Things You Need to Know About Oracle 11gR2 — Part 3: Streamlining Installation through Storage

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, offers his thoughts on how to streamline Oracle 11gR2 installation through proper storage planning and configuration:

My first thoughts about streamlining an 11gR2 install were related to initial preparation work, some basic planning ideas and similar. But reflecting upon the last 12 months of various engagements my thoughts became focused on storage. The storage infrastructure is the lifeblood of any database environment but is usually the most neglected component.

Exadata is an excellent way to thwart storage infrastructure deficiencies but it’s certainly possible to build a robust storage solution on your own. And you should do so — and it should be the best you can afford. A giant SMP system does not deliver if it waits on disk.

Every client I’ve worked with over the past three years has expressed dissatisfaction in the performance of their storage infrastructure – either the volumes were created with too few spindles, undersized overall capacity, or connected to the host with low throughput interfaces. Database upgrades are a golden opportunity to petition upper management for improved storage (secretly, they’re expecting your request anyway). Review the IO statistics for your database environments, look for interfaces, volumes, spindles and network paths that are at or exceeding 50% utilization during peak usage periods.

Oracle Enterprise Manager provides a lot of useful information about disk activity, IOPS and access patterns – this information can help you determine where to augment your storage capacity and how to provision it for optimal performance. Oracle ASM greatly reduces the overhead of managing lots of individual LUNs or volumes while providing a flexible management solution for 10 or 1,000 disks.

I realize this is preaching to the choir for many DBAs, but good storage is key to a productive business and calm work environment.

Please check back soon for Jason’s next entry in this blog series: “Understanding the CRS to Grid Transition in Oracle 11gR2″.

Also, thanks to all who joined Integra CTO Allan Edwards last Tuesday, November 3, 2009 for our webcast entitled “Safe Passage to Oracle 11g: Lessons from Recent Upgrades“. In this important webcast, Allan shared critical lessons learned during a number of recent real-world 11g upgrade projects, which we believe made the difference between success and failure. If you missed the webcast, a full recording and set of accompanying slides will be available for download from our website within a day or two. Please check our blog or Facebook page later this week for the download link.

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

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