In the last two blogs viz. Part I and Part II, I was talking about the oracle solution that was running on the DELLEMC VMAX storage along with many other components. In this blog, I will talk about one more oracle solution that is running on the top of the XtremIO X2 storage, though there are some variations in the use cases here. Before we delve into the details of the solution architecture, I would like to emphasize here that the taxonomy got changed this time from “Ready Bundle” to “Ready Solution”. Now, let’s look into architecture diagram as depicted in Figure 1.
Figure 1: Ready Solutions for Oracle with XtremIO X2 and Data Protection
In this solution, the Oracle databases operated in three different mode. The first is the bare metal 2-node RAC database running on two PowerEdge R940 servers and the second consists of two standalone snapshot databases running on R740 standalone server created from the first category via XtremIO XVC (XtremIO Virtual Copies) while the third one is comprised of two standalone virtualized databases of 11g and 12c versions. The whole architecture depicted in Figure 1 is supported by 2 X-Bricks XtremIO X2 cluster array and backed up by the Data Domain 6300 appliance. The DELLEMC engineers have run a rigorous and diversified testing over this oracle solution (as shown in Figure 1) and generated good results. We will discuss about the results in this blog along with the details of different use cases performed in four tests as depicted in Figure 2. In the first test the objective is to create a simple, standalone 2-node RAC database on a bare metal infrastructure with 2 X-Bricks. This architecture is then enhanced to accommodate 2 snapshot databases (created via XVC from Test 1) and finally two different standalone virtualized databases are created one of 11g Rel 2 version & the other database is of 12c . The complete details of the test case 1, 2, 3 and 4 are depicted in Figure 2.
Figure 2: The details of the test case 1, 2, 3 and 4
Following the best practices of running oracle database on XtremIO platform, DELLEMC engineers generated good performance numbers which are depicted in Figure 3.
Figure 3: The performance numbers for Test 1,3,4
From Figure 3, we have observed that as we increase the workload in terms of OLTP and OLAP and in terms of different virtualized environments of 11g and 12c databases, the databases achieved higher IOPS and transactions per second (TPS) with sub-.85 milliseconds latencies. This is a spectacular performance keeping in view we used only 36 SSDs .
The Dell EMC Ready Solution for Oracle is an awesome solution with greater agility, operational efficiencies and resiliency in a single solution. Ready solutions for Oracle features like scalability, performance, consolidation, automation, centralized management and protection. So far as technical virtues of this solution is concerned, it has been internally tested which delivers fantastic results in terms of higher IOPS, transactions per second (TPS), bandwidth, scalability, consolidation along with consistent sub-millisecond (less than .85 milliseconds) latencies even after adding enhanced OLTP and OLAP workloads in a bare metal and virtualized environments. It helps companies to reduce typical company’s financial costs like its CAPEX and OPEX . Additionally, the Dell EMC R740/R940 Servers can sustain multiple and larger workloads with less CPU and memory utilization. When we talk of Dell EMC XtremIO X2 storage we observed that it has generated 131K+ IOPS (in-house) along with higher throughput and less than .85 millisecond latencies for mixed workloads. Repurposing copies generated by the XtremIO Virtual Copies(XVC) helps in 1.8X storage space savings due to the inline deduplication and compression features of XtremIO X2 arrays. In summary, the Dell EMC Ready solution for Oracle is a winning, integrated, validated, flexible and configurable solution in all aspects as it combines the best of all the worlds of a typical datacenter. In the next blog, we will continue discussing the good features of this solution along with the backup and recovery options.
In my last blog I talked about the small and medium configurations. In this blog, I am going to talk about the large configuration of Ready Bundle for Oracle (RBO) .Part III of this blog series will talk about the different backup options available in this product. To back up the small configuration of RBO (called commercial backups), we use Data Domain 6300 while Data Domain 9300 (DD9300) is used for backing up large configuration (called enterprise backups). Let’s talk about the large configurations in this blog here. It is very exciting to talk about the large configuration which mainly caters to the enterprise world which wants to use the oracle environment in a bigger scale with higher IOPS and bandwidth along with lesser CPU utilization and latency. The large configuration of Ready Bundle for Oracle hosts 50 mixed-workload databases on a vSphere cluster with two ESXi 6 hosts on PowerEdge R940 servers. A VMAX 250F array with two V-Brick blocks, 2 x 1 TB mirrored cache and 105 TBe SSDs is used as the storage array for the VM OS and Oracle RAC databases. Figure 1 depicts the large-configuration architecture.
Fig. 1: Architecture of large configuration
The large configuration uses PowerEdge R940 servers, which are designed for larger workloads, to maximize enterprise application performance. The PowerEdge R940 servers are configured with 112 cores—88 more physical cores than the PowerEdge R740 servers in the small configuration and 40 more physical cores than the PowerEdge R940 servers in the medium configuration. The PowerEdge R940 server is configured with 3,072 GB—2,688 GB more than the R740 server in the small configuration and 1,920 GB more than the R940 server in the medium configuration. In Figure 2 we have performed a comparative analysis of the configurations for the small, medium (discussed in my previous blog) and large configurations of RBO.
Fig. 2: Comparative Analysis of small, medium and large configurations of Ready Bundle for Oracle
The comparative analysis will help the customers to select the appropriate configuration based on their requirements. There is also a tool available called VMAX sizer (available with the local support rep) which helps the customers to ascertain the appropriate configuration for their database/data center infrastructure. Now, I would like to discuss about the spectacular performances that were achieved during the stress-testing of large configuration for RBO. Let me provide some background for in-house database stress-testing which was performed by DellEMC engineers. The engineers ran 10 OLTP production RAC databases, 30 OLTP development RAC databases, and 10 OLAP RAC databases in parallel for a total mixed workload of 50 RAC databases. SLOB was used to create a 60/40 read/write OLTP workload. Swingbench Sales History benchmark was used for the OLAP workload generation. By adding the OLAP databases, they tested the VMAX 250F array along with large sequential reads to the storage workload. This load is reflected by the database size of 2 TB and the db_32k_cache_size and db_file_multiblock_read_count settings that enable larger database I/O to improve large sequential read performance. The entire architecture and database configuration of this use case has been depicted in the figure 3 and 4.
Fig 3: Architecture of the use case for large configuration
Fig 4 : Oracle RAC configuration for the use case in large configuration of RBO
The large configuration included two PowerEdge R940 servers and a VMAX 250F array. Here is a review of the results for this use case, in which the workload of 10 production OLTP databases, 30 development OLTP databases, and 10 OLAP databases ran in parallel:
100 vCPUs and 2,640 GB vMem per R940 computer server were used to generate a workload of over 189,968 IOPS on the VMAX array as is depicted in figure 5.
Due to the processing power of the PowerEdge servers, the CPU utilization was only 20 percent, leaving room for more databases or for failover of VMs from one ESXi server to another.
The VMAX array with inline deduplication and compression saved 5X the flash space, using only 8,280 GB of capacity for 30 development databases.
Database IOPS was also excellent. The 189,000 IOPS of workload (highlighted in figure 5) were serviced at sub-millisecond latency.
The 10 OLAP databases generated a total of 3.88 GB/s of throughput.
Fig 5. Aggregate IOPS numbers for the use case of large configuration
Figure 6 below illustrates the complete dashboard of the configuration and performance numbers (including the results that were discussed above) that got generated after the stress-testing for this use case in large configuration of RBO.
Fig 6. Stress-testing Dashboard of the use case for large configuration
The test results show that this configuration of RBO offer twice the number of supported IOPS compared to the small and medium configurations. The salient feature of this large configuration is that it supported just over 189,968 IOPS below sub-millisecond latencies for all OLTP databases. It supported the total bandwidth of 3.88 GB/sec using two PowerEdge R940 servers and a VMAX 250F with more flash drives. Under this database workload, a mere 20 percent of the CPU capacity was utilized, while the VMAX array accelerated 100 percent on most of the writes. Like the small and medium configurations, storage efficiency continued with 5X space savings across the 30 development OLTP databases due to the inline compression of VMAX 250F. In addition, the large configuration still had plenty of unused resources to support even greater workloads. More use cases and configurations of large and other configurations(like small & medium etc.) can be viewed in the validation guide which explains the RBO in its entirety. In the next blog (Part III), I would like to discuss about a new Oracle solution on XtremIO X2 Array,
The time has finally arrived! The Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle which is an integrated, validated, tested and engineered system has been launched. This solution will help the Oracle DBAs and other IT users address and eliminate most of the below expectations and challenges in a typical Oracle database infrastructure.
Higher performance which should be consistent and scalable with the exponential data deluge.
Higher availability and reliability for mission critical applications.
Optimal time and operational process management related to database infrastructure.
Optimal control of database CAPEX, licensing and resource cost with enhanced productivity.
Improved interoperability among multiple vendors for support of database and other related activities.
It is indeed incredible that the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle addresses all the above concerns/challenges and provides a better solution vis-à-vis its competitors. When we talk of vetted claims (verified by internal and external sources of Dell EMC) regarding its features, the following points are worth mentioning:-
20% lesser Oracle licensing cost.
5X Space savings for copies of Oracle databases.
99K+ IOPS with sub-millisecond(0.75 milliseconds) latencies
Six Nine’s availability for Oracle databases.
Now let’s look into the individual components that deliver the above exceptional features/statistics. All the components of the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle come from the best of all worlds like Dell EMC VMAX 250F (storage), Dell EMC PowerEdge 14G servers (compute), VMware vSphere (Virtualization), Oracle 12cRel2 database (database), Dell EMC AppSync (Applications) etc. as depicted in figure 1 :-
Figure 1: Components of the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle
This stack of Dell EMC software and hardware along with Oracle Database and Red Hat Enterprise Linux offers umpteen benefits individually or as the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle. The Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle facilitates the management, optimization, and reduction of OPEX & CAPEX costs to help with the ever-increasing pressure on organizational budget. This bundle offers high resiliency, availability, productivity, performance and innovation. For all technical and non-technical issues, there is a single support window manned by experienced and reputed Dell EMC personnel. Now let’s try to understand all the components of The Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle.
Dell EMC VMAX 250F All Flash Array is the storage component which is designed to consolidate multiple mixed workload Oracle databases into a single platform with a very high IOPS and sub-millisecond response time. Dell EMC Connectrix Switches and directors provide six 9s high availability, built-in high availability, maximum scalability and unmatched reliability with high performance. The Dell EMC PowerEdge R940 is designed to power the Oracle mission-critical applications and real-time decisions, consolidate hardware resources and/or save Oracle licensing costs. Oracle databases are increasingly running(over 70% of the customer base) on the VMware vSphere platform.So far as Oracle Database is concerned, VMware delivers an industry-leading intelligent virtual infrastructure that maximizes performance, scalability and availability while enabling fully automated disaster recovery, better-than-physical security, and proactive management of service levels. Red Hat Linux 7.3 helps in optimizing Oracle Database environments to keep up with the ever increasing workload demands and evolving security risks. Dell EMC AppSync simplifies, orchestrates and automates the process of generating and consuming application consistent copies of production data. It provides intuitive workflows to setup scheduled protection and repurposing jobs that provide end to end automation of all the steps from application discovery and storage mapping to mounting of the copies to the target hosts.
All the benefits that are described above are available in the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle.
Variants of the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle
With the above components in place, we have two variants available at present. They are small and medium configurations as depicted in Figures 2 & 3. The “large configuration” variant will be discussed in my next blog..
Figure 2: Small Configuration
Figure 3: Medium Configuration
Both small and medium configurations ensure higher performance, scalability, resilience and availability. With these configurations, Dell EMC has conducted some in-house testing and found some interesting/extraordinary results. Let me discuss these results.
Dell EMC has run five tests for five different use cases as documented below:-
Two production Oracle RAC clusters
Repurposing five production databases to fifteen dev RAC database cluster.
Cluster of five OLAP production databases
Mixed OLTP workloads
Mixed OLAP and OLTP workloads
The detailed configuration and the outcomes of the various tests are documented here. In this blog I want to touch upon the last test (use case five) that was run based on the below configuration.
Figure 4: Configuration and Pictorial Diagram of Use Case Five Test
The outcome of this test is phenomenal which is depicted in figure 5.
Figure 5: Outcome of Use Case Five Test
The Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle is an awesome solution with great features like scalability, performance, consolidation, automation, centralized management and protection. So far as technical virtues of this solution is concerned, it has been internally tested which delivers fantastic results in terms of higher IOPS, bandwidth, scalability, consolidation along with consistent sub-millisecond (less than .75 milliseconds) latencies even after adding enhanced OLTP and OLAP workloads. All these salient features of the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle in turn reduce the CAPEX and OPEX costs. More importantly, you feel less worried as the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle makes lifecycle management simpler and all the support and services requests are taken care of by Dell EMC staff with over 10 years of experience. Additionally, the Dell EMC R740/R940 Servers can sustain multiple and larger workloads with less CPU and memory utilization. When we talk of Dell EMC VMAX 250F storage we observed that it generates 99K+ IOPS (in-house) along with higher throughput and less than .75 millisecond latencies for mixed workloads. Repurposing copies generated by the Dell EMC AppSync software helps in 5X flash storage space savings due to the inline deduplication and compression features of VMAX 250F All flash arrays. AppSync also helps in automation of the cloned production database copies and protection of the databases. Net-net, the Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle is a winning solution in all aspects as it combines the best of all the worlds of a typical datacenter.
N.B : The large configuration of Dell EMC Ready Bundle for Oracle has been discussed in my next blog.
IT Organizations are spending too much time and budget manually performing tasks. For example, DBAs find themselves provisioning databases to support change management activities like testing patches, updates, and new development. Provisioning is just one example as DBA teams are looking for ways to automate and orchestrate routine tasks. See figure 8.
Figure 8: DBA activities costing excessive time and budget
The Ready Bundle for Oracle is designed streamline database activities by enabling the DBA to do more. There is no time spent building the Ready Bundle for Oracle as it’s designed as a unified system that can go from zero to 100 in less time. Servers, storage, and networking all tested and optimized for Oracle databases: Read Part One of my blog for more information.
Provisioning databases can involve a complex number of steps and multiple IT teams. It’s common to have the Storage Administrators have to refresh a database from production. Using AppSync the Storage Administrator can give control to the Oracle DBA to refresh their databases. AppSync is a program from Dell EMC designed to automate lifecycle management activities for Oracle, SAP, and Microsoft databases. For example, an Oracle DBA can schedule the refresh of a database over the weekend and AppSync will automate the entire process.
AppSync deserves its own blog because there is no way to cover it all here but its core value is integrating with Dell EMC storage to off-load refresh and copy activities to storage arrays like VMAX, XtremIO, and Unity. For example, the VMAX 250F all flash array can make a copy of production in a matter of seconds. This benefits the DBA who has to refresh a database as they can now complete most of the work in minutes versus weeks or days. This also combines the DBA and Storage Administration teams into a delivery model like DevOps. The two teams working together sharing responsibility for the delivery of a database.
The VMAX 250F storage array comes with the Data Storage Analyzer (DSA) at no additional cost. Using DSA the DBA can review storage performance. This means the classic question of storage performance is no longer a challenge to the DBA. Oracle Enterprise Manager combing with Data Storage Analyzer together gives the DBA a comprehensive view into database and storage performance. The combined power of OEM plus DSA can save hours in performance tuning efforts and provide better reporting to the business. It’s worth repeating: DSA is free with the VMAX and is part of the Ready Bundle for Oracle.
In Tuesday’s Oracle OpenWorld keynote, Larry Ellison talked about the importance of security. In my humble opinion Dell EMC RSA offers industry leading security solutions and for data protection there are solutions like storage replication and Data Domain. Dell EMC enables DBAs to use storage replication using AppSync. The DBA can control how frequently the database and applications are replicated and where the data is replicated to. Using the Ready Bundle for Oracle the DBA has more control and works more closely with the IT Operations team.
Data Domain with DD Boost is among one of the most popular data protection solutions for Oracle. DD Boost integrates with RMAN and deduplicates backups to Data Domain decreasing backup times, reducing network utilization, and enabling more online backups. Additionally, the DBA controls DD Boost and can even configure the database backups can be replicated up to another Data Domain platform in a secondary datacenter.
Greater control for DBA teams, faster time-to-value as the Ready Bundle is a tested and optimized database platform and strong data protection. See figure 9 for a summary of benefits discussed in this blog.
Figure 9: Summary of Ready Bundle for Oracle in this blog
To learn more about the Ready Bundle for Oracle visit:
In part one of the Ready Bundle for Oracle blog we explored how the combination of the PowerEdge R940 and VMAX 250F All Flash array accelerate database performance at every layer in the stack. Fast performance is critical for databases but consolidation enables greater scalability and lowers the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). In part two of this blog we explore how DBA teams can benefit from advanced storage features like compression and snapshots that take no initial space when making copies of a database.
Consolidation is the process of combining a number of things into a single more effective and coherent system. As we seen the PowerEdge R940 is faster than the prior generation of servers and the VMAX 250F all-flash array delivers high density of IOPS at ultra-low response times. There is a third dimension to consolidation and that’s storage capacity savings. The VMAX uses three features to save disk space:
Thin provisioning: ensure that regardless of the LUN size, only the capacity that was written to is allocated
VMAX Adaptive Compression Engine (ACE): uses a versatile architecture to achieve high storage compression ratios
SnapVX Nocopy: creates copies using no initial disk space and without impacting performance of the source data
Let’s discuss thin provision and ACE as they are storage features that work seamlessly in the background on the storage array and are transparent to the database. Thin provisioning ensures only the space needed is allocated on the storage array. Compression then works on the allocated capacity to further reduce the Oracle database size. Testing was done in this white paper to show the value compressing Oracle. See figure 4
Figure 4: Before and after VMAX Compression in (GB) on an Oracle database
What figure 4 shows is prior to enabling VMAX compression, the allocated capacity was 5,727 GB and after the database size was reduced to 721 GB, an massive savings 5,006 GB. In this test the VMAX was able to achieve a data compression ratio of 7.9 to 1. Compression will vary from database to database as data is different but this test case shows that significant space savings are possible using VMAX compression. Performance during compression testing showed the CPU utilization was the same for before and after compression and IOPS were reduce by 1% with compression enabled.
Provisioning copies of a production database is a common change management activity for most Oracle DBAs. On average most DBA teams have support between 4 to 7 copies of production, sometimes more. If each database copy was a full copy of production without compression a substantial amount of disk space would be used. For example, if a DBA team has to maintain 3 copies of a 5TB production database the total amount of space used would be 20 TB. See figure 5.
Figure 5: Total TB used in creating 3 full copies of production without compression
Using VMAX snapshots (called, SnapVX) all database copies take no space. A storage snapshot is a set of reference markers pointing back to the source data at a particular point in time. Any changes to the source data will trigger a write to the snapshot copy to save the original copy of the data at the point in time of the snapshot. That’s the long way of saying production data is protected and cannot be impacted by snapshots. Saving disk space with SnapVX is done using the “nocopy” command and is the recommended method for creating snapshots on the all flash VMAX arrays. Let’s look at figure 6 to show the disk space savings.
Figure 6: SnapVX /nocopy initial and 10% change in data over 60 days
Looking at the column “SnapVX /nocopy initial copy” we see how the DBA team can save a substantial amount of space by creating three copies of production (QA, Test, and Sandbox) that initially take no additional space. The 15 terabytes of disk space means less in the way of storage dependencies, greater consolidation, and faster provisioning of databases for the IT Organization. Now it’s realistic that data is going to change over time and in the last column called, “10% change over 60 days” we see production and the copies all have unique data.
The production database has .5TB of unique data since the initial snapshots making the total size 5.5TB. The Quality Assurance, Test, and Sandbox databases also have .5TB of unique data, thus these databases have a total of 1TB of unique data (.5 from production plus .5 from their own growth). Even in this scenario of 10% data change we see the entire database ecosystem takes just 8.5TB of data. Having a bit of fun if we factor in a conservative 2:1 compression ratio the entire ecosystem size goes down to 4.25TB.
Dell EMC believes customers will achieve an overall data reduction ratio of 4:1 by using the VMAX All Flash so much they offer a guarantee: Flash Storage Efficiency Guarantee. “Dell EMC promises our flash arrays will provide a logical usable capacity at least four times the usable physical capacity of your purchased drives — or we’ll give you more drives at no charge.” See figure 7 for how the VMAX 250F All Flash array increase consolidation and provide greater storage efficiency.
Figure 7: Achieve 4X Logical Capacity with the VMAX 250F All Flash array
For DBA teams the Ready Bundle for Oracle enables greater consolidation efficiency and with the guarantee from Dell EMC less risk and more protection in your investment. I like to think of the guarantee as Dell EMC’s way of partnering with DBAs and other IT teams to make sure they are successful.
There was a lot of excitement and energy in the air on Monday morning at Oracle OpenWorld. The Dell EMC booth looked great and we were all ready to talk with customers.
In the booth we have a new solution that combines the PowerEdge R940 with the VMAX 250F all flash array for Oracle databases. The big question is, “Will customers be interested?”
As people started walking by the booth, they would stop and ask about the Ready Bundle for Oracle. We really had a lot of great discussions with customers interested in a unified solution like the Ready Bundle. I want to take a moment to give you my take on being at a show like Oracle OpenWorld representing Dell EMC. In my opinion customer go to learn and the Dell EMC team we go to learn from customers. Every question is important and every discussion is an opportunity to learn what customers are truly interested in.
Here are a few questions and discussions I had on day one. “What is the Ready Bundle for Oracle?”
It’s a solution that includes servers, storage, and networking that has been tested with different database workloads like OLTP, OLAP to optimize performance and provide you the best platform for your database ecosystem. – People were very interested in how the Ready Bundle was optimized for Oracle. We talked about how in our testing we captured best practices and performance metrics that enable us to work with you to accurately size the Ready Bundle for your business. For example, customers where interested to learn that database storage layout is very simple and following a few recommendations means improved management and protection of the database.
Customer conversation at the show:
Performance is always at the top of minds for people so there were a few questions like, “How is performance?”
Well in a recent study a two-node Oracle RAC system generated over 275,000 IOPS on a VMAX all flash array and the average response times were: .8 ms for reads and .3 ms for writes!We also tested the PowerEdge R940 servers with an OLAP workload and the server was 52% faster for the light workload and 9% faster for the heavy workload than the prior generation of servers… with 16 fewer processor cores. People picked up on the benefit right away. The Ready Bundle for Oracle is very fast and there is the potential for greater consolidation thus, a TCO savings. If you are interested in learning more read this blog that was just posted as it goes deeper into Oracle performance.
There were a few questions about comparing the Ready Bundle for Oracle to Exadata. My response was simple: The Ready Bundle for Oracle has been designed to maximize performance and return on your investment. There is no extra database licensing, hardware licensing, or features that add to the complexity of the database system. Instead, the Ready Bundle for Oracle provides a clear path to a platform with over 20 years of engineering in every layer of the solution.
Right up there with performance were questions about protection. The VMAX 250F all flash array is a leader in protecting data with proven features like replication (SRDF) and snapshots (SnapVX). Using replication the DBA can protect against a disaster and bring up the database in a secondary datacenter. Using AppSync DBAs now have the capability to configure and manage storage based replication. Normally, replication is the responsibility of the storage administrator but AppSync enables the DBA to control and manage replication. Snapshots can be used to quickly copy the production database to a backup server which has the advantage of off-loading backups from the production server.
We also have a great Oracle protection team at the show. There were many times in which customers would start a conversation at one place in the booth and travel to the data protection experts to talk about Data Domain with DD Boost for Oracle.
There were some fun questions too! “What is Dell EMC doing at Oracle OpenWorld?” I thought it was a great question. We talked about how Oracle and Dell EMC have worked together for over 20 years and have over 80,000 mutual customers. Dell EMC is also a Platinum Partner of Oracle.
Please join us at the Dell EMC booth as we have a great team to answer your questions!
The Ready Bundle for Oracle is a solution designed to boost performance and operational agility for your database ecosystem. Oracle databases run the most complex and critical applications used by a company, often supporting ERP and CRM systems responsible for all back office processes. The pressure to modernize the database infrastructure means businesses are looking for solutions that offer greater agility, operational efficiencies, and resiliency in a single solution.
The Ready Bundle for Oracle integrates Dell EMC PowerEdge R940 servers, networking, and the enterprise VMAX 250F all-flash array into a Ready Solution. There is little, if any, of the risk associated with the best-of-breed approach that involves design, test, and release phases that accumulatively can take months or weeks to complete. All the engineering is included in the Ready Bundle, providing the business with a faster time-to-value in reaching operational readiness.
There is less risk too, as the entire solution is supported by a single vendor, full service company. Most anyone in the IT Organization understands the complexity of coordinating multiple vendors to resolve an issue impacting operations. Dell EMC solves this support challenge with three years of award-winning ProSupport services and a three-year extended hardware warranty. Application owners and DBAs call one number for server, networking, and storage support with the Ready Bundle for Oracle.
Check out the performance
One of the key advantages of a Ready Solution like the Ready Bundle is the Oracle performance testing we complete in our labs to ensure accurate sizing for your workloads. Testing starts with an Online Transactional Processing (OLTP) battery of tests to validate the solution. This test is optimized for ERP, CRM, and other systems of records applications. The goal of these tests is to evaluate system performance under a high volume of transactions in which response times remain under 1 millisecond.
Figure 1: Two-node Oracle RAC configuration driving over 275K IOPS with sub-millisecond latencies
Notice the speed of the average write times for data and log write operations. This is because the 1TB VMAX storage array cache is designed to immediately acknowledge all write quests thus, both data writes and log writes are at an outstanding .3 millisecond average response times.
What about data read response times? The massive number of IOPS generated in this test was done purposely to force the VMAX all flash array to read from the flash drives. This means most of the reads were not satisfied by the VMAX cache which is the worst case scenario. Even with the majority of reads satisfied from flash drives the average read response times were at .8 milliseconds.
Typically, production Oracle RAC systems do not generate nearly as many IOPS as was done with this test but, this does lead to another advantage of the Ready Bundle for Oracle in that it can easily support large database ecosystems and meet performance Service Level Agreements (SLA).
Let’s use a scenario of a database ecosystem consisting of production, quality assurance, test and sandbox. See figure 2 for the daily average IOPS for each of the databases.
Figure 2: Scenario of Oracle database ecosystem
Figure 2 shows the four databases account for 65,000 IOPS which is a fraction of what was done in our testing. Looking at it another way, it would take five times (20 databases) the number of databases to be nearly equivalent in IOPS in our test. This means the Ready Bundle for Oracle offers exceptional scalability for database workloads.
OLAP test results
The second type of database workload test was with Online Analytical Processing (OLAP) used for business intelligence, reporting, and data mining. OLAP uses de-normalized data, fewer tables, and longer queries that depend more throughput than response times. Let’s focus on the PowerEdge R940 server in terms of OLAP performance to provide a more thorough overview of the entire solution. The new 14th Generation PowerEdge R940 server was tested using OLAP / TCP-H-like tests with Oracle’s in-memory database option to evaluate processor performance. See figure 3 for test results.
Figure 3: Prior generation PowerEdge R930 compared to PowerEdge R940 in Oracle OLAP Tests
Looking at this graph, the lower the bar, the faster the average execution time of the queries. In the light OLAP test with one user and 22 queries, the R940 completed queries 52% faster than the R930! In the heavy OLAP test with seven users and 154 queries, the R940 completed 9% faster. There is another factor to this testing ─ the PowerEdge R940 was faster even though the server had 16 fewer processors than the R930! Dell EMC estimates using a new 14th generation PowerEdge R940 server with fewer faster processor could save customer on Oracle Licensing.
It’s the comprehensive performance testing of the Ready Bundle for Oracle that makes this optimized database solution ideal for ecosystems of all sizes. The PowerEdge R940 accelerates database workloads using fewer processors and the VMAX 250F provides a wealth of IOPS but more importantly response times under one millisecond. There is no integration work or risk as the Ready Bundle is delivered as a unified solution to the datacenter for DBAs teams to start using very quickly.
Tomorrow I will focus on the value of consolidation for databases and the capability for you to experience a big disk space savings using the Ready Bundle for Oracle. If you have any questions I’ll be in the Dell EMC booth at Oracle OpenWord 2017 or email me at Sam.Lucido@dell.com.
In 2016, Dell EMC announced new VMAX All Flash products --> VMAX 250F. The VMAX 250F as depicted in Figure 1 is ideally suited for customers with modest capacity requirements who still want to take advantage of the enterprise capabilities of VMAX all flash with high performance, availability, reliability and inbuilt data protection.
Figure 1 : VMAX 250F
It has the following benefits:-
Reliable performance of over 1 million IOPS
Starts at 11 TB and scales to 1 PB effective flash capacity with data reduction.
Ensures uptime of 99.9999% availability
Orderable with advanced replication, data encryption, storage management, data protection, and access to cloud storage tiering.
Scales out to 2 V-Bricks
Advanced data services and multi-controller architecture.
Response time is under 1 ms.
Uses virtual provisioning to create new storage devices with ease and in seconds.
Storage can scale-out with V-Bricks.
In this blog I am going to discuss the best practices of using Oracle on the VMAX 250F storage arrays. Firstly, let me talk about the Servers and storage connectivity best practices with special reference to Oracle database. From the Oracle database performance and HA perspective we should connect HBAs to at least two VMAX ports, preferably on different directors as shown in Figure 2. This increases the overall system availability.
As far as HBAs and VMAX ports/directors are concerned, the following best practices may be followed :-
When zoning host initiators to storage target ports, ensure that each pair is on different switches for best availability.
Use two or more HBAs for each database node for better availability and scalability(Figure 2).
DellEMC Powerpath software can help in automatic failover.
Spread connections across engines / directors first, then on the same director.
Get increased availability if the connections are spread "wide" first.
Connect at least two HBAs across redundant fabrics for high availability.
Each HBA port should be zoned/masked to two VMAX ports(Figure 2)
In extension to pt. 1 above, it will be better to avoid Inter-Switch links (ISLs).These links can prevent the shared resources with unpredictable utilization and can create bottlenecks when a few ISL paths can’t sustain many servers-to-storage paths as shown in Figure 2. The ISLs can become performance bottlenecks here as the total throughput is limited by the number of connections.
Figure : 2 ISLs between 2 Fibre Channel switches
Lastly, the number and speed of HBA ports should support planned bandwidth/IOPS. FC negotiates to lowest components’ speed between host, storage, and switch ports as seen in Figure 2.
In summary, oracle database is a complex database to manage and maintain the required level of performance. To achieve a reasonable level of performance, the optimal tuning of the Server and storage parameters are extremely important. In the next blog, I will talk about the database architectural considerations that we should take into account to get an enhanced performance in the Oracle database.
Dell EMC OVCs are certified using the Oracle Validated Configurations Program. OVCs provide easier, faster, and lower-cost deployment of Oracle Linux and Oracle VM based Oracle Database solutions for customers. The program offers pre-tested, validated reference architectures - including software, hardware, storage, and network components - along with documented best practices that are certified by Oracle and published on Oracle's website.
Each of the OVCs will provides:
Hardware details of all the components directly tested with OVCs
Expanded list of compatible hardware
Software details of all the components directly tested with OVCs
Solution ID - for Dell Sales to quickly generate a quote or Bill of Materials
A published link to Oracle’s website that lists all the hardware and software details, including the configuration settings
Dell EMC T&V programs involves testing and validating Oracle Database 12c stack that includes various pre-determined building blocks of Dell EMC products - Servers, Storage, and Switches, and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 7. An end-to-end stack of Servers, Storage, and Network components that are validated using the Tested and Validated (T&V) program undergo a comprehensive integration and functionality testing with Oracle databases running on a supported OS platform. This results in providing an improved performance and a highly reliable Oracle database solution to the customers which they can adopt and purchase with high level of confidence.
As mentioned in my last blog, DEW’17 was all about product announcements and future directions that DELLEMC is planning to race ahead. In the build to buy continuum debate, DELLEMC has announced many products on ready nodes, ready bundles and ready systems. Before we delve deep into the concepts, let us understand each term separately. As per Chad Sakac’s blog ,
If I take the first category, the offerings are summarized in figure 1.
Figure 1 : Different offerings of Ready nodes.
Digital transformation is the corporate strategy for many organizations today. Database Consolidation, security, performance enhancement, apps enablement are the main areas where Ready bundles will come handy. Ready bundle simplifies the implementation. Dell EMC’s ready bundle turns complexity into simplicity. By following the best practices, it delivers expert designed sizing and validated solutions which are just the right configuration for a typical organization. It also offers exceptional performance, cost saving, easy to order, faster time to value. The DELLEMC ready bundle for RedHat OpenStack platform can be visualized in figure 2.
Figure 2: DellEMC Ready Bundle for Red Hat Openstack platform.
In summary, the key benefits of DELLEMC’s Ready Bundle are as follows:-
Superior Performance: - Faster transaction and query processing through expert-designed solution built on DELL EMC hardware. Creates dynamic business results with agile, open and flexible ready bundles.
Significant Cost saving:- Significant cost reduction with hardware resource consolidation and oracle database’s licensing savings. This will definitely increase the profit margin through out of factory OEM licensing, storage attach and configuration enrichment.
Faster time to value:- Pre-architected and validated to shorten design cycle and reduce implementation risk. The system builder which is a tool for DELLEMC ready bundles, generates solutions of various sizes based on the customer requirements with bundle ordering with L1/L2 support in the later stages. Customers can unlock efficiency with JetPack cutting-edge cloud automation.
Future-ready scalability:-Exceptional scalability with Oracle Database, SQL Server 2016, SAP Hana etc. It is designed for growth with easy, non-disruptive & modular scalability.
Better manageability and protection:- it is easy to manage and easy to deploy. Simplified and management . Ready Bundles also provide better protection like disaster recovery and backup solutions with Recoverpoint.
Converged Infrastructure provides the speed and ability to power SAP HANA while remaining cost effective. Vblock Systems seamlessly integrate leading compute, network, and storage technologies to provide an optimized converged infrastructure solution that ensures secure and predictable performance through pre-engineered, modular infrastructure. Vblock Systems provide the highest levels of virtualization and application performance. Organizations can choose between procuring SAP certified appliance hardware for SAP HANA or leveraging SAP HANA tailored data center integration (TDI) to capitalize on existing infrastructure investments. SAP HANA TDI offers the ability to deploy SAP HANA software on standard Vblock Systems to leverage the benefits of VCE’s converged infrastructure solutions. Vblock 700 family systems provide a pre-engineered, pre-validated, and pre-tested platform on which to run SAP HANA. This platform comprises the storage, networking, compute, and optionally, the virtualization layer. It is supported as a single product, meaning there is no need to worry if the support issue was caused by a networking, storage or compute component. The platform provides a stable and reliable base for an SAP HANA installation. With SAP HANA TDI, organizations can consolidate SAP HANA workloads alongside both SAP and non-SAP workloads on the Vblock Systems shared infrastructure.
Hope, you could now appreciate the differences between ready nodes, bundles and systems along with its applications and implementations.
Recently, the DELLEMC World got concluded with lots of launches and product announcements like Dell 14G PowerEdge Servers. More than 13,000 people converged in Las Vegas this week for Dell EMC World, which is the annual tech conference for Round Rock-based Dell Technologies as can be seen in Figure 1.
Figure 1 : Dell EMC world 2017
In this event, many great products were showcased and also many big announcements were made. The biggest of all the announcements is the release of the DellEMC 14G next generation servers. In this product portfolio, we found some salient features like exponential increase in low latency of NVMe storage and a 50% increase GPU-compute density.Also, there is also a tighter coupling with software defined storage (SDS) environments and Dell’s new OpenManage Enterprise console which is the GUI consolidation of different products that are spread across different areas in a typical data center. This interface is called open Manage console which potentially can control and provision resources across the DELL-EMC environments. It is a single pane of glass to manage all Dell EMC compute and storage units.
Let us now talk a look into some top products that were showcased during the conference. The first product which has a bright future and has a huge potential based on the earlier spectacular run rate by the earlier versions is XtremIO X2 as depicted in Figure 2.
Figure 2 : XtremIO X2 box
XtremIO X2 offers a 25 percent increase in the data reduction capabilities compared with the previous version, and supports scale-up in addition to scale-out to let customers add additional storage densities to previously deployed nodes while cutting total cost of ownership by half on a per-gigabyte basis. It delivers low latency; unmatched storage efficiency with inline all-the-time data services; rich application integrated copy services; and unprecedented management simplicity. The USPs for this product can be summarized as follows:-
4 to 20 times data reduction using inline deduplication and compression, XtremIO Virtual Copies, and thin provisioning. Gains two times more XtremIO Virtual Copies.
Enhanced Integrated Copy Data Management (iCDM).
Elegant software driven performance improvements.
Dramatically lower TCO with efficiency guarantees.
Enables unique copy data management capabilities to unlock business agility through improved workflows.
Reduces costs by one third and provides smaller, incremental scaling options.
Provides two times longer storage product lifecycles than traditional arrays.
DELLEMC Unity is the midrange storage portfolio and is optimized for all-flash performance and simplicity. It utilizes CPU and memory optimally with 16 times the storage density, with up to 80 15.3-TB SSDs, and a 30 percent performance improvement over the current generation. They can handle a maximum file size of 256 TB compared with the current 64 TB. Installation takes less than10 minutes, All new Dell EMC Unity models include 4x larger file system with inline file compression, iCDM with snapshot mobility, simpler mapped RAID protection and support for external encryption key management via KMIP (Key Management Interoperability Protocol). Additionally, Dell EMC Unity features an 8x increase in density and 8x more effective file system capacity than its predecessor, 33% faster than previous generations.
In the data protection arena, the product that got released in DELLEMC World 2017 and worth mentioning is the Integrated Data Protection Appliance as depicted in figure 4.
Figure 4 : Data Protection Suite
The Integrated Data Protection Appliance is a new turnkey offering that combines the company's Data Domain backup appliance with a new version of its Data Protection Suite software. The appliance allows customers to go from installation to back up in less than three hours. Dell EMC protects more than 150 PB of data in the cloud, which is 2x better than the closest competitor. Data Protection Suite introduces Disaster Recovery and Protection Storage in the cloud. This appliance takes up to 10X faster time vis-à-vis any other traditional build on other data protection alternatives and 20% faster performance than the closest competitor. It also brings together industry-leading deduplication (average 55:1 deduplication rate) for data residing both on premise and in the cloud.
There are many more products which got unleashed in DELLEMC World and are worth mentioning. I will discuss more about those products in my next blog.
Listen to Jeff Clarke discuss how our customers and partners are designing, building and running their businesses on Dell. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger will then share a perspective on the next wave of innovation in mobile-cloud technology.
DAY 2: NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
IoT NEWS: Dell Technologies announces new Internet of Things (IoT) products and partnerships to help customers simplify their IoT deployments and more quickly realize digital transformation
IT TRANSFORMATION CUSTOMER AWARD WINNERS: Dell EMC honored six winners of 2017 IT Transformation REALIZED awards, forward-thinking customers who use our technologies and services to drive IT transformation and become digital businesses
These companies (see logos at left) were among their respective industry's best in modernizing infrastructure, automating service delivery & transforming operating models and organizational relationships
Hear Michael Dell discuss Dell Technologies’ vision for the future followed by David Goulden, who will build on Michael’s industry viewpoint and elaborate on the specific impact of digital transformation on IT.
Dell EMC World COE Leadership Panel
On Day 1, Dell EMC World COE Leadership panel - Digital Transformation: Global Voices - was successfully held. Bob Savage (VP and GM of Ireland COE), Orna Berry (VP and GM of Israel COE), Wei Liu (VP and GM of China COE), and Sarv Saravanan (VP and GM of India COE) joined the live TV interview, to share global insights on how digital transformation is impacting customers and communities and how Dell EMC is using our technology, innovation, skilled teams and global presence to help these groups achieve success.
Day 1 News Highlights:
DELL TECHNOLOGIES CAPITAL: Ventures arm comes out of stealth mode, is investing approximately $100 million annually in promising startups with innovative technology
Ventures team focuses on emerging tech areas relevant to our unique family of businesses
DTC has actively invested in more than 70 early-stage startups to date
Offers startups access to resources, scale and expertise
PowerEdge 14G SERVERS: We're #1 in servers, and we're previewing new PowerEdge Servers that are the bedrock of a modern, software-defined data center; they scale with the business, automate routine tasks, proactively secure the data center
Enable up to 50% more VDI users per server
Easy-to-use, next-gen OpenManage Enterprise console is engineered to unify system management
Includes new security features for enhanced protection against malicious threats
Listen to Jeff Clarke discuss how our customers and partners are designing, building and running their businesses on Dell. VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger will then share a perspective on the next wave of innovation in mobile-cloud technology.
As we all know, the EMC World Conference held every year in May has been an important channel for the storage industry to understand EMC technology, products and solutions.This year's Dell EMC World conference will be held in Las Vegas from May 8th to 11th.This is the first time after the merger of EMC business-oriented conference, the size is greater than Dell EMC World 2016 held in Austin last year.This is the first time that all Dell Technologies' brands have come together to demonstrate the power of technology.
The theme of this conference is Realize (Realize Your Digital Future, to achieve your digital future).A total of more than 12,000 IT practitioners, business executives, media and analysts were invited.Based on past feedback from the participants, EMC World is absolutely rave reviews, worth the value of the tickets:
What are the highlights of this year's conference?Personally think that can be divided into three categories:
1. New product release
2. Keynote Speech
Including Michael Dell, David Goulden, Diane Bryant (Intel), Jeff Clarke, Pat Gelsinger, Jeremy Burton, Chad Sakac, Jeff Boudreau, Beth Phalen, Ashley Gorakhpurwalla, Josh Bernstein, Manuvir Das and other senior executives from Dell's brands for a number of keynote speeches on digital transformation,