Wednesday Sep 25, 2013

ZS3 vs DataDomain for Database Backups

For those of you attending OOW13 this year, I am sure you are wondering what this ZS3 (ZFS Storage Appliance) platform is and what all the buzz about these phenomenal speeds that we can get out of it are all about.  It excels at IOP's, low latencies and high throughput.  It's primary storage and also a great target for RMAN backups.  You probably also see our friends from EMC displaying the merits of the DataDomain box.

While I am a fan of deduplication technology, it's only good when its used in the right context and for the right workload / data type. We offer it in the ZS3 but rarely do we turn it on.  Compression now that's another story, sure, turn it on and at least use LZJB compression, it's inline, virtually overhead free and it actually speeds up data transfers in most cases.

DataDomain; however, is not the right place to send your RMAN data.  Don't get me wrong, DataDomain is a great box for disk based backups of unstructured data types and all the 20:1 things you hear are very relevant for this kind of data.  Unfortunately, RMAN data streams are not dedup friendly. (Unless you, to quote a friend of mine, "de-optimize upstream in order to improve your backup performance").

What I am saying is, follow all the best practices to make your primary database go as fast as possible and use compression techniques like ACO and HCC and in 12c, use ADO (BTW, you need Engineered systems or Oracle storage for HCC).  Run incremental or differential backups in addition to your weekly fulls.  We want you to get the best possible query speeds etc.  In turn, we also would like you to take a good look at what the current ZFS Storage Appliance line and now the next generation ZS3 platform can do for your RMAN backups.  More importantly, what they could do for your RESTORES! 

So backup that Exadata at full speed, restore at better speeds than any vendor can provide.  Don't have an Exadata, fear not, we can backup/restore any Oracle Database faster than anyone else (provided you have a decent pipe like 10G or even better IB).  

Leave all those performance related settings on and go ahead and multiplex like crazy.  Don't send 4 like they recommended in their session this week, send 16 RMAN streams at a time.  Parallelism is the best way to drive up the aggregate throughput.  The ZS3 platform, ZBA or the current ZFS Storage Appliance line can all deliver results up to 20TB/hr plus for backups and up to 15TB/hr restores.  These numbers are repeatable and we, your local Oracle Storage Teams, are ready to demonstrate them for you any time in our solution centers.

I'll leave you with this thought, typical day to day operations - back up your current database, restore it to an alternate location, clone it, prepare it to be mounted on a different host, how long does that take you today with your current gear?  This is something most of you do regularly so that you can mine that data, do some test and dev work on it etc.  For a large database, this process will take several days with a DataDomain, our customers have told us this many times.  Oracle ZFS based Appliances can reduce the time to complete that entire process to mere hours.  I ask you, what can that ability do for your business?

Oracle on Oracle - it's an awesome story - Hardware and Software engineered together to provide extreme performance !!!

About

Mike Triska, Storage Solutions Architect, blogs creative thoughts to help you get the most out of your Oracle storage

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