Extending Open Convergence to Oracle RAC

With the release of DVX 4.0, Datrium DVX now supports running Oracle Real Application Clusters (RAC). This, combined with existing support for Oracle Single Instance, shows the tremendous value this new breed of convergence brings to critical enterprise workloads.

All the benefits of Open Convergence have been extended to Oracle RAC, including:

Turns out Hyper-Converged isn’t a great fit for RAC

Customers love the idea of Hyper-Converged Infrastructure (HCI) and have deployed it in large numbers. However, HCI introduces a number of challenges due to its binding of compute and storage together in fixed increments. Open Converged Infrastructure has evolved and improved on the convergence model with these challenges in mind, and gives enterprise and service provider customers all the perceived benefits of HCI without the drawbacks.

Oracle RAC deployments are no exception and pose a number of serious challenges for customers looking to modernize and considering HCI. Oracle’s licensing model drives up the cost significantly for additional cores. Deployments are subsequently designed with the least number of necessary cores whilst still meeting architectural and storage needs.  With HCI, and it’s tight coupling of storage and compute resources, this can lead to license bloat and/or resiliency tradeoffs:

  • HCI constrains your server and storage choices, making it more difficult to find the right server for your RAC deployment. Any over-configured servers will cost you — big-time.  Just need more storage? You will need to purchase additional compute (cores) and drive up your oracle licensing costs.
  • If you need to roll out a small 2-node RAC deployment, HCI cannot offer a 2-node cluster. In order to provide the highest level of availability, the minimum cluster size for HCI is 5-nodes, which is subject to more than twice the Oracle licensing costs. 
  • There is also an availability mismatch between HCI and Oracle RAC. For example, RAC’s built-in availability architecture ensures that a 4-node RAC deployment will continue to run even if three of the four nodes fail; whereas with HCI, should more than 2 nodes fail, the entire cluster fails.
  • Most leading HCI vendors can’t handle snap and clone operations without big impacts to workload performance, inhibiting software development and data protection needs.
Open Convergence is perfect for RAC

Open Convergence on Datrium DVX is an ideal deployment vehicle for Oracle RAC and provides solutions for all the problems you’ll have deploying RAC on HCI.

  • DVX offers complete server flexibility and with Split Provisioning allows for completely independent scaling of storage and compute. You can start with a few servers of your choice and easily grow from there. And you can mix RAC nodes with the rest of your converged infrastructure. There’s no need for silos and no need to add servers (and Oracle licenses) just to increase capacity.
  • DVX matches infrastructure availability to RAC availability. One of the main reasons to deploy RAC is for high availability. Where there are N servers, N-1 servers can fail and data on DVX remains available—well matched to the Oracle RAC N-1 availability model.
  • DVX native snapshots enable no-stun snaps that are instantly available to all servers in a DVX cluster. That means simple snap and clone for DevOps and backup to compliment RMAN and Data Guard.
  • DVX gives you always-on compression, deduplication and end to end Blanket Encryption – which means no need for expensive add-on features or 3rd party solutions.

 A quick summary of the Open Convergence advantages for Oracle RAC include: