Redefining Simplicity & Agility For Oracle DBAs with EMC XtremIO

Today’s Oracle DBAs spend the majority of their time each week diagnosing and tuning performance, maintaining availability, and creating and maintaining copies of databases, while trying to drive greater database consolidation to improve simplicity (source: IOUG 2014 Survey). How can storage simplify these tasks for Oracle DBAs while meeting service level objectives to the business? The answer lies in redefining Oracle storage platforms.

To put XtremIO to the test, EMC performed both internal testing as well as external third-party audited tests with Principled Technologies. Let’s have a look at the results.

Predictable Breakthrough Performance

XtremIO all-flash-arrays (AFAs) maximize performance as everything is consistently fast, no matter what the mix of OLTP and OLAP and no matter how many instances are running. This means a DBA doesn’t have to waste time ever again architecting the databases for the storage or tuning the storage for the databases. DBAs simply request the new instances and go. A six X-Brick XtremIO configuration can scale linearly to deliver over 1M OLTP IOPS with <1 millisecond latency regardless of Oracle workload profile. But isn’t every AFA fast? What about other AFAs?

Oracle XtremeIO 2* The results are based on XtremIO software version 2.4.

As the above test results indicate, the answer is “No.” XtremIO relies upon the controller in the SSD itself to handle the location and deletion of new writes. This frees XtremIO from log structuring and system-level data collection. EMC has tested and documented a detailed solution showing how XtremIO delivers more consistent performance with ~80% more database I/O and ~3X to 30X reduction in latency to maximize SLAs. 

Greater Consolidation & Agility For Oracle DBAs

According to a 2014 IOUG survey the majority of customers have up to 100 different Oracle databases to manage, each of which requires copies for test, development, reporting or analytics. DBAs are wary of consolidating them on a common storage platform with the sacred production instance, so such storage sprawl has persisted even in virtualized database environments.

A way to start tackling this challenge is to look at how to copy and deliver the same performance profile while meeting the combined SLAs of all consolidated instances. Oracle database copies on XtremIO (whether VM clones or physical snapshots) are fingerprinted in memory, deduplicated, and compressed inline all the time allowing more copies and capacity, and most importantly, all flash all the time.

But what about virtualizing? XtremIO combined with VMware integration (VAAI) uses the inline deduplication and in-memory metadata of XtremIO to allow VM clone processes to be offloaded from the Oracle database host.

Principled Technologies Testing

EMC XtremIO & VMware put this to the test at the labs of Principled Technologies (PT). PT configured a core production Oracle 12c database and proceeded to clone the database while workloads ran against the production system. PT test results[1]  documented here showed DBAs can now provision:

–         One multi-terabyte VM in minutes

–         17 different sized VMs in seconds

–         50 x 50 GB VMs – each new VM provisioned in seconds

PT’s testing indicates that DBAs can confidently copy and deploy multiple mixed workload databases on the same array as production while maintaining space efficiency and quality-of-service.

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[1] Based on XtremIO software version 2.4

About the Author: Robin Ren