Heading to Oracle OpenWorld

Oracle OpenWorld is a flagship event for IT professionals – it showcases new product launches, cutting edge technology and exciting news every year. This Oracle OpenWorld, SanDisk® will have its biggest solutions presence yet, joined by our new team members from Fusion-io. As we approach the event I would like to share several blog posts on the work we are doing with Oracle products using SanDisk’s flash storage solutions.

As many of you know, Oracle released Oracle Database 12cR1 in 2013 and with In-Memory option just this summer in late August. With every new product release we are interested in exploring and demonstrating how Oracle customers can best realize performance benefits using SanDisk SSD products with Oracle database products. In this blog post I wanted to share how SanDisk Optimus SAS SSDs achieve better business continuity and deliver faster recovery than HDDs, delivering greater business benefits with Oracle Database 12c backup operations.

No Time for Downtime

A typical scenario for IT professionals: Sipping a coffee at Starbucks in the wee hours waiting to catch a redeye flight at the airport. This is also a typical scenario for Starbucks employees who serves customers around the clock, as well as for the airline Industry that operates at these non-stop hours. In today’s world, businesses run 24×7, 365 days year, and supported business applications are expected to provide consistent performance without any outage. The matter of fact is, that any lapse or application failure could cost businesses millions of dollars in revenue and loss of corporate reputation. No wonder organizations have Business Continuity Plan (BCP) in place for mission-critical business applications, that define Recovery Point objective (RPO) and Recovery Time objective (RTO) metrics and the steps to achieve them.

If you are not familiar with these terms, RPO allows business to define how far back in time they can go without losing data while the RTO defines how much it takes to get business back online. These two metrics determine selecting the appropriate recovery technologies for an IT organization.

Figure 1: Recovery Point Objective and Recovery Time Objective


Where Flash Fits In

For many database administrators it is common practice to backup a database to hard disk, later transfer it to tape and in the event of database failure, initiate recovery procedures. This method may work well for normal business applications, however, when dealing with business critical applications, such as Oracle databases, this approach may fail to meet the recovery targets. Wider adoption of flash storage for database solutions and its increasing affordability in terms of dollars per gigabyte makes flash an interesting value proposition and its benefits can be leveraged for database backup solutions to manage recovery targets efficiently, and achieve better RTO.

Testing Oracle Backup using SanDisk Optimus SSDs

When it comes to Oracle Database, database administrators generally use Oracle RMAN (Recovery Manager) for full database backup and Data Pump for tables and schema level backup to guarantee against any failure. The primary objective of our testing was to identify the advantages associated with deploying SSDs for these Oracle Database 12c backup operations.

Testing Overview

For our testing, we installed Oracle 12cR1 with Red hat 6.5 Operating system on a Super Micro server. We employed best practices and optimized all layers, including Oracle 12c database, Red hat 6.5 OS down to the server and storage to set up a high performance platform. As shown in figure 2 below, only the database storage was alternated between SSDs and HDDs. All other testing configuration settings remained consistent to provide a uniform testing environments.

The SSD test configuration consisted of four (4) SanDisk Optimus SAS drives, while the HDD configuration had sixteen (16) 15K RPM hard disk drives. For the application, standard data pump (export and import) and RMAN backup and recovery scripts employed.

SSD HDD testing oracle 12c Database
Figure 2: Storage Layout with SanDisk SSD and HDD


4 SSDs vs. 16 HDDs: Which is better?

The graphs below show our testing results, and illustrate how 4 SanDisk Optimus drives dramatically outperform 16 HDDs for both data pump and RMAN Operations. For both 150GB and 500GB database sizes, SanDisk Optimus SSDs provide 70% improvement for RMAN backup and recovery and 56% improvement for Data Pump operations.

RMAN SSD vs. HDD Performance Chart
Figure3a: SanDisk Optimus VS HDD Performance
Data Pump Performance
Figure3b: SanDisk Optimus VS HDD Performance


 What does this mean?

This significant savings in Data Pump and RMAN database operations time provides dual business benefits:

  1. Increase application availability for business purposes by cutting database backup operational time.
  2. Reduced business outage time due to shorter database recovery time.

The increased application availability for business usage can have a big impact on business revenues. These advantages can help an organization to manage their business 24*7 more effectively and provide consistent quality of service.

And if we go back to our redeye flight, these advantages will greatly help IT folks to sit back and relax sipping their coffee knowing their flight is less likely to be delayed due to business applications outage.Conclusion

I will be sharing more results, tips and findings in the coming weeks leading up to Oracle OpenWorld. Stay tuned for the SanDisk white paper on Oracle backup with our performance studies and analysis on how to realize 50% performance advantage and 68% cost savings in using SanDisk Optimus drives.

If you have any questions, you can reach me at Prasad.Venkatachar@sandiskoneblog.wpengine.com, or join the conversation on Twitter with @SanDiskDataCtr. I look forward to see you at Oracle OpenWorld!

Prasad brings experience in building reference architecture and best practices for relational databases and NoSQL databases.