Oracle RAC on Stretched Clusters for VMware Cloud on AWS – Anti-Affinity within AZ & HA across AZs

Introduction

 

As mentioned in the earlier post , VMware Cloud on AWS is an on-demand service that enables customers to run applications across vSphere-based cloud environments with access to a broad range of AWS services.

Powered by VMware Cloud Foundation, this service integrates vSphere, vSAN and NSX along with VMware vCenter management, and is optimized to run on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. ESXi hosts in VMware Cloud on AWS reside in an AWS availability Zone (AZ) and are protected by vSphere HA.

The paper Migrating Oracle Workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS describes the deployment, migration options along with best practices when migrating Oracle Standalone and Oracle RAC on VMware on-premises (vSphere with traditional Storage or VMware HCI vSAN ) to Stretched Clusters for VMware Cloud on AWS using the approach below

  • Validate functionality of current on-premise RAC setup
  • Migrate DR RAC ‘prddg’ from on-premise Site B to Stretched Cluster for VMware Cloud on AWS
  • Take advantage of the Stretched Cluster for VMware Cloud on AWS using the multi-AZ functionality by
    • Adding new nodes to the migrated DR RAC ‘prddg’
    • Create new Oracle RAC ‘vmcrac’

This post focuses on to effectively provide Site level HA along with Infrastructure level HA to an Oracle RAC on Stretched Clusters for VMware Cloud on AWS using vSphere Tags and Attributes.

 

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Oracle Database on all-flash vSAN 6.7 Reference Architecture

Customers deploying Oracle Database have requirements such as stringent SLAs, consistent performance, and high availability. It can be a major challenge for organizations to manage data storage in these environments due to these demanding business requirements. Common issues in using traditional storage solutions for business-critical applications include inability to easily scale-up and scale-out, storage inefficiency, complex management, high deployment, and operating costs.

VMware®vSAN™ has been widely adopted as an Hyperconverged Infrastructure (HCI) solution providing a scalable, resilient, and high-performance storage using cost-effective hardware, specifically direct-attached disks in VMware ESXi™hosts. vSAN uses storage policy-based management, which simplifies and automates complex management workflows that exist in traditional enterprise storage systems with respect to configuration and clustering.

To show the continued improvement in VMware vSAN software, we have developed this reference architecture document to demonstrate the consistent application experience by improved Oracle workload performance, scalability, and resynchronization performance.

 

 

This solution addresses the common business challenges that organizations face today in an online transaction processing (OLTP) environment that requires predictable performance. The solution helps customers design and implement optimal configurations specifically for Oracle Database on all-flash vSAN 6.7.

This Reference Architecture can be found here.

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Oracle and vSphere Persistent Memory (PMEM) – vPMEM v/s vPMEMDisk

In the previous blog post Accelerating Oracle Performance using vSphere Persistent Memory (PMEM)  , we demonstrated how performance of Oracle databases can be improved using VMware vSphere 6.7 Persistent Memory feature in different modes for the uses cases below

  • Improved performance of Oracle Redo Log using vPMEM Disk-backed vmdks/vPMEM disks in DAX mode
  • Accelerating Performance using Oracle Smart Flash Cache
  • Potential reduction in Oracle Licensing

In this blog, we demonstrate the performance improvement in using vPMEM over vPMEMDisk

The additional use case below shows performance improvement in Redo log activity when redo log files are placed on vPMEM Disk-backed vmdks/vPMEM disks in DAX mode over redo logs on vPMEMDisk backed vmdks.

 

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Accelerating Oracle Performance using vSphere Persistent Memory (PMEM)

Customers have successfully run their business-critical Oracle workloads with high performance demands on VMware vSphere for many years.

Deploying IO-intensive Oracle workloads requires fast storage performance with low latency and resiliency from database failures. Latency, which is a measurement of response time, directly impacts a technology’s ability to deliver faster performance for business-critical applications.

There has been a disruptive paradigm shift in data storage called Persistent Memory (PMEM) that resides between DRAM and disk storage in the data storage hierarchy.

More information about Persistent Memory (PMEM)  and how vSphere 6.7 can take advantage of PMEM technology to accelerate IO-intensive Oracle workloads can be found here.

 

Accelerating Oracle Performance using vSphere Persistent Memory (PMEM) – Reference Architecture

 

The Accelerating Oracle Performance using vSphere Persistent Memory (PMEM) paper examines the performance of Oracle databases using VMware vSphere 6.7 Persistent Memory feature in different modes for redo log-enhanced performance, accelerating flash cache performance and a possibility of reducing Oracle licenses.

 

 

Additional use case : vPMEMDisk versus vPMEM (memory and raw mode)

 

A VM ‘Oracle122-RHEL-PMEM-udev’ was created as a copy of the ‘Oracle122-RHEL-PMEM’ VM , used in the paper.

 

VM Specifications

  • 12 vCPUs and 64GB memory
  • Red Hat 7.4 operating system
  • Oracle database version was 12.2.0.1.0 with Oracle SGA set to 32GB and PGA set to 12GB with Grid Infrastructure and RDBMS binaries installed
  • A single instance database ‘DBPROD’ was created
  • All database-related vmdks were set to Eager Zero thick in Independent Persistent mode to ensure maximum performance with no snapshot capability
  • All database-related vmdks were partitioned using Linux utilities with proper alignment offset and labelled with Oracle ASMLib or Linux udev for device persistence.
  • Oracle ASM ‘DATA_DG’ and ‘REDO_DG’ disk group were created on an All Flash SAN attached storage with external redundancy and configured with default allocation unit (AU) size of 1M.
  • ASM ‘DATA_DG’ and ‘REDO_DG’ disks were presented on different PVSCSI controllers for performance and queue depth purposes.
  • All best practices for Oracle on VMware SDDC was followed as per the ‘Oracle Databases on VMware—Best Practices Guide’ which can be found here

 

Note

  • OEL 7.4 was not compatible with vPMEM mode at the time of writing this paper
  • udev rules were used instead of ASMLIB when using pmem as we ran into disk partitioning issues with vPMEM devices

 

 

 

VM Disk Layout

  • Hard Disk 1 – Operating System
  • Hard Disk 2 – Oracle Binaries
  • Hard Disk 3 – DATA_DG
  • Hard Disk 4 – REDO_DG

 

Workload Generator

This solution primarily uses SLOB TPCC like workload generator to generate heavy batch processing workload on the Oracle database. During this workload generation, Oracle AWR, and Linux SAR reports were used to compare the performance and validate the testing use cases. The Oracle database was restarted after every test case to ensure no blocks or SQLs cached in the SGA.

 

SLOB configuration

  • Database VM with a 2,048GB SLOB schema
  • Workload is purely a 100 percent write to mimic a heavy IO database batch
  • processing workload (SLOB parameter UPDATE_PCT was set to 100).
  • Number of users set to 1 with 0 think time to hit each database with maximum requests concurrently to generate extremely intensive batch workload
  • SLOB parameter SCALE for the workload was set to 1024GB with Oracle SGA set to 32GB
  • SLOB parameter REDO_STRESS for the workload was set to HEAVY
  • SLOB parameter RUN_TIME was set to 30 minutes.

 

Test Cases

Run SLOB against database with Redo log files on

  • REDO_DG ASM disk group backed by All Flash SAN Storage (Baseline)
  • REDO_DG ASM disk group backed by vPMEMDisk
  • REDO_DG ASM disk group backed by vPMEM in raw mode
  • /redolog ext4 File system backed by vPMEM in raw mode with dax option
  • /redolog_dax ext4 File system backed by vPMEM in memory mode with dax option

 

Additional Database Setup

  • 16 Redo log groups , 256 MB , 2 members per group created in the REDO_DG
  • Initialization parameter ‘db_writer_processes’ was set at ‘3’ as the initial run of the workload, being very batch intensive, was waiting on Checkpoint process to complete, and the intention of the test is to demonstrate the reduced wait time on ‘log file switch’ event.

 

Results

AWR reports were collected for all runs and analyzed ad compared for all 5 use cases.

 

 

Analysis

  • Reduction in ‘log file switch completion’ wait times
  • Increase in the amount of work by the workload (Executes (SQL) / sec & Transactions / sec )
  • Impact of log file switches reduced

 

Conclusion

The above test cases using vPMEMdisk and vPMEM mode indicates a reduction in wait times for critical database events e.g ‘log file switch completion’ and at the same time an increase in the amount of work done by the workload.

Deploying IO-intensive Oracle workloads requires fast storage performance with low latency and resiliency from database failures. Latency, which is a measurement of response time, directly impacts a technology’s ability to deliver faster performance for business-critical applications.

Persistent Memory (PMEM) technology enables byte-addressable updates and prevents data loss during power interruptions. Instead of having nonvolatile storage at the bottom with the largest capacity but the slowest performance, nonvolatile storage is now very close to DRAM in terms of performance.

Persistent Memory Performance in vSphere 6.7 paper can be found here.

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Migrating Oracle Workloads to VMware Cloud on AWS

Customers deploying Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) have requirements such as stringent SLAs, continued high performance, and application availability. It is a major challenge for business organizations to manage data storage in these environments due to these rigorous business requirement.

Common issues presented when using traditional storage solutions for business-critical application (BCA) include inadequate performance, scale-in/scale-out, storage inefficiency, complex management, and high deployment and operating costs.

With more and more production servers being virtualized, the demand for highly converged server-based storage is surging. VMware Virtual SAN aims at providing a highly scalable, available, reliable, and high-performance storage using cost-effective hardware, specifically direct-attached disks in VMware ESXi hosts. Virtual SAN adheres to a new policy-based storage management paradigm, which simplifies and automates complex management workflows that exist in traditional enterprise storage systems with respect to configuration and clustering.

Virtual SAN Stretched Cluster enables active/active data centers that are separated by metro distance. Extended Oracle RAC with Virtual SAN enables transparent workload sharing between two sites accessing a single database while providing the flexibility of migrating or balancing workloads between sites in anticipation of planned events such as hardware maintenance.

VMware Cloud on AWS is an on-demand service that enables customers to run applications across vSphere-based cloud environments with access to a broad range of AWS services. Powered by VMware Cloud Foundation, this service integrates vSphere, vSAN and NSX along with VMware vCenter management, and is optimized to run on dedicated, elastic, bare-metal AWS infrastructure. ESXi hosts in VMware Cloud on AWS reside in an AWS availability Zone (AZ) and are protected by vSphere HA.

A new feature called Stretched Clusters for VMware Cloud on AWS is designed to protect against an AWS availability zone failure. Now applications can span multiple AWS Availability Zones (AZ) within a VMware Cloud on AWS cluster.

 

 

One of the use cases is running Extended Oracle RAC on Stretched Clusters for VMware Cloud on AWS to provide greater availability and protect against AZ failures.

With the release of Virtual SAN Stretched Cluster followed by VMware Cloud for AWS and recently ,Stretched Clusters for VMware Cloud on AWS, applications e.g Oracle RAC which have stringent requirements such as very high SLA’s, continued high performance, and application availability can now take dual advantage of being deployed on the cloud along with having high availability across multiple AZ’s in the Stretched Clusters for VMware Cloud on AWS deployment model.

This paper describes the deployment, migration options along with best practices when migrating Oracle Standalone and Oracle RAC on VMware on-premises (vSphere with traditional Storage or VMware HCI vSAN ) to Stretched Clusters for VMware Cloud on AWS.

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VMworld 2018 Oracle Customer Bootcamps

Architecting Oracle Workloads on VMware Technologies 

On a mission to arm yourself with the latest knowledge and skills needed to master virtualizing Oracle on VMware Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) along with moving workloads to the VMware Cloud on AWS ?

 

VMworld Customer bootcamps can get you in shape to lead the virtualization charge in your organization, with Instructor-led demos and In-depth course work designed to put you in the ranks of the IT elite.

Oracle on vSphere
The Oracle on VMware SDDC Bootcamp will provide the attendee the opportunity to learn the essential skills necessary to run Oracle implementations on VMware SDDC with a well defined journey to running the same Oracle workloads on VMware Cloud on AWS.

The best practices and optimal approaches to deployment, operation and management of Oracle database and application software will be presented by VMware expert Sudhir Balasubramanian , Oracle Practice lead, who will be joined by other VMware and Industry Experts.

This technical workshop will exceed the standard breakout session format by delivering “real-life,” instructor-led, live training and incorporating the recommended design and configuration practices for architecting Business Critical Databases on VMware SDDC  infrastructure and VMware Cloud on AWS.

Subjects such as running Oracle workloads e.g Single Instance / Real Applications Clusters (RAC) using Automatic Storage Management (ASM) on vSphere 6.7 with all the new features like Para Virtualized RDMA , Persistent Memory etc , HCI vSAN , VAIO , VVOL, NSX etc as well as running Oracle workloads on VMware Cloud on AWS will be covered in depth.

Learn More

https://www.vmworld.com/en/us/learning/sessions.html#workshops

https://my.vmworld.com/widget/vmware/vmworld18us/uscatalog?search=&search.sessiontype=1519781576201001xNZQ

 

Details

Cost: $800 / seat

Schedule:
Sunday August 26, 2018
8:00am to 5:00pm
(registration opens at 6:30am)

Location:
Mandalay Bay, South Convention Centre
Level 2 , Room Number (will be posted as soon as it is made available)

Registration

Be sure to add the Bootcamp in step 4 of your VMworld conference registration, under Educational Offerings, after you’ve selected your conferences pass.

Registration is open, seating is limited! Lunch and breaks provided.

Looking forward to seeing you all there!

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Migrating an Oracle RAC Cluster using Storage vMotion to vSAN Storage – Private Investigation

Migrating an Oracle RAC Cluster using Storage vMotion to vSAN Storage – Private Investigation

 

” Give me ten men like Clouseau, and I can destroy the world…” said Former Chief Inspector Dreyfus about Inspector Jacques Clouseau and his incompetence, clumsy and chaotic detective skills

 

 

This blog will not focus on the ‘how to perform Storage vMotion” aspect of the entire process, it will focus on what we uncovered during our investigations (sans the incompetence, clumsiness and chaos that followed Inspector Jacques Clouseau) into Storage vMotioning a Oracle RAC cluster to vSAN Storage.

The Around the “Storage World” in no time – Storage vMotion and Oracle Workloads  blog  focused on how we can storage vMotion an Oracle RAC Cluster from one storage to another without ANY downtime.

The blog Migrating non-production Oracle RAC using VMware Storage vMotion with minimal downtime focused on on storage vMotion of a 2 Node non-production Oracle RAC Cluster with storage on one datastore to a datastore on a different storage system with minimal downtime and time.

You can read more about it here.

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