Oracle Real Application Clusters on VMware Virtual SAN

Oracle Real Application Clusters on VMware Virtual SAN

VMware Virtual SAN

VMware Virtual SAN is VMware’s software-defined storage solution for hyper-converged infrastructure, a software-driven architecture that delivers tightly integrated computing, networking, and shared storage from a single virtualized x86 server. Virtual SAN delivers high performance, highly resilient shared storage by clustering server-attached flash devices and hard disks (HDDs).

Virtual SAN delivers enterprise-class storage services for virtualized production environments along with predictable scalability and all-flash performance—all at a fraction of the price of traditional, purpose-built storage arrays. Just like vSphere, Virtual SAN provides users the flexibility and control to choose from a wide range of hardware options and easily deploy and manage it for a variety of IT workloads and use cases. Virtual SAN can be configured as all-flash or hybrid storage.

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

Extended Oracle Real Application Clusters

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

RAC on Extended distance is an architecture that provides extremely fast recovery from a site failure and allows all the nodes at all sites to actively process transactions as part of a single database cluster. The Storage and the Network layer is “stretched” across the sites making them universally accessible from all sites.

It provides greater availability than a local RAC would but under no circumstances should we assume that RAC is a Disaster Recovery solution, it’s a Disaster Avoidance Solution.

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Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy-Based Management for Databases

Virtual Volumes and Storage Policy-Based Management for Databases

In the first part of this series we provided a high level view of the benefits of using Virtual Volumes enabled storage for database operations. In the second part of this series we examined in more detail how Virtual Volumes can improve the backup and recovery capabilities for business critical databases, specifically Oracle .In the third part of this series we examined in more detail how Virtual Volumes works in a crash consistent manner for backup and for cloning operations.

Virtual Volumes integrates with Storage Policy-Based Management, the same framework to manage data services in vSphere. In this part we will look at how Storage Policy Based Management (SPBM) can be leveraged to manage mission critical databases.

The Setup:

 The setup of the infrastructure is the same as discussed in the second part of this series. Please refer to setup section for details of the infrastructure and the database configuration.

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Crash consistent backups and database cloning with Virtual Volumes

Crash consistent backups and database cloning with Virtual Volumes

In the first part of this series we provided a high level view of the benefits of using Virtual Volumes enabled storage for database operations. In the second part of this series we examined in more detail how Virtual Volumes can improve the backup and recovery capabilities for business critical databases, specifically Oracle.

The backups for Oracle can be Database consistent or Crash consistent. In this part we will look at Crash consistent backup and recovery and also how database cloning is simplified by the use of VVol.

The Setup:

 The setup of the infrastructure is the same as discussed in the second part of this series. Please refer to setup section for details of the infrastructure and the database configuration.

Database Crash Consistent Recovery and cloning use case Scenarios:

Crash Database Backup & Recovery using VVol Snapshots:

 Crash Consistent Backup:

A crash consistent backup is the backup of a point-in-time image of an Oracle database that is equivalent to a database crash induced by a power outage, other failures or a shutdown abort.

This is the most common backup method used for storage based backups and is fully supported by Oracle as long as the following conditions are met.

From the “Supported Backup, Restore and Recovery Operations using Third Party Snapshot Technologies (Doc ID 604683.1)”:

The third party vendor needs to guarantee and held accountable that their snapshots conform to all the following requirements:

  • Integrated with Oracle’s recommended restore and recovery operations above
  • Database crash consistent at the point of the snapshot
  • Write ordering is preserved for each file within a snapshot

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Virtual Volumes for Database Backup and Recovery

Virtual Volumes for Database Backup and Recovery

In the first part of this series we provided a high level view of the benefits of using Virtual Volumes enabled storage for database operations. In this post, we will examine in more detail how Virtual Volumes can improve the backup and recovery capabilities for business critical databases, specifically Oracle.

The backups for Oracle can be Database consistent or Crash consistent. In this part we will look at Database consistent backup and recovery.

The Setup:

The solution requires VVol enabled storage. We leveraged SANBLaze VirtuaLun as the backend storage for the backup and recovery exercise. We used the VirtuaLun 7.3 emulator from SANBlaze. This emulator is VVol enabled and is one of the first VVol certified storage solutions available.

Blog 2 Fig 1Figure 1: SANBlaze Array for VVol Testing

Oracle Database Server:

A Single Instance Oracle 12c Database with Grid Infrastructure with database name VVOL12C was setup in a VMware Virtual Machine named ORACLE-VVOL. The Oracle database was hosted on a 2 vCPU and 8GB RAM VM running Oracle Enterprise Linux 6.6 with space allocated on a SANBlaze LUN

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Oracle, VMware and Extended Distance Oracle Real Application Clusters on vSphere Metro Storage Cluster

Oracle, VMware and Extended Distance Oracle Real Application Clusters on vSphere Metro Storage Cluster

Nowadays a high availability cluster (for any kind of application) in a single data center is almost not enough to ensure the kind of availability a Mission Critical Application needs which support revenue generation.

Typical issues plaguing a data center may include local power outage, airplane crash, server room flooding etc.

ERAC1

Do we have a solution?

ERAC2

THE answer: a “Stretched” Cluster, or one that is distributed between multiple sites , as long as the distance between them is within 100kms / satisfy 5ms Round Trip Latency time requirement.

This architecture best fits especially in regards to distance, latency, and degree of protection it provides.

Site separation is great protection for some local disasters as mentioned above but not all. Disasters such as earthquakes, hurricanes, and regional floods may affect a much greater area.

For comprehensive protection against regional disasters including protection against corruptions, Oracle Data Guard and VMware Site Recovery Manager (SRM) can be combined with Extended distance Oracle RAC on vSphere Metro Storage Cluster, giving us both a Disaster Avoidance and a Disaster Recovery Solution.

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Virtual Volumes: A game changer for operations of virtualized business critical databases

Virtual Volumes: A game changer for operations of virtualized business critical databases

This is first of a series of posts on deploying vSphere Virtual Volumes for Tier 1 Business Critical Databases. Although this article is written with a focus on Oracle databases, much of this discussion holds good for any Mission critical application.

Business critical databases are among the last workloads virtualized in enterprises, primarily because of the challenges that they pose with growth and scale. Typically the low hanging fruits are virtualizing the Development, Testing/QA, Staging databases after running a successful POC and then moving on the big guy’s i.e. the Production databases.

There are many common concerns about virtualizing business critical databases that inhibit and delay virtualization of these workloads:

  • Business critical virtualized databases need to meet strict SLAs for performance and storage has traditionally been the slowest component
  • Databases grow quickly, while at the same time there is a need to reduce backup windows and their impact on system performance
  • There is a regular need to clone and refresh databases from production to QA and other environments. However, the size of the modern databases make it harder to clone and refresh data from production to other environments
  • Databases of different levels of criticality need different storage performance characteristics and capabilities.
  • There is a never-ending debate between DBAs and Systems administrators regarding filesystems VS raw devices and VMFS VS RDM. These are primarily due to some of the deficiencies that existed in the past with virtualization.

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Harnessing the Power of Storage Virtualization and Site Recovery Manager to Provide HA and DR Capabilities to Business Critical Databases – VAPP4634

Harnessing the Power of Storage Virtualization and Site Recovery Manager to Provide HA and DR Capabilitiesto Business Critical Databases

How do you simplify and improve availability of your Extended distance Oracle Real Application Cluster using vSphere Metro Storage Cluster (vMSC) ?

Storage Virtualization, both host based and appliance based, can pave the way for increased ease of configuration and improved availability of your cluster based applications. vMSC featues including vMotion, HA, DRS and FT as well as extended distance Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) are greatly simplified, and in some cases, made possible through the use of storage virtualization technologies such as EMC VPLEX, Netapp Metro Cluster, IBM SVC, HP 3PAR Peer Persistence or Oracle Automatic Storage Management (ASM) disk groups.

Site Recovery Manager with Oracle Data Guard can provide the much needed Disaster Recovery component thereby providing a complete HA and DR solution to Business Critical Databases

See where and how virtualized storage provided by VPLEX and ASM are most effectively used to help protect your business critical applications virtualized on vSphere. See how one Global 1000 company used storage virtualization to achieve 0 second RPO and 5 second RTO.

Details on the solution will be discussed in detail at vmworld 2015 in session VAPP4634:

Harnessing the Power of Storage Virtualization and Site Recovery Manager to Provide HA and DR Capabilities to Business Critical Databases (VAPP4634)
Session Date/Time: 09/03/2015 01:30 PM – 02:30 PM

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