Friday, May 14, 2010

Configuring Oracle® Solaris ZFS for an Oracle Database

Configuring Oracle® Solaris ZFS for an Oracle Database

The Oracle database has been available for mission critical systems for decades. Open Systems have been a dominate platform vendor hosting the Oracle databases during this period. Oracle had purchased Open Systems vendor Sun, the dominate vendor in this space, for their technology to host their database and applications. Solaris provides an outstanding Open platform for implementation of the Oracle Database, when properly configured. This guide describes the recommended configuration for Oracle RDBMS.

White Paper:
The Oracle ZFS configuration recommendation tuning guide has been made available in May 2010. Topics covered include:
  • Disk Recommendations
  • LUN Recommendations
  • FLASH Acceleration Recommendations
  • Operating System Releases
  • Operating System Patches
  • Operating System Tuning
  • ZFS Pool Tuning
  • ZFS File System Tuning
  • Oracle Data File Layout
  • Life cycle Management Recommendations
Clustering With ZFS & NFS:
One topic briefly broached on page 5 was:
Oracle release information - Oracle Solaris ZFS is recommended for any Oracle database version in single instance mode, and Oracle Solaris ZFS can be used with an Oracle RAC database when it is available as a NFS-shared file system.
This topic received far to little coverage for most people interested in scaling out more effectively. A nice overview from 2005 can be helpful for some, to get a primer on different options, but ZFS was never introduced because ZFS was in it's infancy during the time Natalka wrote it. In November 2008, an unsupported but simple setup of using Solaris NFS in a RAC cluster was demonstrated by Padraig, but a lot of steps could have been eliminated had he used ZFS. This Oracle web site describes some of the different options for clustering, but ZFS is not mentioned.

As you can see, the use of ZFS with NFS does not seem to get much coverage from an Oracle RAC perspective - but honestly, this is the way to go to reduce configuration and get optimal flexibility. Performance gets a boost in 11g with the Oracle NFS embedded client api.

Additional Resources:
The Solaris Internals Wiki offers the ZFS Evil Tuning Guide - this is a very good place to start!

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