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RE: Oracle 10g RAC on Linux - hardware confusion #@$!

From: Peter Miller <>
Date: Mon, 14 Jun 2004 16:12:47 +0100
Message-ID: <F9A7789AB548E54E8841E384B0B36F470511CC62@zaphod.cogent-dsn.local>


thanks for your reply. You mention a disk array in your first paragraph. Could you describe a h/w shopping list of the kit required to add a shared disk array to 2 or more generic Linux servers (happen to be DELL 1600 SC servers). Would something like a Dell PowerVault 220 be suitable for a 2 node system?

I must admit I feel a bit of a fool, having believed all the marketing hype when told at the various 10g conferences that RAC was built on simple cheap Linux boxes - they forgot to mention the heart of it (the database cluster) still resides on expensive SCSI disk arrays. Still I guess it's all relative. Relative to Sun kit that is.


Peter Miller

-----Original Message-----
From: Matthew Zito [] Sent: 14 June 2004 13:38
Subject: Re: Oracle 10g RAC on Linux - hardware confusion #@$!

For 10g (and 9i, for that matter), the database files can be located on a physically separate server over a network, which is NAS. However, that method doesn't use OCFS - it uses NFS. OCFS is used when you have a disk array (or individual disk) directly attached to multiple nodes. While you can mix and match (some datafiles on OCFS, some datafiles on NAS), you only need one or the other to have a working RAC database.

For OCFS testing, the cheapest thing to get is Firewire drives - any of the LaCie firewire drives work well for this. Then hook both of your servers up to the drive and use it as a shared storage point. There are some good docs on this floating around the net.

For NAS, its tempting to use a linux box as storage and share filesystems over NFS, but its not guaranteed to work. Here at Gridapp, we spent quite a while about a year ago trying to validate Linux as an NFS storage platform for RAC. Given that we have what could be described as a troubling number of RAC databases in our lab, the ability to just kind of throw cheap Linux boxes for storage at our clusters was appealing. However, we kept finding bugs in the Linux NFS code that would result in cluster crashes. We eventually abandoned it and just standardized on Netapp. You can find very old and cheap Netapp boxes on ebay for a few thousand dollars - $8,000 can get you the top of the line last-generation filer used. Newer versions of the linux kernel might have fixed these NFS bugs - since Linux isn't a supported NFS server storage platform for RAC anyway, we never invested huge amounts of effort in getting them fixed.

The last RAC storage option for directly connected storage is ASM. Yes, its kind of a pleasant veneer on top of raw devices, but it works very well, at least in our lab. It's not quite as elegant as Oracle makes it out to be, but we should all be fairly accustomed to that by now.

Let me know if any of this was unclear, and I hope this helps.


Matthew Zito
GridApp Systems
Cell: 646-220-3551
Phone: 212-358-8211 x 359

On Jun 14, 2004, at 6:30 AM, Peter Miller wrote:

> Hi All,
> I am trying to set up a 10g RAC on Linux Red Hat AS 2.1
> I have 2 servers for the database instances, and another 1 for the
> database files. I have got it into my head that the database files can
> be located on a physically separate server over a network (like a NAS)
> using OCFS. However, when I got to the point of "share" the partition
> on
> the "database" server, is seems that I have got completely the wrong
> end
> of the stick.
> The "Cluster" files need to be on shared disk system that is
> connected to the instance servers - is this the case?
> If so, can someone recommend a scaleable bit of hardware (preferable
> Dell) that I can use with 2+ nodes to support the database files of
> RAC.
> If not, can someone please enlighten me.
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Received on Mon Jun 14 2004 - 10:09:31 CDT

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