Re: ASM of any significant value when switching to Direct NFS / NetApp / non-RAC?

From: Dana Nibby <>
Date: Fri, 10 Aug 2012 03:24:24 -0700 (PDT)
Message-ID: <>

Thanks Andrew, Chris, Connor, Dave, Hans, Matt, Nuno and Wayne.

_at_Dave, great point about ASM and bugs. Would you say Oracle's DFNS client is mostly rock solid and bug-free? Even if it wasn't, removing one component with potential for bugs (ASM) is an improvement over two components with bug potential. So your argument stands. Just curious-in-advance about any known Oracle DFNS client "gotchas"--that have hopefully been resolved if were there was one (or many).

_at_Tim, "Roger that" on Human Factors. To that self-talk toolset on tech adoption I would also add the latin phrase "Cui bono?": "Who stands to gain?" or "Who benefits?" I always want to answer "the downstream customer." Naive perhaps. But I believe it's better to be an optimist and customer advocate. The beneficiary should nearly always be those whose data and apps we're stewards of. But the reality is often "Cuius regio eius religio": "the ruler of a territory chooses its religion."

_at_Hans, interesting about the issue of HW mirroring versus SW multiplexing and how the two differ. Is Alex's demo available online? If not, can you recommend any good sources discussing the differences / perils in more detail? While I'm no longer "pushing" for ASM (I'd call it due dilligence / inquiry / guarding against the potential Loss of a Good Thing without sufficient evidence) I'm still interested in knowing the subtleties around these matters.

_at_Connor, re: file management. With ASM, it's a breeze to use "+DATAFILE" and have Oracle deal with pathing details. Is there a similar shorthand I can use without ASM that offers the same convenience?

_at_Matt, re: gyrations, tool lock-in, etc, one reason for jettisoning ASM and our switch to DNFS is SMO.The org (not on my advice or counsel), is implementing several new technologies all at once. Typically a bad idea. For one because there are multiple learning curves to ascend (the Myth of Sisyphus comes to mind here). Another, because if something goes wrong, how to easily identify and isolate which piece is blameworthy? Another example of What Not To Do would be changing many Oracle instance parameters simultaneously during a performance tuning effort.

Anyway, the new-to-us technologies being implemented together are: Oracle on VMWare, NetApp "RAID DP" storage, DNFS, and SMO (Snap Manager for Oracle). Getting SMO to work in this new environment, even with an Oracle Corp employee and top tier NetApp support helping the org implement SMO, has been... complicated. Ran into strange problems with # of LUN limitations (255?) with VMWare, etc.

Turns out we will be using SMO rather than RMAN because it was sold to our Infrastructure Group as part of a package deal / bundle along with the storage. Still not sure we have particular Use Cases or Business Requirements to use SMO; perhaps aside from having a single tool, less expensive than CommVault, to backup both Oracle and SQL Server databases.

Anyway, thanks to all for the great discussion / information. As always, lots to take in. Wanted to be sure I didn't fall victim to Confirmation Bias.

And now for something completely off-topic. What are the chances I'll be snowed-out of Trail Ridge Road in late August/early Sept? Will be vacationing in Estes Park Fri (8/31) and Sat (9/1). I know there's a very active Oracle Community around Denver so I thought it couldn't hurt to ask.

Also... since metro Denver Metro residents are spoiled for choice when it comes to microbrews--the Napa Valley of Beer?--what breweries would folks recommend between Denver and Fort Collins (spending a day there with a friend).Incidentally, I've heard Fort Collins described as "Boone, NC with Jobs). Appalachian State University is my alma mater. Only left the mountains due to lack of good professional jobs.

If I could visit only one microbrewery between Denver and Fort Collins, which would you recommend and why? My current favorite is Wheat Beers--from Heffeweizens to Belgian Whits. Which microbreweries have Best in Class for those varieties? I'll be hitting up the Germans for beer advisories in Bavaria (between Munich and Fussen). Where I'll hopefully be on holiday in late May.

Beer. Oracle. Hiking. Life is Good. :-)

Have a great weekend.



 From: Herring Dave - dherri <> To: "" <>; "" <> Sent: Thursday, August 9, 2012 6:27 PM
Subject: RE: ASM of any significant value when switching to Direct NFS / NetApp / non-RAC?  

I think another point for skipping ASM when not necessary is the chance of skipping out on bugs.  ASM is great and works fine most of the time, but in each release we've hit a few bugs that have made for some interesting (and long) nights.

My favorite "adjustment" to the prayer Tim listed: God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change; courage to change the people I can; and wisdom to know it's me.

Acxiom Corporation

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1501 Opus Pl, Downers Grove, IL 60515, USA WWW.ACXIOM.COM  -----Original Message-----
From: [] On Behalf Of Tim Gorman Sent: Thursday, August 09, 2012 10:44 AM To:
Subject: Re: ASM of any significant value when switching to Direct NFS / NetApp / non-RAC?


I believe that Nuno (and others) were commenting on the human obstacles, not the technical feasibility.

Having a storage/SysAdmin team doling out file-system mount-points for one group of database environments and LUNs for the other group can be challenging from the perspective of expectations, boundaries, and politics.  One of the things that ASM does (and continues to do) is disrupt the decades-old relationship between DBA and storage/SysAdmin teams, and while some organizations will absorb that without any indigestion, others won't.

One of my current customers is an AIX shop where one of the SysAdmins is a forceful personality, and as a result their RAC environment use GPFS not ASM, despite the additional licensing costs.  And that is right for them, right now.  Over time, I believe Linux will likely replace AIX, people will move on, and ASM will become part of the mix.  As well as Cloudera or MongoDB.

The Serenity Prayer is relevant: God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.

And I like to append the clause:  "in time".  It provides so many additional nuances to the already nuanced prayer.  Rather like adding the phrase "between the sheets" to a fortune cookie's fortune...  :-)

Only a few obstacles are technical; most are political.

Hope this helps...

Tim Gorman
consultant -> Evergreen Database Technologies, Inc.
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Received on Fri Aug 10 2012 - 05:24:24 CDT

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