This design guide describes how to use Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) to implement an Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC) system that is an Oracle Certified Configuration. Cisco UCS provides the computing, network, and storage access components of the cluster, deployed as a single cohesive system. The resulting implementation addresses many of the needs of database administrators and IT departments today, including:
- A simplified deployment and operation model
- High performance for Oracle RAC software
- Lower total cost of ownership (TCO)
This guide introduces the Cisco Unified Computing System and provides implementation instructions. It concludes with an analysis of the cluster's performance and reliability.
Cisco is a leader in providing network connectivity in enterprise data centers. With the introduction of the UCS, Cisco is can now provide the entire clustered infrastructure for Oracle RAC deployments.
The Cisco UCS provides centrally controlled computing, network, virtualization, and storage access resources that are managed as a single cohesive system. With its ability to scale to up to 320 rack-mount servers and incorporate both blade and rack-mount servers, Cisco UCS provides an ideal foundation for Oracle RAC deployments.
Historically, enterprise database management systems have run on costly symmetric multiprocessing servers that use a vertical scaling (scale-up) model. However, as the cost of one-to-four-socket x86-architecture servers continues to drop and their processing power increases, a new model has emerged.
Oracle RAC uses a horizontal scaling (scale-out) model in which the active-active cluster uses multiple servers, each contributing its processing power to the cluster. This model:
- Increases performance, scalability, and availability
- Balances the workload across the servers in the cluster
- Can provide continuous availability in the event of a failure
This Cisco Validated Design provides an implementation of Oracle Database 10g Release 2 and Oracle Database 11g Release 1 with Real Application Clusters technology consistent with industry best practices. For back-end Fibre Channel storage, it uses an EMC CLARiiON system with a mix of Fibre Channel drives and Enterprise Flash Drives (EFDs) to speed performance.
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