We have a RAID-0 configuration for one of our production OLTP database implementations. It's an Oracle 8i database installed on an NT 4.0 platform.

The company is going for a SAN solution and the question is what opportunities, threats and concerns are associated with a database implementation under a SAN?

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No concerns I can think of except that the data would need to be migrated from the host that now houses the database to the SAN.

I'm concerned you are only using RAID-0 though, as RAID0+1 would provide great performance and high availability at the same time. You could use RAID-5 for the database and either RAID1 or RAID0+1 (RAID-10) for the log files.

Using a SAN will enable distance and a more secure link between the host and the storage array. Central storage in a SAN will also let you add storage without bringing down your hosts. Backup can be central, using a library connected to the SAN for all hosts attached to the SAN.

Your performance should improve also since you can use multiple host bus adapters for availability and load balancing to the storage.(Some vendors support up to eight adapters per host.) Each link can run at 200MB per second (if the vendor supports 2GBIT HBAs). So, if you use dual adapters you can survive a link failure and also get great performance.

Chris

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This was first published in February 2002

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