Can I share a LUN between two servers (Linux/Oracle) and open the same file concurrently?

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While a LUN can be shared between two or more servers, actually using the LUN with two or more different servers is another story. For example, for failover purposes, it might be desirable to have a LUN shared between an active and a standby server using some type of failover or clustering software.

The real question is: Can the LUN actually be used (read/write) by two or more servers and a common application like Oracle at the same time and maintain data integrity?

The answer to that question is a qualified "yes," if you are using some form of volume and/or file synchronization software such as a clustered volume manger, a clustered file system (CFXS), a network file system using NFS or CIFS or a clustered application like Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC).

Without using some form of software on the servers or a NAS device, there is no way of coordinating access to changed data blocks and maintaining data integrity. So, if all you want to do is to have shared access to a group of files or tables, your options are to either use NFS or some type of clustered application or clustered file system.

This was first published in September 2005

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