Monday Jun 18, 2012

Why Oracle Sun ZFS Storage Appliance for Oracle Databases?

In the just published white paper "Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and the Oracle Sun ZFS Storage Appliance" the authors give you both business and technical evidence of the Oracle ZSF Storage Appliance as primary storage for Oracle Database 11gR2.

How to get to the white paper:

Email Address: <provide your email address>
Access URL/Page Token: eSTEP_2011

To get access push Agree button on the left side of the page.

Click on
eSTEP Download (tab band on the top)
Click on Systems - Hardware (menu on left hand side)

You will find the entry (right hand side) called:
Oracle Database 11g Release 2 and the Oracle Sun ZFS Storage Appliance

Thursday Mar 29, 2012

ODA: Announcing ODA External Storage (read/write) Support

Effective immediately a customer can now use ODA with database files stored on an external NFS file server for both read and write operations.   This effectively eliminates ODA's 4TB storage capacity limit, which has been a concern with some of potential ODA customers.

Below is some additional information regarding the ODA external storage support

Q: What are we announcing?

A: Effective immediately, you can now use the Oracle Database Appliance with database files stored on a NFS-attached file server for both read and write operations.

Q: Does this differentiate the Oracle Database Appliance from an Oracle Database running on a 3rd-party server?

A: No, this feature is a generic feature of the Oracle Database. This puts Oracle Database Appliance on par with other Oracle Database server platforms.

Q: Is there an approved list of NFS servers I can use with the Oracle Database Appliance?

A: No, but we strongly recommend using a commercial file server such as an Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance, or a similar product from a major storage vendor (i.e., EMC, NetApp).

Q: Do I use ASM with the NFS-attached storage?

A: No. Simply mount the file system and store your files on it the same way you would store Oracle database files in any file system. Use of ASM for NFS-attached storage is not recommended.

Q: Can I have some of their database files on internal ODA storage, and some on NFS-attached storage?

A: Yes, you can have a mix of tablespaces—some on the local SAS storage internal to the ODA, and some on the NFS server.

Q: Can I create an ASM diskgroup that spans the local storage and the NFS storage?

A: No. ASM diskgroups should be constructed on disks internal to the ODA. ASM is not needed (nor recommended) for use on NFS-attached storage.

Q: If I don’t use ASM with my NFS Filer, how do I online add storage to my NFS-attached file system.

A: Most commercial NFS filers provide this functionality.

Q: Will I be required to patch their storage sub-system separately or will the ODA patching process take care of the NFS server?

A: The ODA patching process will only patch the local ODA server. If patches are required for an NFS filer, the customer is responsible for patching that themselves.

Q: If I put critical business data on an NFS filer and the server is down, what happens?

A: Your database is down. Make sure you use a highly available NFS filer.

Q: if I put non-critical archive data on an NFS filer, can I configure it so a failure to the filer won’t affect my database?

A: Yes, mark the archive data read-only, and set the init.ora parameter READ_ONLY_OPEN_DELAYED=TRUE

Q: What NIC in the ODA should I use to connect to NFS-attached storage?

A: The ODA has plenty of NICs. Use a bonded pair that is not in use.

Q: What mount options should I use?

A: rw,bg,hard,rsize=32768,wsize=32768,vers=3,nointr,timeo=600,tcp,actimeo=0*

Q: Where can I find more information?


Q: What is Direct NFS (dNFS)?

A: dNFS is a feature of the Oracle Database that allows an NFS client in the database kernel to directly connect to and access data on an NFS Filer.

Q: Should I used the native OS client or dNFS to connect to my NFS Filer?

A: You can use either, but Oracle recommends using dNFS.

Q: How do I configure and use dNFS?

A: Refer to MOS note 762374.1.

Q: How can I use Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) with ODA?

A: HCC is available for use with database files stored on and Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance. You can thus use HCC with ODA as long as the files are stored on and NFS-attached ZFS Storage Appliance. Your ODA must be running database (releasing in April 2012) and you must connect via dNFS.

Q: How should I distribute my data between the local storage and the NFS filer?

A: Put hot data on the internal storage, as that will give the best performance. Put colder data on the NFS filer.

Q: I have tables containing both hot and cold data. How can I move just the cold data to the filer without affecting the application which expects everything in one table?

A: Use the database partitioning option to keep data in different partitions. Place the hot data in partitions on the internal storage, and cold data in partitions on the NFS Filer.

Q: Is there a limit to the amount of data I can store on the NFS Filer?

A: Yes, it is limited by the maximum database size supported by the Oracle Database. This is very big.

Q: Is there a white paper on this subject I can read?

A: An ODA specific white paper will be available shortly. In the mean time, a dNFS white paper is available describing the generic functionality. You can find it here:

Friday Feb 24, 2012

Sun Storage 2500-M2 Enhancements

We are here! Oracle recently enhanced his Sun Storage 2500-M2 array including added scalability, performance enhancer and data services.

Oracle’s Sun Storage 2500-M2 Array is designed for customers, within, or looking to move to, Oracle environments providing highly available entry-level storage optimized for the Oracle stack increasing performance and reducing TCO. It brings together the latest Fibre Channel (FC) and SAS2 technologies with Oracle’s intuitive Sun Storage Common Array software to create a robust solution that’s equally adept in a direct attach (DAS) or storage area network (SAN) for the small or mid-size business or for integrating into an existing storage network within the enterprise.

The Sun Storage 2500-M2 entry level Array offers advanced front-end 8 Gb/sec FC and 6 Gb/sec SAS2 host connectivity and next-generation SAS2 backend technology that is fully integrated into several of Oracle’s optimized solutions highlighting the power of Oracle’s integrated hardware and software stack.

Best practices for performance enhancer software, optimized solutions that improve performance and lower TCO and the recent World Record TPC-H benchmark for database environments are only some of available collaterals.

Last but not least , a partner specific incentives for selling the new Storage 2500-M2 array was launched too.

We are here!

Find more details here.

Tuesday Jan 31, 2012

Sun ZFS Storage Appliances Rank #1 in Quality

Today, Oracle's Storage Group is pleased to announce the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance is a record breaking winner of the Storage Magazine Quality Awards for network-attached storage (NAS) 

"Oracle storage users are apparently the most satisfied among the legions of NAS users":    

  • Oracle's commitment to quality sweeps 12 of 14 categories, setting several records for the highest scores in the history of the award survey.   Oracles highest scores were achieved for it's sales efforts, product feature sets, and relatively quick and painless deployments. 
  • Oracle beat out EMC, Dell, NetApp, HP, and achieved the highest score in six years for the overall Enterprise ratings; NetApp fell to #4.  Oracle also beat out those competitors in the overall Midrange quality ratings.
  • Achieving the Storage Magazine Quality Award further bolsters Oracle's competitive position with the Sun ZFS Storage Appliances; with a proven track-record of being #1 in performance, #1 in efficiency, and engineered to run Oracle software faster and most efficiently.   
More Storage Magazine Quality Award  Information
  • Share the Storage Magazine Quality Award (pages 37-43) survey results with your Prospects and Customers. 
  • Read the Oracle issued Press Release regarding the Sun ZFS Storage Appliance Beats NetApp and EMC in Storage Magazine Quality Award for NAS.
  • Utilize the Quality Award Logo - Attached is the Quality Award Logo .jpeg to incorporate into your customer facing materials. 

For More Product Information Go To

External: Sun ZFS Storage Appliance page

External: Sun ZFS Storage Appliance Oracle Technical page

External: Sun Software download page

Friday Dec 23, 2011

ODA: How is the storage managed in a non-RAC environment?

Q: In particular, does the one Oracle instance see all the storage ? Also, is it possible to run two non-RAC instances on one ODA, one on each node ( I assume not ), and if so, how is the storage divided up?

A: The underlying software is Grid Infrastructure in alll cases (EE; RAC One Node and RAC). It is the database that is either created as single instance, RAC One Node Instance or 2 RAC Instances.

The storage is always shared.

Technically you can two Single Instances/databases (also discussed as EE) on ODA. One on each node. It is a matter of licensing. In most cases customers would buy EE and run one or more databases on this node(SC) and then use the 10-day rule in case of a failure.
If a customer would like to run a database on each SC then they have to license it.

Wednesday Sep 28, 2011

Summary: Changes to the ZFS Storage Appliance 7000 family

Oracle has announced a series of changes to the ZFS Storage Appliance 7000 family.
Please see below a summary of the most important changes.

1. A general price reduction
1a. All major parts have been reduced, controllers, disk shelves, components.
1b. List price has been reduced with up to 60%.
1c. New discount categories, all parts have been set to category V.
1d. See point 2e for important information.

2. New licensing rules
2a. Due to the price reduction, two features will be licensed separately.
2b. Clones will be a separate license, per controller/node.
(7102338    Sun ZFS Storage Appliance Cloning)
2c. Replication will be a separate license, per controller/node.
      (7102337    Sun ZFS Storage Appliance Replication)
2d. Snapshots are still included in the base hardware.
2e. Even with the licensed software included, the price has been reduced.

3. Availability of 300/600GB 15k rpm disks
3a. With 15k rpm disks performance increases significantly.
3b. Continue to use SSD/Flash and 2TB 7k2 disks for most cases.
3c. Use 15k rpm disks for IO intensive databases, large email
      and large virtualized environments.
3d. We will shortly release a world record benchmark result in SPC-1.

4. EOL of current 1TB 7k2 disks
4a. We have announced EOL of the 1TB 7k2 disks.
4b This affects the 1TB version of 7120 and any 7x20 config with 1TB.
4c. Disks will be available until LOD of November 30 2011.
4d. Use the 2TB 7k2 rpm disks which has been reduced in price.


When do I need the software options?

  • Replication is only needed when you want to replicate between two systems

    • Example: Need to mirror from one 7000 system to another 7000 system. Receiver and sender need a license.

  • Cloning is necessary when you want to have writeable access to a snapshot (clone = writeable snapshot)

    • Example: Need to create writeable data for development- and test-environment

  • Snapshots (data copies) are accessible in read-only mode, they are still included in the base-price.

    • Example: Snapshots will “only” be created and used for backup purposes.

Are there license-keys?

  • No. If the customer doesn't buy the option, usage is not allowed.

What is with an existing customer?

  • No changes for already bought (according the former price-model) 7000 systems.

More information regarding the ZFS Appliance can be found


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