In any Production environment, Oracle DBAs are invariably concerned about the transaction processing speed, Database performance, backup and restore time and efficacy.  Oracle Database if used on XtremIO array will be a strong answer to the above challenges. I am consolidating some of the great benefits and features of using Oracle DB in XtremIO array :-


Cost Savings


XtremIO is a all-flash storage with deduplication technology that is extremely cost competitive with performance disk, 10X faster, 10X more space & power efficient, more reliable and 10X simpler. It has lowest database TCO. The entire gamut of cost savings can be consolidated under following heads: 

  1. Database consolidation- with unmatched performance, and free space-efficient cloning
  2. License savings- XtremIO solves the single biggest drag on CPU: I/O. When your expensive database is not I/O-bound, dramatically more host CPU is available for transactions, lowering your database licensing costs so you get more productivity out of fewer processor cores
  3. Storage capacity- with inline data reduction, thin provisioning, and the lowest data protection overhead in the industry
  4. OPEX- with the simplest management, deployment, and test/dev agile data management in the industry


Much Improved I/O Performance and other benefits


XtremIO is a scale-out, multi-controller design, capable of delivering linear performance increases as capacity in the array grows. It has sub-millisecond latency and high IOPS.The I/O performance is also stable and predictable. The array is “inherently balanced” and optimized to within a fraction of a percent across all SSDs and array controllers.  In order to balance across a multitude of controllers, and avoid hot spotting issues and back-end rebalancing processes, XtremIO uses a new mechanism of determining where to place data by looking at the data itself with a sophisticated content fingerprinting process.  This not only delivers better performance, better flash endurance, and makes the array easier to use but also makes the array aware to know to deduplicate data inline in the data path at full speed. XtremIO leverages both the random access nature of flash and the unique XtremIO dual-stage metadata engine to deliver much lower capacity overhead, better data protection and much better flash endurance and performance compared with RAID.  XtremIO delivers consistent and predictable performance because all metadata is stored in-memory.  XtremIO arrays are designed to be impervious to changes in workload thereby maintaining a reliable DB I/O performance. Every volume on an XtremIO storage system inherently gets the full performance of the array. We need not  to think about how to map indexes, tables, redo logs, journals, temporary space, and archives to appropriate RAID levels and spindle counts in order to drive performance. Just creating a volume with just a few clicks and put the entire database structure in it with good I/O throughput and performance.


Fast and Free Dev/Test Copies


In XtremIO environment SCSI EXTENDED COPY (XCOPY) can be used to copy data in the LUNs of the production database to other newly created LUNs that were used for test/dev environment provisioning. The XCOPY utility is a small tool developed by EMC to send read/write SCSI commands from the host to the XtremIO storage array without increasing space utilization. The XtremIO array automatically deduplicated data as the database was copied. This reduced the amount of data written to flash, which extended the flash lifetime. XtremIO data reduction will not negatively affect performance of the array at any time and will be always inline. Data deduplication occurs across the array. There is no performance difference between accessing the primary volumes versus accessing the cloned volumes. The metadata resolves to the same set of actual physical data blocks. This is preferred in certain situations when performance validation is required against the replica.


Simplified Database Layout


With traditional storage design for Oracle Database, multiple RAID groups of different drive types are created, each with different levels of protection and distributed across multiple controllers. With XtremIO, all drives are under XDP protection, and data in the array is distributed across the X-Bricks to maintain consistent performance and equivalent flash wear levels. In XtremIO both random and sequential I/O is treated equally as data is randomized and distributed in a balanced fashion throughout the array. In ASM nomenclature, this feature has effectively blurred the importance of Fine grained and Coarse Grained striping. In short, DBA need not worry about the ASM striping type as it will be taken care by XtremIO.


XtremIO Snapshots


XtremIO snapshots are implemented in a unique way that for the first time maintains space efficiency on writeable snapshots for both metadata and user data. In combination with XtremIO's unique in-memory metadata architecture, XtremIO snapshots allow for large numbers of high performance, low latency, read/writeable snapshots. XtremIO snapshots are easy to use, and appear and are managed as standard volumes in the cluster.



XtremIO snapshots are efficient in metadata and physical space, can be created instantaneously, have no performance impact, and have the same data services as any other volume in the cluster (for example, thin provisioning and Inline Data Reduction).


XtremIO snapshots can be used in a variety of use cases, including:

  • Near Continuous Data Protection (CDP) to protect against Logical corruption
  • Backup

It is possible to create snapshots to be presented to a backup server/agent. This can be used in order to offload the backup process from the production server.


  • Development and test

It is possible to create snapshots of the production data, create multiple (spaceefficient, high-performance) copies of the production system and present them for development and testing purposes.


  • Offload processing

It is possible to use snapshots as a means to offload the processing of data from the production server. For example, if there is a need to run a heavy process on the data (which can affect the production server's performance), it is possible to use snapshots to create a recent copy of the production data and mount it on a different server. This process can then be run on the other server without consuming the production server's resources.

  • Bulk provisioning of VMs
  • Logical corruption protection

It is possible to create frequent snapshots (based on the desired RPO intervals) and use them to recover from any logical data corruption. A snapshot can be kept in the system for as long as it is needed. If a logical data corruption occurs, it is possible to use a snapshot of an earlier application state (prior to the logical data corruption occurrence) to recover the application to a known good point in time.


XtremIO snapshots are easy to use and manage, and leverage a sophisticated metadata management engine that provides superior support for flash media, enabling high performance snapshotting. XtremIO snapshots can be used for Development and Test, backups, protection against logical corruption, offload processing (real-time analytics, SAP landscape,and more) and consolidation of testing and development with production.


In the next blog, I am going to discuss some best practises   for deploying and running Oracle DB in an XtremIO array in order to avail the above features and benefits.


References :-

  • For getting details regarding XtremIO array, pls. visit the site here.
  • Pls. visit the EMC Store for the datasheet of XtremIO array here.



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