

Thanks for sharing,  

David Wagoner

Oracle DBA        


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