Could you please help me in this decision? Currently we are evaluating the IBM Shark and the EMC 3830 for Oracle...
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database on NT. Which one do you suggest for an OLTP environment.
Thanks in advance.
OLTP requires high I/Ops rather than high throughput (MBps). For high performance database applications, it's usually best practice to use as many "spinning disks" as you can, to spread the I/O load across spindles. This means using more "smaller" disks rather than a few "larger disks".
Placing the transaction log on a separate RAID1 (or raid1+0) volume would also increase performance on writes to the log. Other considerations that impact OLTP applications dramatically are:
- Database Design: a good schema for table relationships
- Query Design: try and stay away from tablescans and use small subsets of data
- Indexing: this can have dramatic effects! I have seen 700% performance improvement by using proper indexing of tables!
- Threading: how many CPU's can be used concurrently, how many threads can be spawned
- Memory: The more the better
- CPU: Faster RISC processors tend to provide performance improvements
- Parallelism: This means breaking your database down into data subsets, and running a query across cluster nodes compiled into a result on a central node.
See the transaction council results for SQL Server at: http://www.tpc.org
I/O: Here is where the rubber meets the road. The slowest component of any computer is the physical aspects of I/O. Rotating disk is slower than memory. Seek times in milliseconds is slower than access time to memory in nanoseconds. To speed things up, caching is paramount. A subsystem with good cache "read ahead" algorithms and write cache design is important. It's better to have a cache design that is dynamic rather than fixed, so that read/write cache relationships can adjust to a specific I/O load type for a particular LUN. LUN creation should be virtualized so a particular LUN can be created from many "spinning disks" to alleviate write contention to a spindle. Partitioning can be used to create "short stroke" logical units. This technique minimizes the distance a particular head needs to travel on a disk to either the inner cylinders or outer cylinders of a disk.
As far as helping you choose between two particular vendors, I cannot be biased. You need to make that decision by looking at ALL the factors I have delineated in other replies to similar questions on this site. Do a benchmark of ALL the vendors with your SPECIFIC application to find out who performs best.
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