7 Things You Need to Know About Oracle 11gR2 — Part 2: The Inside Scoop on 11gR2 ASM

Continuing our seven-part blog mini-series entitled “7 Things You Need to Know About Oracle 11gR2″, Integra Senior DBA Jason Buchanan, recently one of just twelve people from around the world hand-picked by Oracle to participate in the Oracle 11gR2 final beta, discusses Oracle 11gR2 ASM (Automatic Storage Management):

One of the biggest enhancements in Oracle Database 11g Release 2 is Oracle Automatic Storage Management Cluster File System (Oracle ACFS). You can now leverage the strength of your database storage infrastructure to house not only your database files but also your Oracle homes and other non-Oracle file types. ACFS greatly reduces the complexity of retrieving backups and Data Pump exports if they are stored in ACFS filesystems. Another new ASM feature is ADVM (ASM Dynamic Volume Manager) – ADVM provides the means to dynamically resize ACFS volumes on the fly without downtime.

Best of all, the high availability features of your storage infrastructure can be put to use as a destination for your Oracle binaries and other critical files. The conundrum of what to do with the interior one-third of your disk spindles can be mitigated by using this space to create an important, but lesser-used ASM diskgroup: a new diskgroup for your Oracle homes. You’ll still need to install the Grid Infrastructure binaries on local disk, but a single shared Oracle home is very easy to implement with ACFS.

The optimal way to manage ACFS is via a new Grid Infrastructure utility named “asmca” which is located in the Grid Infrastructure home directory. You must change your ORACLE_HOME (and preferably your path) to point to the Grid Infrastructure directory to use the utility.  The asmca utility represents a new approach to Oracle’s Java GUIs with an updated appearance and simpler design. The tool allows you to administer all of your ASM objects and manage ADVM objects.

As a side note, non-RAC environments will not auto-start ACFS objects. You will need to write a script to start ACFS after booting, after which you can mount your ACFS volume. The command to start the ACFS driver is “acfsload start -s” – Oracle will take it from there after starting ACFS. It’s interesting that Oracle Grid Infrastructure will create init scripts for OHASD (Oracle High Availability Services Daemon) but not ACFS; however, it’s simple enough to run acfsload from a new startup script.

Oracle 11gR2 documentation is more robust than ever, and Oracle ACFS is very well documented:



Please check back soon for Jason’s next entry in this blog series: “How to Streamline Your Oracle 11gR2 Installation Process”.

Also, please join Integra CTO Allan Edwards and Jason Buchananon Tuesday November 3, 2009 at 12:00 pm Eastern / 9:00 am Pacific for a live webcast entitled “Safe Passage to Oracle 11g: Lessons from Recent Upgrades“. In this important 30-minute webcast, Allan, Jason, and other Integra consultants will share critical lessons learned during a number of recent real-world 11g upgrade projects. What you learn in this webcast can make the difference between success and disaster, so please register now for the webcast at http://bit.ly/11gWebcast!

As always, I’d love to hear your thoughts and comments here, or on our Facebook discussion board!


Eric Heine
Vice President
Integra Technology Consulting

eheine at integratc dot com


Follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/IntegraTC


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