An Oracle blog about ZFS Storage

  • April 6, 2015

Is that purpose-built backup appliance really the best for your database backup and restore?

Guest Author

protection is a critical component of the job if you have anything to do with
IT operations. Regardless of your job
title, database administrators and storage administrators alike, know how critical
it is to plan for any type of systems outage. Backup and restore are key components of a data protection and preparing
for a disaster recovery event. The
storage architecture is a key element in the overall enterprise IT environment,
and when focusing on the implementation of disk storage for backup and
recovery, there isn’t just one platform to do the task. And if you are looking at database backups,
only Oracle can provide a better database backup platform than storage behemoth

You can hear
all about the benefits of the Oracle ZFS Storage Appliance from an Oracle sales
rep, but having an outside, independent analyst break down the appliance is
even better. In a recent Competitive
Advantage report Jerome Wendt, lead analyst and president at DCIG compared
Oracle ZFS Storage ZS4-4 to EMC Data Domain 990. His conclusion: “By using
Oracle’s ZS4-4, enterprises for the first time have a highly-availability,
highly scalable solution that is specifically co-engineered with Oracle
Database to accelerate backups while minimizing storage costs and capacity.”

The report
cites a number of advantages that ZS4-4 has over EMC DD990:

Higher backup and restore throughput:

ZS4-4 can achieve native backup throughput
speeds of up to 30TB/hour and restore to 40TB/hour. EMC DD990 only achieves a
maximum 15TB/hour backup rate with no published restore rates available.

capacity to store enterprise Oracle Database backups:

ZS4-4 scales
up to 3.5PB. DD990 only scales to a maximum of 570TB.

data reduction rates than deduplication can achieve:

The ZS4-4
supports Hybrid Columnar Compression (HCC) so it can achieve compres­sion rates
of up to 50x and overall storage capacity reduction of up to 40%. HCC is not
available with non-Oracle storage. DD990 cannot deliver these high Oracle
Database data reduction rates..

backup and recovery throughput:

Intelligent Storage Protocol reduces manual tuning, expedites backups with
ZS4-4 and is not available with the EMC DD990.


ZS4-4 is
available in an optional dual-controller configuration for high avail­ability.
The EMC DD990 is only available in a single controller configuration.


ZS4-4 is a
multi-function system as opposed to DD990, a single purpose deduplicating
backup appliance.


“The Oracle
ZFS Storage ZS4-4 provides enterprises the flexibility they need to quickly and
efficiently protect their Oracle databases. Shipping in a highly available
configuration, scaling up to 3.5PBs and providing multiple storage networking
protocols with high throughput rates, it combines these features with Oracle
Database’s native HCC and OISP features to provide enterprises with a solution
that is not depen­dent upon a “one size fits all,” single-function appliance
such as the EMC DD990.”

To find out
more about how DCIG came about their conclusions, take a look for yourself: www.oracle.com/us/corporate/analystreports/dcig-zs44-odb-vs-emc-dd990-2504515.pdf.

If you have
any responsibility for the backup and restore of an Oracle database, you owe it
to yourself to learn more about how the Oracle ZS Storage Appliance delivers
better performance to ensure your critical databases can be restored when
everything is on the line.

Worried about
managing your own storage? Oracle has
made managing the ZFS Storage Appliance easy for the DBA by integrating appliance
management into Oracle Enterprise Manager. Learn more on storage management in this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JzmGKKXsuSw.

Join the discussion

Comments ( 2 )
  • guest Tuesday, April 7, 2015

    How fast are the backups of file servers, app servers and other data storage and processing facilities in this appliance?

    The mentioned EMC appliance backs up anything and everything. Not just Oracle databases.

    If this Oracle appliance can only handle Oracle databases, then it is nothing more than yet another expensive exercise in futility for any data centre worth that name.

  • guest Wednesday, April 8, 2015

    Excellent question posted by guest.

    The ZFS Storage Appliance can certainly be used as a general purpose backup target, and is not limited to simply the database. You will find that a number of backup applications support the ZFS Storage Appliance as a backup target, and solutions like CommVault Simpana with IntelliSnap and Symantec NetBackup with OST integrate to offload certain operations to the ZFS Storage Appliance. However, there are additional benefits to using the ZFS Storage Appliance as a backup target for the Oracle database, especially behind the high-performance Exadata database machine.

    If you are looking at using the ZFS Storage Appliance as a general backup platform, the results will most likely be based on your connection and the type of data you are backing up. For example, the results posted with the Exadata leverage the InfiniBand connection between the devices. Another factor that could impact performance may be in how you have set up the storage pool with RAID versus Mirroring. An additional variable to performance would include the use of application-layer compression. If you are sending a compressed file, the transfer time may be shorter due to the smaller size of the original file. There is no guarantee that all types of backups will reach the same level as what we have seen for database backup from Exadata, but neither is the ZFS Storage Appliance simply a database backup platform.

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