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RE: netapps experience and performance tool

From: McCartney, Bruce <>
Date: Fri, 19 Nov 2004 12:00:59 -0700
Message-ID: <2AC6E76393E5FF4888D20C25902DBDF503B7AF@calexch01>

Netapp has some really nice features, such as snapshots that allow for = very fast point-in-time recovery in very little time - without a mirror = of all the data. It does this by maintaining a list of block changes in = the netapp by time; allowing you to take snaps at several points in = time during a process and quickly return to those point in time. This = is really nice in a testing environment, but we had some issues with the = feature in production that you need to be aware of. If you create a =

snap and just leave it, you eventually run out of space on the device =
and get oracle errors are somewhat difficult to believe because,  for =
example, you get an OS "i'm out of space, so i can't grow" error on a =
device that has nothing but data files are not autoextend enabled...

We also ended up migrating off netapp for performance reasons on a very, = very redo intensive OLTP application. It turned out we reached a max = write throughput for the filer (everything was fine below this = threshold) and things degraded quite dramatically. This write rate was = primarily due to poor application design (update millions of rows;commit = every row) but was a real issue. With the filer, OS monitoring is very = different as the OS sees network traffic; not disk access. We had: = netapp come in and look at the filer and it "wasn't busy" - based on = summary statistics that are fundamentally flawed'; OS gurus look at aix = and solaris and say it is not being taxed and the network is "not busy" = - based on summary statistics relative to the 2 Gigabit pipes that are = fundamentally flawed; and the poor dba sees oracle report timed events = for log file sync and db file % read approaching floppy disk speeds and = users whose jobs are not finishing when the need them.

Also, with our version of the filer, i recall that aync I/O was not = possible...

Overall, the netapp was deployed happily in less intense database...


-----Original Message-----
[]On Behalf Of Post, Ethan
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 11:07 AM To:;; Subject: RE: netapps experience and performance tool

If you end up NFS mounting netapp I don't think sar -d works. I just recently saw an issue with DBWR bottleneck during checkpoints, appears to be some sort of IO configuration issue with Oracle/HPUX and NetApp, this article I think may have provided the solution

I am just a point of contact on the issue so I am not sure. Anyway, I think in general provided you get a filer with plenty of disks you can expect pretty good performance, there are other listers here I know are running NetApp very successfully with heavy IO demands. I think the lesson to be learned is make sure you get spread the IO out across a lot of disks, requires a large filer and don't skimp on configuration, you don't want the network to be the bottleneck.

-----Original Message-----
[] On Behalf Of Nick Tilbury @
Sent: Friday, November 19, 2004 10:09 AM To: ''; Subject: RE: netapps experience and performance tool

I believe Oracle and Netapps are very much 'in-bed-together' now days and
all Oracle in-house platforms
are now hosted by Netapps kit (

I have had some seriously bad experiences with write performance on NAS units but that was a few years ago
and it was on an extremely cheap bit of kit.

My current thinking is there is a place for NAS but unless it's top of the
line kit it's place is not=3D20
hosting an OLTP database.

We currently use a NAS unit for DEV/TEST databases and are in the process of
implementing a disk-staging
procedure for backups using an ATA Beast NAS.


Received on Fri Nov 19 2004 - 13:15:33 CST

Original text of this message