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Re: How critical is RAC experience

From: DA Morgan <>
Date: Thu, 28 Apr 2005 08:26:21 -0700
Message-ID: <1114701745.725191@yasure>

Comments in-line.

maks wrote:
> Hello,
> I come across many requirement that require DBA to have specific RAC
> experience. I would like to solicit input from the experts in this
> forum on following.
> 1) For Sr. DBA with solid fundamentals, how difficult/different is to
> handle/administer a RAC database?

Two years ago knowing RAC was in the category of "interesting": No more. I would now classify RAC experience as an essential skill. More and more I see CIOs and CFOs meeting with Oracle, learning about RAC, and pushing it down to their technologists. RAC is the single least expensive means of creating one essential component of high-availability.

For the customer it, in a sense, allows for the creation of mainframes from inexpensive commodity building blocks. It allows incremental scalability unmatchable with any other architecture. And it allows for the incremental expenditure of capital.

For Oracle it is a technology that just does not exist in DB2, in Informix, in SQL Server, or in Sybase. So if you want it you have only one choice and that is to buy Oracle licenses. This makes the stock holders of Oracle smile which gives Oracle a strong incentive to push the technology.

With respect to difficult? I'd say it isn't. Though the new CRS in 10g is a piece of work if you are familiar with the CRS in 9i. Taking a good hands-on class such as those offered by PSOUG will give you what you need to know to install and configure in one day. A second day will get you the experience to maintain and manage clusters. But RAC definitely involves a lot of moving parts of which very few are actually Oracle parts. The hard part of RAC is not Oracle ... it is understanding name resolution, clustered file systems, zoning fabric switches, etc.

> 2) How confortable would you be to hire a good DBA who does not have
> RAC experience to handle your RAC databases?

Not a chance in the world. Wouldn't let you near it.

> Thanks
> Maks.

I would suggest you look for a hands-on RAC class ... one that starts with operating system installation and maximizes hands-on while minimizing PowerPoints. And that you build your own RAC cluster to use for education purposes. It can be easily done at minimal expense as there is no need for new hardware and you can use FireWire for the shared disk.

Daniel A. Morgan
University of Washington
(replace 'x' with 'u' to respond)
Received on Thu Apr 28 2005 - 10:26:21 CDT

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