Posted by Martin Bach on May 25, 2012
Thanks to the kind introduction from Kevin Closson I was given the opportunity to benchmark the Virident PCIe flash cards. I have written a little review of the testing conducted, mainly using SLOB. To my great surprise Virident gave me access to a Westmere-EP system running a top of the line 2s12c24t system with lots of memory.
In summary the testing shows that the “flash revolution” is happening, and that there are lots of vendors out there building solutions for HPC and Oracle database workloads alike. Have a look at the attached PDF for the full story if you are interested. When looking at the numbers please bear in mind it was a two socket system! I’m confident the server could not max out the cards.
Virident testing martin bach consulting
Posted in 11g Release 2, Automatic Storage Management, Linux | 1 Comment »
Posted by Martin Bach on April 12, 2012
This post is long overdue, and it’s as much a reminder to myself as it is a post for you to find when scratching your head.
Here’s the situation: Oracle Restart on an Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.5 system with ASMLib in use. I have installed 126.96.36.199 plus the latest PSU to bring database and Grid Infrastructure to 188.8.131.52.5-so far so good. I have used the non-GUI approach and everything seemed ok until I tried to create a database for some benchmarking. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 10g Release 2, 11g Release 1, 11g Release 2, Automatic Storage Management | Tagged: ORA-00600, ORA-15183, , [kfioTranslateIO03] | 1 Comment »
Posted by Martin Bach on October 13, 2011
As part of a server move from one data centre to another I enjoyed working in the depths of Clusterware. This one has been a rather simple case though: the public IP addresses were the only part of the package to change: simple. One caveat though was the recreation of the OCR disk group I am using for the OCR and 3 copies of the voting file. I decided to reply on the backups I took before the server move.
Once the kit has been rewired in the new data centre, it was time to get active. The /etc/multipath.conf file had to be touched to add the new LUNs for my +OCR disk group. I have described the processes in a number of articles, for example here:
A few facts before we start:
- Oracle Enterprise Linux 5.5 64bit
- Grid Infrastructure 184.108.40.206.2 (actually it is Oracle Database SAP Bundle Patch 220.127.116.11.2)
I have already described how to restore the OCR and voting files in 18.104.22.168 in “Pro Oracle Database RAC 11g on Linux”, but since then the procedure has changed slightly I thought I’d add this here. The emphasis is on “slightly”. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 11g Release 2, Automatic Storage Management, RAC, Xen | 2 Comments »
Posted by Martin Bach on August 8, 2011
I recently had the immense pleasure of visiting Cisco’s labs at Bedfont Lakes for a day of intensive information exchange about their UCS offering. To summarise the day: I was impressed. Even more so by the fact that there is more to come, I’m assuming a few more blogs posts about UCS will get published here after I had some time to benchmark it.
I knew about UCS from a presentation at the UKOUG user group, but it didn’t occur at the time which potential is behind the technology. This potential is something Cisco sadly fail to make clear on their website-which is very good once you understand the UCS concept as it gives you many details about the individual components.
I should stress that I am not paid or otherwise financially motivated to write this article, it’s pure interest in technology that made me write this blog post. A piece of good technology should be mentioned, and this is what I would like to do.
What is the UCS anyway?
When I mentioned to friends that I was going to see Cisco to have a look at their blade server offering I got strange looks. Indeed, Cisco hasn’t been known as a manufacturer of blades before, it’s only recently (in industry terms) that they entered the market. However instead of providing YABE (yet another blade enclosure), they engineered it quite nicely.
If you like, the UCS is an appliance-like environment you can use for all sorts of workloads. It can be fitted in a standard 42” Rack and currently consists of these components (brackets contain product designations for further reading):
- Two (clustered) Fabric Interconnects (UCS 6120 or 6140 series) for 20 or 40 10G ports, with each port configurable as either uplinks into the core network or server links down to UCS chassis. These ports carry both Ethernet and FCoE traffic from the UCS chassis
- Two Fabric Extenders (UCS 2100 series), which go into the blade enclosure and provide connectivity up to the Fabric Interconnects. Each UCS 2104 fabric extender (FEX) provides 40Gb bandwidth to the Interconnect, controlled by QoS policies
- Blade enclosures (UCS 5100 series), which contain 8 half-width or 4 full width blades
- Different models of half-width and full-width UCS B-series blades providing up to 512G RAM and 7500 series Intel Xeon processors
- 10GE Adapters which are Converged Network Adapters (CNA). In other words they can do Fibre Channel over Ethernet and non-storage Ethernet traffic
The Fabric Interconnects can take extension modules with Fibre Channel to link to a FC switch, there is no new technology introduced and existing arrays can be used. Also, existing fibre channel solutions can be used for backups.
Another of the interesting features is the management software, called UCS Manager. It’s integrated into the Fabric Interconnect using a few gigabyte of flash storage. Not only is it used to manage a huge number of blades, it can also stage firmware for each component. At a suitable time, the firmware can be upgraded in a rolling fashion except for the Fabric Interconnect (obviously), though the fabric interconnects can take advantage of the clustering functionality to ensure that complete firmware upgrades can be undertaken with a system-wide outage.
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 11g Release 2, Automatic Storage Management, Linux, RAC | Tagged: cisco, ucs | 2 Comments »
Posted by Martin Bach on July 25, 2011
This is a post that highlights the difference between operating systems, but also the fact that sometime it is hard to break out of a habit once you got used to it. My background is that of a Linux enthusiast, even though I equally like Solaris and AIX but I have a little less exposure to those.
I have recently been asked to look at RAC on SPARC, which I gladly did. The system I was given had the usual software stack for RAC at this customer’s site. It comprised of:
- Solaris 10 Update 9 64bit on SPARC
- EMC Power Path 5.1
- EMC VMAX storage – 10x10G LUNs for a specific performance test
The Power Path configuration has already been in place when I got the machine, and I was allocated /dev/emcpower2[0-9] for my ASM testing. For the experienced Linux user who relies on device-mapper-multipath, the Power Path naming convention can be a bit confusing at first. For reference, the pseudo devices we are interested in for ASM are created under /dev/rdsk/-the “raw” device directory for “character” based access rather than the block device in /dev/dsk/. By default, the Power Path devices are called “emcpower”, followed by a number and a letter (in SPARC). An example would be /dev/rdsk/emcpower20c. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 11g Release 2, Automatic Storage Management | 1 Comment »
Posted by Martin Bach on June 8, 2011
I was very pleasently surprised that Oracle University are offering another day for my “Grid Infrastructure and Database High Availability Deep Dive” seminar. In addition to the immenent seminars in June (I blogged about them earlier), this one is in London, England. For anyone interested, here is the link:
The date has been set to October 10th, so there is plenty of time still, but nevertheless I hope to see you there!
Posted in 11g Release 2, Automatic Storage Management, Public Appearances, RAC | Leave a Comment »
Posted by Martin Bach on May 24, 2011
For quite a while Oracle DBAs have performed split mirror backups using special devices called “Business Continuance Volumes” or BCVs for short. A BCV is a special mirror copy of a LUN on the same storage array as the primary copy.
In a BCV backup scenario, the storage administrator (usually) “splits” the mirror after putting the database into hot backup mode. After the mirror is split, the database is taken out of hot backup mode and resumes normal operation. A new Oracle instance on a different host can be mounted using the split mirror copy of the database for backups. The use of this technology for refreshing a test environment is out of scope of this article. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 11g Release 2, Automatic Storage Management, Oracle | 4 Comments »
Posted by Martin Bach on May 17, 2011
I am playing around with the Grid Infrastructure 22.214.171.124 PSU 2 and found an interesting note on My Oracle Support regarding the Patch Set Update. This reminds me that it’s always a good idea to search for a patch number on Metalink before applying a PSU. It also seems to be a good idea to wait for a few days before trying a PSU (or maybe CPU) on your DEV environment for the first time (and don’t even think about applying a PSU on production without thorough testing!)
OK, back to the story: there is a known issue with the patchset which has to do with the change in the Mutex behaviour which the PSU was intended to fix. To quote MOS note “Oracle Database Patch Set Update 126.96.36.199.2 Known Issues (Doc ID 1291879.1)”, Patch 12431716 Is a Recommended Patch for 188.8.131.52.2. In fact, Oracle strongly recommends you to apply the patch to fix Bug 12431716 – Unexpected change in mutex wait behavior in 184.108.40.206.2 PSU (higher CPU possible).
In a nutshell, not applying the patch can cause your system to suffer from excessive CPU usage and more than expected mutex contention. More information can be found in the description of Bug 12431716 Mutex waits may cause higher CPU usage in 220.127.116.11.2 PSU / GI PSU which is worth reading.
Besides this, the PSU was applied without any problems to my four node cluster, I just wish there was a way to roll out a new version of opatch to all cluster node’s $GRID_HOME and $ORACLE_HOME in one command. The overall process for the PSU is the same as already described in my previous post about Bundle Patch 3:
- Get the latest version of OPatch
- Deploy OPatch to $GRID_HOME and $ORACLE_HOME (ensure permissions are set correctly for the OPatch in $GRID_HOME!)
- Unzip the PSU (Bug 11724916 – 18.104.22.168.2 Patch Set Update (PSU) (Doc ID 11724916.8)), for example to /tmp/PSU
- Change directory to where you unzipped (/tmp/PSU) and become root
- Ensure that $GRID_HOME/OPatch is part of the path
- Read the readme
- Create an OCM response file and save it to say, /tmp/ocm.rsp
- Start the patch as root: opatch auto and supply the full path to the OCM response file (/tmp/ocm.rsp)
- Apply the beforementioned one-off patch
Then wait, and after a little while you spend trailing the logfile in $GRID_HOME/cfgtoollogs/ and having a coffee the process eventually finishes. Repeat on each node and you’re done. I’m really happy there aren’t these long readme files anymore with 8 steps to be performed, partially as root, partially as CRS owner/RDBMS owner. It reduces tge tune ut takes to apply a PSU significantly.
Posted in 11g Release 2, Automatic Storage Management, Linux, RAC | 22 Comments »
Posted by Martin Bach on April 6, 2011
Julian Dyke has started an interesting thread on the Oak Table mailing list after the latest UKOUG RAC and HA SIG. Unfortunately I couldn’t attend that event, I wish I had, and I knew it would be great.
Anyway, the question revolved around an ASM disk group created with normal redundancy spanning two storage arrays. This should in theory protect against the failure of an array, although at a high price. All ASM disks exported from an array would be 1 failure group. Remember that disks in a failure group all fail if the supporting infrastructure (network, HBA, controller etc) fails. So what would happen with such a setup, if you followed these steps:
- Shutdown the array for failure group 2
- Stop the database
- Shutdown the second array – failure group 1
- Do some more maintenance…
- Startup failgroup B SAN
- Start the database
- Startup failgroup A SAN
ASM can tolerate the failure of one failgroup (capacity permitting), so the failure of failgroup 2 should not bring the disk group down, which would result in immediate loss of service. But what happens if it comes up after the data in the other failure group has been modified? Will there be data corruption?
Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 11g Release 1, 11g Release 2, Automatic Storage Management, Linux, RAC | Tagged: ora-600, [kccpb_sanity_check_2] | 5 Comments »
Posted by Martin Bach on March 17, 2011
This has been an interesting story today when one of my blades decided to reboot after an EXT3 journal error. The hard facts first:
- Oracle Linux 5.5 with kernel 2.6.18-22.214.171.124.1.el5
- Oracle 126.96.36.199 RAC
- Bonded NICs for private and public networks.
- Private bondn device defined on a VLAN
- BL685-G6 with 128G RAM
First I noticed the node had problems when I tried to get all databases configured on the cluster. I got the dreaded “cannot communicate with the CRSD”
[firstname.lastname@example.org] $ srvctl config database
PRCR-1119 : Failed to look up CRS resources of database type
PRCR-1115 : Failed to find entities of type resource that match filters (TYPE ==ora.database.type) and contain attributes DB_UNIQUE_NAME,ORACLE_HOME,VERSION
Cannot communicate with crsd
Not too great, especially since everything worked when I left yesterday. What could have gone wrong? Read the rest of this entry »
Posted in 11g Release 2, Automatic Storage Management, Linux, War Stories | 7 Comments »