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Donald K. Burleson

Oracle RAC Tips

Host Bus Adapter (HBA)

The HBA, also known as a host I/O controller (previously called a SCSI Card), is one of the critical components that needs protection. The HBA is usually a SCSI-2 adapter that plugs into a host and lets the host communicate with a device or a storage system. The HBA usually performs the lower level of the SCSI protocol and normally operates in the initiator role. The initiator is a server or host.

The FC HBA is the ‘fiber channel inter-connect’ between the server and the SAN. Dual or redundant HBA(s) help to keep an active path. We can use the server-based software for controlling and monitoring HBA failure. Such software detects and fails over the HBA’s workload to the active one.

Examples of such a software solution include HP’s Secure Path, the Veritas Dynamic Multi-Path, EMC Power Path and PolyServe Matrix Server Multi-Path I/O. These all help to continue the flow of traffic despite the path failure.

When it is configured with dual HBAs as shown in Fig 5.4, we can avoid a single point of failure. In 5.4(b) there is only one HBA fitted to each server, which can become a point of failure. In 5.4(a), a pair of HBA units for each server and a pair of switches in the I/O path provides redundancy.

Fig 5.4 With and without High Availability Configuration

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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