Friday Jul 13, 2012

Oracle ZFSSA Smashes IBM XIV While Running Oracle ERP On Oracle RAC DB

I recently was part of a customer proof of concept where we tested running their Oracle ERP on Oracle T-4 servers along with a Oracle RAC on T-4's and storage was an Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance 7420.   The performance we achieved was awesome!  Without any optimization we were 2.5x faster then their existing production system on running their month end close.

Big Ugly SQL Query Problems:

The DBA also ran what he called some ugly queries they run and compared the results.  Again we smoked the XIV.

How Did You Do This?

The XIV had 144 7200 RPM drives we had 60 15k Drives.  The answer is CACHE, and lots of it...  The system we used for the test had 1TB of cache split on 2 controllers, 2 TB of L2arc Read SSDs and a few write SSDs to boot! Our hybrid storage pool design accounts for a lot of the high performance.  Keeping the active IO in a higher tier significantly lowered disk IO and in return brought down the latencies....  Notice the incredible low latencies, out of about 11000 IOPS over 10000 of them are less then 1.02ms.  When we looked at the AWR report from the previous month end close the number one wait event was "db file sequential read" with an average wait of 14ms and attributed to 50% of the top 5 wait events.  I would say we made a huge dent in that analytic.

What was interesting was that we really only used about 25% of what the total hardware setup could do.  We realized application modification and parallelization could produce a much larger performance improvement.  Unfortunately we were out of time on this POC but the customer is expecting to see even larger gains in performance in the future.  

What Else Did You See?

Interestingly we turned on lzjb compression which uses almost no CPU on our controllers to see what type of compression we could get on their database.  We saw 3.28x compression on their database data which was awesome!  This is more goodness for IO.  This means we transfer 3.28x less data back and forth to the slowest component in the whole system, spinning disk.  The customer also could expect to buy much less disk.  In a test/dev environment they could use our integrated snapshot/cloning feature to quickly make many test/dev copies of the database without worry of running out of disk space.  It certainly was a win-win feature.

What Does It All Mean? 

  1. The Oracle ZFSSA is a very fast platform to run Oracle Applications and Databases on.
  2. The Oracle ZFSSA is a solid platform and well tested within Oracle and outside of Oracle for Oracle Applications and Databases. (We had zero problems or errors in our POC)
  3. The Oracle ZFSSA Dtrace Analytics bring rich performance reporting to the storage device.
  4. The Oracle ZFSSA Compression features both improve performance and save customers money.
  5. When sizing a NAS/SAN device to run Oracle, CACHE matters.... The ZFSSA Hybrid Storage Pool has one of the most advanced Cache systems around.

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