Thursday Feb 10, 2011

Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache: Only on Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris

Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache is a feature that was first introduced with Oracle Database 11g Release 2. Only available on Oracle Linux and Oracle Solaris, this feature increases the size of the database buffer cache without having to add RAM to the system. In effect, it acts as a second level cache on flash memory and will especially benefit read-intensive database applications.

The Oracle Database Smart Flash Cache white paper concludes:

Available at no additional cost, Database Smart Flash Cache on Oracle Solaris and Oracle Linux has the potential to offer considerable benefit to users of Oracle Database 11g Release 2 with disk-bound read-mostly or read-only workloads, through the simple addition of flash storage such as the Sun Storage F5100 Flash Array or the Sun Flash Accelerator F20 PCIe Card.

Read the white paper.

 

Oracle Linux 6 DVDs Now Available

On Sunday 6 February 2011, Oracle Linux 6 was released on the Unbreakable Linux Network for customers with an Oracle Linux support subscription. Shortly after that, the Oracle Linux 6 RPMs were made available on our public yum server. Today we published the installation DVD images on edelivery.oracle.com/linux. Oracle Linux 6 is free to download, install and use. The full release notes are here, but similar to my recent post about Oracle Linux 5.6, I wanted to highlight a few items about this release.

Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel

As is the case with Oracle Linux 5.6, the default installed kernel on x86_64 platform in Oracle Linux 6 is the Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel. If you haven't already, I highly recommend you watch the replay of this webcast by Chris Mason on the performance improvements made in this kernel.

	# uname -r
	2.6.32-100.28.5.el6.x86_64

The Unbreakable Enterprise Kernel is delivered via the package kernel-uek:

	[root@localhost ~]# yum info kernel-uek
	...
	Installed Packages
	Name       : kernel-uek
	Arch       : x86_64
	Version    : 2.6.32
	Release    : 100.28.5.el6
	Size       : 84 M
	Repo       : installed
	From repo  : anaconda-OracleLinuxServer-201102031546.x86_64
	Summary    : The Linux kernel
	URL        : http://www.kernel.org/
	License    : GPLv2
	Description: The kernel package contains the Linux kernel (vmlinuz), the core of
	           : any Linux operating system.  The kernel handles the basic functions
	           : of the operating system: memory allocation, process allocation,
	           : device input and output, etc.

ext4 file system

The ext4 or fourth extended filesystem replaces ext3 as the default filesystem in Oracle Linux 6.
	# mount
	/dev/mapper/VolGroup-lv_root on / type ext4 (rw)
	proc on /proc type proc (rw)
	sysfs on /sys type sysfs (rw)
	devpts on /dev/pts type devpts (rw,gid=5,mode=620)
	tmpfs on /dev/shm type tmpfs (rw,rootcontext="system_u:object_r:tmpfs_t:s0")
	/dev/sda1 on /boot type ext4 (rw)
	none on /proc/sys/fs/binfmt_misc type binfmt_misc (rw)

Red Hat compatible kernel

Oracle Linux 6 also includes a Red Hat compatible kernel built directly from RHEL source. It's already installed, so booting it is a matter of editing /etc/grub.conf

	# rpm -qa | grep kernel-2.6.32
	kernel-2.6.32-71.el6.x86_64

Oracle Linux 6 no longer includes a Red Hat compatible kernel with Oracle bug fixes. The only Red Hat compatible kernel included is the one built directly from RHEL source.

Yum-only access to Unbreakable Linux Network (ULN)

Oracle Linux 6 uses yum exclusively for access to Unbreakable Linux Network. To register your system with ULN, use the following command:

	
	 # uln_register

 

No Itanium Support

Oracle Linux 6 is not supported on the Itanium (ia64) platform.

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