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Oracle ASM and IBM FlashSystem best practices

Oracle ASM and IBM FlashSystem best practices

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Learn about Oracle ASM and IBM FlashSystem best practices. For more information on IBM FlashSystem, visit http://ibm.co/10KodHl.

Visit http://on.fb.me/LT4gdu to 'Like' the official Facebook page of IBM India Smarter Computing.
Learn about Oracle ASM and IBM FlashSystem best practices. For more information on IBM FlashSystem, visit http://ibm.co/10KodHl.

Visit http://on.fb.me/LT4gdu to 'Like' the official Facebook page of IBM India Smarter Computing.

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Published by: IBM India Smarter Computing on May 17, 2013
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Technical White Paper
IBM Systems and Technology Group
 April 2013
Oracle ASM and IBM FlashSystembest practices
 ASM and IBM FlashSystem best practices 
Oracle® Automatic Storage Management (ASM) is an all-inclusive approach to storage management, perormance andavailability. ASM is an excellent tool or managing mixedstorage environments where both fash storage and hard disk drive (HDD) technologies are being used. It is an intrinsicblock manager database that balances le access across disksand disk subsystems to eliminate hotspots and increase storageeciency. By striping extents across diskgroup members andmirroring across ailgroups, ASM can give RAID perormanceand protection at the le-level o databases. ASM can also beused in conjunction with high-end disk arrays or mixed-storage le management. This paper discusses best practices when using ASM with IBM® FlashSystem™.
ASM overview
 ASM operates as a lightweight Oracle database and oers thestability and reliability o a standard Oracle database. Thereore, multiple databases can be clients to a single ASMinstance. This allows a single pool o disks to be eciently usedor various databases. In addition, ASM can be used in a RACenvironment where ASM ailover can occur nearly seamlessly between active nodes, permitting non-stop uptime or storagemanagement. ASM does not replace, but complements disk subsystems andarrangements or ecient use in specic les. ASM will not automatically separate storage areas in diskgroups or log les,archived backups or database les. ASM templates assist instriping perormance o each type o le, but sequential I/O isnot dierentiated rom random I/O. It is still the duty o thearchitect to speciy storage or specic roles. Sequential accesslog les should traditionally be held separate rom the randomI/O generated by database les. This is not a faw in ASM but acontinuing practice o tiered storage driven by disk speeds. ASM is most eective when diskgroups are allocated withsingle homogenous disks as their components.Using high-speed IBM FlashSystem highlight the benets o  ASM. When multiple devices are available, the stripingperormance o ASM can linearly increase the throughput o the storage, reducing the response time to the client. Insituations where extremely low-latency is needed, such as log writes, the impact o mirroring with ASM is negligible and theperormance promises o a single IBM FlashSystem are met.
ASM internals
 ASM provides its striping through a deault o 1 MB leextents with normal disk arrays and 4 MB extents i used within an Exadata cell. By striping across les instead o blocks,multiple les can be used on a single ASM instance but have
IBM Systems and Technology Group
independent levels o redundancy. Log les and database lesare oten held at a normal redundancy while control les areoten in triplicate or extra protection. In addition, the deault template or ASM species the extent size or each le. Controlles and log les are assigned a smaller extent size o 128 K, while larger and higher bandwidth-intensive operations deault to 1 MB extents. Testing in Oracle’s development labs showed1 MB size as the most balanced size in bandwidth, latency andconcurrency o access. ASM will utilize disks in what may appear as a very sporadiclayout. Extents are not sequential in disks or ailgroups. Therst extent may be on Disk 1, but the second extent may be onDisk 3 o the third ailgroup. In addition, ASM will placeextents throughout lengths o disk space. This results in theeven use o disk platters and prevents hotspots within the disks
 Figure 1
: ASM internal layout
themselves. The only guarantee in the placement o extents isthat the mirrored extent is located in a dierent ailgroup. Alldisks will be used evenly to prevent any disk having higherutilization than the others. This is demonstrated in Figure 2.From the layout in Figure 2, each disk contains an originalextent and backup extents (B) are assigned to a non-correlatingdisk in a separate ailgroup. It is evident that ASM can take ulladvantage o the disks included. Reading rom the disk providesecient use o the disks as a ully striped volume. Writeperormance is equivalent to that o a RAID10, as hal the disksare written while the other hal serves as a mirror to the leextent. Through this behavior, the system oers a perormancegain that is much greater than a standard mirrored array, but stillprovides the redundancy necessary or le protection. I ailgroups are assigned appropriately, then ASM will alsocontinue to serve even amidst a controller ailure. As ASM is a lightweight database, managing ASM is done witha limited command set almost equivalent to that o a standardOracle database. The
v$ Dynamic Views
within ASM callthe system-based unctions directly to eliminate a layer o administration. When querying the
view with astandard
statement, Oracle will automatically initiatea rescan o the SCSI bus to detect any new devices attached tothe server. The
return the current rows or the ASMinstance without the inherent system calls o scanning ordisks.

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