Q

The many variables of database storage

I have a Sun server on which our database Oracle is running. Now my disk space is near to complete and I'm looking for a solution where I can extend my storage space. Is NAS the right one? If yes, then what factors should I look at before going ahead?

There are many variables involved in database storage, but I'll try to make a general comment here in the space available.

If you are using raw partitions for your Oracle database then NAS is probably not the best choice. However, if your database is running on top of the file system, then you might consider migrating to a high-end NAS environment with an Enterprise NAS system and a Gigabit Ethernet network.

Otherwise, a small SAN using one or two 8-port switches (depending on path redundancy reqs) could be dedicated to your database system. If you already have a SAN, you might be able to establish a "database zone" for your Oracle system. Leave extra ports for expansion and upgrade connections.

The data is probably on SCSI storage now. SCSI to FC routers/bridges could be used to connect those subsystems to the SAN. If transaction rates need to be high, then you need to carefully look at the specs of the bridge to see if they are adequate.

If you are using the Veritas volume manager and Veritas file system, then you can add storage to the volume space and expand the file system to use the additional storage.

Other virtualization methods could be used also. I tend to prefer host-based volume management or out-of-band virtualization for databases in order to maintain existing transaction rates. For instance, the StoreAge virtualization solution delivers future scalability with minimal introduced latency.

Regards,
Marc

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This was first published in November 2002

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