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Understanding Oracle 10g Cluster Ready Services (CRS)

What is Cluster Ready Services (CRS)? Cluster Ready Services (CRS) in Oracle 10g provides management services to a database cluster, such as node membership, group services, global resource management, and high availability. CRS interacts with vendor-supplied software in its node management activities. CRS includes three daemon processes: 1. Cluster Synchronization Service Daemon (CSSD): A cluster monitoring and membership daemon that communicates and sends heart beat to their peer daemons on the other nodes. 2. Cluster Ready Services Daemon (CRSD): A high-availability daemon that performs high availability recovery and management operations 3. Event Manager Daemon(EVMD): An event monitoring daemon A voting disk is required for OCR and CRS installation and must be accessible before any Oracle instance starts. A voting disk can be a raw device, a shared volume or a file of a Shared cluster file system. For communication between CCSD, EVMD, CRSD instances a private IP address is required on each node.

How does Cluster Ready Services work with Storage Foundation for RAC? Storage Foundation for RAC provides improved availability by providing sophisticated clusterware on top of what Oracle 10g CRS provides. Storage Foundation for RAC provides sophisticated storage frame work for Oracle 10g Real Application Cluster using CVM, CFS, ODM and VCS. Storage Foundation for Oracle RAC provides libraries for IPC (skgxp) and Cluster Membership (skgxn). CRS piggybacks on GAB and LLT for IPC, LLT and LMX for Cluster Memberships, and other communication between respective daemons (CCSD, EVMD, CRSD) on each node. Voting disk is configured using CVM+CFS Private IP address for CRS is made highly available using PrivNIC agent.

How does Storage Foundation for RAC add value to Oracle 10g CRS? I. Issue: Voting disk must be configured either on a shared raw device or a shared file on a cluster file system. This creates a single point of failure, as well as dependency on additional software. Storage Foundation for RAC Value Add: Using mirroring feature CVM+CFS voting disk can be protected from single point of failure of the voting disk

II. Issue: One Private IP address required for inter-connect traffic. Failure of this private IP address can result into single point of failure for loosing inter-node communication. Storage Foundation for RAC Value Add: PrivNic agent available with SF-RAC can monitor and keep the IP address highly available in case of failure.

III. Issue: When CRS detects absence of a voting disk on any of the nodes, it reboots the system, but it does not block I/O to the disks. This may cause unwanted I/O going to the disk. Storage Foundation for RAC Value Add: I/O fencing is more robust (minimum 3 fencing disks are required) and blocks off I/O immediately.

Summary:
Although Oracle 10g includes CRS for database failover, Storage Foundation for RAC improves availability of data and application. Storage Foundation for RAC complements Oracle 10g CRS by providing sophisticated clusterware with enterprise monitoring agents and sate of the art data storage software complements