Manly Men Only Deploy Oracle with Fibre Channel – Part V. What About Oracle9i on RHAS 2.1? Yippie!

Due to my Manly Man Fibre Channel Series Part I , Part II , Part III and Part IV, my email box is getting loaded with a lot of questions about various Oracle over NFS combinations. The questions run the gamut from how to best tune Oracle9i on Red Hat AS 2.1 to Oracle10g on Red Hat RHEL 3 (all on NAS/NFS of course). And then it dawned on me. When I say I’m a fan of Oracle over NFS, that is just entirely too generic.

It Ain’t Linux Unless It Is a 2.6 Kernel
Honestly folks, Red Hat 3.0-or worse yet, RHAS 2.1? Sheer madness. I’m more than convinced that there are a lot of solid RHEL 3.0 systems out there running Oracle. To those folks I’d say, “If it isn’t broken, don’t fix it.” But RHAS 2.1? That wasn’t even an operating system and to be hyper-critically honest, the “franken-kernel” that was RHEL 3.0 wasn’t really that much better, what with that hugemem 4×4 split garbage and all. SuSE SLES8 was vastly more stable than RHEL 3.0. But I digress. Look, if you are running on a pre-2.6 Kernel Linux distribution you’ve simply got to do yourself a favor and plan an upgrade! Now, back to NAS.

What Oracle on NFS?
I’ll be brief, I wouldn’t even think about using Oracle9i on NAS. I know there are a ton of databases out there doing it, but that is just me. The Oracle Server code specific to NFS (Operating System Dependent code) has gone through some serious evolution/maturation. I’ve watched the changes specifically handling NFS mature from 9i through 10g and now into 11g. Simply put, I didn’t like what I say in Oracle9i-specific to NFS that is. Oracle9i is a perfectly fine release-albeit the port to 64bit Linux was pretty scary. I guess I wasn’t that brief. So I’ll continue.

So, Oracle9i on NAS is a no-go (in my book), what about Oracle10g? There again, I’ll be brief. In my opinion, Oracle10gR1 on NAS was about as elegant as a fish flopping around on a hot sidewalk-not a pretty picture. Yes, I have my reasons why for all this stuff, but this blog entry is purely an assertion of my opinion.

Thus far, I discussed 9i and 10gR1 Linux ports. I cannot speak authoritatively about the Solaris ports of either vis a vis fitness for NFS. If I was a betting man and had two dimes to rub together I would wager them that even the Solaris releases of 9i and 10g were probably pretty shaky on NAS. That leads us to 10gR2.

Solid
Oracle10gR2 on NAS is solid-at least for Linux clients. I have seen Metalink stories about Legacy Unix ports that have RMAN problems with NFS as a near-line backup target. Again, I cannot speak for all these sundry platforms. They are good platforms, but I don’t deal with them day to day.

11g
Don’t jump the gun…tomorrow AM…

Examples
In this May 5, 2007 post on toasters, a list participant posted the following:

We are about to start testing Oracle 9i (single instance) with NetApp NAS (6070) filers. We currently have Oracle running on Solaris 9 with SAN storage attached and VERITAS.

I wouldn’t touch that project with a 10 foot pole. If that database is stable, I wouldn’t switch out the storage architecture-especially on that old of an Oracle release.

I’ve also had a thread going with Chen Shapira who has blogged about Oracle troubles on NAS. Her point throughout that blog entry, and the comments to follow, was that they’ve suffered uptime impact that never really solidly indicts to the storage, but there seems to be a lot of fingers pointed that way. Having read of the types of instability his systems have suffered, I suspected old stuff. It came out in the comment section that they are on RHEL 3.0 64-bit. Now, like I’ve said, RHEL 3.0 is carrying a lot of Oracle databases out there I know, but I wonder how many on NAS? When I say Oracle on NFS, I’m mostly saying Linux Oracle10gR2 releases on Linux 2.6 Kernels—and beyond.

I made a blog entry on this topic back in October of last year as well.

Old Operating System Releases
I take criticism (by true believers mostly) when I point out that running Oracle on a Legacy Unix release that is, say, four years old is not a reason for concern. I wish I could say the same thing about the current state of the art in the Linux world. Dating back to my first high-end Linux project (The Tens–A 10 Node, 10TB, 10,000 User Oracle9i Linux Cluster Project in 2002), I’ve been routinely reminded that Linux stands for:

(L)inux (i)s (n)ot (u)ni(x)

Now, that said, you’ll find much less dissatisfaction with Oracle in general on 2.6 Linux Kernel based systems, but in my opinion, that goes extra for NAS deployments

5 Responses to “Manly Men Only Deploy Oracle with Fibre Channel – Part V. What About Oracle9i on RHAS 2.1? Yippie!”


  1. 1 Richard July 11, 2007 at 4:38 pm

    Have you seen any success in using Linux as an NFS server? We have a situation where we’re wanting to set up a standalone RAC cluster for our test environment (since we’re deploying as a cluster, it makes sense to model that way as well). Using some commodity hardware as a common fileserver is simple (in fact we already have all of our machines pointing to a central server for basic storage), and it would be a huge benefit to just use it for the RAC storage as well.

  2. 2 kevinclosson July 11, 2007 at 4:54 pm

    Hello Richard,

    Yes, for test purposes, a simple Linux server exporting filesystems to an NFS client (Oracle Server) functions sufficiently…again, for TEST and TRAINING purposes.

    On the other hand, if you are a NetApp shop and want to play with what looks like a filer, you can get the NetApp simulator and run it on some pizza-box:

    http://www.oracle.com/technology/pub/articles/garg-netapp-simulator.html

    Having said that, I’ll bet the HP belt sander is about to drop from the ceiling and grind me to a fine powder for mentioning the word NetApp…I am, after all, an employee purchased by HP (PolyServe acquisition).

  3. 3 ezaton April 11, 2009 at 8:58 pm

    Kevin
    Since I’m reading your entire series now, I would like to comment on this one too :-)

    NetApp simulator is a great way to simulate NetApp’s management interface. It is, by no means, a method of getting decent performance out of anything. For a 1MB/s performance you will get from this lovely simulator (and I like it, really), you can buy old computers and setup a DRBD cluster or something. You can do better, much better, with Linux NFS server.

    And I agree – for lab and tests only. No one will support you if it’s not in lab.

    A nice and manageable solution for labs is OpenFiler (google that). This is a cute distro/appliance for having your own personal storage (NFS/iSCSI/CIFS/ftp/webdav/rsync) out of commodity hardware. What else would anyone want?

    Ez


  1. 1 Manly Men Only Deploy Oracle with 64 Bit Linux - Part I. What About an x86 Port on EM64t/AMD64 Hardware? « Kevin Closson’s Oracle Blog: Platform, Storage & Clustering Topics Related to Oracle Databases Trackback on July 13, 2007 at 9:59 pm

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