Q

Storage configuration on enterprise storage arrays hosting databases in the terabyte range

What techniques does Oracle recommend for storage configuration on modern enterprise storage arrays hosting databases in the terabyte range? The complexity and abstraction involved in partitioning the physical disks into the chunks presented to the servers do not have any relevance to the Oracle recommended SAME strategy of disk configuration. How would you recommend, for example, configuration of an HP XP-10000 storage array to host an OLTP database with a capacity in order of 10s of terabytes. I'm unable to provide much information about I/Os per second or operations, so I appreciate it's a difficult one to answer.

What techniques does Oracle recommend for storage configuration on modern enterprise storage arrays hosting databases in the terabyte range? The complexity and abstraction involved in partitioning the physical disks into the chunks presented to the servers do not have any relevance to the Oracle recommended SAME strategy of disk configuration. How would you recommend, for example, configuration of an HP XP-10000 storage array to host an OLTP database with a capacity in order of 10s of terabytes. I'm unable to provide much information about I/Os per second or operations, so I appreciate it's a difficult one to answer.
The SAME strategy provides a clue to the fact that how a disk array is configured makes all the difference. You refer to "[t]he complexity and abstraction involved in partitioning the physical disks into the chunks presented to the servers" -- that's where you have to optimize for Oracle. In general, RAID 1+0 (mirror, then stripe) provides the best fault tolerance and performance. A database of many terabytes should employ at least several LUNs if only for maintainability -- you don't want a single huge logical volume for a database of this size. Consider providing individual logical volumes for logical divisions of this database.

I heartily recommend the paper Sane SAN by James Morle, for a discussion of SAN layout for Oracle databases.

This was first published in January 2006

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