VNX Cost Efficient Infrastructure for Oracle Databases

White Paper
EMC COST-EFFICIENT INFRASTRUCTURE FOR
ORACLE
EMC VNX5300, EMC FAST Suite, EMC VNX Snapshots,
VMware vSphere, Oracle Standard Edition RAC
• Efficient–Fully virtualized Oracle environment using VMware
vSphere 5
• Optimal–EMC FAST Suite with Flash, SAS, and NL_SAS drives
• Scalable–EMC VNX Snapshots enabling storage scalability
• Agile–Enhanced high availability with VMware HA and Oracle RAC
EMC Solutions Group
Abstract
This white paper describes configuration and deployment strategies for running
increasingly larger virtualized Oracle OLTP workloads in an EMC® VNX®5300
block-based storage array infrastructure, creating a cost-effective platform for
Oracle using EMC FAST Suite. It illustrates the latest EMC VNX technology, VNX
Snapshots, to facilitate the simple and efficient provisioning and protection of
Oracle databases.
October 2012
Copyright © 2012 EMC Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
EMC believes the information in this publication is accurate as of its
publication date. The information is subject to change without notice.
The information in this publication is provided “as is.” EMC Corporation makes
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Trademarks on EMC.com.
VMware, ESXi, VMware vCenter, and VMware vSphere are registered trademarks
or trademarks of VMware, Inc. in the United States and/or other jurisdictions.
All trademarks used herein are the property of their respective owners.
Part Number H10945.1
EMC Cost-Efficient Infrastructure for Oracle
EMC VNX5300, EMC FAST Suite, EMC VNX Snapshots, VMware vSphere, Oracle Standard Edition RAC
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Table of contents
Executive summary............................................................................................................................... 5
Business case .................................................................................................................................. 5
Solution overview ............................................................................................................................ 5
Key results ....................................................................................................................................... 6
Introduction.......................................................................................................................................... 7
Purpose ........................................................................................................................................... 7
Scope .............................................................................................................................................. 7
Audience ......................................................................................................................................... 7
Terminology ..................................................................................................................................... 8
Technology overview ............................................................................................................................ 9
Introduction to the key components ................................................................................................. 9
EMC FAST Suite ................................................................................................................................ 9
FAST Cache.................................................................................................................................. 9
FAST VP ....................................................................................................................................... 9
EMC PowerPath/VE ........................................................................................................................ 10
EMC Virtual Storage Integrator for VMware vSphere ....................................................................... 10
EMC VNX Snapshots ...................................................................................................................... 10
EMC VNX5300 storage array ........................................................................................................... 10
Oracle Database 11g Release 2 SE ................................................................................................. 11
VMware vSphere 5 ......................................................................................................................... 11
Solution configuration........................................................................................................................ 12
Introduction ................................................................................................................................... 12
Solution architecture...................................................................................................................... 12
Database and environment profile ................................................................................................. 13
Hardware resources ....................................................................................................................... 13
Software resources ........................................................................................................................ 14
Virtualized Oracle server configuration........................................................................................... 14
Oracle storage layout ..................................................................................................................... 15
FAST Cache and FAST VP configuration ............................................................................................... 17
FAST Cache configuration ............................................................................................................... 17
Overview ................................................................................................................................... 17
Analyzing the application workload ........................................................................................... 17
FAST VP configuration .................................................................................................................... 19
Overview ................................................................................................................................... 19
Tiering policies .......................................................................................................................... 19
EMC Cost-Efficient Infrastructure for Oracle
EMC VNX5300, EMC FAST Suite, EMC VNX Snapshots, VMware vSphere, Oracle Standard Edition RAC
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EMC VSI overview ............................................................................................................................... 21
Overview ........................................................................................................................................ 21
Datastore and storage pool information from VSI ........................................................................... 21
Testing and validation ........................................................................................................................ 22
Test overview ................................................................................................................................. 22
Test objectives ............................................................................................................................... 22
Test scenarios ................................................................................................................................ 22
Scenario A: Storage resource optimization ..................................................................................... 23
Overview ................................................................................................................................... 23
Test configuration ..................................................................................................................... 23
Test procedure .......................................................................................................................... 23
Testing results ........................................................................................................................... 24
Scenario B: Virtual test/dev environment rapid provisioning and protection .................................. 28
Overview ................................................................................................................................... 28
Test configuration ..................................................................................................................... 28
Test procedure .......................................................................................................................... 28
Testing results ........................................................................................................................... 34
Scenario C: Business continuity and disaster recovery ................................................................... 35
Overview ................................................................................................................................... 35
Test configuration ..................................................................................................................... 35
Test procedure .......................................................................................................................... 35
Testing results ........................................................................................................................... 36
Conclusion ......................................................................................................................................... 38
Summary ....................................................................................................................................... 38
Findings ......................................................................................................................................... 39
Solution key technologies ......................................................................................................... 39
Cost efficiency ........................................................................................................................... 39
References.......................................................................................................................................... 41
White papers ................................................................................................................................. 41
Other documentation ..................................................................................................................... 41
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Executive summary
Small and midsize Oracle customers need a cost-efficient Oracle solution that
balances the three characteristics of Oracle infrastructures:
Business case
•
Agile–Ability to do tasks quickly and easily
•
Efficient–Ability to accomplish more tasks with less or just enough resources
and time
•
Scalable–Ability to add increasing throughput and additional Oracle users on
the existing infrastructure
This EMC solution describes the following EMC, VMware, and Oracle technologies
that enable the needs of the small to midsize Oracle customers:
•
Efficient–VMware® vSphere™ 5.0, including features such as VMware High
Availability (HA), enables this solution to consolidate and run increasingly
larger workloads to meet both availability and increased workloads on the
VMware ESXi™ cluster.
•
Optimal–EMC® FAST Suite enables optimization of the storage environment by
automatically moving hot data slices from busy LUNs to a faster storage
medium (for example, Flash drives) while keeping cold data on the slower
drives (for example, Near-line Serial Attached SCSI (NL_SAS) drives). With FAST
Suite, Oracle database administrators no longer need to worry about Oracle-tostorage tuning. It also avoids performance and operational issues as customers
increase the number of Oracle databases in their environment.
•
Scalable–EMC VNX® Snapshots technology enables storage scalability by
quickly provisioning test development (test/dev) environments, quality
assurance (QA) environments, or other non-production environments through
using virtual copies of the production database.
In addition, the solution illustrates how to save money on Oracle licensing in a
virtualized environment by deploying multiple virtual Oracle Standard Edition (SE)
real application clusters (RAC) database servers with the current Oracle license. This
enables the efficient use of owned licenses to the deployed use-case infrastructure.
Solution overview
The purpose of this solution is to illustrate how EMC, VMware, and Oracle
technologies can simplify the daily tasks in an integrated and cost-efficient
deployment.
The solution demonstrates how the following technologies create this cost-efficient
solution:
•
EMC VNX5300 arrays with VNX OE block release 5.32 support new features,
such as VNX Snapshots, and provide an enterprise-class storage platform for
the solution.
•
FAST Suite, one of EMC’s storage performance optimization features, combined
with Flash, Serial Attached SCSI (SAS), and NL-SAS drives deployed on the
VNX5300 array, reduces the cost and maximizes the performance.
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Key results
•
VMware virtualization technology, including VMware HA feature, demonstrates
the ease of use and low cost features with which multiple Oracle RAC
databases can be managed on a single SAN array.
•
Multiple RAC databases, which utilize Oracle SE rather than Oracle Enterprise
Edition (EE) to minimize Oracle software licensing cost, are used to illustrate a
cost-efficient Oracle solution.
This solution demonstrates a cost-efficient deployment of the following:
•
Hardware (server/network)
•
Storage (array use)
•
Oracle software (Oracle licenses)
Cost-efficiency is always a balance of cost to performance and the following are the
technologies that produced an efficient solution.
EMC FAST Suite and EMC VNX5300 array storage tiers
EMC storage optimization technology, with EMC VNX5300 array storage tiers (SAS
and NL_SAS drives) and EMC FAST Cache technology with Enterprise Flash drives,
enables performance that scales as the workload increases.
Table 1 illustrates EMC FAST Suite and EMC VNX5300 array storage tiers, enabling the
workload to increase, indicated in transactions per minute (TPM).
Table 1.
Workload performance comparison
Items
Use case 1:
One virtual RAC database
Use case 2:
Two virtual RAC databases
Total TPM of workload
19,999
37,298
(TPM baseline)
(86 percent increase in TPM)
VNX Snapshots
VNX Snapshots enables the rapid provisioning of Oracle databases for test,
development, patch, and other Oracle database needs. VNX Snapshots accelerates
the fast recovery of databases (test/dev) to correct a database logical corruption.
These are new snapshot features in VNX OE block release 5.32.
VMware vSphere 5.0
VMware vSphere 5.0 enables the efficient use of customers’ hardware infrastructure
by consolidating many legacy physical servers to many VMware virtual machines.
VMware’s HA feature enables the improved utilization of resources by running
multiple SE Oracle RAC databases with the most efficient use of Oracle software
licensing costs, enhancing the availability of Oracle RAC databases in the event of a
physical ESXi server loss, with minimal downtime and performance impact.
For a detailed review on the cost-efficient use of Oracle and VMware, refer to the
white paper: Understanding Oracle Certification, Support and Licensing for VMware
Environments.
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EMC VNX5300, EMC FAST Suite, EMC VNX Snapshots, VMware vSphere, Oracle Standard Edition RAC
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Introduction
Purpose
This white paper describes a cost-efficient solution built on EMC VNX5300 storage
arrays. In this white paper, technologies such as EMC Fully Automated Storage Tiering
for Virtual Pools (FAST VP), FAST Cache, VNX Snapshots, VMware HA, and Oracle
Standard Edition RAC are deployed in a data center, illustrating the performance,
efficiency, and agility of the Oracle OLTP use-case scenarios.
Scope
The scope of the white paper is to:
Audience
•
Introduce the key technologies
•
Describe the solution architecture and design
•
Demonstrate how the key components are configured
•
Show the configuration and performance of EMC FAST VP and FAST Cache
technology
•
Present cost-efficiency messages related to multiple Oracle RAC databases in a
virtualized VMware environment
•
Demonstrate the rapid provisioning and easy protection of Oracle testing and
development systems with VNX Snapshots technology
•
Show enhanced high availability with the combination of VMware HA and
Oracle RAC
This white paper is intended for Oracle database administrators (DBAs), storage
administrators, IT architects, and technical managers responsible for designing,
creating, and managing mission-critical Oracle OLTP application, and especially for
those who are looking for a cost-efficient storage solution for production or
nonproduction environments.
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Terminology
This white paper includes the items in Table 2.
Table 2.
Terminology
Term
Definition
ASM
Automated Storage Management
CRS
Oracle Cluster Ready Service(CRS)
FAST™
Fully Automated Storage Tiering
FRA
Fast Recovery Area
NL_SAS
Near-line Serial Attached SCSI
OCR
Oracle Cluster Registry
OLTP
Online transaction processing
RAC
Real application cluster
RMAN
Oracle Recovery Manager
SAN
Storage area network
SAS
Serial Attached SCSI
SMP
Snapshot Mount Point
SGA
System Global Area
VMFS
VMware Virtual Machine File System
VMware HA
VMware High Availability
VNX OE
EMC VNX Operating Environment
VSI
EMC Virtual Storage Integrator
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Technology overview
Introduction to the
key components
EMC FAST Suite
This section provides an overview of key technologies used in this solution:
•
EMC FAST Suite
•
EMC PowerPath@/VE
•
EMC Virtual Storage Integrator for VMware vSphere
•
EMC VNX Snapshots
•
EMC VNX5300 storage array
•
Oracle Database 11g Release 2 SE
•
VMware vSphere 5
EMC FAST Suite provides advanced data efficiency using:
•
FAST Cache
•
FAST VP
Both technologies reduce the number of drives needed to meet a given performance
requirement, thereby significantly reducing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the
storage system and achieving the desired performance level.
FAST Cache
FAST Cache uses Flash drives to add an additional layer of cache between the
dynamic random-access memory (DRAM) cache and rotating drives, thereby creating
a faster medium to store frequently accessed data. It is an extendable, read/write
cache. FAST Cache boosts application performance by ensuring that the most active
data is served from high-performing Flash drives and can reside on this faster
medium for as long as is needed.
FAST Cache tracks the data activity level at a 64 KB granularity and copies hot data to
a collection of designated Flash drives. After the data has been promoted to FAST
Cache, Flash drives handle subsequent access to the data, thereby providing
extremely low latency for that data. As the temperature of the copied data decreases
over time, the data is removed from FAST Cache, making room for new hot data.
FAST VP
EMC FAST VP is a policy-based, auto-tiering solution for enterprise applications. With
FAST VP, you can create blended storage pools composed of various disk types, such
as Flash, SAS, and NL_SAS. In a highly consolidated virtualized environment, this
leads to the highest storage efficiency, both from a performance and capacity
perspective, because all the drive spindles can be shared efficiently between
applications.
FAST VP tracks the sub-LUN data activity level at a 1 GB granularity. In turn, these
data slices are automatically migrated to the appropriate tiers within a pool,
depending on the data activity level. The data migration is completely applicationindependent, nondisruptive, and controlled by simple user-defined policies.
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EMC PowerPath/VE EMC PowerPath/VE for VMware vSphere delivers PowerPath multipathing features to
optimize vSphere virtualized environments. PowerPath/VE installs as a kernel module
on the ESXi host and works as a multipathing plug-in (MPP) that provides enhanced
path management capabilities to ESXi hosts. PowerPath/VE is transparent to the
guest operating system running on the virtual machines.
EMC Virtual
Storage Integrator
for VMware
vSphere
EMC Virtual Storage Integrator (VSI) for VMware vSphere is a plug-in to the VMware
vSphere client, providing a single management interface for managing EMC storage
within the vSphere environment. VSI provides a unified and flexible user experience
that allows each feature to be updated independently, and new features to be
introduced rapidly in response to changing customer requirements.
When PowerPath/VE is installed on an ESXi host, VSI presents important multipathing
details for devices, such as the load-balancing policy, the number of active paths,
and the number of dead paths.
EMC VNX
Snapshots
VNX Snapshots were introduced in VNX OE block release 5.32.
Unlike copy-onfirst-write (COFW) snapshots, VNX Snapshots do not need to copy
base-LUN data to the reserved LUN pool to preserve the point-in-time copy. Instead,
new writes to the base LUN are directed to a different location in the storage pool.
Note
EMC still supports SnapView, which requires reserved LUN pool configuration.
A snapshot needs to be attached to the Snapshot Mount Point (SMP) to allow host
access to it. SMP is a container that holds SCSI attributes, such as the World Wide
Name (WWN), Name, and storage group LUN ID. SMP with an attached snapshot can
be snapped, known as “snap of a snap”.
With “snap of a snap”, one of the key features of VNX Snapshots, users can create
256 read/writable snaps at a single point in time, which greatly increases the
business value of read-only/writable checkpoints.
EMC VNX5300
storage array
The VNX5300 is a member of the VNX series storage platform, which delivers
industry-leading innovation and enterprise capabilities for file and block storage in a
scalable, affordable, and easy-to-use solution. Designed to meet the highperformance, high scalability requirements of midsize and large enterprises, the VNX
series enables enterprises to dramatically grow, share, and cost-effectively manage
multiprotocol environments.
The VNX series is powered by the Intel Xeon 5600 series processors, which help make
it two to three times faster overall than its predecessors. The VNX quad-core
processor supports the demands of advanced storage capabilities such as virtual
provisioning, compression, and deduplication.
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Oracle Database
11g Release 2 SE
Oracle Database 11g is available in a variety of editions tailored to meet the business
and IT needs of all organizations. Of these editions, Oracle Database 11g SE is an
affordable, full-featured data management solution that is ideal for small-sized to
medium-sized companies. It is available on single or clustered servers with a
maximum capacity of four sockets in total. It includes Oracle Real Application
Clusters as a standard feature at no additional cost.
VMware vSphere 5
VMware vSphere 5 is the industry’s most complete, scalable, and powerful
virtualization platform, with infrastructure services that transform IT hardware into a
high-performance, shared computing platform, and application services that help IT
organizations deliver the highest levels of availability, security, and scalability.
VMware HA is one of the critical vSphere features that provides easy-to-use, costefficient high availability for applications running on virtual machines. In the event of
a physical server failure, affected virtual machines are automatically restarted on
other production servers with spare capacity.
The combination of VMware HA and other availability features of the vSphere
platform enables organizations to select and easily deliver the level of availability
required for all of their important applications.
EMC Cost-Efficient Infrastructure for Oracle
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Solution configuration
Introduction
This solution includes one VNX5300 storage array and two ESXi hosts running
VMware ESX™ Server 5.0 in a VMware cluster environment.
The validation team created multiple virtualized 500 GB Oracle SE databases and
connected them to the VNX5300 storage array using the FC protocol. To comply with
the Oracle SE licensing restrictions, we limited the number of sockets on the ESXi
cluster to four.
For this SAN configuration, each ESXi server contained a dual-port FC HBA to facilitate
FC connectivity. We used EMC PowerPath/VE with the storage system to manage the
I/O paths. PowerPath managed two active I/O paths and two passive I/O paths on
each ESXi server.
In this solution, we enabled FAST Cache and FAST VP to optimize read and write
performance. It is worth noting that FAST Cache and FAST VP technologies are under
the same license, which means customers can purchase once for both technologies.
Solution
architecture
Figure 1 depicts the overall architecture of the solution environment.
Figure 1.
Solution architecture
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Database and
environment
profile
Hardware
resources
Table 3 details the database and environment profile for the solution.
Table 3.
Database and environment profile
Profile
Details
Database type
OLTP
Database size
500 GB
Oracle RAC
Two nodes
Oracle SGA
5 GB per node
Workload profile
TPC-C like benchmark, generated by
Swingbench 2.4
Database read/write ratio
60/40
User scaling
200 to 800
Table 4 details the hardware resources for the solution.
Table 4.
Solution hardware environment
Hardware
Quantity
Configuration
EMC VNX5300 storage
array
1
EMC VNX5300 with:
• 17 x 2 TB 7.2k NL_SAS drives
• 4 x 600 GB 15k SAS drives (vault)
• 31 x 600 GB 15k SAS drives
• 3 x 100 GB Flash drives
VMware ESXi servers for
Oracle databases
2
Each server with:
• 2 x 6-core CPUs
• 48 GB RAM
• 6 x 1 Gb NICs
• 2 x 8 Gb HBA (dual-port HBA)
Ethernet switches
2
1 Gb/s Ethernet switches
FC switches
2
8 Gb/s FC switches
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Software resources Table 5 details the software resources for the solution.
Table 5.
Virtualized Oracle
server
configuration
Solution software environment
Software
Version
Purpose
EMC VNX OE for block
05.32.000.5.006
VNX operating environment
EMC Unisphere™
1.2.0
VNX management software
EMC Powerpath/VE
5.7.b173
Multipathing and load balancing
software
VMware vSphere
5.0 Update 1
Hypervisor hosting all virtual
machines
VMware vCenter™
5.0 Update 1
Management of VMware vSphere
Oracle Database 11g
Release 2
Standard Edition
11.2.0.3
Oracle database software
Oracle Enterprise Linux
6.2
Operating system for Database
servers
Oracle Grid Infrastructure
11g Release 2
Standard Edition
11.2.0.3
Oracle cluster software
Table 6 lists the hardware and software components of the production RAC database
server in the virtual environment.
Table 6.
Production RAC database server components
Hardware component
Quantity
Processor
4 vCPUs
Memory
8 GB
Software component
Version
Oracle Enterprise Linux
6.2
Oracle Database 11g Release 2 SE RAC
11.2.0.3
Table 7 lists the hardware and software components of the test/dev single-instance
database server in the virtual environment.
Table 7.
Test/dev single instance database server components
Hardware component
Quantity
Processor
2 vCPUs
Memory
4 GB
Software component
Version
Oracle Enterprise Linux
6.2
Oracle Database 11g Release 2 SE
11.2.0.3
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In this solution, the validation team organized physical drives into the storage pools
on the VNX5300 array, which is the recommended approach for the VNX storage
system.
Oracle storage
layout
For more information about storage pools on VNX, refer to Applied Best Practices
Guide: EMC VNX Unified Best Practices for Performance.
Table 8 lists the virtual pool design on VNX5300 and Figure 2 depicts the Oracle
storage layout of the environment.
Table 8.
Virtual pool design on VNX5300
Storage pool
Types of disks
Protection
type
Disks in
the
pool
Number
of LUNs
Size of
LUNs
File type
FAST
Cache
enabled?
Data pool
Tier 1:
RAID 5
(4+1)x3
6
1 TB
Yes
(FAST VP )
SAS drive
Datafiles,
control files
RAID 6
6+2
RAID 10
4+4
10
10 GB
Redo log
files
No
RAID 10
2+2
6
200 GB
Temp files
No
RAID 6
6+2
6
1 TB
FRA files
No
RAID 10
2+2
10
5 GB
CRS files
No
RAID 1
1+1
2
60 GB
Virtual
machine
hosts
No
10k rpm
Tier 2:
NL_SAS drive
7k rpm
Redo pool
SAS drive
10k rpm
Temp pool
SAS drive
10k rpm
Fast Recovery
Area (FRA)
pool
NL_SAS drive
Cluster Ready
Service (CRS)
pool
SAS drive
Virtual
machine pool
SAS drive
7k rpm
10k rpm
10k rpm
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Figure 2.
EMC VNX storage layout
All virtual machines in this configuration use virtual disks (VMDK) from VMware
Virtual Machine File System (VMFS) data store volumes. Those virtual disks are
shared by multiple virtual machines by enabling the multi-writer option. Each VMFS
datastore hosts a single VMDK disk, ensuring high performance and zero contention.
For more information about using the multi-writer flag, refer to the article Disabling
simultaneous write protection provided by VMFS using the multi-writer flag on the
VMware Knowledge Base.
On the VNX storage array, this configuration allowed for the placement of the Oracle
datafiles, temp files, control files, and log files on different types of disks. The
datafiles and control files resided on the data pool composed of NL_SAS drives (with
RAID 6 protection) and SAS drives (with RAID 5 protection). Redo logs and temp files
were on the SAS drive pool (with RAID 10 protection), and FRA files were on the
NL_SAS drive pool (with RAID 6 protection).
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FAST Cache and FAST VP configuration
FAST Cache
configuration
Overview
FAST Cache provides read and write caching using a private RAID 1 group consisting
of Flash disks.
To use FAST Cache, make sure you meet the following criteria:
•
The application workload must first be analyzed to determine whether the
application will benefit from FAST Cache and to determine the optimal size of
the FAST Cache.
•
The storage system must have the FAST Cache enabler installed.
•
The storage system must have Flash disks that are not already in a storage
pool.
•
FAST Cache must be configured on the storage system.
•
FAST Cache must be enabled for the RAID group LUNs and/or the storage pools
that are to use the FAST Cache.
FAST Cache is most effective when application workloads exhibit data activity skew
where a small subset of data is responsible for most of the data set's activity. For
example, for a LUN that has less than 5 percent data accounts for more than 80
percent IOPS, if we promote the 5 percent data to FAST Cache, we can achieve a
millisecond response time at the lowest possible cost. For those applications whose
data sets exhibit a high degree of skew, FAST Cache can be assigned to concentrate a
high percentage of application IOPs on the Flash capacity.
For further information on configuring FAST Cache, refer to the white paper Leveraging
EMC FAST Cache with Oracle OLTP Database Applications.
Analyzing the application workload
The decision to implement FAST Cache should only be made after the application
workload characteristics are measured and analyzed. Array-level tools are available
to EMC field and support personnel for determining both the suitability of FAST Cache
for a particular environment and the right size FAST Cache to configure. Contact your
EMC sales teams for guidance.
The size of the application’s active working set, the IOPS requirement, the RAID type,
and the read/write ratio determine whether a particular application will benefit from
using FAST Cache, and what the optimal cache size should be.
Preferred application workloads for FAST Cache include:
•
Small-block random I/O applications with high locality
•
High frequency of access to the same data
The workload characteristics of OLTP databases make them especially suitable for
using FAST Cache.
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As shown in Figure 3, we used an array-level tool, EMC Unified Block Locality
Analyzer, to determine the active data set size and suitability of FAST Cache. In this
solution, it was confirmed that the Oracle database workload would benefit from
using FAST Cache and indicated that two 100 GB Flash drives would be the optimal
configuration.
Figure 3.
FAST Cache analysis by Unified Block Locality Analyzer tool
For further information, see the following white papers: EMC CLARiiON, Celerra
Unified, and VNX FAST Cache and Deploying Oracle Database on EMC VNX Unified
Storage.
In line with EMC recommendations, FAST Cache was enabled for the Oracle datafiles
only. Oracle archive files and redo log files have a predictable workload composed
mainly of sequential writes. These can be efficiently handled by the array’s write
cache and assigned hard disk drives (HDDs). Enabling FAST Cache on these files is
neither beneficial nor cost efficient.
Figure 4 shows the FAST Cache configuration for the solution:
•
Number of Disks was set to 2, as recommended by the workload analysis.
•
RAID Type was set to RAID 1.
•
Per EMC best practices, we manually selected two Flash disks in Bus 0
Enclosure 0 from the list of available disks presented by Unisphere.
Figure 4.
FAST Cache configuration
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FAST VP
configuration
Overview
FAST VP is a simple and elegant solution for dynamically matching storage
requirements with changes in the frequency of data access. Generally, FAST VP
segregates disk drives into the following three tiers:
•
Extreme performance tier—Flash drives
•
Performance tier—SAS drives
•
Capacity tier—NL-SAS drives
You can use FAST VP to aggressively reduce TCO and/or to increase performance. A
target workload that requires a large number of performance tier drives can be
serviced with a mix of tiers, and a much lower drive count.
FAST VP can be used in combination with other performance optimization software,
such as FAST Cache. A common strategy is to use FAST VP to gain TCO benefits while
using FAST Cache to boost overall system performance. There are other scenarios
where it makes sense to use FAST VP for both purposes.
In this case, we used two tiers (SAS and NL_SAS) for FAST VP configuration. From
cost-efficiency perspective, FAST VP can optimize disk utilization and efficiency, while
FAST Cache with a small number of Flash drives serves the data that is accessed most
frequently.
Tiering policies
FAST VP includes the following tiering policies:
•
Start high then auto-tier (new default policy)
•
Auto-tier
•
Highest available tier
•
Lowest available tier
•
No data movement
Start high then auto-tier (new default policy)
Start high then auto-tier is the default setting for all pool LUNs on creation. Initial
data placement is on the highest available tier and data movement is subsequently
based on the activity level of the data. This tiering policy maximizes initial
performance and takes full advantage of the most expensive and fastest drives first,
while providing subsequent TCO by allowing less active data to be tiered down,
making room for more active data in the highest tier.
When there is a pool with multiple tiers, the start high then auto-tier design is
capable of relocating data to the highest available tier, regardless of the drive type
combination. Also, when adding a new tier to a pool, the tiering policy remains the
same and there is no need to manually change it.
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Auto-tier
FAST VP relocates slices of these LUNs based on their activity level. Slices that belong
to LUNs with the auto-tier policy have second priority for capacity in the highest tier of
the pool, after the LUNs set to the highest tier.
Highest available tier
The highest available tier setting should be selected for those LUNs that, although
not always the most active, require high levels of performance whenever they are
accessed. FAST VP prioritizes slices of a LUN with the highest available tier selected
above all other settings.
Slices of LUNs set to the highest tier are rank ordered with each other according to
the activity. Therefore, in cases where the sum total of LUN capacity set to the highest
tier is greater than the capacity of the pool’s highest tier, the busiest slices occupy
that capacity.
Lowest available tier
The lowest available tier setting should be selected for LUNs that are not
performance-sensitive or response time-sensitive. FAST VP maintains slices of these
LUNs on the lowest storage tier available, regardless of the activity level.
No data movement
The no data movement policy may only be selected after a LUN has been created.
FAST VP does not move slices from their current positions when the no data
movement selection has been made. Statistics are still collected on these slices for
use when the tiering policy is changed.
In this solution, the Start High then Auto-Tier policy was set to Scheduled.
The Data Relocation Schedule setting was configured as Monday to Sunday, starting
from 00:00 to 23:45, which determines the time window when FAST VP moves data
between tiers.
Note
The Data Relocation Rate and Data Relocation Schedule are highly dependent
on the real workload in a customer environment. Usually, setting the Data
Relocation Rate to Low has less impact on the current running workload.
For details about FAST VP configuration, refer to EMC FAST VP for Unified Storage
Systems.
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EMC VSI overview
Overview
EMC VSI provides enhanced visibility into VNX storage directly from the vCenter GUI.
Datastore and
storage pool
information from
VSI
Figure 5 shows the datastore and storage pool information, which provides
information about storage pool usage for the Data5A datastore.
Figure 5.
Datastore and storage pool information viewed from VSI
Figure 5 shows the ESXi server and the VNX5300 storage mapping with details about
VMDK, LUNs, and storage pools of the array. The Storage Viewer identifies the details
about VMDK, such as the VNX LUNs that host VMDK, the paths to the physical
storage, the storage pool usage information, and the virtual disk performance
statistics.
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Testing and validation
Test overview
This solution summarizes a series of implementation procedures and optimal
configurations that we observed during the validation of a cost-efficient solution for
Oracle Database 11g Release 2 SE using FAST VP and FAST Cache, VNX Snapshots,
and VMware HA on the VNX5300 storage array.
Notes • Results are highly dependent on workload, specific application
requirements, and system design and implementation. Relative system
performance will vary as a result of these and other factors. Therefore, it is
suggested not to use this workload as a substitute for a specific customer
application benchmark when contemplating critical capacity planning and
product evaluation decisions.
• All performance data contained in this report was obtained in a rigorously
controlled environment. Results obtained in other operating environments
may vary significantly.
• EMC Corporation does not warrant or represent that a user can or will
achieve similar performance expressed in transactions per minute.
Test objectives
The objectives of this solution are to demonstrate:
•
How EMC FAST VP and FAST Cache work together to achieve more transactional
throughput by deploying more Oracle 11g Release 2 SE databases on the same
physical devices.
•
The use of EMC VNX Snapshots to:
•
Test scenarios

Create multiple Oracle test/dev environments by using the latest VNX
Snapshots “writable snap of a writable snap” feature to replicate a running
Oracle production database, with minimal performance impact and no
downtime.

Carry out the point-in-time backup of the Oracle test/dev environment by
using the VNX Snapshots “read-only snap of a writable snap” feature to
restore the test/dev environment in case of logical errors in the test/dev
database.
The enhanced high availability of Oracle applications by showing VMware HA’s
ability to automatically restart RAC nodes on the surviving ESXi host and
achieve higher levels of protection against the failure of the physical server.
This section contains the test scenarios shown in Table 9.
Table 9.
Test scenarios
Test scenarios
Scenario A: Storage resource optimization
Scenario B: Virtual test/dev environment rapid provisioning and protection
Scenario C: Business continuity and disaster recovery
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Scenario A:
Storage resource
optimization
Overview
This scenario was designed to demonstrate how FAST VP and FAST Cache allow
customers to optimize the storage array for deploying one or more Oracle databases.
This scenario shows how:
•
EMC FAST VP technology creates a storage pool out of mixed drive types,
monitors the data activity level, and automatically moves data at sub-LUN
granularity to the corresponding tiers available within a pool.
•
EMC FAST Cache technology, as a means of introducing an extra layer of the
cache using Flash drives between the DRAM and rotating spindles, improves
the performance of the most latency-sensitive data.
Test configuration
To begin with, we configured the FAST VP two-tier storage pool for datafiles using
high-performance SAS drives and high-capacity NL_SAS drives, to migrate the hot
data from the NL_SAS tier to the SAS tier in the pool. We identified the hot data by
periodically analyzing the characteristics of the workload. After FAST VP relocated the
data for optimal performance, we enabled FAST Cache to further optimize the storage
performance by caching the hot data on the Flash drives.
Note
In line with EMC recommendations, we enabled the FAST VP pool and FAST
Cache for the Oracle datafiles only. For more details, refer to EMC VNX unified
best practices for performance.
To minimize the Oracle software licensing cost, we used Oracle SE rather than Oracle
Enterprise Edition (EE). Two 500 GB OLTP databases (single-instance and RAC
database) were deployed on this environment.
Oracle SE is available on a single server or clustered servers with a maximum of four
sockets, including Oracle RAC as a standard feature with no additional cost.
VMware vSphere provided a virtualization platform for this scenario, with VMware
virtual machines hosting the Oracle single-instance or RAC database nodes. VMware
vCenter provides a centralized management platform for the vSphere environments,
enabling control and visibility in every level of the virtualized infrastructure.
Test procedure
We used the following procedure for this scenario:
1.
Create a FAST VP pool composed of two drive types (SAS and NL_SAS).
2.
Deploy a virtualized single-instance Oracle 11g Release2 SE database
(500 GB).
3.
Start the Swingbench workload using the TPC-C like benchmark with the 200user load against the single-instance database.
4.
Enable FAST Cache.
5.
Convert the single-instance database to a two-node RAC database.
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6.
Start the Swingbench workload using the TPC-C like benchmark with the 400user load against the RAC database.
7.
Add the second RAC database.
8.
Start the Swingbench workload using the TPC-C like benchmark with the 800user load against both RAC databases.
Testing results
Single instance database
Figure 6 compares the Swingbench transactions per minute (TPM) and the response
time before and after FAST VP and FAST Cache were enabled.
Figure 6.
Before and after FAST VP and FAST Cache enabled (single instance)
In this case, FAST VP took eight hours to relocate the data for optimal performance.
As more hot data was promoted from the NL_SAS tier to the SAS tier during the data
relocation period, as shown in Figure 7 and Figure 8, the proportion of SAS tier
increased from 21.2 percent to 93.59 percent. As shown in Figure 6, during data
relocation, the number of transactions processed per minute increased by 11 percent,
peaking at 9,600. The response times decreased steadily from 130 ms to 100 ms.
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Figure 7.
FAST settings and tiering details before FAST VP relocated data
Figure 8.
FAST settings and tiering details after FAST VP relocated data
After we enabled FAST Cache for the thin pool where the datafiles were located, the
hot data was continually promoted to the Flash drives. The number of TPM increased
constantly from 9,600 to approximately 10,200. The response time decreased from
100 ms to 20 ms.
Figure 9 and Figure 10 were captured from the single-instance Oracle database
Automatic Workload Repository (AWR) report before and after we enabled FAST VP
and FAST Cache.
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Figure 9.
TOP 5 timed foreground events before FAST VP and FAST Cache were enabled
Figure 10.
TOP 5 timed foreground events after FAST VP and FAST Cache were enabled
There was a significant improvement on the I/O subsystem before and after FAST VP
relocated the data, and when we enabled FAST Cache. With FAST VP and FAST Cache,
the bottleneck from the db file sequential read events was reduced by more than 80
percent, from 19 ms to 3 ms.
During the test, we made no changes to the database. All performance improvements
directed resulted from enabling FAST VP and FAST Cache.
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RAC databases
We continued the test by converting the single-instance database to two-node RAC
database. We then added the second two-node RAC database to get more workload
under the same hardware/software configuration.
Figure 11 shows that the number of TPM reached 37,298 in total when two RAC
databases were running on the VMware vSphere virtualized platform. It also
demonstrates that, with FAST Cache and FAST VP monitoring and optimizing the
storage to meet the changing demands of the workload, there was little performance
impact on any running RAC databases when we scaled out the number of RAC
database.
Figure 11.
Scale-out two-node RAC databases
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Scenario B: Virtual
test/dev
environment rapid
provisioning and
protection
Overview
This scenario provides a rapid, low-impact solution for provisioning Oracle test/dev
environments by replicating the production database with EMC VNX Snapshots. This
scenario also covers the use of VNX Snapshots to restore a logically corrupted
test/dev database.
This scenario enables the use of “writable snap of a writable snap” and “read-only
snap of a writable snap”, both of which are new features of VNX Snapshots.
This solution demonstrates how to create:
•
A “writable snap of a writable snap” for dev/test environment provisioning
purposes.
•
A “read-only snap of a writable snap” by using it as a backup source.
Test configuration
The storage configuration in this scenario was identical to the storage solution in
Scenario A: Storage resource optimization.
We used one RAC database as the source database running with 400-user load when
VNX Snapshots-related operations were performed on the source database.
Test procedure
We used the following two procedures to validate the dev/test environment fast
provision and recovery by using VNX Snapshots.
Procedure 1: Writable snap of a writable snap
In this procedure, by using the following VNX Snapshots technology, “writable snap
of a writable snap,” we provisioned the dev/test instances in less time and used less
storage.
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Figure 12 shows the procedure for creating multiple writable snaps of a writable snap.
Figure 12.
Example of writable snaps of a writable snap
Follow these steps to create multiple writable snaps of a writable snap:
1.
Create one snapshot consistency group that includes the individual datafile
and log file LUNs of the production RAC database.
2.
Create the snap (SnapSet 1.1) of the LUNs from the consistency group.
3.
Create SMPs for the consistency group and attach the snap (SnapSet 1.1) to
the SMPs in VNX Unisphere as shown in Figure 13.
Figure 13.
Attaching snap to the mount point
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As shown in Figure 14, the properties of the snapshot become writable after
attaching the snap.
Figure 14.
4.
Properties of the snapshot
Create another snapshot consistency group that includes the SMPs created in
Step 3, as shown in Figure 15.
Figure 15.
Consistency group composed of SMPs properties
5.
Create the snap (SnapSet 2.1) of the SMPs created in step 3, which is a snap
of snap.
6.
Create another eight snaps (SnapSet 2.2 to 2.9) of snap by copying the
snapshot function in VNX Unisphere, as shown in Figure 16.
Figure 16.
Rapid Oracle-instance provisioning with one click on VNX Unisphere
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Procedure 2: Read-only snap of a writable snap
In this procedure, by using the following VNX Snapshots technology, “read-only snap
of a writable snap,” we snapped the dev/test database as a backup source and
recovered the database in minutes after the database logical corruption took place.
Figure 17 shows an example of the read-only snap of a writable snap.
Figure 17.
Example of read-only snap of a writable snap
Follow these steps to test a read-only snap of a writable snap:
1.
Present the snapshot LUNs to the ESXi server and the virtual machine to be
mounted, mount one of the writable snaps of a writable snap as a new
test/dev database, and open the database.
2.
Insert records into the single-instance dev/test database. Figure 18 shows the
record count and the timestamps of every record. This information was later
used to validate the restore of the database.
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Figure 18.
3.
Create a read-only snap of the writable snap of the dev/test database, as
shown in Figure 19.
Figure 19.
4.
Read-only snap of the writable snap creation
Simulate “accidental” data deletion and close the test/dev database, as
shown in Figure 20.
Figure 20.
5.
Record count and timestamp in the dev/test database before data deletion
“Accidental” data deletion
Restore the database by selecting Restore from the list, as shown in Figure 21.
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Figure 21.
6.
Restore the database using “read-only snap of a writable snap” (Part I)
The wizard in Figure 22 is displayed. Click Yes to continue.
Figure 22.
Restore the database using “read-only snap of a writable snap” (Part II)
A restore operation is initiated and the entire contents of the LUNs are
changed to the point in time that the snapshot was restored.
7.
To verify the data was restored, display the record count and timestamp from
the restored dev/test database. The output of the query verified that the
database was restored to the point before the logical corruption, as shown in
Figure 23.
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Figure 23.
Record count and timestamp in the dev/test database after database restore
Testing results
Writable snap of a writable snap
The production database was snapped and then nine other point-in-time snaps were
created, which are also called “snap of a snap”. During the creation, in order to
validate whether there was any performance impact on the production database, we
ran a Swingbench workload on the production database when the snaps were
created.
Figure 24 shows a slight decrease in TPM during the first snap creation. During the
creation of the other nine snaps (snap of a snap), TPM was reduced by 4 percent,
from 19,900 to 19,150.
Figure 24.
VNX Snapshots creation
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This test scenario shows that by using VNX Snapshots, the production database can
be provisioned quickly for test, development, and other purposes, while all the
involved operations having minimal performance impact on the source production
database.
Read-only snap of a writable snap
In this scenario, “read-only snap of a writable snap” feature took only a few minutes
to restore the test/dev database to a point in time before the logical corruption.
It is validated that with this point-in-time versioning of a writable snap, customers
can use writable snaps of production databases in nonproduction scenarios such as
patch testing or reporting.
Scenario C:
Business
continuity and
disaster recovery
Overview
In this scenario, we used both VMware vSphere HA and Oracle RAC to maximize the
availability of the Oracle RAC databases hosted on the VMware virtual machines.
The scenario demonstrates that, in the case of an ESXi host failure, VMware HA can
automatically migrate the virtual RAC nodes from the failed ESXi host to the surviving
ESXi host. Thus the RAC databases were restored to full capacity as soon as possible,
while keeping the Oracle RAC databases available during the whole process.
Test configuration
The storage configuration in this scenario was identical to the storage solution in
Scenario A: Storage resource optimization.
This solution included a single vSphere cluster and two ESXi hosts within the cluster.
We used multiple two-node RAC databases as the production databases with each
virtual RAC node running on different ESXi hosts.
Test procedure
We used the following procedure to validate the high availability solution using
vSphere HA and Oracle RAC:
1.
Set up vSphere HA.
The following are the required components for setting up vSphere HA:

VMware Infrastructure Suite Standard or VMware Infrastructure Enterprise

Two ESXi hosts (at a minimum)

SAN storage shared between the ESXi servers

CPUs compatible between the hosts. For more details, see vSphere High
Availability Deployment Best Practices.
2.
Configure vSphere HA to create a VMware HA cluster and move the ESXi hosts
into the cluster.
3.
Deploy two-node RAC databases on the HA cluster, with each node running on
different ESXi hosts.
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4.
Shut down one of the ESXi hosts to simulate the host failure.
5.
Check if the RAC nodes were migrated from the failed ESXi host to the
surviving ESXi host and the Oracle RAC environment was returned to full
capacity.
Testing results
To test this scenario, we restarted one of the ESXi hosts to simulate an ESXi host
failure. The system of one RAC database responded to this failure, as shown in
Figure 25.
Figure 25.
RAC node went offline after the ESXi server failure
In a physical environment, customers need to spend a lot of time to repair or rebuild a
node or to add new node to a RAC database. However, in a virtualized environment,
VMware HA detects the RAC node failure and automatically restarts the virtual RAC
nodes on the surviving ESXi host in minutes. Figure 26 and Figure 27 show that the
failed Oracle RAC nodes were automatically restarted on the surviving ESXi host.
Figure 26.
Before the ESXi server failure
Figure 27.
After the ESXi server failure
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Figure 28 shows that the RAC database system responded to the restarted RAC node.
Figure 28.
RAC node restarted on another ESXi server
By leveraging VMware HA, a virtualized Oracle RAC environment can provide even
higher availability than a physical Oracle RAC environment. A multinode Oracle RAC
deployment is highly available. However, VMware HA coexists with and complements
a virtualized Oracle RAC installation, which requires no administrator intervention
during the server crash, in comparison with deploying Oracle RAC databases in a
hardware environment.
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Conclusion
Summary
This cost-efficient solution demonstrates how to optimize the Oracle environment to
meet today’s business needs. It shows how EMC, VMware, and Oracle technologies
simplify a customer’s daily tasks and processes in an integrated and cost-efficient
deployment.
Along with VNX OE File release 7.1 and block release 5.32, EMC VNX5300 creates one
of the most efficient storage platforms for Oracle. Deploying multiple virtualized
Oracle databases on two-tier, dynamic FAST VP and FAST Cache can greatly reduce
cost while improving performance.
By deploying the following technologies, the solution provides a balance between
cost and performance, and at the same time, improves efficiency and resiliency.
EMC FAST VP and FAST Cache technology:
•
Reduces the amount of time required for Oracle tuning and administration
while delivering performance benefits for Oracle OLTP workloads
•
Reduces the spindle count of the physical drives necessary to support the
required performance
EMC VNX Snapshots technology:
•
Enables Oracle DBAs to snap writable snaps (up to 256) and to create a new
branch for general data reuse and testing purposes
•
Provides point-in-time versioning of a writable snap that is consistent with the
source database so that it can be used for effective and fast recovery
VMware virtualization technology:
•
Shares resource across database servers by improving resource utilization and
increasing infrastructure efficiency
•
Reduces the cost of Oracle licensing by physically consolidating virtual
machines running Oracle software to their own dedicated VMware environment
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Findings
Solution key technologies
The key technologies of this solution are as follows:
•
•
VMware vSphere 5.0–Enhances high availability and reduces Oracle licensing
cost by isolating Oracle virtual machines physically to their own dedicated
VMware HA cluster:

Oracle 11g SE databases are available on clustered servers within a
maximum capacity of four sockets in total, including Oracle RAC feature
with no additional cost.

Oracle EE is priced on a core basis, while Oracle SE is priced on a processor
socket basis. This is very beneficial for customers who are keen on cost
savings on Oracle software license.
FAST VP and FAST Cache technologies–Provide automatic Oracle-to-Storage
optimization.
The performance of transactions per minute was improved by 86 percent by
running more workloads in a multiple RAC databases environment.
•
•
VNX Snapshots–Enable Oracle DBAs in an easy provisioning and protection
process:

By using “Writable snap of a writable snap,” multiple snaps of an Oracle
production database are created in seconds for testing, development,
quality assurance, or other purposes.

“Read-only snap of a writable snap” enables fast recovery of the test/dev
database in minutes to correct the database logical corruption.
VMware HA–A virtualized Oracle RAC environment that provides a higher
availability and faster return-to-service ability than a physical Oracle RAC
environment.
An ESXi host failure in a virtual deployment results in an automatic restart of
the failed Oracle RAC node on another available ESXi host.
Cost efficiency
This solution demonstrates that the capital expenditure (capex) can be reduced by
using:
•
FAST Suite to maximize the storage resources available, using less disk drives
in a targeted manner. This ensures that the correct data is on the correct tier at
all times.
•
Oracle SE rather than Oracle EE with Oracle RAC option to reduce licensing
costs.
The reduced operational expenditure (opex) is also demonstrated:
•
Reduced power and cooling costs
•
Reduced maintenance costs
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Table 10 compares the cost-efficiency messages of one virtual RAC database and two
virtual RAC databases.
Table 10.
Comparison of cost-efficiency messages
Total users
of
workload
Total TPM
of workload
Cost-efficiency messages
One virtual RAC
database
400
19,999
Baseline
Two virtual RAC
databases
800
37,298
• 86 percent increase in TPM
because of the database added
Configuration
scenario
• Better utilization of hardware
resources and increased
operational efficiency, because
of the consolidation of
workloads
• No extra software and hardware
cost
For a detailed review on the cost-efficient use of Oracle and VMware, refer to the
white paper: Understanding Oracle Certification, Support and Licensing for VMware
Environments.
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References
White papers
Other
documentation
For additional information, see the white papers listed below.
•
Deploying Oracle Database Applications on EMC VNX Unified Storage
•
Deploying Oracle Database on EMC VNX Unified Storage
•
EMC CLARiiON, Celerra Unified, and VNX FAST Cache
•
EMC VNX Unified Best Practices for Performance
•
Leveraging EMC FAST Cache with Oracle OLTP Database Applications
•
Virtual test/dev environment provisioning for Oracle RAC 11g with EMC unified
storage
•
Understanding Oracle Certification, Support and Licensing for VMware
Environments (VMware Website)
For additional information, see the following documents.
•
Oracle Grid Infrastructure Installation Guide 11g Release 2 (11.2) for Linux
•
Oracle Database Installation Guide 11g Release 2 (11.2) for Linux
•
Disabling simultaneous write protection provided by VMFS using the multiwriter flag (VMware Knowledge Base)
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