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Understanding I/O Path

When an application such as a RDBMS system interacts with the data stored in the physical drives, it has to travel through many layers. These hardware and software layers constitute the I/O path as shown in Fig 5.3. Though this figure is an oversimplification of the components involved, it shows the basic concept.

In order to provide a reliable, robust storage path, and uninterrupted I/O activity, which is a vital piece in the design of the Oracle9i RAC system, we must pay serious attention to setting up the redundant storage infrastructure.

Let us look at this view, which presents us with some of the most common storage and storage-related components within the server and within the storage system. Every component has a definite life and therefore MTTF (Mean Time To Failure). In order to protect the total I/O path, we need to provide redundant features to these components. There is every possibility that any of the components like disk devices, storage switches, and HBA(s) may fail.

Fig 5.3 The I/O Path


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