Thursday May 29, 2014

Try the Oracle Database Appliance Manager Configurator - For Fun!

If you would like to get a first hand glimpse of how easy it is to configure an ODA, even if you don’t have access to one, it’s possible to download the Appliance Manager Configurator from the Oracle Technology Network, and run it standalone on your PC or Linux/Unix  workstation.

The configurator is packaged in a zip file that contains the complete Java environment to run standalone.

Once the package is downloaded and unzipped it’s simply a matter of launching it using the config command or shell depending on your runtime environment.

Oracle Appliance Manager Configurator is a Java-based tool that enables you to input your deployment plan and validate your network settings before an actual deployment, or you can just preview and experiment with it.

  1. Simply download and run the configurator on a local client system which can be a Windows, Linux, or UNIX system. (For Windows launch the batch file config.bat for Linux/Unix environments, run  ./ config.sh).
  2. You will be presented with the very same dialogs and options used to configure a production ODA but on your workstation. At the end of a configurator session, you may save your deployment plan in a configuration file. If you were actually ready to deploy, you could copy this configuration file to a real ODA where the online Oracle Appliance Manager Configurator would use the contents to deploy your plan in production.
  3. You may also print the file’s content and use the printout as a checklist for setting up your production external network configuration. Be sure to use the actual production network addresses you intend to use it as this will only work correctly if your client system is connected to same network that will be used for the ODA. (This step is not necessary if you are just previewing the Configurator).

This is a great way to get an introductory look at the simple and intuitive Database Appliance configuration interface and the steps to configure a system.

Tuesday May 20, 2014

Expanding the Storage Capabilities of the Oracle Database Appliance

The Oracle Database Appliance X4-2 comes with a total of 18 TBs of raw shared storage and depending on availability requirements can be configured in a mirrored configuration yielding 9 TBs of usable storage or configured in a tripled-mirrored maximum availability configuration for a total of 6 TBs of usable storage. In most cases this is a sufficient amount of storage but if users require additional storage, there are two options for storage expansion depending on their requirements.

Storage Expansion Shelf

The first option is to add the Storage Expansion Shelf that effectively doubles the raw storage and usable storage. The additional storage shelf is directly cabled to the storage controllers and zero-admin is required for the storage to be added to the Oracle Database Appliance.  After you have cabled and turned it on, The Appliance Manager software configures and re-balances the data across both storage shelves which effectively scales in a linear fashion providing approximately twice the I/O throughput as all spindles are used for the data re-balance.

This is a great option when additional high performance locally attached shared storage is needed, especially for virtual environments where user defined virtual machines need storage space.

Networked Attached Storage

Customers can use Oracle compatible NFS-attached storage with Oracle Database Appliance.

An excellent option is to use Oracle’s ZFS Storage Appliance. There are several features of the Oracle Sun ZFS Storage Appliance that make it the ideal choice for expanding the storage capabilities of the Oracle Database Appliance. These features include intuitive management tools, real-time performance analysis, data compression, multiprotocol integration, de-duplication, cloning and Hybrid Columnar Compression, (HCC).

NFS storage is also a great option to create external database disk backups. Network attached storage for database backups allows isolation of backups from the internal storage, and opens a range of possibilities for management of the backups including replication to a remote site, snapshots for additional copies of backups, compression of backups by the ZFS Appliance, and sharing of the backups with another database server. For a good discussion of network storage backups, (See - Backup and Recovery Strategies for the Oracle Database Appliance).

Tuesday May 06, 2014

Why Does ODA Use Enterprise Edition?

All of Oracle’s Engineered Systems, including ODA, engineer their solutions for optimal Availability, Performance, Security and Scalability. When we compare Enterprise Edition with Standard Edition we see some significant features in Enterprise Edition that provide maximum Availability, Performance, Security and Scalability to provide ODA with an optimal Enterprise Database Solution.


AVILIBILITY:
In the area of Availability, Enterprise Edition has many unique features that enhance availability not found in Standard Edition including:

RAC One Node

Data Guard—Redo Apply

Data Guard—SQL Apply

Data Guard—Snapshot Standby

Active Data Guard

Rolling Upgrades—Patch Set, Database, and Operating System

Online index rebuild

Online index-organized table organization

Online table redefinition

Duplexed backup sets

Block change tracking for fast incremental backup

Unused block compression in backups

Block-level media recovery

Lost Write Protection

Automatic Block Repair

Parallel backup and recovery

Tablespace point-in-time recovery

Trial recovery

Fast-start fault recovery

Flashback Table

Flashback Database

Flashback Transaction

Flashback Transaction Query

Flashback Data Archive (Total Recall)


PERFORMANCE:
When we look at Performance, Enterprise Edition has the Parallel Query feature not found in Standard Edition. In benchmarking on ODA, with real customer workloads, we have seen better performance when compared to Standard Edition. For many workloads this means a requirement for fewer cores to execute the same workloads while maintaining the same service levels.

When we couple this performance advantage with ‘on-demand’ software licensing, (an exclusive ODA feature), it can result in a significant reduction in the overall cost of Enterprise Edition licensed cores.

SECURITY:
Security is an imperative for all enterprise customers and especially important to financial, public sector, healthcare and retail customers.
ODA using Enterprise Edition is able to offer security features not supported in the Standard Edition:

  • Oracle Advanced Security
  • Oracle Label Security
  • Virtual Private Database
  • Fine-grained auditing
  • Oracle Database Vault
  • Enterprise User Security

SCALABILITY:
To protect our customer’s investment in the ODA Engineered System, and extend its useful life, Enterprise Edition offers features that extend system Scalability that do not exist in Standard Edition including:

  • Quality of Service Management Performance                                       
  • Client Side Query Cache                
  • Query Results Cache     
  • PL/SQL Function Result Cache
  • In-Memory Database Cache      
  • Database Smart Flash Cache

About

The Oracle Database Appliance saves time and money by simplifying deployment, maintenance, and support of high-availability database solutions. This blog is dedicated to sharing updates about the Oracle Database Appliance from your product team.

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