HIGH AVAILABILITY OPTIONS FOR ORACLE DATABASE

Dan Norris, IT Convergence
The Oracle Database holds very sensitive and important data for most companies. Due to the importance of the applications it supports, the availability of the Oracle Database has been a subject of much examination and effort. Many techniques have been used to improve the availability of the database with varying levels of availability as their target. This document describes the primary methods in use today for improving the availability for an Oracle Database. It starts with the most basic options and ends with the most complex options. We call this organized progression of options the Oracle Database High Availability Spectrum. Visually, this spectrum can be represented with the diagram below:

Availability Failover Cluster Physical Backups (RMAN) exp/imp Data Guard Replication or Streams

RAC + DG RAC

Cost Implementation Time Complexity
This diagram shows cost, implementation time and complexity are all direct relationships to one another. There is an inverse relationship between these factors and overall database availability. In the sections that follow, you will find descriptions of the individual options shown in the diagram above along with the advantages and disadvantages for each option. Oracle has also created something called the Maximum Availability Architecture (MAA). This architecture provides an architectural "blueprint" for maximizing availability for your Oracle environment and discusses some of the options we've outlined in this paper.

HA Option: Export/Import
Oracle Export (exp) and Import (imp) are complementary utilities used to perform logical database backup and recovery. They can also be used to move Oracle data from one machine, database or schema to another.

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com 2 ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 . The original import utility will be supported forever as a means to import dump files from earlier versions of Oracle. even if they reside on platforms with different hardware and software configurations. Operations can be difficult to restart. Export and import utilities will likely not be enhanced in future releases and customers are being encouraged to migrate to Oracle Data Pump starting with Oracle Database 10g. When performing an export. www. However. A cumulative export backs up data that has changed since the last cumulative backup. A complete export backs up the entire database. The dump files contain data. platforms. and database versions (generally speaking). This is often used as a mechanism for database upgrades for smaller databases. If an export fails. HA Option: Data Pump Oracle Data Pump is a new feature introduced with Oracle 10g as an enhanced version of the export/import utilities. The dump files have to be transferred from one machine to another if transporting data. Data Pump is designed as the eventual replacement for the original export and import utilities. Table structures and data can be transferred between Oracle databases. the export utility will detect physical corruption and ensure that all data can be read. Dump files for large database are very large in size. It can also be used to move data and metadata. These files are quite large in size and can be difficult to transport. Exports can be performed at three levels of data collection: • • • • • • • • • • • An incremental export backs up data that has changed since the last incremental backup.odtug. Disadvantages • • • • • • • • • Performing an export/import process on a large database can take a very long time. These dump files are transportable across operating systems. Tables can be imported into a different schema owner than the one from which they were exported. Table structures and data can be transferred between databases running different versions of Oracle. Performing an export/import reorganizes your data and can help to eliminate database fragmentation. Advantages Simple to implement a backup and recovery strategy using export/import. The export/import approach is relatively stable and simple. it usually has to be restarted from the beginning again. the original export/import utilities will eventually be deprecated and only the new Data Pump utility will be the only supported means of export. The time to recover can be long if there is a complete loss of the database. Large dump files may become corrupted and become unusable. as well as all the DDL commands needed to re-create the database objects. It is a server-side utility that can be used to unload and load data. Some of the newest data types are not supported by export and import. The export and import utilities are available with every Oracle database and are widely known for their compatibility between releases. An export/import process is very CPU intensive. The Data Pump infrastructure is callable though the PL/SQL package DBMS_DATAPUMP which enables DBAs to create custom data movement utilities using Data Pump.Place five word shortened title here… Place your last name here The export/import utilities write data in an Oracle proprietary binary format from the database into operating system files (called dump files).

Data Pump automatically manages multiple.Place five word shortened title here… Place your last name here Oracle claims that a Data Pump export is about twice as fast as an original export and that a Data Pump import is 15-45 times faster than an original import. If disk space is at a premium. Oracle New Features Guide book Oracle Technology Network (http://www. All export files created and all import files to be read must be located on the database server. RMAN backups can be seamlessly offloaded to a physical standby database. Data Pump implements self-tuning mechanisms to ensure that tables are exported and imported in the most efficient manner. Since RMAN and Data Guard are part of the integrated Oracle high availability technology stack. parallel streams of unload and load for maximum throughput. It is possible to detach from and re-attach to long-running jobs load or unload jobs. www.oracle. It would be possible to use a 3rd party compression tool if available to you. community knowledge levels are relatively low. they share a common factor: the need for a fast and reliable backup solution. so adoption is limited at the present time.odtug. memory. It is not compatible with the traditional export or import utilities. • • • • • • • • Disadvantages Data Pump import can only read Data Pump export dump files. This will obviously change as time passes and more sites adopt Data Pump as their standard logical backup utility. As a result. In the case of media failure. Data Pump allows the DBA to perform an export and import over the network without any data movement. Startup time is longer for a Data Pump job since Data Pump is specifically designed for large jobs with lots of data. if the dump file is lost. • • • • • • • References • • Oracle Database documentation: Oracle Database Utilities book. Whether companies operate a single database or multiple databases that store hundreds of gigabytes or even terabytes of data. automation of backup management tasks. Oracle's Recovery Manager (RMAN) utility provides this solution. incremental backups. Data Pump can be very resource intensive – it will consume as much CPU. but with varied levels of improvement. RMAN brings rich functionality such as online backups. block media recovery. Parameter files created for the original export and import utilities are not compatible with the new Data Pump utilities. Basic tests from the Oracle community at large confirm that Data Pump is faster. Data Pump is a relatively new technology.com 3 ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 . Advantages • Operations performed using Data Pump export and import utilities are much faster than operations performed using the traditional export and import utilities. and integration with 3rd party media management systems into the Data Guard configuration. then you can not perform media recovery. Data Pump has the ability to estimate how much space an export job would consume. Unlike the client-server architecture utilized by the traditional export and import utilities. Oracle Data Pump is included (free!) with all Oracle Databases.com/technology) HA Option: Oracle RMAN Backup and recovery is one of the most important aspects of database administration. this option might not be viable as there is no compression of the dump file offered by Oracle. Data Pump supports restarting jobs and allows the monitoring of progress for loads and unloads. without actually performing the export. version 10g and higher. and I/O bandwidth as your setting of the PARALLEL parameter will allow. allowing customers to gain more value out of their disaster recovery investment. there is currently no way to create a data pump export file on an Oracle client installation.

on and offline backups at the database. third-party media management vendors can leverage the functionality of RMAN to provide robust backup solutions for Oracle databases. or by using the Enterprise Manager Backup and Recovery Management console. Incremental backups are generally smaller and faster to create than full database backups. space-saving operations RMAN takes advantage of intimate knowledge of Oracle block structures to provide high backup and restore data streaming performance and efficient file compression. and removal upon completion of the tablespace recovery. performing backup job scheduling and recovery operations is completely automated via step-by-step wizards. whose commands are written in an OSindependent scripting language. archive log. This increases data availability and reduces mean time to recover by selectively restoring and recovering the damaged blocks. Incrementally Updated Backups Incremental backups capture on a block-by-block basis changes in your database since a previous incremental backup. tablespace. Flash Recovery Area allows administrators to setup notifications on disk space usage and automate obsolescence of expired backup sets. Automatic block corruption detection and repair Block Media Recovery allows RMAN to fix a corrupted block (detected on backup) while the data file remains online. New features for RMAN in Oracle Database 10g Release 1: • The Flash Recovery Area. RMAN backs up only blocks that are in use (or have ever been used) and saves disk space by merging blocks into as few backup pieces as necessary. the level 0 backup is used as the starting point. During a restore from incremental backup.Place five word shortened title here… Place your last name here Advantages Flexibility RMAN takes care of all underlying database procedures before and after backup or restore. when creating backup sets.odtug. Uncompressing the backed up files is not necessary since recovery operations can directly use the compressed backup files. disk has become a more attractive option for primary www. RMAN takes care of instance creation on the same server as the target database. Fine-granular data operations RMAN provides fine-granular. RMAN in Oracle Database 10g Release 1 eliminates the need for a DBA to manually create an auxiliary instance for tablespace point-in-time recovery (TSPITR). based on a date or SCN number. freeing dependency on OS and SQL*Plus scripts. both up-to-the-present and point-in-time recoveries can be performed. and offers features not available through user-managed methods. Recovery from an incremental backup is faster than recovery using redo logs alone. RMAN backup set files. everything needed by RMAN upon recovery can be retrieved from this directory. Minimal I/O is needed because redo is only applied to damaged blocks Performance-optimized. and detailed history of all backups. If disk space is a premium. by rolling forward archived logs. Simple and centralized management Administrators can take advantage of the RMAN client command-line interface. such as parallelization of backup/recovery data streams. Compression of RMAN backups. then changed blocks are updated based on level 1 backups where possible to avoid re-applying changes from redo one at a time. datafile. and non-affected data continues to be available for selecting and updating. and block level.com 4 ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 . Recovering with incremental backups requires no additional effort on your part. archive log. By default. including control. data. If incremental backups are available. then you can still reduce the time to recover the database by keeping compressed RMAN backups on disk. via RMAN client command-line or EM interfaces. Extensible to third party media managers Through one standard Media Management Layer API (MML). With EM. With a rapidly dropping price. a single directory on disk or ASM disk group. It provides a common interface for backup tasks across different host operating systems. Intelligent disk consumption monitoring New in Oracle Database 10g Release 1. RMAN will use them during recovery. backup files retention policy. control file. Also. consolidates all recovery-related files.

odtug. This allows incremental backups to be continually rolled into data file image copies. indexes. DBAs can weigh backup performance against system service level requirements. was introduced with Oracle 9i Release 2 (9. manage. With the release of Oracle 9i (9. RMAN will try to restore the desired file from all possible backups before returning an error.oracle. and disaster recovery for enterprise data. Up to and including Oracle 9i Release 1 (9. when an error occurs during a disk backup or restore. as specified by the CONFIGURE command. standby database usability and functionality was improved. • With the automatic channel failover feature. minimizing the downtime associated with the outage. This tool uses its own language to perform the backup and restore operations. Oracle Enterprise Manager also supports the configuration and administration of Oracle Data Guard. etc. Data Guard was first available as an additional option for Oracle8i. In addition. when RMAN finds corruption in a backup. www. RMAN accomplishes this by utilizing multiple channels. By specifying a duration. thus dramatically shortening completion time. The logical standby database. Flash Recovery Area can automatically warn administrators of disk capacity issues and obsolete outdated backup sets to reclaim space. administrators can optionally improve production database performance by diverting resource-intensive backup and reporting operations to standby systems. and monitor one or more standby databases to enable Oracle databases to survive disasters and data corruption. maintain. Data Guard can be used with traditional backup. This offers a higher level of resiliency when streaming problems arise and better utilization of system resources. you should create a separate database to store the rman catalog.0). With Data Guard. rather than performing full data file scans on every operation. RMAN will attempt to complete as much of the job as possible. Data Guard provides a comprehensive set of services that create. relieving the need to search for valid backups and performing a manual RESTORE or RECOVER. During a restore. versus restarting jobs manually. In addition. • • • References Oracle Technology Network (http://www.2). rather than aborting the job. Binary compression technique reduces backup space usage by 50-75%.com/technology) Oracle Database documentation: Oracle RMAN Concepts and Administration HA Option: Oracle Data Guard Standby database technology was introduced with Oracle 7. thus eliminating the need to apply incrementals on recovery. in addition to faster read/write performance than tape. With the new DURATION option for the RMAN BACKUP command. applying archive logs received from a primary database. Data Guard maintains these standby databases as transactionally consistent copies of the production database. and cluster technologies to provide a high level of data protection and availability. This is done automatically whenever RMAN restores file(s) during the RESTORE or RECOVER commands.Place five word shortened title here… Place your last name here backup storage. If the production database becomes unavailable due to a planned or unplanned outage. Data Guard became a basic part of the Oracle Database. or finds that a backup cannot be accessed. data protection.com 5 ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 . procedures. Block change tracking for incremental backups allows the server to record and read only the changed blocks. RMAN will automatically calculate the appropriate backup rate. Data Guard makes the Oracle 8i standby database more comfortable and provided new features such as switchover. Oracle Data Guard ensures high availability. DBAs can optionally specify whether backups should minimize time or system load. restoration. For recovery.) that will contain all the information of your backup & restores operations. the standby database always was a physical standby database in recovery mode. which applies the changes on an open database using Oracle LogMiner. • • • • • Disadvantages • In case you want to take full advantage of the features of this tool. Data Guard can switch any standby database to the production role. RMAN will try to restore the file from a different backup.0). Ever since the Oracle7 release. completion time is reduced through the use of the incrementally updated backup feature. which is a set of objects (tables.

automatic resynchronization of a failed primary database restores the environment to a valid configuration. This is because the standby (physical or logical) are copies from production. When synchronous replication is used. Standby sites can be configured to receive updates immediately or to lag behind the primary site to allow for data recovery for logical corruptions. For example. Advantages • Data Guard maintains transactionally consistent database copies to provide protection against unplanned downtime and disaster.oracle. Managed. Latest features allow administrators the ability to diverge a redo apply standby database for reporting or testing purposes and resynchronize it with primary database once complete. For hardware upgrades. Data Guard provides complete data protection against computer failures. only one site in the replication agreement is used at any given time. The databases in a Data Guard configuration are connected by Oracle Net and may be dispersed geographically. If one database is unavailable for any reason (network error. Oracle Database will make the changes on all remote sites at the very same time that they occur on the source system. Data Guard can be employed to reduce planned downtime. Following a failover. Oracle patch set installation and database upgrades. then all sites are unable to make changes to the replicated object(s).com 6 ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 .Place five word shortened title here… Place your last name here A Data Guard configuration consists of one production database and one or more physical or logical standby databases. Simplified administration features allow DBAs to view all systems a single configuration. Oracle Advanced Replication has two primary forms: synchronous and asynchronous.odtug. and site failures. you can have a standby database in the same building as your primary database to help manage planned downtime and two or more standby databases in other locations for use in disaster recovery. thus their sizes are the same.com/technology) Oracle Database documentation: Oracle Data Guard Concepts and Administration book HA Option: Advanced Replication Oracle Advanced Replication is one method for replicating data to another database. There are no restrictions on where the databases are located if they can communicate with each other. This behavior requires all sites be available in order for any changes to occur. or database failure). password reset. Asynchronous replication is implemented by placing queues on each node in the replication agreement. • • • • • • • • • • • Disadvantages All servers in a Data Guard configuration (even logical standby) must utilize the same platform and operating system. Efficient use of system resources can divert reporting and backup operations from the production database to standby database(s). but is the best way to ensure that all sites in the replication agreement converge. References • • • Oracle Metalink Oracle Technology Network (http://www. For this reason. this capability has also been known as Advanced Symmetric Replication or Multi-master replication. Since it was introduced in Oracle7. Advanced Replication has also been known by other names over its many years. That is. Built-in features allow automatic detection and resolution of missing recovery information following temporary loss of connectivity between the primary and standby database(s). www. You must have the same or more disk space for the standby database. synchronous replication is not used very often. There is no automated features provided by Oracle in this area and most sites use replication to provide an active-passive solution. Some sites have elected to use replication as a means to provide high availability. human errors. automatic role transition and application notification minimizes planned and unplanned downtime. Multiple levels of data protection and performance can be employed to balance data availability against system performance requirements. data corruption.

they may be geographically located anywhere in the world. Streams builds on the functionality provided by Oracle LogMiner to capture database changes by reading the redo stream. These types should be converted to LOB columns which can be replicated. Oracle Streams can read directly from the online redo stream. Most DBAs have not worked with Advanced Replication. these triggers can introduce significant overhead for DML on replicated objects. • • • • • • • References • Oracle Database documentation: Oracle9i Advanced Replication Release 2 (9. other. Note that Oracle Advanced Replication has a long history and certainly has been perfected over the many years it has been available. The master sites for a replication environment only have to be network accessible to one another. Advantages • • • • Oracle Advanced Replication has a long history and has been widely deployed. New implementations requiring replication should consider alternatives to Oracle Advanced Replication. The delay for a replicated change to propagate to a remote site can often be 60 seconds or more.com 7 ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 .2). Disadvantages • Triggers on tables are used to populate the deferred transaction queue. Architecturally. However. This generally means that all but the most unusual bugs will have already been addressed. Oracle9i Database New Features Release 2 (9. LONG and LONG RAW data types are not supported for replication. In order to properly manage and troubleshoot a replication environment. In most single-instance databases.odtug.2) (A96531-02) HA Option: Streams Oracle Streams is a relatively new method for replicating Oracle Database data. While Oracle Advanced Replication will likely live on for several more releases. www. Database jobs are created to process these queued transactions. While Advanced Replication has not been desupported or deprecated in any way by Oracle Corporation. DBAs will need to focus some time and effort on learning replication concepts as well as syntax and replication-related database views. Sometimes.2) (A96567-01). superior replication technology is now available from Oracle and other vendors. superior replication technologies have been introduced by Oracle and other vendors. Network bandwidth requirements can be substantial depending on the volume of data being replicated. Oracle can avoid the costly overhead of triggers on the database objects to capture changes as they happen. Therefore. Introduced in Oracle9i Release 2 (9. other Oracle replication technology. With this architecture. Additionally. Unless one can guarantee that changes will only be made to one site at a time. There is no easy automated way to have users connect to the remote site when the primary site fails. but increasing the propagation frequency (thereby reducing the delay) will create significant overhead (especially CPU) for the originating site. Oracle Enterprise Manager has tools available to configure and manage a replication environment. Also see the disadvantage note regarding network bandwidth. the queue holds all transactions until the remote site(s) is available. There are settings to control the delay time for propagation. There is no additional cost and this feature is not a licensed option. Advanced Replication is relatively simple to comprehend. may be the better choice for new implementations. This can also contribute significantly to the overhead on the system and may affect user performance unless a dedicated network is configured for replication network traffic. It is available with the Personal Edition and Enterprise Edition licenses for Oracle Database (as of Oracle9i). conflict resolution routines must be implemented in order to handle data convergence issues. If a failure occurs and contact is lost with the remote site(s). providing a very fast replication time.Place five word shortened title here… Place your last name here These queues are populated with all changes that are made to all replicated objects. so additional training may be required to configure and manage a replicated environment. like Oracle Streams.

so. There is no dependence on the replication destination site to be available in order for the source site to continue to function. This is relatively new technology and there is significant momentum behind it.com 8 ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 . When a change matches. documentation was improved significantly and Metalink notes are now available for most of the most common tasks and needs. but they have expanded to Windows servers as well. OLTP changes can be captured and transformed into one or more changes for target objects in the data warehouse. Also. Since it relies on technology that relatively few DBAs have used. On the receiving end. few Metalink notes were published on its shortcomings and issues. There is no additional cost and this feature is not a licensed option. www. most applications will not need to be aware that replication is taking place.2). Based on a set of rules that serve as filters.2 is lacking and presumably because of its new status in 9. These ETL processes are commonly utilized to populate data warehouses from online transaction processing (OLTP) databases. quick propagation can also reduce the number of update conflicts that occur (and therefore will often negate the need for conflict resolution programming). transform. This significant feature is worth further investigation for those requiring ETL processing. they were an environment that only existed on Unix systems. it is very difficult to remove a single object from Streams without removing the entire configuration and starting over. The architecture for Oracle Streams is relatively complex and there are multiple additional processes and parameter settings that must be implemented in order to be successful. it is converted (or "captured") into a logical change record (LCR) that is enqueued for further processing. Originally. Advantages • Since it uses redo log information instead of triggers to gather the changes for replication. creating even less overhead on the original source system. In fact. based on a set of rules). • • • References • Oracle Database documentation: Oracle9i Database New Features Release 2 (9. This architectural complexity can lead to challenging troubleshooting situations when issues are encountered. but goes beyond the scope of this paper. Learning how to implement and manage a Streams environment can require significant time for a DBA. While Streams is relatively new technology. it is possible to configure the capture process to run on a node other than the source system. overhead on the source system can be significantly lower. It is available with the Enterprise Edition license for Oracle Database (as of Oracle9i).Place five word shortened title here… Place your last name here Oracle Streams operates three primary processes: capture. and apply. This is a very significant advantage. propagate. Documentation for using Oracle Streams in version 9.2) (A96531-02) Oracle Metalink • HA Option: Failover Clusters Failover clusters (also called "cold failover clusters") have been used in technology for many years. This subsystem is often the recommendation from Oracle Support when replication issues are encountered using Advanced Replication. The queue is propagated by a dedicated process that moves LCRs from a capture queue to an apply queue (these queues are usually in different databases). Via some customization of the Streams rules. Due to the speedy propagation time that is often the case with Streams. and load (ETL) processes.odtug. Oracle Enterprise Manager has tools available to configure and manage a Streams environment. • • • • • Disadvantages • Especially in Oracle9i Release 2 (9. not much of a typical DBA's prior experience will help with the learning curve. Some of the most powerful applications for Streams are extract. the first two releases of Oracle Database 10g have included significant enhancement and improvement for this feature. when compared to Advanced Replication. an apply process reads LCRs from the queue and applies those changes appropriately (again. support is easier to obtain for any new issues.2. the capture process scans the redo stream for matching transactions. With version 10g.

The duration of that outage is commonly advertised as very short. Some clusterware software licenses can be expensive. 2006) if some relatively simple requirements are met. It provides capability to handle monitoring and failover for any process and can handle dependencies between processes (like start the database before the app server). Advantages • Failover clusters are typically easy to implement and require no application changes at all. The systems used in a failover cluster do not need to have the same hardware configuration. This translates into better support for Oracle databases in these cluster environments as well as shorter implementation cycles since tested and certified software can be employed. Red Hat. Processes. • • • • • www. failover clusters for databases will require additional testing to determine the application behavior when the database is restarted without restarting the application server. They may have different numbers of CPUs and different amounts of memory. Many clusterware vendors include scripts and modules to properly monitor and handle normal start and stop functions for Oracle components (database and listener). IBM. network addresses. Troubleshooting problems can be more challenging since there are more moving parts in a multi-node cluster than a standalone system. There is a significant amount of planning required to build a failover cluster that effectively supports multiple applications or databases.Place five word shortened title here… Place your last name here A failover cluster is a group of two or more systems that both have access to the same storage and are on the same network. the outage is much shorter than if the database had to be restored or the system repaired. Veritas). but since these steps are completely handled by the clusterware in an automated way. Often. if the failure is unplanned (like a system crash in the middle of the night). All application components run on a single node in the cluster (just as they would on a stand alone system) and when that node fails or needs to be taken offline. but that rarely requires additional hardware purchases in today's typical data centers that include VLANs and SAN storage. Novell) as well as other software companies (Oracle. The clusterware software and an extra network interface on each cluster member (for a private interconnect network) are the only additional costs for an environment like this one. but for most Oracle database environments.com 9 ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 . Clusterware software is available from most Unix vendors (HP. Oracle Clusterware can be utilized without additional license (as of September 21. This does result in a short outage to the users. Applications (including Oracle databases) do not need to be cluster-aware or have any special adaptations in order to operate as they normally do on a standalone host. Sun. • • • Disadvantages • Often. The system administrators and DBAs need some additional training to understand necessary changes in management practices to maintain the cluster applications. Since the process of "moving" an application and its dependencies to another node is automated. the clusterware software is instructed to stop the application's processes. deconfigure the application's network addresses. Some sites are challenged to find a storage layout and management scheme that allows them to scale the number of databases or applications to a significant number. A failover event causes an outage for the application. They must use the same operating system and processor architecture.odtug. the outage is usually between 2 and 5 minutes. unmount the application's storage and then make those items available on a surviving cluster member. and storage are configured within the clusterware framework so that the cluster knows what components are required in order to make an application (such as a database) available for use. Testing this outage duration and setting appropriate expectations are important points for a new implementation. clusterware software is employed to monitor and maintain cluster membership. reconfiguration of networks and storage is also required. Similar to Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) clusters. the clusterware can bring up the application on a surviving cluster member without any interaction required from the administrators.

Training and skilled professional services are available from multiple vendors. Oracle Real Application Clusters can be used for almost any application without changes or special adaptations to the application. Gigabit Ethernet is common for most clusters built today. There is a well-defined. a RAC environment may require more than two nodes to handle normal workload. The set of nodes are bound together using software called clusterware. • • • • • • • • • • • • Disadvantages For most environments. only reconfiguration of existing environments. Oracle Clusterware (previously known as Oracle Cluster Ready Services) is a mandatory part of every 10g RAC installation.com 10 ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 . ASM makes the traditional problem of managing shared storage much easier by providing an easy way to manage all database storage without relying on a filesystem at all. When configured properly. Oracle owns the whole software stack on top of the operating system. RAC environments are just as stable as other Oracle database environments when implemented properly.oracleracsig. the RAC Option license must be purchased and that can be expensive. To add RAC to that environment.odtug. reconfiguration and occasionally redevelopment activity is necessary. No new or special hardware is usually required. All data is still immediately available to all other nodes in the cluster. In the case that some node has a partial failure. The architecture employed is "shared everything". users can connect to any node in the cluster and their sessions will sustain an instance failure by being reconnected to a surviving instance on another cluster member. Hardware vendors and software vendors recognize Oracle RAC as an option and perform certifications against RAC configurations. Oracle Real Application Clusters also leverages many features of Automatic Storage Management (ASM) very well. Advantages • Very fast failovers so that users are able to resume work activity quickly and often are not aware that an outage has happened. active community of support (www. For small clusters (less then 4 CPUs in the cluster). • • • www. This product is undergoing active development at Oracle and the future is very bright.org). Clusterware software manages cluster membership. For some applications. maintains heartbeats between all nodes via multiple methods to ensure that no node suffers a partial failure and corrupt the database. the Oracle Standard Edition database includes RAC capability with no additional license needed. two-node clusters are very common. For high-availability configurations. Sites using failover clusters will be familiar with most of the concepts in a RAC cluster. No third party software is required. The database is placed on shared storage and is accessed directly from each node that runs an instance.Place five word shortened title here… Place your last name here HA Option: RAC Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) is a database option that enables multiple systems to run instances of a single database. the Enterprise Edition database license is used. With Cache Fusion. the clusterware software will fence (eliminate) that node from the cluster via a method that ensures it cannot corrupt the shared storage or database. Additional network setup is required to configure a private interconnect network for all cluster nodes. an N+1 configuration is the most common scenario. In that case. This type of configuration provides a very fast failover and users may not even know that a failure has occurred. Current Oracle DBAs can easily extend their knowledge to include RAC administration since it shares the same foundation as single-instance databases. Sometimes. There is special knowledge required to properly plan and implement a cluster of any real size. This means that loss of one node does not affect availability of data.

com 11 ODTUG Kaleidoscope 2007 .odtug. Morales Data Guard: Ariel Gustavo Paez Replication and Streams: Diego Cutrone Advanced Replication. Streams. Failover Clusters. but most are focused on maximizing system availability while minimizing cost. Credits • • • • • Export/Import & Data Pump: Padraig O’Sullivan RMAN: Diego D. If you have any questions about the options outlined in this document.Place five word shortened title here… Place your last name here Conclusion Depending on your needs and your budget. and RAC: Dan Norris www. Many sites already employ the basic availability options. This whitepaper provides the necessary information to help you identify your best choice given your uptime and budgetary requirements. please contact IT Convergence so that we may help make the best choice for your Oracle investment. one of the availability solutions examined in this paper will fit your needs.

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