Q

NAS and NFS

Mr. Farley: Why did a vendor suggest Network Attached Storage for a relational database like Oracle? These files are open all the time. NFS v3 transport is UDP/2049, a connectionless protocol. How can a DB commit be guaranteed? Is NFS WRITE+COMMIT enough? So, write validation is a file system application layer function? Seems like too much protocol overhead to perform like SCSI over Fibre.
Well, this gets right into the sticky wicket. There are potential problems with UDP and relational databases as you describe. The question is how can a stateless protocol like UDP work with statefull processes like relational databases have? It seems to me like it's a little bit more than just a "mileage may vary" answer. I have not heard of anybody's database blowing up from using NAS and NFS, but that doesn't mean it can't happen. It's also one of the main reasons Network Appliance, for instance, is developing DAFS, so they can get guaranteed, in-order delivery of relational database file-level I/O.
This was first published in April 2001

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