Exadata support for ACFS (and thus, 10gR2) now available!

Really? Exadata, ACFS and 10gR2?

If you work with Exadata you are probably aware that ACFS has not been supported - until now!

ACFS is now supported on Exadata if you are running Grid Infrastructure version 12.1.0.2 or later. This new support is described in MOS note 1326938.1. Also Exadata support for ACFS is mentioned in MOS note 888828.1, which is the king of all Exadata notes on MOS.

The upshot is that you can now run Oracle Database 10gR2 on Exadata using ACFS as the storage for the Oracle Database.

Don’t Over React and just Throw Everything on ACFS!
First, let’s be clear that ACFS is not an alternative for running your Exadata databases on ASM. If you are running any production or non-production performance sensitive Oracle databases on 11.2 or 12.1, then you should be running them on ASM disks that are associated with the storage cells. The use case for ACFS is generally limited to the following:

  • Running any Oracle 10gR2 databases on Exadata.
  • Running Oracle 11gR2 development or test databases that require rapid cloning, and that do not require the performance benefits of the Exadata storage cells.

If you are running Oracle Database 12c and you need snapshot/clone kinds of capabilities, then you should be using Oracle MultiTennant and the features present in that option (remember though that MultiTennant is a licensed option).


The Fine Print
There are some requirements that you will need to meet If you are going to run ACFS on Exadata. These are:

  • You have to use Oracle Linux
  • You must use GI 12.1.0.2 or later
  • If you wish to use HCC then you must apply the fix for bug 19136936 to your system. This bug, and it’s associated patch do not appear on MOS (as of the time that I wrote this) so you will need to open an SR and get support to provide the patch for you.

The Best Use Case for ACFS
Even though Oracle Database 10gR2 is at end of life, it remains in use in a large number of places. This has caused problems when choosing to implement Exadata as a consolidation platform, or when choosing it during a hardware refresh process. Now that ACFS is supported, Exadata has become even more flexible and affords customers greater flexibility when migrating to Exadata and Engineered Systems. While all of the features of Exadata might not be available to a 10.2.0.4 database, certainly just the improved processing capabilities of Exadata with its fast as heck infiniband network fabric, additional memory, reduced power requirements and a whole host of other features, justifies moving these databases to Exadata now. This will also make it easier to upgrade these databases when the time comes!

Comments:

Is this out of date?
http://docs.oracle.com/database/121/OSTMG/asmfilesystem.htm#CACJFGCD

"Oracle ACFS in an Oracle Grid 12c Release 1 (12.1) home supports all database files starting with Oracle Database 11g Release 2 (11.2.0.4), except for data files and redo logs in an Oracle Restart (standalone server) configuration. For this feature, the COMPATIBLE.ADVM attribute must be set to 12.1 or higher for the disk group that contains the Oracle ACFS file system."

Posted by guest on August 18, 2014 at 02:01 AM PDT #

The answer is - as everyone knows - it depends! :)
So, the ACFS support for 10.2.0.4 (and 10.2.0.5) is only for Exadata. So, the link you provided is correct with the exception of Exadata. This is only when using the 12.1.0.2 GI - Not 12.1.0.1.

Robert

Posted by Robert Freeman on August 18, 2014 at 08:44 PM PDT #

This is very interesting Robert.

I can see if the end goal is to upgrade the 10g database to Database 12c, then Exadata would get all the heavy lifting done much quicker in terms of the upgrade process. Then the new "online move datafile" feature could be used to online move all the datafiles from ACFS to ASM either immediately or at a later date.

Posted by Winston Douglas on August 27, 2014 at 07:33 AM PDT #

Hi Robert,
As ACFS is supported on Exadata(GI 12.1.0.2) now, I would like to know if DBFS would be replaced by ACFS or vice versa in the future. Which one I should choose during project planning phase? Is there any latest feature/performance comparison of these 2 file system? Maintenance of multiple file systems(ACFS, DBFS, OCFS2, OCFS) is cumbersome esp. for DBA.

Thanks for your comment in advance

Regards

Posted by Thomas on November 05, 2014 at 10:09 PM PST #

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Welcome to Robert G. Freeman's Oracle Blog. My specific interest is with Oracle Database and Oracle Exadata. I've been involved with Oracle databases for over two decades and have worked for Oracle now for over 4 years. Site Meter

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