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GFS, OCFS, and GPFS - Which Filesystem for Oracle?

Cliff posted about 11 years ago | from the proper-care-and-feeding-of-a-high-octane-RDBMS dept.


amani asks: "My company has a Oracle 9i RAC database running on a Sun cluster. In 6 months we are looking to replace the cluster with either a Linux or an AIX solution that will involve SAN storage. I see that their are a variety of filesystems for Oracle and Linux. Sistina (Red Hat) has the GFS, Oracle has the OCFS, and IBM has GPFS. Does anyone know the pros and cons of each of these filesystems ,and which one would be better for a continuously growing database?"

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VCS is the way to go (3, Informative)

Androclese (627848) | about 11 years ago | (#8095660)

Have you looked at a Veritas Cluster? (VCS) The company I work for uses it and we have found it to be very stable.

Re:VCS is the way to go (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#8096657)

You know how much that shit costs? You have to open up the check book to your hands on it...big time!

Re:VCS is the way to go (2, Insightful)

nbvb (32836) | about 11 years ago | (#8096792)

You get what you pay for.

Bigtime. ... that's what makes this "Linux is free" argument so laughable. When you're spending $30k for clustering software, another $300k for volume management & filesystem licenses (Price VxVM & VxFS for an SF15k someday ...), what does that OS license cost matter?

Oh, wait, if you buy a piece of Sun/IBM/SGI/etc. hardware, they throw the OS in for free anyway ...

Hmm, there goes *that* argument. :)

Re:VCS is the way to go (1)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | about 11 years ago | (#8096974)

You get what you pay for.

If that's always true, why is fraud a crime?

Re:VCS is the way to go (1)

demmegod (620100) | about 11 years ago | (#8097712)

You *obviously* don't understand. Linux isn't that type of free. The free in the "free argument" is in the freedom to... aww hell, just read anything RMS has written- enlighten yourself!

Re:VCS is the way to go (1)

nbvb (32836) | about 11 years ago | (#8100647)

No, *you* obviously don't understand where I'm coming from.

Management doesn't care about the "freedom" stuff, all they care about is dollars and cents.

And one of the pitches that's been thrown around for Linux is that you're unencumbered by licensing costs.

Well, it's simply Not True (tm). Read what I said above ..

And I don't need to read anything RMS has written; I've read it before, and written him off as a kwack.

Re:VCS is the way to go (1)

demmegod (620100) | about 11 years ago | (#8102646)

RMS is definately a little out there- I'll give you that. I understand where you're coming from with management. What management will eventually have to realise is that using open source (and getting that freedom) saves money- not just because one doesn't pay licensing fees. Simply by being open source, a program is totally extensible and customizable. They also don't have EOL programs- when someone stops developing a program, anyone can continue with it. Proprietary software's hidden cost isn't in the initial licensing fees- it's in the pure restrictiveness. Management will have to realize that eventually.

I apologize- initially, you appeared to be some punk who didn't realize what free software really is.

Re:VCS is the way to go (2, Insightful)

afidel (530433) | about 11 years ago | (#8098047)

In a few years time when Linux includes the filesystems and best parts of the various Unix volume managers then what will you say? Already Linux has most of the non super high end filesystems. I think what people want ultimatly from Linux is for the software to be communilly developed by all of the interested parties and to pay for support. That way if they don't like the support from one vendor they can chose another based soley on their support history not on support + software.

Re:VCS is the way to go (1)

nbvb (32836) | about 11 years ago | (#8100688)

Well, then I'll think about it.

I'll believe it when I see it. Same thing I've been sayinig since '95, and it's still true ....

I started using Linux in the 0.9 days, and I abandoned it during the 2.0.x days.

Now I've got a FreeBSD system (it's got a big picture of an Apple on the side panel...) and I couldn't be happier ...

Why bother... none of those are worth using. (1, Informative)

danbeck (5706) | about 11 years ago | (#8095758)

Until there is a high quality, well maintained, open source clustered file system along the professional level of reiserfs, I'd say nothing out there is worth using. They are all either 1) closed source and by definition poorly maintained and near non-usable with open source operating systems, 2) aren't *real* clustering file systems or 3) so ungodly expensive only fortune 500 companies can justify the expense.

Re:Why bother... none of those are worth using. (2, Informative)

zem_11 (729831) | about 11 years ago | (#8097951)

What about Lustre (http://www.lustre.org)?

BTW, implicitly, closed != bad. Yes, sometimes it does, but not always.

Also, by what definition is a filesystem a "cluster filesystem". One in which the cluster nodes can (a) access, (b) provide or (c) access and provide the filesystem? Not every flavour of clustered filesystem falls in the same category.

I do agree with the license comment on closed source systems - the per-node license fees are ridiculous.

Be warned (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#8095893)

http://groups.google.com/groups?hl=en&lr=&ie=UTF-8 &edition=us&threadm=3F1824E7.62A3AD8E%40exxesoluti ons.com&rnum=4&prev=/groups%3Fq%3Doracle%2Borbitz% 26hl%3Den%26lr%3D%26ie%3DUTF-8%26edition%3Dus%26se lm%3D3F1824E7.62A3AD8E%2540exxesolutions.com%26rnu m%3D

9i rac can be dangerous to your health.

"An Oracle Database" what kind? (5, Insightful)

mcdrewski42 (623680) | about 11 years ago | (#8095938)

As someone involved in building and architecting ludicrously sized realtime transaction processing systems, I can honestly tell you that the answer is "whatever".

If you have lots more updates than accesses, you need your redo logs etc on RAW devices, no filesystem required, these will be your biggest bottleneck. The rest, well, just go for a decent hardware RAID implementation, since software RAID is a joke.

If you have lots more accesses than updates then it's your RAM which will probably make the real impact.

And at the end of the day, if you're looking at advice, and you're sporting a cheque in your pocket - ask the vendors to tell you which one you should buy! Ask the tricky questions and put their answers in your contract so that they pay you if they lie :)

I know - it's a nice dream.

Parting with Sentiment (3, Interesting)

fm6 (162816) | about 11 years ago | (#8097224)

If you have lots more updates than accesses, you need your redo logs etc on RAW devices, no filesystem required, these will be your biggest bottleneck.
OK, but that sort of begs the question. One of the filesystems mentioned OCFS, is specifically designed to use in place of a raw partition [oracle.com] . So when is a raw partition preferred and when OCFS?

Despite all the wisecracks about the name, our sentimental favorite should be GPFS [ibm.com] because of a certain well known geek [samba.org] who works for the filesystem group at IBM Almaden.

choose AIX/JFS/SSA (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#8096420)

I run a 500 MB Oracle DB for SAP on top of AIX/JFS/SSA disks. It runs fine. Everything is very stable. Performance is good. SSA is a IBM SAN-like disk technology. SSA is pricey, however is very mature. With AIX 5.2 you can add/delete/move/remove FS/disks/SSA trays with all the applications running. Avoid JFS2, still not mature enough to be stable. Create Oracle datafiles up to 2 GB.

Re:choose AIX/JFS/SSA (1)

saden1 (581102) | about 11 years ago | (#8096701)

500 MB? lol.

How would your setup handel 100 gig of data?

Re:choose AIX/JFS/SSA (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#8096802)

100 Gig?

Simple SW raid with 3X 300GB IDE drives for growth
ext3, metadata journaling only,
and I'd toss oracle and use postgresql.

3TB is more interesting.

(more realistically, yes, I have a 100G postgresql, ext3 database that works fine. I also have a 5GB oracle database on some veritas file system. What does the size of 100 Gig matter?)

Re:choose AIX/JFS/SSA (1)

DAldredge (2353) | about 11 years ago | (#8096887)

Just damn. The quality of /. keeps going down and down and down.

That setup would get you fired at most companies.

Re:choose AIX/JFS/SSA (1)

saden1 (581102) | about 11 years ago | (#8097164)

100 gig was a number I picked because that is the current size of the DB I'm working with. The DB has the potential to grow to tens of terabytes if we sign up more customers.

PostgreSQL? come on man...like the other poster said....you'll be fired in no time if shit hits the fence. if PostgreSQL corrupts our data who get the blame? With Oracle, we'll just call Oracle and have them foot the bill for damage done.

IDE drives? lol.

Re:choose AIX/JFS/SSA (1)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | about 11 years ago | (#8108615)

With Oracle, we'll just call Oracle and have them foot the bill for damage done.

Did the lawyers at Oracle forget to include the usual "we do not warrant this software for any particular purpose and in any case the maximum we will be liable for is the cost of the software" clause in the End User License Agreement, which every other piece of proprietary software seems to have, for their permission-to-use-our-server-software license?

Re:choose AIX/JFS/SSA (1)

drsmithy (35869) | about 11 years ago | (#8097300)

Simple SW raid with 3X 300GB IDE drives for growth

Please tell me you're not implying RAID5...

Re:choose AIX/JFS/SSA (1)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | about 11 years ago | (#8099227)

RAID on IDE? Eww. Make sure you at least turn the write cache off on all the drives so you don't end up with a corrupted database on power loss.

Disclaimer: Yes, IDE RAID has it's place, but I wouldn't want to be stuck using it for a database that I cared about.

Re:choose AIX/JFS/SSA (1)

thempstead (30898) | about 11 years ago | (#8097842)

I've run systems basically the same hardware setup as that and its been fine up to ~100gb of data, (how well you tune your system can make a lot of difference to the performance on this sort of setup), although I wouldn't want to go much larger than that on that sort of kit, (give me a HDS9960 over Fibre and then we can start talking reasonable size database systems).

A couple of points for the grand parent post:
1). Removing the SSA disks and replacing them online (assuming mirrored fs's) worked WAY before AIX 5.2.
2). You can have Oracle datafiles a lot larger than 2gb, just create your JFS filesystems large file enabled.


Re:choose AIX/JFS/SSA (1)

larien (5608) | about 11 years ago | (#8097879)

Yes, HDS9960's are great, simply because of the write performance. Basically, these have a chunk of battery backed RAM (about 32GB, I think) to which writes are stored. These are then written to disk when the array gets a chance, but write times are in the order of 1ms, as opposed to the 10ms we were seeing in FC disks (times as reported by vxstat in Veritas volume manager). For one database we have, this is a major boost as the overnight batch jobs were generating a lot of small transactions and the bottleneck was the redo logs writes (it was waiting for about 70% of the time on redo log writes).

For read-mostly, you really want to have a lot of RAM in your servers.

Re:choose AIX/JFS/SSA (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#8120027)

I suggested AIX 5.2 because is the latest version supported. I have run SSA since AIX 4.1.
Having Oracle datafiles about 2 GB facilitates backups and file moves.

IBM GPFs? (0, Offtopic)

Samus (1382) | about 11 years ago | (#8096476)

Hey when did IBM steal GPFs from Microsoft? Personally the name alone in that one would make me stear wide and far from it. Of course that could just be IBMs awful marketing department at work again. It might even be better than the others. Yes this post adds nothing to the conversation except a little humor. Moderate as you feel you should.

Re:IBM GPFs? (1)

bellings (137948) | about 11 years ago | (#8096919)

Ha! You made a joke about General Protection Fault.

In return, I will make a joke about Kernel Panic and Major Failure.

Hee Hee.

ask us? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#8096488)

Um.. perhaps call your Oracle support people. If your company is at all sizable, they probably have support contracts with the companies that provide them their mission-critical software? And their professional services/technical engineering people would surely be the best people to ask.

General Protection FaultS? (0, Offtopic)

rogueMonkey (669464) | about 11 years ago | (#8096968)

> IBM has GPFS I'd stay away from a product named after a Microsoft bug.

Re:General Protection FaultS? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#8097861)

I'd avoid it for another reason. I used to work somewhere it was implemented in an NFS cluster using HACMP. It sucked. Royally. I managed to crash the cluster simply by doing some rsyncs in parallel; the processes crashed one node, when it failed over it promptly crashed the other node bringing an entire 10TB cluster down.

Last I heard, they had a short time to fix it before the lawyers got involved, but I think IBM had pretty much given up and were looking to pay for a NetApp replacement just to keep them happy.

I will say, however, that I don't know how it works with Oracle.

Posted anonymously to protect the inno^H^H^H^Hguilty.

Why? (4, Insightful)

sql*kitten (1359) | about 11 years ago | (#8097999)

The real question is, why are you migrating your hardware? Is it because you want to save some money on infrastructure in the short term? Is it because you're thinking long-term and are worried about the viability of the Sun platform? Is it because performance and/or reliability aren't good enough with your present system? Is it because your company has been acquired and your new owners are in bed with IBM? Or is it because Linux is the buzzword of the day and your boss insists you use it? Forgive my nosiness, but they question you are asking isn't really a tech question that has a straightforward answer. What is the outcome you are looking for? A wise engineer chooses his tools according to the job at hand, not the other way round.

Figure out what you want to accomplish, then figure out what you need to do that. It's easy enough to try all three and see...

Re:Why? (1)

chez69 (135760) | about 11 years ago | (#8102152)

perhaps it is because the sun hardware is slow compared to the pSeries (RS/6000) machines.

Costs/tuning Oracle (1)

martin (1336) | about 11 years ago | (#8098025)

depends on how well your projected growth is known.

If you are going from Solaris to A.N.Other Unix-like O/S be prepared for a learning curve. Doesn't matter what the O/S is it will require retraining - adds to costs.

Also how write heavy is you App? You'll need to watch the O/S - Oracle tuning as they (esp Oracle) will need specific tuning, remember having to set alsort of new stuff for Oracle 9 and Solaris?#

Best advice is get your self a decent Oracle DB-admin, even for a short term contract as this will save you lots of money in the meduim term. If you can find one who understands/admins Unix as well you're 1/2 way there.

As with anything Oracle there are so many ways of doinf things and so many knobs to tune it can be quite difficult to optimise, the Filesystem type and O/S tuning are normally fairly low down the list of things to do..

Re:Costs/tuning Oracle (1)

GoofyBoy (44399) | about 11 years ago | (#8101369)

I have to agree with this.

Unless you are talking about some unholy large data warehouse and you need to squeeze every single drop of performance out of every circut, your resources are better off on the high level logical settings of Oracle.

With a good RAID-5 set up, its really hard to optimize things for Oracle.

Something to remember BEFORE going with OCFS (1)

haute_sauce (745863) | about 11 years ago | (#8102759)

Check out Oracle's web site. they are very specific about WHICH linux distributions and WHICH apps/tools that are supported under OCFS. (http://oss.oracle.com/projects/ocfs/files/support ed/) Impliction ? Anything not listed MIGHT corrupt the files !

I run a 9i RAC w/OCFS - HATE IT! (1)

Resident_Geek (105025) | about 11 years ago | (#8103730)

I run one of the 99 other 9i RACs in the world. I hate it. OCFS is slow, difficult to mount, load, and install. Plus it consumes all the resources in the system. The Oracle guys don't know anything else so they like it. But as the system admin I seem to be constantly fixing Oracle which the Oracle guys can't. So I ask you, what good are they if they can't even fix their own stuff. I also find that Oracle is a hack. Even the DBAs say this. Why do they use java to install stuff. What's wrong with a good shell script? I know java is platform independent. But that doesn't matter if the java installer won't even run. Better yet. What if the DBAs actually know how to install or compile stuff. Why is this asking to much.
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