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Re: MS SQL Server Evaluation

From: Howard J. Rogers <>
Date: Tue, 16 Mar 2004 08:20:23 +1100
Message-ID: <40561e19$0$3955$>

"Daniel Morgan" <> wrote in message news:1079372613.798437_at_yasure...
> Niall Litchfield wrote:
> >
> > I see a lot of this sort of remark from advocates of RAC (or indeed many
> > other new technologies). The selling point of RAC is that it gives near
> > linear scalability and reliability no matter what your application -
that is
> > how it is sold.
> I know. Oracle's marketing is doing Oracle no service by
> mischaracterizing RAC ... and for that matter GRID. They are creating
> misunderstandings that only hurt the product's acceptance and the
> very sales they think they are enhancing.
> If the reality is (and I honestly think that it is) that
> > your average off the shelf business software solution (think
> > SAP,Peoplesoft,SIEBEL etc) will actually suffer under RAC, then the
> > is that buying RAC would be a poor idea.
> That depends on more things than just the software developer's name. And
> it depends on why RAC is being purchased because there are three
> entirely different reasons for buying it.
> 1. High availability
> 2. Scalability
> 3. Failover

Now this is where it gets interesting, because my list of RAC benefits would read:

  1. High availability
  2. Scale Up (do more work in the same time)
  3. Speed Up (do the same work in less time)

I count failover (by which I presume you mean Transparent Application Failover?) as merely a component of High Availability (and given it only works for select statements in 9i, it was another feature that was over-sold).

Now, if you accept that list, then a number of questions arise, principle amongst which is: is there any other product or configuration which can give you 90%+ of those benefits without the additional complexity and hassles which RAC can bring to the party?

And, until 9i Release 2, I would have argued that there wasn't really. Standby database could give you most of the High Availability you might want. And with multiple standby databases, you could have opened one of them read-only and done your reporting there, thus freeing up your primary site for OLTP-type work, and thus achieving some form of scale-up.

But with the logical standby of 9i Release 2, I'd argue that you can pretty much achieve most of those three points with goold old Data Guard. Having the standby database fully openable makes a hell of a difference to the equation.

And whereas the big boys will certainly have a genuine need for the full package that RAC can give, I think the majority of sites can get by with the not-quite-as-sexy and not-quite-as-functional but still-pretty-much-adequate capabilities of DG.

In a world where, if my memory of the last set of figures I saw was correct, 25% of Oracle sites still use version 7, and another 35% still use 8i, then I think it safe to assert that most people don't need RAC. Which is where (if memory again serves) this entire discussion started.

HJR Received on Mon Mar 15 2004 - 15:20:23 CST

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