Eye on Oracle

Nov 28 2007   12:17PM GMT

Oracle takes Database 11g into the ’scale-out’ era

Derek Kuhr Derek Kuhr Profile: Derek Kuhr

One of the more interesting sessions I attended at Oracle OpenWorld centered on the high availability aspects of the latest version of Oracle’s flagship, Database 11g.

According to Juan Loaiza, Oracle’s senior vice president in charge of availability, database management technology has come a long way in terms of being able to offer mainframe-like availability on low-cost servers such as blades.

“A lot of what’s going on is we’re trying to move availability onto what we call the scale-out era,” Loaiza told session attendees. He added that the characteristics of the scale-out era include “commodity building blocks, inherent scaling and redundancy.”

Loaiza said that because of their failover capabilities, Oracle Real Application Clusters are the key to avoiding unplanned downtime caused by server failures.

And in the event of storage failure, Loaiza said Database 11g fine tunes recovery from corrupt blocks and crashed storage arrays. A key aspect of 11g in this area is Automatic Storage Management, which mirrors data, he said.

If the downtime is caused by human error, he said, there’s a good chance that Database 11g’s flashback technologies can help. For example, Flashback Database can “move an entire database back in time” while Flashback Data Archive can automatically store all changes to selected tables in an archive that cannot be modified.

“We architected this so it could flashback against an unlimited amount of time.”

From the sounds of this session, it appears that Oracle is on top of its availability game, but I wonder if DBAs would agree with that. Is Oracle really doing all it can on the availability front? Or are there more features or technologies that you’d like to see added to the system? Post your comments here and we’ll likely contact you for an upcoming news story on the subjects.

— Mark

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  • Derek Kuhr
    Yes, it seem like Oracle is on the top of its availability game. With RAC(server availability), ASM (storage availability), Active Data Guard in 11g (for disaster recover) with Maximum Availability features , hot pathces and upgrades, it does seem like no downtime at all. However there is no cure still for the shops that runs and maintains their databases in older releases. Some shops runs 1000s of databases still on 8i,9i and even 7.3, although no support. Upgrades had been very costly affair for them. Plus it does need considerable downtime for those upgrades, which is way expensive. What is Oracle going to do for those customers that wants to upgrade to the latest and greatest, but can't afford it, now or never? Oracle should come up with the cost effective solution for that. Provide them with free installs and maintenance and the assurance that the new availability features would not break anything else in their production environment. Like buy one get one free deals!
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