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Oracle10g Grid Computing with RAC
Chapter 12 - RAC Design Considerations

When a drive fails, there must be an immediate spare available to replace it, even if the hot spare is available. If the hot spare has already activated and a second drive is lost, the entire array is in jeopardy. Most of these arrays use hot-pluggable drives, meaning they can (in time of failure) be replaced with the system running.

NICs and HBAs

While not shown in the diagram, every component requires a connection to the others. This connection is usually via a NIC (network interface card) or HBA (host bus adapter) interface. These NIC or HBA interfaces should be the fastest possible, especially in the case of the cluster interconnect and disk connect. Failed NIC interfaces result in the loss of that component, unless a second NIC card is immediately failed over to. A failure of the HBA results in loss of connection to the disk array. At a minimum, a spare NIC and HBA for each and every component must be available. Wherever possible, use interchangeable NIC and HBA interfaces.

Provide Redundancy at Each Level

It is easy to see that redundancy at the hardware level is vital. At each level of the hardware layout, an alternate access path must be available. Duplicating all equipment and configuring the automatic failover capabilities of the hardware reduces the chances of failure to virtually nil. It is also critical to have on-hand spares for non-redundant equipment such as NIC and HBA cards and interface cables.

By providing the required levels of redundancy, the system becomes highly available. Once there is an HA configuration, it is up to the manager to plan any software or application upgrades to further reduce application downtime. In Oracle Database 10g using grid control, rolling upgrades are supported, further increasing reliability. At the SAN level, appropriate duplication software such as Veritas must be used to ensure the SAN arrays are kept synchronous. Oracle Database 10g allows for use of the Oracle Automatic Storage Management or ASM. ASM allows for automated striping, backup and database flashback capability.


For more information, see the book Oracle 11g Grid and Real Application Clusters 30% off if you buy it directly from Rampant TechPress . 

Written by top Oracle experts, this RAC book has a complete online code depot with ready to use RAC scripts.


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