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How to Prepare Storage for ASM [ID 452924.

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Modified 11-JUN-2009 Type HOWTO Status PUBLISHED

In this Document
Goal
Solution

This document is being delivered to you via Oracle Support's Rapid Visibility (RaV)
process, and therefore has not been subject to an independent technical review.

Applies to:

Oracle Server Enterprise Edition - Version: 10.1.0.2 to 11.1.0.6


Information in this document applies to any platform.
Oracle Server - Enterprise Edition - Version: 10.1.0.2 to 11.1

Goal

This document describes how to prepare your storage sub-system before you configure
Automatic Storage Management (ASM). When preparing your storage to use ASM, first
determine the storage option for your system and then prepare the disk storage for the specific
operating system environment.

Solution

A) You can create an ASM diskgroup using one of the following storage resources:

1) Raw disk partition—A raw partition can be the entire disk drive or a section of a disk drive.
However, the ASM disk cannot be in a partition that includes the partition table because the
partition table can be overwritten.

2) Logical unit numbers (LUNs)—Using hardware RAID functionality to create LUNs is a


recommended
approach. Storage hardware RAID 0+1 or RAID5, and other RAID configurations, can be
provided to
ASM as ASM disks.

3) Raw logical volumes (LVM)—LVMs are supported in less complicated configurations where an
LVM
is mapped to a LUN, or an LVM uses disks or raw partitions. LVM configurations are not
recommended
by Oracle because they create a duplication of functionality. Oracle also does not recommended
using LVMs for mirroring because ASM already provides mirroring.

4) NFS files—NFS files are suitable for testing, but are not a recommended configuration for
production environments. Using NFS files with ASM duplicates ASM functionality. Though,
NetApp as an NFS vendor certifies its product with ASM. So there are customers using NFS and
ASM together.

B) The procedures for preparing storage resources for ASM are:


1) Identify or create the storage devices for ASM by identifying all of the storage resource
device names that you can use to create an ASM disk group. For example, on Linux systems,
device
names are typically presented from the /dev directory with the /dev/device_name_identifier name
syntax.

2) Change the ownership and the permissions on storage device resources. For example, the
following steps are required on Linux systems:

2.1) Change the user and group ownership of devices to oracle:dba


2.2) Change the device permissions to read/write
2.3) On older Linux versions, you must configure raw device binding

After you have configured ASM, ensure that disk discovery has been configured correctly by
setting
the ASM_DISKSTRING initialization parameter.

Note: Setting the ownership to oracle:dba is just one example that corresponds to the default
settings. A non-default installation may require different settings. In general, the owner of the
disk devices should be the same as the owner of the Oracle binary. The group ownership should
be
OSDBA of the ASM instance, which is defined at installation.

C) Recommendations for Storage Preparation. The following are guidelines for preparing
storage for
use with ASM:

1) Configure two disk groups, one for the datafile and the other for the Flash Recovery Area. For
availability purposes, one is used as a backup for the other.

2) Ensure that LUNs, which are disk drives of partitions, that ASM disk groups use have similar
storage performance and availability characteristics. In storage configurations with mixed speed
drives, such as 10K and 15K RPM, I/O distribution is constrained by the slowest speed drive.

3) Be aware that ASM data distribution policy is capacity-based. LUNs provided to ASM have the
same capacity for each disk group to avoid an imbalance.

4) Use the storage array hardware RAID 1 mirroring protection when possible to reduce the
mirroring overhead on the server. Use ASM mirroring redundancy in the absence of a hardware
RAID,
or when you need host-based volume management functionality, such as mirroring across
storage
systems. You can use ASM mirroring in configurations when mirroring between
geographically-separated sites over a storage interface.

Hardware RAID 1 in some lower-cost storage products is inefficient and degrades the
performance of
the array. ASM redundancy delivers improved performance in lower-cost storage products.

For additional information, please check at:

http://www.oracle.com/technology/deploy/availability/pdf/lcs_OW.doc.pdf

5) Maximize the number of disks in a disk group for maximum data distribution and higher I/O
bandwidth.

6) Create LUNs using the outside half of disk drives for higher performance. If possible, use
small disks with the highest RPM.

7) Create large LUNs to reduce LUN management overhead.

8) Minimize I/O contention between ASM disks and other applications by dedicating disks to ASM
disk groups for those disks that are not shared with other applications.

9) Choose a hardware RAID stripe size that is a power of 2 and less than or equal to the size of
the ASM allocation unit.

10) Avoid using a Logical Volume Manager (LVM) because an LVM would be redundant.
However, thereare situations where certain multipathing or third party cluster solutions require an
LVM. In
these situations, use the LVM to represent a single LUN without striping or mirroring to minimize
the performance impact.

11) For Linux, when possible, use the Oracle ASMLIB feature to address device naming and
permission persistency.

12) ASMLIB provides an alternative interface for the ASM-enabled kernel to discover and access
block devices. ASMLIB provides storage and operating system vendors the opportunity to supply
extended storage-related features. These features provide benefits such as improved
performance
and greater data integrity.